Best of

the Twin Cities

Best Bike Deal

LaMere Cycles

Jesse LaLonde turned more than a few heads in February when he finished first in the Penn Cycle Fat Tire Loppet on a mysterious new ride. In the winner's tent, he hoisted his black carbon steed so that everyone could see the brand: LaMere Cycles, made in south Minneapolis by the buzzy J.P. LaMere. The local tech entrepreneur has gotten a fair share of attention for his custom 21.5-pound fat bikes, though he sells so much more. When he opened for business two years ago, he made a cold splash with local bike shops for criticizing their business model. LaMere's parts come from the same factories and distributors, but without the same overhead, he's managed to sell his bikes for as much as $2,000 cheaper. On his website, he provides a Google spreadsheet that breaks down parts by weights and costs, so you know exactly what you're getting. Before the Loppet, LaLonde took LaMere's fat bike for a test run at Elm Creek and likened it to one of his own race machines, only on steroids. "The climbing was effortless," he wrote. "It's practically cheating."

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