Jeff Lenosky’s first sponsor was a brand called Eastern Woods Research, better known as EWR. The Pennsylvania-based framebuilder still produces niche steel and titanium hardtails, including dedicated trials bikes. Back when Lenosky started riding, custom manufacturers like EWR were the only place to turn to if you wanted a bike that suited the riding style that Lenosky had a huge part part in birthing and popularizing. A riding style that began simply as "bicycle trials," then evolved to "urban freestyle" or maybe "freestyle mountain biking," though any name you give it seems painfully out of touch. Then, in 1995, he signed with Schwinn, who was then able to make him a custom frame. But the storied name changed hands in the year 2000, just before they could make a production version of Lenosky’s bike. That’s when he partnered up with Giant, and he had a hand in designing the STP, the mega multinational brand’s take on the still brand-new subgenre of mountain bike/BMX crossovers.
Lenosky’s relationship with Giant ended at the close of 2018, and he’s been teasing what his next step would be. An early photo on Lenosky’s Instgram was simply a raw steel tube scribbled with the name “Jeff XL” in black Sharpie. That raised hopes that the big guy would be going small again, and his new home, Reeb Cycles, certainly is small. Based in Longmont, Colorado, about 20 miles north of Denver, Reeb produces all of its bikes in-house, ranging from steel dirt jumpers and hardtails to a progressive aluminum full-suspension 29er. Reeb (and Jeff) also partner with Can’d Aid, a philanthropic organization that works in disaster relief and community outreach. Can’d Aid also funds donations of musical instruments to needy schools and, of course, bikes to needy kids.
There’s something that feels right about Lenosky being back with a small brand and supporting grassroots projects. The sport of trials riding is about as grassroots as it gets in the mountain bike world, and it’s something Lenosky does pretty well. We’re excited to see what this team will be coming up with in the future.