GOrilla . urban cycling – Conscious Inheritor of Human Creativity
It is this romantic mélange of Swiss quality standards, venerable Italian craftsmanship and charismatic brand ambassadors which has brought GOrilla . urban cycling high prestige in the urban cycling scene and constitutes a fertile ground for innovation and growth in an environment-conscious post-fossil future.
INTERVIEW WITH NINO JÄGER - OWNER
Was there a special bicycle that you always wanted to have?
I had a normal mountain bike that brought me from A to B. I used the bike for outdoor sports but first and foremost, I saw it as a means for transportation. I have always found it puzzling that most people see bicycles as sports tools but do not use them for their daily transportation. I even wrote a thesis on the topic in school and compared the use of cars and bicycles for transportation in cities.
How did you come to GOrilla?
It was the time when FREITAG owned GOrilla and needed a rescue plan to give the brand a vision and turn it into a profitable business. My concept was to individualize bicycles by offering customers the possibility to create their very own bike. With my know-how in in process, finance and operations, I was able to create sales channels and put GOrilla back on track.- Now GOrilla is more than a store. It is a brand, a concept expressed in this first flagship store in zürich, of which journalists write that it must be the most beautiful one of its kind and customer come to because they have fun and enjoy the experience.
What is GOrilla’s Vision?
I added the slogan “urban cycling”, as I wanted to support metropolitan cycling. My objective was to produce aesthetically reduced bicycles that corresponded to safety and legal requirements. Also, I wanted to offer customers the possibility to configure their unique bike in about one hour – a bike that tells a story with each component. My motivation to invest myself into the business, comes from the fascination of how fast you can move with bicycles, faster than by any other means of transportation – be it by train, bus or car. On top of it all it is environmentally friendly and you do something for your health. For me this is really what makes the difference – there is no other product that I can identify with 100 percent. My passion for the product makes GOrilla authentic.
What does the Urban Cycling myth of the 80’s mean to you?
I did not have that myth in mind, when I branded GOrilla. But there are two nostalgic aspects to it: the backpedaling, reminding you of the bike you had as a child, and the bonanza bike that gives you the easy rider feeling. I love to repair old bikes. When people bring their grandfather’s bike to the store, I am amazed what fine components they have been using some 40 to 60 years ago on bicycles. And these bikes still work – that is sustainability to me.
What influence did bicycle couriers and Japanese Keirin bikes have
on the new aesthetics?
The US courier scene reinvented bicycles. But it did not happen for aesthetic reasons but due to functional and cost reducing reasons. The bars were chopped to enable an easier and safer maneuver between cars. Brakes and other things were taken away to reduce weight. Then European bicycle couriers started to use these bikes as well and then the trend seized regular people. But it’s not so easy to ride a Fixie. To be able to break at the right moment you need a lot of experience. My goal was to make safe bikes. Therefore we use the back break,
What follows the reduction to the minimum?
I see a similar development as in the automotive industry. Due to leasing possibilities, there are no more old and damaged cars in the streets, like it was the case some 20 to 30 years ago. Give it another 20 years and you will not see any broken bikes at Zurich’s main train station anymore. I see the bike to become the new car, a status symbol. Another trend is the compatibility of components. Customer will be able to repair about 80% on their own: changing tires, brake pads and configure brakes. We have a 24h service station in front of my shop.
What do you think about E-Bikes?
It is a fantastic thing, because more people are rediscovering the bicycle – also people with reduced physical flexibility and fitness. In the long run they will conquer a leading position in the mobility market. But there are a lot of things to regulate . E bikes also bring more danger on the urban track!
Nino wie kamst Du zu GOrilla Bike?
Grundsätzlich musst du einmal einen GOrilla Rahmen gefahren haben ... dann verändert sich das Bewusstsein zum Velo! Ich hatte das Vergnügen mit der Marke GOrilla als die zwei FREITAG Brüder die Marke übernommen hatten und mich nach einem halben Jahr Orientierungslosigkeit für das Projekt als Sanierer eingestellt hatten. Na und dann nimmt es den Lauf – du siehst dass die italienischen Rahmen präzise Handarbeit sind – eine sehr gute Geometrie haben - die besten Rohrsätze und den Rest habe ich selber zusammengesetzt! Was für eine wundervolles Fahrgefühl!
Was sind die aktuellen Trends im Urban Biking?
Der Trend – keine Ahnung! Trends bewegen mich und GOrilla nicht! Wir setzen da eher auf den Grundstein – die Basis! Stahl und reduziert – also wartungsarm! Ein bisschen vom „Do it yourself“ – Indivudualized – das Velo für jeden qualitätsbewussten und nachhaltig denkenden Typen einfach! Elektro ist sicher der aktuell grösste Trend – aber Trends sind für mich Zeitbezogen – ich glaube nicht das das E – wieder am Velo verloren geht – also auch kein Trend – eben wie Stahl!
Wo lässt Du dich für Deine Bike-Kreationen inspirieren?
Auf der ganzen Welt wird Velo gefahren – also kannst du dich auch jederzeit an jedem Ort inspirieren lassen! Wo bin ich schön überall gewesen – es gibt keinen Moment wo ich mich nicht inspirieren lass! Unmöglich, wenn man das GOrilla Konzept lebt – sich nicht inspirieren zu lassen!