Cult favorite cycling apparel company Swobo has entered into the bike building business in a serious way. Last year they hired Sky Yaeger, former brand/product manager at Bianchi to develop their new line of urban bikes.
Swobo's outlook on the cycling industry is both unique and refreshing. Instead of looking at the market in segments like road or mountain, etc., they design bikes that will have a cultural fit for certain groups of people. So, for example, their urban bikes are not just road bikes with tougher components, but instead a whole new breed of bikes that allow a canvas for personalization and can withstand the abuse that a city puts on a bike everyday.
For more insight on the happenings at Swobo check out the most recent Crooked Cog Podcast where, Tim Grahl interviewed founder Tim Parr. Also, Dirt Rag has an interview with Sky Yeager specifically detailing the inspiration of the new line of bikes. I love this quote from Sky on the new Folsom street bike:
I used the coaster brake so you can ride with one hand on the bar and still brake. Say you're coming home from the bar with a 12-pack... you can carry it and still slam on the brakes.