The Collegiate Bicycle Company has added UCSB to the ranks of various universities and greek organizations that have adopted bicycles as a new means of flaunting school pride.
Beginning next spring, CBC will launch a line of men’s and women’s bicycles sporting the Gaucho logo and the University of California colors of blue and gold.
CBC is the brainchild of a team of young San Diego entrepreneurs. Although the business is relatively new, it has gained momentum and is currently licensed to produce bikes for 14 major schools, including other UCs.
CBC Director of Operations Erik Camp said that affiliation and personal attachment to a school will influence consumers to purchase his product.
“Students are very proud of where they come from and where they go to school,” Camp said. “There is such a large base [of interested parties], whether it be current or prospective students, supporters of athletic teams or alumni.”
However, fourth-year Film & Media studies major Sami Abdou said he feels that the cost of the bicycle outweighs the aesthetic appeal.
“To spend that much money on a bike that’s strictly for your school is pointless,” Abdou said. “Once you graduate, you won’t ride it again.”
The UCSB Bookstore, Isla Vista bike shops and Amazon.com will offer the line of Gaucho-affiliated bicycles once they are available. The wholesale price for the beach cruiser is about $180, whereas the manufacturer’s suggested retail price is $299. Various discounts are available to the public, including one for alumni or those who preorder their bicycles.
The CBC is currently negotiating with local bike shops in order to widen the distribution of their products. George Misbeek, owner of the Isla Vista Varsity Bike Shop, said he is interested in the offer, but is ultimately looking to provide the public with affordable bikes.
“Varsity Bike Shop tries to get the best bikes that we can for students at the most reasonable price,” Misbeek said. “It is a good deal if [the CBC] has a nice bike they can sell at reasonable price.”