New brands appear almost weekly in the bike trade, most of them are just the same old Taiwanese parts with someone else’s name on, but Straitline are far from the norm.
Taken from Dirt Issue 63, May 2007
You’ll often hear the words ‘precision engineering’ being touted, but there are few companies that can actually lay claim to that as much as Straitline can. They may have only just started making bike parts, but their main job for the past 16 years has been running Straitline Precision Industries on the West coast of Canada. Despite there only being eight employees they’ve achieved things that others could only dream of. If ever you’re in the area, you’ll find examples of their work on Mars, or 8000m below the sea, but if you don’t manage to see them, all you need to know is that everything they make is the very definition of the word precision.
The reason for the bike component sideline is a simple one, they all love bikes and every time they looked at theirs they were left with the thought that they could improve on what they saw. They also occasionally wondered why they had paid as much as they had done for some things, which left them with an aim to produce genuinely ‘high–end’ components, but at a realistic price. Every single piece that they make is made in–house, right down to the pins in their exquisite pedals, and they liken their design process to going out for a ride with mates, each of them pushing the other on to that next level. The fact that their other work has resulted in a workshop full of the most cutting edge machines known to man, means that this level isn’t any ordinary level either.
The first Straitline products that you’ll get to see on our shores include some absolute gems. I’ve already mentioned the pedals, but I can’t really describe how nice these are, let me just say that I wouldn’t be surprised if these become the platforms of choice, I just can’t think how you could make a flat pedal any better. On a similarly perfect note are the upgrade brake levers for Hayes, Shimano, or Avid brakes. I know it’s a bit of a personal thing, but these are quite simply the best I’ve ever had the pleasure of resting my fingers on, again I don’t know how they could be any better. Another brake upgrade that will make any Hayes owner happier is the replacement reach adjuster barrel that will finally put an end to its self–adjusting abilities, it may be little, but boy does it make a difference. One item that really does stand out as being completely different to anything else out there is the ‘Vertical Wedge’ stem, named so because of the unique way in which it clamps the steerer tube. It works a treat, and in my opinion looks stunning, what more could you ask for? There will be a few other items including bash rings and bar end caps (lock–on compatible) that should also be available by the time you read this, and a little birdy tells me that they might have a few more things in the pipeline too. Whatever the case, I can assure you that you’ll be seeing some more of this stuff in future issues, Straitline are definitely a company to keep an eye on, they say they’re just having fun, I say long may it continue.
Straitline components are distributed in the UK by Hotlines www.hotlines-europe.com