Sebastien and Gisella Deubel dreamt of manufacturing a truly Australian-Made Dual Suspension bike. Two years later they're hitting the trails with their creation, the 2UP.
AMB: Hi guys, please introduce yourselves.
Gisella: Hi I'm Gisella Deubel. I'm the Sales & Marketing Director at Deubel Bicycles.
Sebastien: And I’m the other half. Sebastien Deubel, Mechanical Engineer. I've been racing mountain bikes for as long as I can remember – I won the Megavalanche Championships in 1998, it was crazy back then. 100km/h on a glacier with v-brakes!
AMB: Rumour has it that you met out on the trail - is this true?
SD: Yes, in Whistler at the Richie Schley camp! Gisella was the craziest and happiest girl I had ever seen on a bike, I loved her straight away.
GD: Me too, I thought Sebastien was the coolest rider. Sebastien moved to Sydney from France not long after that.
AMB: Where did the inspiration for Deubel bikes come from?
SD: I created my first full suspended MTB in 1995 for the Megavalanche. I designed it to a handle a 100km/hr top speed on a glacier but also to pedal efficiently on 40km of single tracks. Since then, I kept thinking about the "One Bike Does All".
GD: Sebastien initially wanted to create a bike just for him and me. But to me it was pretty clear that with the collaboration of his mechanical engineering background, his passion for mountain bike riding and my business knowledge, we could design, manufacture and sell outstanding full suspension mountain bikes in Australia.
AMB: Tell us briefly about the journey so far.
SD: The journey started two years ago when we designed and built the first prototype. We tested it and raced it for a year on as many cross country and downhill tracks as we could. We then fine tuned it and started the first production, which we have recently completed and is ready for sale.
AMB: What was it like when you got your first frame built up and out to a test rider?
SD: It was absolutely awesome. The first test rider was James Hall, a well-known lunatic on a bike who's raced in Australia and Canada. He tested the prototype at Oxford Falls in Sydney where we met him at the bottom of the downhill track. When we jumped on and literally rode straight up the track then came back down launching all the jumps we were stoked. He had confidence on it straight away and told it felt like he'd been riding it for years. Needless to say we were pretty happy with the response.
AMB: There aren't all that many Aussie frame builders, especially not when it comes to dual suspension frames. Was there ever a temptation to design the bikes here but have them built overseas?
GD: No, never. We're proud to manufacture our bikes here in Australia and we feel strongly that we have all the expertise we need here in Australia and that we can maintain quality better this way. In saying that, we're aware that the cost can make all the difference for the consumer, so it became our objective to find the right resources in Australia based on quality and price. It wasn't easy, but we were determined to support our own industry. We are grateful to have finally found our current suppliers.
AMB: How do you think Australian riders will respond to a home grown bike?
GD: That's a difficult question, because its one thing to claim a preference for an Australian made product, but its also important to make a purchase based on design and price. While we're sure the Australian branding will have appeal we hope the market also appreciates the design and price qualities too.
AMB: Where to next for Deubel?
GD: Our next step is to promote our bikes in Australia and explore the potential of exporting.
SD: From a design side, I want to explore the more gravity-oriented potential of the frame with the use of a 180mm-travel fork and a 150mm through-axle. And most importantly for us, keep building innovative and reliable frames for our riders.