“Jobs of the Future” is a series focusing on career paths, local job opportunities, programs, and tales of success that highlight North Bay's diverse job market.
The Cachet Bicycle Co. in North Bay is looking to cement itself as a globally known producer of high-quality products.
“I’m not looking to be the biggest company ever, I just want to make really good high end stuff that is recognized around the world for its quality,” says owner Ryan Melnyck.
Born and raised in North Bay, Melnyck says he didn’t become interested in competitive biking until the end of his middle-school days.
“I had zero interest in bike racing, my bike was just used to get to and from my friends house,” he says.
“But I got a cheaper mountain bike when I was 12 and it was an 18 speed, 50-pound bike that I just fell in love with and basically rode it into the ground. I made a deal with my parents that if I got straight A’s in my final semester of my grade 8 year, would they be willing to buy me a new one. They agreed and while I was never a great student I buckled down and was able to get A’s in every subject except one where I got a B and my parents were just wowed by that improvement and so they bought me this new mountain bike.”
That was also around the same time that North Bay hosted the Cycling Canada Eastern Canadian Championships at the Laurentian Ski Hill.
“I watched it and it was just the coolest thing ever and about a week later I made the decision that that was what I wanted to do.”
Melnyck soon discovered he had a natural flair for the sport.
“I started racing and the next summer there was a provincial event in North Bay. I signed up and I ended up winning the cross-country race for my age group by about 10-12 minutes and I followed that up with finishing fourth overall in the competition,” he says.
“Later that summer I did just as well in a competition in Quebec and from there my dad started to help me with writing resumes for biking sponsorships and I use a lot of that advice still to this day.”
Melnyck says he stayed within the competitive circuit for several years, even becoming a national junior champion for cross-country riding, but left the industry for a little while.
“I was always looking at ways to improve the bikes for my sponsors when I was riding,” says Melnyck. “Years later I got asked to design some tires for one of my old sponsors and that got me back into the industry. I was getting great reviews from some bigger bike magazines and other biking-related media, which catapulted this idea to do my own thing which is Cachet Bicycle Co.”
Melnyck says this really came together about five years ago when he started to design his own custom bike frame.
“I had a titanium bike frame custom made for myself and not many companies were doing that at the time. I was then contacted by a pro that saw my bike and he wanted to ride for me. At that point I didn’t even have a company and I didn’t even have a name for the bike, but after he tried it out he really enjoyed it and that gave me the push to start my own company,” says Melnyck.
“I had more people see it after he rode it and then I started getting orders for more before I even had the company started.”
Melnyck says the bike is a dirt jump frame trick bike that only has front suspension, one rear brake, and one speed with no gears
“The biggest bike companies in the world do specialized bikes for dirt jumping that only come in one size whereas I can do several custom sizes and by the end of August I will have four different types of frames. The frame alone is $2,500 so you still have to get all the other parts,” he says.
Melnyck says he wanted the company to come in at the higher end so that when there is room to grow, he can bring down the product a bit, but the name Cachet Bikes will already be associated with a higher end brand.
“It’s not my money maker but it is my image,” he says.
“The reason the titanium product is my high end frame is because its really strong but really light. Also the biggest area we’re focusing on is when the big tricks are landed it can take some of the shock out of what goes into the riders body without being a suspension bike. Nobody else does a titanium dirt jump bike.”
Melnyck says he has other frames in stock.
“I also have two aluminum frames and I let my top pros create their own models. They pick their own material and their own geometry that will fit their style and tricks the best. My very first rider did lots of back flips, but he didn’t spin his bars and that’s because you would have to be worried about the break cables being caught, well with my bike he no longer had to worry about that.”
It’s not just the bike that Melnyck is trying to promote but the image of how he can be trusted and take care of his riders
“I know I’m not the richest company but I’m trying to be there for them as much as they need me. I have riders from Sweden and Italy and I sponsor a rider from France named Chaney Guennet who races on a pumptrack. This is a smooth racecourse where you don’t pedal, but create momentum by pumping the bike over the hills backside and pull up on the front side. He won his last race called Crankworx Series in Austria and that event is coming to Canada this year.”
Melnyck says that there is a lot of competition for the racers in this industry, “I have lost some in the past but it is always because it comes down to them being able to earn more money once they have made a name for themselves.”
“While its sad to see them move to another sponsor I’m always happy to see that they are getting those opportunities. I can’t give my riders lots of stuff, but I can build them the best bikes and they can go head to head against any company and be better than their competition.”
Melnyck is growing his company day by day and says the options for what he can offer riders are going to expand shortly. He says, “We are going to have a high end chromoly steel model coming in at the end of August as well and I am working to develop the world’s first pumptrack specific racing frame with Guennet.”
If you have a story idea for the Jobs of the Future series, send Matt an email at [email protected].