Long regarded as one of the premier mountain biking destinations in the world, the Four Corners area has seen its fair share of bikes throughout the years.
Never before have locally conceived bikes such as those being produced by Kokopelli Bike Co. ventured onto area trails, however.
Designed by local cycling aficionados Scott Darling, Scott Eschallier, Keith Evans and Paul Adams, Kokopelli bikes offer versatility, performance and come at a price that will not break a bank account.
Those traits, along with the opportunity service Kokopelli bikes, render the bikes an attractive purchase-item as cyclists race into the new year.
With an eye toward navigating diverse Four Corners terrain, founders of Kokopelli Bike Co. set out to produce machines capable of multiple uses.
Headlining the company's current lineup is a road bike, which, featuring disc breaks, was designed with the fast-growing sport of cyclocross in mind. More than just a one-trick pony, the road bike offers multiple use options.
"We wanted something that could effectively be used in cyclocross racing, road riding and touring," explained Adams. "With this bike, you can do each effectively, not just make it work."
Also in the lineup is a mountain bike, which, built with 29-inch wheels, features sliding dropouts that allow riders to equip the bikes as a single speed or geared machine. Also featured on the mountain bike is a 44 mm head tube capable of handling a straight-steer tube fork or tapered-steer tube fork.
Rounding out the company's current bikes is the Warthog, a beast of a machine that, along with the mountain bike's sliding dropouts and head tube, features 29-inch wheels with a three-inch diameter, is ideal for soft riding conditions.
"(The Warthog) rolls over things easier," Adams said.
Furthering their ability to be versatile, all three Kokopelli bikes offer three water bottle mounts and the option for a straight seat post or lay-back seat post.
"The reason that we wanted to start our own company is that we wanted something versatile," Adams said.
Combined with their versatility, Kokopelli bikes offer performance capabilities capable of satisfying the needs of the most experienced riders.
Keying the bikes' ability to perform are titanium frames, which offer reduced weight and increased durability.
"It has a tendency to absorb a lot of vibration, so it's a much more comfortable ride," Adams said.
Just how comfortable and durable Kokopelli bikes are was on display when Jeff Hemperley boarded the Kokopelli Mountain Bike and finished the notoriously difficult Colorado Trail Race in six days.
While Kokopelli bikes do not come cheap, the frames' retail price ($1,600) is far cheaper than many similar titanium products, which can cost upward of $2,500.
The company's continued expansion likely depends largely upon how the new bikes are received.
At the moment, Kokopelli is happy to serve local riders interested in taking advantage of one of the area's biking opportunities.
"At this stage in the game, you can come in and talk to me," Adams said. "How do I like my bike, how does it ride? I can tell you how it rode on a certain trail. That local feel is a pretty good benefit."