By Lou Melini
Since 1979 Lone Peak Packs has been a Salt Lake manufacturer of panniers, seat packs, and other bicycle related soft goods. At the time Lone Peak was founded, being a cyclist meant that you were a bike tourist. Lone Peak started in a garage on Bryan Avenue just west of 9th East by Tom Kullen. The business outgrew the garage and moved to Millcreek Township. There it was sold to Scott Sterrett, eventually moving to its final Utah location in Holliday. In late 2012 Lone Peak was again sold, this time to Gary Hubbert, a former employee, who moved the business to the state of Washington.
Cycling Utah: Is Lone Peak the only American-made pannier?
Gary Hubbert: I know that we are not the only made in the USA pannier. Out here in Seattle there is a guy making panniers here. But he has only been around a few years. And there is another one in Portland doing the same thing. But Lone Peak is the only one that has been around since it all began. There was a renaissance of biking in the 70's, and that is when Lone Peak came around. Now there is another one. I like Lone Peak, because we have never left the U.S. We made it through the Wild China days.
C.U.: Do you see resurgence in utilitarian bike travel? What are some of the plans for Lone Peak products in the near future?
G.H.: Yes I do see resurgence. With the price of gas going to $4 per gallon and higher, more and more people are looking at bikes, and mass transit. We are seeing a shift in the way people see themselves going to work and getting around. Of course out here in Seattle, that is nothing new. There are many who already bike around like you do Lou. I remember the news when Hurricane Sandy hit the east coast, and thousands hit the bikes to get around.
What I see is that when we all decide to get to work, not in our cars, we will all need a way to carry our stuff along with us, and this is where Lone Peak can come into play. I want to be the leader in commuter bags for bikes.
C.U.: Over the past decade the pannier market has been shifting to a fully waterproof product at the high end of the market and some bags from China at the lower end. What can we expect in the future from Lone Peak?
G.H.: I want to grow in the commuter line of bags. People want to get around on their bikes, and there are many ways to do that. I want to play to the customer base. So I will be coming out with a waterproof pannier. And, some top tube bags, so you can carry your iPhone. There seems to be a resurgence of frame bags, so I will do more of that. I am also planning on different panniers for carrying smaller things. I am being a little vague here on purpose. But the plan is to eventually redesign the whole line. The bags we have in line now have been around for going on 20 years. Some of them have been tried and true, so I don't want to spill that apple cart, but then we need better styling and adapting to today's technology.
C.U.: I still have a set of panniers from the early 1980’s. I had them updated with new hardware. I also had a handlebar bag from 1980 upgraded to fit the newer stems and handlebars on the market. Can I assume that the same quality and service will be available?
G.H.: Absolutely. Warranty work is being taken over by me. Our phone numbers will not change; only our address. I am also updating the website with this info as well. Please contact me for wholesale and retail sales, event sales, warranty work or custom bags.
For more information on Lone Peak Packs, contact:
7225 78th Dr. NE
Marysville, WA 98270