Wilderness Trail Bikes (WTB) is a bicycle parts company. “The running joke has been ‘Where’s the Bike,’” says Mark Slate, who cofounded the Mill Valley–based enterprise in 1982. “WTB sold frames for a period of time, but has never produced a complete bike.” At the time of WTB’s inception, there was a clear hole in the market when it came to off-road bicycle equipment, and Slate created the company to provide necessary parts to the small but enthusiastic riding community. Today, mountain biking is a popular pastime across the globe, and WTB continues to offer the accoutrements that allow riders to hit the trails.
PHILOSOPHY “Whether referring to bike parts or places to ride and the overall experience, the WTB philosophy is ‘make it better,’” says Slate. This applies not only to the brand’s offerings, but also to its commitment to the wider community — WTB has played a large part in making Safe Routes to Schools, which supports walking and biking to school, a federally funded program. THE SCOOP WTB crafts tires, saddles, wheels, rims, grips, accessories and apparel that are affordable and made to enhance the ride. Most of the company’s products are sold to cycling companies as original equipment for new bicycles, but items can also be found online and in stores all over the world — from small specialty shops to stores like REI. BEYOND MARIN Aside from the actual goods, Wilderness Trail Bikes is also involved with bicycle racing in the form of Team WTB. “Team WTB is a small group of dedicated athletes who race locally and internationally, primarily in Enduro and XC racing formats,” says director of sales Gary Gleason. Team members have accomplished awesome things — captain Mark Weir is known for climbing one million vertical feet on a heavy mountain bike in one year. WHAT THEY SAY “We believe that bicycles hold key answers for personal health and a better environment,” says Slate. “To test that yourself, take a bike ride. Even if it’s only down to the end of your street and back, it will change your perspective.” Adds Gleason, “It’s all about the ride.”