Lance Canfield, a mechanical engineer with hotrod experience and an adrenaline addiction, began racing downhill bikes in 1994. When he couldn’t find a bike that rode the way he wanted—capable of handling the big hits without sacrificing other areas of performance—he began drawing his own.
The earliest Canfield was on paper by 1996. Having never actually built a bike, he set it aside and raced others for several years. Then on a long drive home to Utah from a race in Big Bear, CA, with a broken radio, he had a lot of time to think. He knew he could build a better bike.
Upon returning to Utah, he went back to the drawing board.
Lance and brother Chris enlisted the help of a local welder and by 1999 the original Canfield Brothers bike, the Big Fat Fatty Fat, was born. Built around Lance’s parallel link design inspired by the articulate performance of trophy truck suspension, the BF3 was a monster, featuring 12 inches of travel front and rear and a revolutionary rearward axle path that delivered uncompromising downhill performance and stability.
Lance went on to compete in the first four Red Bull Rampages on his designs, and Chris chased World Cups around the globe—perhaps some of the most comprehensive and hands on R&D imaginable.
Today, the legacy continues.
Lance and Chris have continually refined the principles of suspension design and frame geometry, making Canfield Brothers some of the most sought after high-performance—and fun—bikes and components available.
From the legendary downhill pedigree of the venerable Jedi evolved from those first iconic bikes, to the category defying slack-and-low geo of hardtail 29ers like the Yelli Screamy and Carbon EPO, to the new breed of all-mountain bikes built around patented Canfield Balance Formula suspension like the Riot and the Balance, the Brothers remain on the cutting edge of what is what is possible between two wheels.
Produced in limited quantities, backed by a commitment to personal customer service and a hands-on consumer direct approach, you won’t find anything quite like a Canfield.
Whether you’re ready to experience a Canfield Brothers bike for yourself, have questions or just want to share the stoke, contact us today.
Lance, Chris, Vin and Sean.
I designed the first Canfield Brothers bike after taking 2nd in the NORBA National finals at Big Bear, CA, in 1998. I knew I could be faster on a better bike, and felt limited by the downhill designs available at the time. With more than a decade of under my belt as a mechanical engineer—and some time doing custom hotrod bodywork—I took my education and experience to the trails. My brother Chris and I worked to bring my concept to life, and after five years of racing bikes that always seemed to compromise performance, the Canfield Brothers Big Fat Fatty Fat was unveiled in 1999 at Deer Valley’s NORBA Nationals. With 12 inches of travel front and rear, and a rearward axle-path parallel-link design, it was unlike anything else on the start line.
It was official: Canfield Brothers Bikes was born. Chris and I continued to engineer and innovate, driven by our careers as pro racers. Chris was the younger, faster racer who would go on to compete in multiple World Cups, while I was more of a freeride big-mountain rider and went on to compete in the first four Red Bull Rampages.
Currently I am the 3D designer of all Canfield Products. When I chose mechanical engineering as a career path, I never imagined I’d combine it with my greatest passion. Riding feeds design creativity, and the resulting designs allow riding limits to be pushed further.
I have the dream job of relentlessly pursuing speed and perfection through design.
That includes engineering our suspension designs, co-development of our components with Lance and promoting our brand at the races by doing what I love—racing my bike.
As the younger brother, I was only 22 when Canfield Brothers was born. Lance was racing downhill as one of the country’s fastest amateurs and I was studying at the University of Utah, feeling a bit lost with no major, and no interest in any that were offered.
Then one night Lance showed me his drawing of what was to become the Big Fat Fatty Fat. I didn’t know what an adventure lie ahead of me, but that night we started down a road of bicycle suspension study which turned to obsession. The desire to win turned into a quest to build the fastest bikes possible.
I’ve spent close to two decades of my life unraveling the physics puzzle of our favorite toys. By starting our company while the industry was still in the early stages of suspension design, today we have more experience than anyone on the market with the parallel-link suspension design, and have greatly refined and unlocked its potential over the years.
Today, our understanding of suspension kinematics and performance far exceeds anyone in the world, and we are proud to build high-performance bikes to our own exacting specifications, bikes that we want to ride, that offer the optimum combinations of pedal efficiency, bump release, stiffness, braking feel, cornering and most importantly, fun.
The spark ignited in 1997 when I moved from Connecticut to Killington, Vermont, to fuel my passion for the mountains. Although I initially moved for the white winters, I quickly became more and more passionate about summer because it meant more time on my bike. Around 2003, the Vermont freeride scene began to grow, and I was ready to trade in my spandex for moto shorts, pads and a long travel bike.
I had ridden several bikes back in those days, but they had left me wanting something more. Being a regular on the MTBR forums as ‘KillingtonVT,’ I repeatedly heard about this small company, Canfield Brothers. The Brothers’ racing and hucking heritage had me intrigued, and in 2006 I bought my first Canfield bike, the Formula 1. It was then that my riding really began to progress.
It was right around the same time that Highland Mountain Bike park opened in Northfield, NH, which brought jumps into my riding equation and added fuel to the fire. I remember spending seemingly endless days riding their jump line ‘NE Style’, learning a whole new skill set. I met Chris and Lance later that fall which resulted in a trip to Moab the following spring. Lance introduced me to his slickrock stomping grounds and showed me how the big boys ride bikes (yes, there are big bike freeride lines in Moab). In 2007 I took my first trip to Whistler and discovered my own personal Disneyland! From that initial one week trip, my annual excursions to BC quickly grew in frequency and duration and eventually included jaunts to Kamloops to fulfill my quest for big jumps.
After living 15 amazing years in Vermont, I was ready for the next chapter in my life. My wife and I moved to Bellingham, WA, to pursue all our recreational passions, abundantly offered by the great Pacific Northwest. With this move came the remarkable opportunity to come on board as Canfield Brothers Director of Sales. I am very grateful for this opportunity to carry over my 15 years of experience in the outdoor industry and passion for bikes to a new career doing what I love. I am stoked to be a part of the next successful revolution of the Canfield Brothers legacy.
Bikes have always been a part of my life, from a very young age. To this day, I can still remember the details of every bike I have ever owned, back to my first bike, a grey and black Murray. Back when I was a kid, I wasn’t sure what I was doing putting mounds of dirt in the middle of trails behind my house, or grabbing all the neighborhood kids to ride that fresh pile of topsoil that was dropped for landscaping—I just knew it was fun. It wasn’t mountain biking…yet.
Growing up in northern NY, I always enjoyed my outdoor time as a kid, but it wasn’t until my parents took me to Europe for the first time that my affinity for big mountains began. As soon as I could, I packed my bags and headed to Jackson Hole, WY, where the next 10 years would be the biggest adventure I could have ever imagined! Skiing in the winter and biking in the summer, my life was complete. It was when I moved to the big mountains I saw the possibilities of riding real mountain bike lines. The XC riding roots had evolved, I had become a full-time gravity junkie. Whether it was skiing or mountain biking, there was one direction I truly enjoyed—down, fast and hard, denying gravity only enough to catch air whenever possible.
Over the next couple years, I had the chance to meet Lance Canfield, who was living in Jackson and immensely influencing our growing gravity scene. Following Lance, I quickly learned what taking “Jedi lines” really meant! The old saying is true, the only way to get faster is follow someone who is faster than you—and I followed Lance’s white-knuckle lines whenever I had the chance. My love of riding downhill bikes turned into a love of racing them, and I quickly found myself alongside Lance and Chris Canfield at the races.
Shortly after buying my first Canfield, I quickly discovered how different the F1 suspension design truly is. The Jedi makes quick work of square edges; the bike actually accelerates through technical chunk where other designs slow themselves down.
Now I am fortunate enough to work for this incredible company, executing among other things, the brand’s cornerstone of personal customer service. Being part of a rider-owned company means that we all understand what riding means to the end user. To say we are passionate about bike design and the experience it offers is an understatement. Our goal is to offer the end user the most confidence inspiring bikes to take their riding to the next level, and the customer service to back them up.