Known as the “Father of Freestyle”, Haro Bikes has been helping grow the sport of BMX since the 1970’s with top of the line bikes and accessories. They’ve also adapted the technology used in producing world-class BMX bikes into mountain bikes.
- address: 1230 Avenida ChelseaVista, CA 92081
- telephone: 800-289-4276
- fax: 760-599-1237
- website: www.harobikes.com
- e-mail: [email protected]
Like many things, the interest in BMX has waxed and waned. But with the recent success of ESPN’s X-Games, NBC’s Gravity Games and the 2008 introduction to the Olympics, BMX is riding on a high once more. Haro Bikes was right there at the beginning of the BMX craze in the 70’s and 80’s. Today it is again riding the wave of BMX interest to remain one of the sport’s premier brands.
To fully understand how Haro Bikes and the sport developed you have to go back to 1978 when a young Bob Haro began producing stylish BMX bike numberplates for top racers. The plates became so popular they became a BMX icon and he formed Haro Designs in Torrance, California in 1980 to keep up with the demand – sales were USD$40,000 in 1979.
Haro himself had previously been a dirt rider but found his skills soon transferred to BMX. He spent a lot of time practising tricks, largely in skate parks, which he later took on the road in a performing show. The shows were heralded with enthusiasm and so Haro became largely credited with developing the sport of Freestyle, particularly the Flatland style that is a more artistic cycling. He was also the lead stunt rider in Spielberg’s “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial” (1981).
Haro then developed the Original Haro Freestyle model in 1983 to meet the rising popularity in BMX freestyle. The bike was designed to handle all conditions thrown its way and was an instant success. It wasn’t much different to other BMX bikes on the market at the time, just more heavy duty to handle additional stress. Today freestyle bikes are far more riding specific, but these early Haro Freestyler bicycles are now collector’s items worth thousands. So if you’ve got one in your garage pull it out and dust it off!
The 80’s were really the peak of the BMX boom and Haro Bikes grew to become the industry leaders. Their product line expanded and went national and international. The company was renowned for innovative, top-of-the-line bikes and accessories. The most popular models were the high-end Master and the more moderately priced Sport. Haro stopped riding in 1985 and was inducted into the American Bicycle Association Hall Of Fame in 1987. In 1998 Haro sold the company but continued as a consultant for five years. He then founded Haro Design Inc. and is producing hard-shell backpacks, laptop cases and similar products.
BMX biking went into a sharp decline from about 1988. In the mid 1990s ESPN helped push BMX into the mainstream by developing the X Games, focusing on extreme action sports. Haro riders still claim more X Games medals than any other brand. Haro Bicycles also sought to reinvent themselves about the same time along Bob Haro’s original vision of innovation and performance. By 1999 sales exploded once more and today Haro Bikes is recognized as one of the top brands of BMX and freestyle bikes.
But Haro is more than just BMX. With 25 years experience in making bikes that could handle punishing courses, Haro has now entered the mountain bike market successfully. They have also signed a number of champion downhill riders and cross country racers. They also offer bikes for entry level BMX and mountain bike rider. And while most of the Haro talk is about dirt, they do manufacture some bikes for the asphalt as well. They have a cruiser model, perhaps designed for the girlfriends of BMXers?
Haro celebrated its 30th year anniversary in 2008. It now produces 82 bicycle models in mountain, hybrid, comfort, BMX, kids and cruiser categories.
Hours of work
Monday – Friday
9am to 5pm
- Standard Frames: Yes
- Custom Frames: No
- Retrofitting old bikes: No
- Year Established: 1978
- Products Made In: Taiwan and China
- Availability: Local bike shops and distributors in 80 countries worldwide.
- Types of Bicycles: BMX, mountain bikes, road bikes, hybrids
- Construction Methods: TIG welded, Haro Group 1 components, pain over chrome frame and forks and uniquely designed flip-up pegs
- Frame Materials: chromoly steel, aluminum