Guardian Bikes Building An Automated Bike Factory In Indiana

In its first step toward transitioning to U.S. production, the kids' bike manufacturer is moving production from China to Seymour, IN.

Earlier this year, Guardian Bikes announced it would build a highly automated factory to move production of its safety-focused kids’ bikes to the U.S. Guardian has selected a site at the Freeman Field Industrial Park in Seymour, IN, where the company expects to invest nearly $7 million and employ 100 workers by 2026.

Guardian Bikes makes children’s bikes with a patented Sure Stop brake system that prevents head-over-handlebar accidents, and was featured on Season 8 of Shark Tank. According to the company, approximately 11 million kids’ bikes are purchased in the U.S. annually, and 10.5 million of them (96%) are imported from China. 

“Guardian’s vision is to challenge this status quo in every way. We’ve said NO to disposable unsafe kids bikes, and instead, make the safest bikes, ones kids LOVE to ride, and soon will be built right here in the USA,” Brian Riley, CEO and Co-Founder, Guardian Bikes wrote in a company statement.

Guardian Bikes Indiana
Guardian Bikes mock up of first U.S. bike factory in Seymour, IN. (Source: Guardian Bikes)

“By moving production of our bikes to the USA, and then fulfilling our bikes straight from our U.S. factory floor direct to your door, we begin to create a sustainable supply chain system, which allows us to not only be a Guardian for the kids in your family with the safest bikes available for them, but also be a Guardian for the future of the planet they will grow up on,” added Riley.

Founded in Irvine, CA, Guardian moved to Austin, TX in 2020. The company’s transition to U.S. production will happen in several phases: Phase 1 will involve final assembly of parts and frames, which will begin in June of this year. 

Guardian Bikes Indiana
By moving production to the U.S., Guardian Bikes will be delivered straight from the factory floor to the customer’s door.

To support the Seymour, IN project, the Seymour Redevelopment Commission has approved a four-year $100,000 ECLIPSE loan. The Jackson County Industrial Development Corporation (JCIDC) developed the ECLIPSE program to provide a cash loan to help offset startup costs based on job creation. Loan proceeds come from tax increment finance or economic development income tax funds, and the amount of the loan is tied directly to the number of permanent, full-time jobs and wages. The program is designed to forgive the loan: Each year, Guardian will submit a compliance form to the redevelopment commission and city council to show jobs created, wages and residency of employees. Based on compliance, the boards will approve loan forgiveness or require the company to make that year’s loan payment.

The Seymour City Council also approved a $275,000 tax abatement for Guardian’s initial investment for equipment and machinery.