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During the spring of 2014, Jason Guthrie made a decision that would change the culture of mountain biking in San Diego; he opened Chainline Bikes. Before you can understand what makes Chainline different, you need to know what makes Jason different.

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Whether he’s building up a bike, tricked out shop van, shaping a surfboard, or customizing a home, Jason is going to build it with top-quality componentry and lots of flair. His 23k gold-covered Intense Primer (he couldn't afford the last karat) is the perfect testament to that. However, for him, Chainline isn’t about hitting astronomical sales goals, making loads of money, and burying the local competition. It just so happens having your own shop is the easiest way to express your bike building creativity and connect with people who genuinely enjoy playing in the dirt just as much as you.

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N + 1 = The formula used to precisely determine how many bikes one needs. You never think your quiver is excessive until you put them all together. However, after wrapping up the photo shoot for this article, Jason realizes he may (does) have a problem.

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"Every bike has a purpose.” When it’s time to mess around, Jason has a trio of bikes for the park and pump track. The newest one being a Polygon Trid ZZ with a custom distressed paint job and orange and black components including Hope brakes, Deity cockpit, and Ergon soft bits.

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Bitsy (Intense Spider), The Black Condor (Intense ACV), Agatha (Intense Primer), and the unnamed 2018 Carbine all split trail duties because they’re "vastly different bikes" in both appearance and function. The ACV provides excellent traction once the dirt inevitably gets too loose and dry during the dog days of summer; the Primer is covered in freakin' gold; and the new Carbine is an incredibly built big travel 29er by Intense designed to go fast uphill, downhill, and through the air.

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Speaking of air, when it’s time to 'send it' Mary (the Intense M16) was the Big Bear bike. Then Intense dropped the new Tracer. Jason Chainline’d her with a new paint job, DVO suspension, and a Sped carbon wheel set, and Lucy’s seen nothing but downhill runs every weekend since.

Over the last three years, the shop has grown in every way from its one-man, one-room origin. Chainline Bikes now has quadrupled its footprint and employs a highly-talented team of mechanics and an awesome internet manager (who may or may not be authoring this feature).

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The shop crew is more like a family who spends all their time together. When we're not at the store, we’re piled in the van shuttling up or on the bikes ripping down one of the local mountains. We spend so much time on the saddle, we know we’re the fastest shop in Southern California (and issue a friendly challenge to any shop who cares to prove us wrong).

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Our mission is bigger than selling and servicing bikes. Being a positive influence in the community and furthering mountain bike culture is the reason we open the doors every day (except Sunday). Chainline has an active ambassador program including Groms, Juniors, local shredders, and Pros. Their success encompasses local trail domination, to our Jr. National Champion, Kaden Pankow, to Cody Johnson, Blake Motley, and Alfonso Garcia, traveling the world representing the Chainline crew. The Chainline family isn’t a good old boys club either. Our ladies are seriously fast, loads of fun, and do a great job influencing more women to pick up the sport. We support everyone, kids, parents, grandparents alike - we want everyone to be stoked on their ride.

At the end of the day, the more miles of trail there are and people to ride them, the better. On the rare occasion, it rains in San Diego you'll find the whole crew with shovels in-hand building and maintaining our local trails (including a world-class hidden gem you'll have to bribe Jason to locate you to).

Giving more riders access to more trails was the motivation behind building a new shop van. Jason has spent the better part of a year transforming the ultimate blank canvas, a 2017 Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, into the ultimate trailhead rig. Now that it's been Chainlined with off-road tires, a lift kit, solar panels, bumping stereo system, a full-service shop, sleeping quarters, bike racks (on-racks-on-racks), and of course a custom graphics kit - it's ready to serve its purpose. Not only does it get our race teams to the course in-style and operate as a pit during events; it's also given all of us a chance to explore trails we haven't ridden before. Her maiden voyage was a four-day weekend trip to Sedona, Arizona. Her last outing took the crew to Angel Fire Bike Park in New Mexico for the Pro GRT Chile Challenge race. Next, you'll find Jason, the entire quiver, and the rest of the Chainline gang at Whistler!

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We'd be remiss not to give a special shout out to some of our local partners. Without companies like Intense Cycles, Deity, and DVO Suspension, we wouldn't be able to support as many local riders as we do. And in turn, being in such close proximity to them has allowed us to play a part in helping develop, test, and fine tune many of the great products they produce. At the end of the day, our passion lies in furthering the sport and having an adventure, not necessarily winning races. But it's much easier to be fast when you're having fun.

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