Behind the 9: Pedal Damn It! It’s always been a Niner thing.

A collage of Pedal Damn It logos on a variety of places
Pedal Damn It appears on top tubes, t-shirts and all sorts of other places.

Pedal Damn It. A simple phrase for a simple bike. Back in its fledgling stage, Chris Sugai, one of Niner’s founders, had six or maybe seven different bikes and each one was a singlespeed. A self-professed bike geek, and a wee bit younger at the time, Sugai enjoyed the simplicity of singlespeeds as well as the challenge, but sometimes that challenge got hard, really hard.


If you’ve never ridden one of the these simple beasts, you’ve missed out on the simplicity of simply riding. You’ve also missed out on the joy of pointing one uphill. And, yes, we use that term “joy” loosely unless you count the joy of getting to the top of the hill, breathless, dropping your bike and falling on the ground, exhausted.  As you might expect, singlespeeds need a bit of wrangling and a lot of stubborness to get them where you want them to go. Often times that means being out of the saddle, sawing from left to right with the handlebars and spending too much time staring at the top tube as you mash the pedals and try to summon enough force to keep turning them over and over and over.


During his singlespeed period, when the going got tough, Sugai would often mutter to himself, “Pedal Damn It!” spurring himself on to the top of the hill. So when it came time to create Niners, and considering one of the first ones would be the One 9 singlespeed, he wanted to be able to encourage everyone who rode their Niner to keep going when the riding got tough.

Soon, Niner trademarked the phrase and then made sure every production bike that ever rolled off the line had the phrase painted on the top tube.

Over the years, Pedal Damn It has found its way on t-shirts, hats, stickers, notebooks, you name it. It’s been tagged on Instagram over 40,000 times. And, it’s a rallying cry for Niner riders everywhere. In fact, a recent visitor to Niner HQ commented that it was the best tagline in the bike industry.

We just might have to agree with him.  Now, get out there and Pedal Damn It! Singlespeed or geared, you’ll be happier because of it.

Interested in more Niner lore and a picture of the One 9 mentioned above? Go here. 

Interested in more of what goes on behind the scenes at Niner?You have a couple of options. Scroll back up to the top of the article just above the title and click the blue BEHIND THE 9. Or, find BEHIND THE 9 in the list of tags to the right and click on it.

And, just in case you’re interested in some Pedal Damn It gear, Clickity, Click here.