Shop Visit: Arc En Ciel Bicycle Studio Apr 20, 2011

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Some of you may remember Open Bicycle, a small shop that opened in Union Square, Somerville a few years back. After Open closed its doors, co-owner Joshua Kampa opened up Arc En Ciel around the corner. Specializing in custom personalized bicycle repair, complete builds and consultation services, Arc En Ciel is your go-to source in the greater Boston area for building up your vintage ride. I swung through the shop last week to shoot photos and I ended up hanging out with Joshua and the guys while we talked bikes and drank beer for a few hours.

Check out more photos from my Shop Visit to Arc En Ciel Bicycle Studio below!

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Joshua’s been involved with many events in the Boston-area, including the Bicycle Film Festival.

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Spoke cards, fliers and his old Kiyo frame line the wall above his work bench.

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Along with many of the tools he uses daily.

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It makes for an interesting area of the shop. Much like a break room but inside the shop space.

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The home-made fluorescent fixture keeps the area lit.

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With the tools out in the open, as opposed to behind closed doors, the customers can sit and watch as Joshua works on their bikes. This makes Arc En Ciel a very social bike shop but I’m sure at times, this gets a bit hectic.

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Everything happens in this area. Even wheel builds. Since it’s a one-man show, Joshua likes to keep an eye over the entire shop while he works.

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And since the space is relatively small, organization is key. Arc En Ciel has utilized every square foot of available space.

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Even other work areas are used as product displays. For example, this Colnago awaits a gruppo.

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As it sits in the window of the shop.

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The longer I hung out in the space, the less daylight we had to fill the shop. Before I knew it, the light of shop shifted, drastically altering the feel and ambiance. While it was light, this mill was illuminated.

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And before I knew it, everything was dark.

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With directional lighting, certain spaces were brought into focus. Like Josh’s Basso that was on display.

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Not bad huh?

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An old library ladder allows Joshua to access the tops of the wall casework.

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These ropes dangle in the dimly-lit space.

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Leading up to a ceiling-display system.

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Where you get the chance to view the bikes from the underside, exposing their detailing from a different angle.

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Back in the front casework await vintage components for your track bikes.

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And road bikes.

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You’ll find lots of the vintage ‘bling’ hanging around.

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As well as tools of a frame builder.

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All lining the workbench.

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As Joshua’s first bike frame sits in a corner of the shop, awaiting more finishing. I’ll show you this frame in detail later.

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The collage-like aesthetic of the shop is reminiscent of an art installation.

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With parts and machines lining the surfaces, Arc En Ciel smells of machine oil, grease and flux.

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While still catering to the needs of local commuters.

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And sporting a killer window display.

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So take a seat.

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Read a magazine.

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Or browse some product. But you’ve gotta get around all the bike porn!

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Much like the interior, the exterior of the shop is all about vignettes through Beautiful Bicycles. Outside customers can peek inside in between rims.

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Or simply sit and watch the cyclists zip by.

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Here’s what the shop looks like during the day. Quit the difference huh? With the doom and gloom of winter gone, Boston’s starting to bloom. If you’ve got a project you want ready for the spring, head over to Arc En Ciel and make an appointment!

Many thanks to Joshua for opening his doors to me last week. I took a ton of photos, so check out more below! You can’t see them through RSS so click here to view.

Get the flash player here: http://www.adobe.com/flashplayer

These are also on my Flickr.

Arc En Ciel
617.666.6736
info@arc-en-cielstudio.com
21a Union Square
Somerville, MA 02143

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