Vancouver’s Super Champion
Words and photos by Morgan Taylor
In 2007, former pro snowboarder Tyler Lepore opened up a track bike shop in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. With its wood paneling and white walls, carefully curated framesets and splashes of colorful parts, the space had a modern, almost gallery-like feel. Add in clean branding and a collection of t-shirts with hand-drawn art, and Super Champion felt more like a skate shop than a bike shop.
At the height of the track bike boom the scene was thirsting for these little bits and pieces, and the shop quickly became a gathering place for people who were looking for more “culture” in their cycling culture. Ty supported grassroots racing and kept the positive vibes in his approach to running the shop – and Super Champion became an institution in the Vancouver bike shop world.
Over time the shop’s focus evolved to include vintage road bikes, and the rafters began to fill up with friends’ former street and track bikes. Fast forward a few years and Ty was ready to pass the torch, chasing a passion for twisting throttle and building custom motorcycles. Nick Hart and Jamie Hooper, who’d both been working at Super Champ since the early days, bought the shop from Ty and began to make it their own.
Nick and Jamie are veterans of Vancouver’s metal scene, and it’s no surprise that the decor began to change after they took over. The once-modern interior had an influx of texture, and could be mistaken for a taxidermy shop full of cycling memorabilia. It feels different, but it still feels good – and nothing like a normal bike shop. The shop now offers a selection of vintage builds and new completes in addition to the track frames and bits and pieces to stare at.
Super Champion continues to be a gathering place, and a shop that welcomes new riders. If you find yourself in Vancouver, be sure to stop by.
245 Main St.
Shop Hours: Tue – Sat: 11 – 6 | Sun: 12 -5 | Closed Monday
Follow Morgan on Instagram.