Woodstock Cycleworks is the Hub for Cape Town’s Cycling Community

Size matters, at least when it comes to shops like this. One of my absolute favorite parts about traveling with a bicycle is visiting the local bike shop for whatever location is on my itinerary. During my recent trip to South Africa, I was delighted by their local shop, Woodstock Cycleworks. The first thing I noticed was the scale of this shop. It is massive, taking up half a city block, with giant, vaulted ceilings, exposed brick and wood trusses, with natural light so beautiful, any photographer would take great pleasure in shooting the interior.

Let’s back up a bit. Stan, who throws the Tour of Ara and the Karoobaix has used Woodstock Cycleworks as a hub for his races, allowing racers to build their bikes there, stock up on last-minute supplies and get caffeinated at the small coffee bar inside the shop, operated by Mr. Happy, a smiling, friendly barista. The owner of Woodstock Cycleworks, Nils, takes part in these events and is happy to be involved in Stan’s desert death marches… ;-)

That was my introduction to Woodstock Cycleworks. The day before the Karoobaix, racers, their families and all the volunteers descended upon the shop, packing their bikes and catching up with friends. Meanwhile, I walked around the space, with my jaw ajar, completely blown away by the collection of bikes. Perhaps that’s where Woodstock Cycleworks’ merit lies. Sure, they’ve got a more than capable service department, but hanging from the walls and ceiling, for that matter, is the history of South Africa framebuilding.

Little did I know but South Africa has a rich history of frame production, with companies like Peugeot, Alpina, Du Toit and LeJeune using these locations to build frames, alongside South Africa native builders Hansom and Peter Allan. In the past, Stan Engelbrecht and Nic Grobler have thrown gallery events showcasing these framebuilders, prompting international attention to these craftsman.


Today, there are few builders still active, with David Mercer being the most prominent practice in the area. We’ve seen two of Mercer’s bikes here on the site last week: Stan’s and Sarah’s.

Now, I didn’t get a count of all the frames, but I’d guess that 25% of the frames hanging up in the space have roots in South Africa. Whether it’s that French-made Peugeot, which was resprayed in the 90’s and redecalled as a Hansom – a common practice, as replacement decals were hard to come by – or it’s the straight-up Peter Allan with Nuovo Record hanging up, in pristine condition. A cycling community can’t benefit from vintage frames alone. Nils and his team, including Rolf, one of the Karoobaix’s volunteers work on everything from cruisers to carbon fiber road and mountain race bikes.

You could spend hours scouring this space – I should know, I did – and still miss plenty of details, which is what I hope I did, so it’ll give me something to look forward to when I go back next year. I documented two bikes, which we’ll look at later this week, but as you can see in these photos, there are plenty more to go!

Thanks to Nils and everyone at Woodstock Cycleworks for letting me poke around with my camera. If you find yourself in South Africa, do not miss Woodstock Cycleworks!

Woodstock Cycleworks
14 Searle St
Woodstock, Cape Town, 7915
South Africa

Mon 9AM–6PM
Tue 9AM–6PM
Wed 9AM–6PM
Thu 9AM–6PM
Fri 9AM–6PM
Sat 9:30AM–1PM
Sun Closed

  • Jared Jerome

    Can I rent the space underneath a table and live there?

    • Right? I’m amazed at the scale of this shop. There’s so much room!

  • Patrick Jonathan Neitzey

    Is that a DeLorean hanging from the ceiling?

    • Daniel M

      Lotus Esprit.

    • Fully fiberglass body of a Lotus Esprit.

      • Patrick Jonathan Neitzey

        Ah very The Spy Who Loved Me

        • DominicBruysPorter

          Interestingly John DeLorean was very sold on the Esprit and made a deal to use the chassis, which was first designed around a front engine for the Lotus Europa.
          The chassis they ended up with wasn’t exactly the same it’s still fundamentally the same formed sheet backbone that forks at the engine end.

  • Adam Bowen

    Do you know the brand of those colored wall bike mounts on the outside of the building? Thanks!

  • Chupilovesbubs

    Hey John,

    Nice shots : )

    Most of the Peugeot’s and LeJeune’s were built locally under license by Francois Du Toit.,He later built under his own name. Other prominent frame builders include Hansom from that period. Stan and Nic have produced a book showcasing most of the history surrounding the South African frame building scene from back then. Super interesting and little is know to the outside world that South Africa has such a rich history in Cycling. I know Merckx was also out to SA on occasion to ride a few events and to promote his bikes over the years.

    Glad you enjoyed the trip!

  • Pascal K

    what a cool shop!
    great writting and pictures as always!
    thanks