Category Archives: Shop Visit
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.
In the ground level of a beautiful home in Los Angeles, Javiar Yanco makes bags, caps and other accessories used by cyclists of every kind. From randonneurs, to bikepackers, road cyclists, MTB racers and cross bike explorers, Yanco’s bags have a cult-like following. One product in particular, the Ramblin Roll, sold by Tracko, literally launched him into full-time production recently.
But his work doesn’t stop there. From packraft bags, musettes, bar bags, bikepacking bags, caps and yes, still a few top tube pads, Yanco makes products that he’s inspired to make slightly different than the rest.
Through using bright colors, unique zippers and yes, camo, lots of camo, these bags will always fetch the comment on Instagram: “what kind of bag is that?…”
I caught up with Yanco last week in Los Angeles, as he was in the zone making Ramblin Rolls, and asked him a few questions for a Ride Along.
Check that out below!
San Francisco’s Mission Workshop has been on a steady climb of growth since their first bag was released. Originally on Rondel, an alleyway off of 16th street, they recently expanded their space to continue all the way onto Valencia street, a prominent shopping thoroughfare in the Mission.
The brand’s design aesthetics carry over through a palette of raw wood and steel, as well as stark white walls overlaid with vinyl appliqué and photography. Taking center stage is their high end Advanced Projects and fledgling brand ACRE.
I had the opportunity to photograph this space, prior to the brand’s opening party last Friday… If you have the chance to see it for yourself, swing by. If not, check out the Gallery!
Tuesday – Saturday 10am-8pm
Sunday – Monday 12pm-7pm
541 Valencia St.
San Francisco, CA 94110
When Mash first opened their storefront a few years back, it quickly became a clubhouse of sorts for the local riders. Group rides would meet up once or twice a week to explore the roads and trails of San Francisco. As quickly as the storefront became popular, the brand itself grew and the need for more space became apparent, sending Mike Martin on a hunt for a bigger store, with space for a design office.
Yesterday I swung through their new storefront and design offices in SF and hung out for a bit, soaking in all the random artifacts both from SF’s street racing culture and cycling’s most iconic brands… See more in the Gallery!
As you can probably tell, I’ve been really stoked on what Chumba is doing here in Austin, Texas. During MTB season earlier this year, I caught up with Vince, who was riding the first prototype Ursa 29+ MTBs. At the time, Chumba’s production was in Oregon, but in recent months, they’ve moved all production in house, using USA-made tubing…
Good Things Don’t Change at Mercian Cycles
Photos and words by Jim Holland
Sometimes good things don’t change, Mercian Cycles is one of those things.
The current workshop has sat in the same spot since 1965, watching as modern industrial buildings crop up around it and other older workshops disappear. Underneath the steeped, church like ceiling, little has changed and the intermittent clang of tubes and scraping of files ring out as they have done for the last 50 years whilst one by one, men make bicycles by hand.
Frames are still brazed free hand on an open hearth, as they have been since day one, amongst the very last practitioners of this method, Mercian believes it to be gentler on the tubes, which contributes to the longevity of the frame. Die hard Reynolds stalwarts, they don’t often stray from Birmingham steel and have a good stock of 531 for the true nostalgist.
One of just a handful of England’s traditional shop based builders that remain, the torches are still firing brightly and the benches are seldom dormant as the orders keep pouring in, one of them mine, I’m counting the days.
Follow Jim on Tumblr.
Embracing the Aroma at the Buffalo Trace Distillery
Words and photos by Kyle Kelley
Last winter, while I was home in Indiana for the holidays, my parents and I decided to head across the Ohio River to Bourbon Country for a visit to Buffalo Trace. Unlike many of the other touristy distilleries in Kentucky, Buffalo Trace is not fancy and they sure as hell don’t pump perfume into the air to mask the smell of the sour mash.
Pre-Season Preparation at Richard Sachs
Photos and words by Dan Chabanov
I pretty much wait all year to get this email. It’s short and simply reads;
“The bikes are ready. When can I expect you?”
This shop’s been on my radar since I first came to Kauai, four years ago and yet, this trip was the first one that brought me through its doors. Kauai Cycle is a small shop, located in what many consider to be an island paradise. For those visiting, but not wanting to schlep a bike on a plane, they do high end road and MTB rentals.
My favorite part about visiting shops like this are the little details, which you can check out in this short but sweet Gallery. Also, how good is that shirt?
Thanks to Jonny and Chris for taking me out on a MTB ride last Sunday. Mahalo!
The idea of “free” these days usually comes with a catch, yet when the Levi’s Commuter Workshops popped up in Brooklyn, LA and London, free really does mean free. A free desk to work at, free bike repair / wash areas, free coffee, free wifi and yes, free tailoring. So what’s the catch? No, really, there isn’t one.