Category Archives: shops
Pace Has Been Making Cycling Caps Since the Late 70’s
A wall of history.

Pace Sportswear has been around longer than any other cycling cap manufacturer in the United States. So long that even Italian brands like Campagnolo used them back in the early 80’s. The day I arrived in Los Angeles, Sean from Team Dream took me by Pace to see their operations.

I know cycling caps aren’t exactly saving the world, but when you think of domestic production, employee people and keeping an industry alive, it directly affects the US cycling industry.

If and when I ever do caps, Pace will be my choice.

Jul 15, 2014 5 comments
A Look Inside Brooks England
Luckily, Eric's got steady hands!

Since 1866, Brooks England has been making bicycle saddles in the UK. While their original facilities were located in Birmingham, the current factory is nestled in the industrial town of Smethwick.

We’ve all probably owned a Brooks saddle at one point in our life and can attest to their longtime comfort and character that develops from heavy use. Before a saddle ever touches a seat post, they begin as just raw leather and steel. The process by which they make the transformation to a bicycle saddle is complex, yet streamlined in their bustling factory.

Dozens of employees make Brooks England tick and each has their special task. While they will transfer stations every few months, a unique marker on the saddles can tell you who was doing what, when. This catalog of information spans decades and is what makes Brooks so unique. If something goes wrong with a batch, Brooks can asses the situation and make their end product better.

For me, the most interesting part of the process was talking to the workers and watching them move through their tasks with efficiency… In an age when Great Britain has shipped much of its industry overseas, it’s great to see heritage and craftsmanship are still alive at Brooks.

See more in the Gallery, as I walk you through this process.

Jun 25, 2014 5 comments
Quick London Details
Kinoko Cycles

This morning, after no sleep and a long day of traveling, I landed at Heathrow with the sunrise. In fact, I’m pretty sure it was the sun, peeking through the neighbor’s window, hitting me in the face that kept me from getting an iota of sleep.

I hopped on the Express train and made my way to the hotel, before taking a stroll with the PEdAL ED team around the neighborhood.

Holding onto consciousness, in an almost sleepwalking state, we swung through a few shops, all of which I’d like to spend more time combing through the details and doing proper Shop Visits at, but in the interest of time, I’ll have to go with these random details.

Kinoko was amazing. One of the nicest shops I’ve been in and the Rapha Cycle Club was quite the experience… I’m here with Brooks England, for their Eroica event and our days are pretty packed, but I’ll do my best to document our journey.

Jun 19, 2014 7 comments
A Stop at the Stinner Frameworks Shop
A Stop at the Stinner Frameworks Shop

I love seeing frame builders gain notoriety through supporting grassroots cycling teams. Not to say that Aaron Stinner wouldn’t be as popular today without building the Mudfoot racing cyclocross frames, but it certainly helped.

During my visit to Santa Barbara during the ATOC, Jeremy Dunn and I spent the afternoon with Aaron, riding bikes, photographing bikes and making a mess at his house.

Aaron is lucky enough to have a decent sized workspace set up in his garage and he’s even luckier to have a great ride just seconds from his front door. As his queue stacks up, Aaron continues to crank out road, cross and MTB frames for customers, who happen to be mostly from California. Many of which are looking to race on a steel frame, made in their home state, rather than buy overseas production.

Stinner Frameworks is still new in the grand scheme of things, but if Aaron continues at the current momentum, he could vary well be the next big thing…

Jun 11, 2014 3 comments
Rock Lobster
My favorite photo from the set. That's the first Rock Lobster!

Paul Sadoff is a character. His personality has a patina. One that’s formed over years of racing pedigree and loud music. The name of his company was derived by the B-52’s billboard hit but before Paul would name his brand Rock Lobster, he had to have built a MTB first. “I couldn’t call it Rock Lobster if I didn’t have a MTB” Paul said when asked about the origins of his namesake… Then he built a MTB and the world changed for the frame builder.

The logo was even derived from MTB riding. Those blocks holding the letters represent rubble falling down the trail as you’re riding…

His frames have always been some of my favorite in the industry. These no-nonsense bikes are straight-forward, tig-welded masterpieces. Yes, utilitarian art – I’m standing by that phrase. Paul builds each frame in an industrial building within the Santa Cruz city limits. His own space is literally littered with cycling memorabilia from the past twenty years (even longer?) and is a gold mine of interestingness.

From track to TT, each of Sadoff’s frames bear some uniqueness and have a story to tell. Even the various crash-replacements…

While I was in town for the Giro #SantaCruzEffect, our group of 10 journalists swung through Rock Lobster to see Paul and his space. It was probably one of the most rushed Shop Visits I’ve done to date, but I managed to gain some understanding as to how Paul works and what makes Rock Lobster tick… Check out a narrated Gallery for more!

Apr 11, 2014 2 comments