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!
Joshua’s been involved with many events in the Boston-area, including the Bicycle Film Festival.
Spoke cards, fliers and his old Kiyo frame line the wall above his work bench.
Along with many of the tools he uses daily.
It makes for an interesting area of the shop. Much like a break room but inside the shop space.
The home-made fluorescent fixture keeps the area lit.
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.
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.
And since the space is relatively small, organization is key. Arc En Ciel has utilized every square foot of available space.
Even other work areas are used as product displays. For example, this Colnago awaits a gruppo.
As it sits in the window of the shop.
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.
And before I knew it, everything was dark.
With directional lighting, certain spaces were brought into focus. Like Josh’s Basso that was on display.
Not bad huh?
An old library ladder allows Joshua to access the tops of the wall casework.
These ropes dangle in the dimly-lit space.
Leading up to a ceiling-display system.
Where you get the chance to view the bikes from the underside, exposing their detailing from a different angle.
Back in the front casework await vintage components for your track bikes.
And road bikes.
You’ll find lots of the vintage ‘bling’ hanging around.
As well as tools of a frame builder.
All lining the workbench.
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.
The collage-like aesthetic of the shop is reminiscent of an art installation.
With parts and machines lining the surfaces, Arc En Ciel smells of machine oil, grease and flux.
While still catering to the needs of local commuters.
And sporting a killer window display.
So take a seat.
Read a magazine.
Or browse some product. But you’ve gotta get around all the bike porn!
Much like the interior, the exterior of the shop is all about vignettes through Beautiful Bicycles. Outside customers can peek inside in between rims.
Or simply sit and watch the cyclists zip by.
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.
These are also on my Flickr.
Arc En Ciel
21a Union Square
Somerville, MA 02143