Shop Visit

category

Belmar Bike Shop’s Beach Front BBQ Bash

Reportage

Belmar Bike Shop’s Beach Front BBQ Bash

Belmars Bike Shop’s Beach Front BBQ Bash
Photos and words by Jarrod Bunk

It was 2002 and Kyle was sitting inside of what was at the time DJs Bikes in Belmar, NJ, 16 bright-eyed and loving bikes. Ten years later Hurricane Sandy shook the eastern seaboard, in its wake not much made it through the winter, not even the bicycle shop Kyle worked at 10 years earlier.  With five grand a hell of a lot of heart, hard work, and surely ramen noodle meals, Kyle, friends, and family built Belmar Bike Shop in what was once his former employer’s space that winter, hibernation can sometimes be a great catalyst for change. Looking back to that first year, and all of the uncertainty Kyle said he’s stoked he took that first step, now in year 7 its been a wild ride and was even the original birthplace of Crust Bikes before moving down the street. My first interaction with Belmar Bike Shop was watching Kyle huck in Tahoe, so when I was invited to spend a few days checking out Belmar a few months ago cause I knew for sure I’d be in for a party.

Captain + “The Most” Stoker Coffee – Kyle Kelley

Reportage

Captain + “The Most” Stoker Coffee – Kyle Kelley

Captain + “The Most” Stoker Coffee
Photos and words by Kyle Kelley

If you’ve been to the Sea Otter Classic in the last couple years, it’s very likely that you’ve been to Captain + Stoker Coffee. It’s become quite the staple for bicycle nerds making the annual pilgrimage to the event. I’d even say that Captain + Stoker has become a home base for many people attending the Classic. Hundreds of people meet there before and after rides, they host movie screenings and even live stream races in their beautifully converted service station.

It hasn’t been easy for Tyler Ellis and Kelsey Richmond the owners of Captain + Stoker to get to this point, but from what I’ve seen each time I’ve been there, I believe they’ve both found their calling.

Duncan From Transit Cycles’ Black Cat All Road

Reportage

Duncan From Transit Cycles’ Black Cat All Road

After spending close to a month in Tucson, I got a good handle on what the cycling community is like in that wonderful city. Well, in the winter anyway, summer is another story. One place I found myself stopping by frequently for events is Transit Cycles. With Spencer’s gallery being one of my favorite Shop Visits on this site, I didn’t feel it necessary to completely revisit Transit, photographically. While they did move to a new location since Spencer’s piece, many of the vignettes and textures are still relevant to Transit’s modus operandi. I did, however, feel compelled to check out their new space and hit some highlights, and as the title implies, to shoot the owner, Duncan’s, Black Cat All Road.

Bikepacking Bags Made in Arizona at Rogue Panda – Locke Hassett

Reportage

Bikepacking Bags Made in Arizona at Rogue Panda – Locke Hassett

Bikepacking Bags Made in Arizona at Rogue Panda
Photos and words by Locke Hassett

A small, unassuming garage accessed from a residential alley in Flagstaff houses one of the world’s best bikepacking bag makers: Rogue Panda Designs. The folks here pride themselves on thoughtful design, innovation, and blending function and form seamlessly. I visited RP on my way back from Utah to get a prototype bolt-on frame bag, chat with the makers, and snap some photos of the shop.

Pottery, Stickers, and the Eastern Sierra Dream with Casey Clark

Reportage

Pottery, Stickers, and the Eastern Sierra Dream with Casey Clark

Pottery, Stickers, and the Eastern Sierra Dream with Casey Clark

Words and Photography by Spencer J Harding

In an all too familiar series of small world events, I ended up at a small property about an hour north of Reno with Casey Clark.  Casey is more known in this bike world for his side hustle of “Camp and Go Slow” stickers and patches, a visual play on the famous Campagnolo logo.  Think of this as a Behind the Music if you will, well behind the sticker at least…

Party Lines to Party Time with Durango Cyclery – Kyle Kelley

Reportage

Party Lines to Party Time with Durango Cyclery – Kyle Kelley

Party Lines to Party Time with Durango Cyclery
Photos and words by Kyle Kelley

Durango Cyclery was Liz and my last stop on the Great American Bike Shop Tour of 2017 and I must say it was very much the grand finale I was hoping for. I’m talking a crash course in sustainable free riding, fireworks from every window imaginable, late night shenanigans involving copious amounts of booze, and one of the most decorated shops in all the ranks of local bike shops all over the world.

When you walk into Durango Cyclery, it just feels right. It feels exactly like your favorite bike shop growing up. It even has all the posters from your childhood on the walls still. Which makes me think that maybe I’m wrong, maybe no bike shop felt like this. Maybe Durango Cyclery actually feels more like your bedroom as a young mountain biker, chasing the dream that one day you’ll be riding and racing with the Tomacs, Tinkers, and Gioves of the world. Maybe Durango Cyclery just feels like home! There is absolutely no compliment in the world that could be given to a bike shop that would hold higher regard than your bike shop makes you feel at home.

Inside Hubert D’Autremont’s Madrean Fabrication

Reportage

Inside Hubert D’Autremont’s Madrean Fabrication

Fans of framebuilders, or at least those who have been visiting this website for a few years might remember the work of Cycles d’Autremont landing on these pages in the past. We’ve featured Hubert’s shop, as well as a few of his bikes in the past. Well, Huburt turned a new page in his career, when he moved to Tucson, Arizona two years ago to open a new operation, Madrean Fabrication. I had the pleasant experience of hanging out with this wonderful human for a few days while in Tucson and got to look inside his shop, as well as check out a few of his new bikes.

The Road to Delcie’s Cup Cake Bike

Reportage

The Road to Delcie’s Cup Cake Bike

The Road to Delcie’s Cup Cake
Words and Photos by Spencer Harding

This past summer I was lucky enough to meet to some truly amazing people in Minneapolis.  I noticed a common thread connecting these wonderful humans. It all culminated in getting to ride with Delcie on her über custom Cup Cake…

Peacock Groove

Erik Noren is a bit of mythical beast in the world of framebuilding. His bikes are outlandish, sparkly, and painstakingly detailed. With his newer venture, Cake Bikes, he seeks to build proportionally-sized, high-performance bikes for shorter riders. Cake partnered with Minneapolis Wheel masters HED cycling to offer fat-bikes built around a 24 x 4” platform and has since moved into building cross and gravel/adventure bikes built around a 650b platform, and some yet smaller wheeled bikes which we will get to at the end.  While the bikes’ geometries are focused on smaller humans regardless of gender, the cake race and adventure team is compromised entirely of women/trans/femme/non-binary riders.

A Slice of Cycling History at Orange Peel Bikes in Steamboat Springs

Reportage

A Slice of Cycling History at Orange Peel Bikes in Steamboat Springs

Steamboat Springs is the birthplace of Moots, Eriksen, and other outdoor industry brands. Visit this ski town and you’ll see why. Located in the Northern Yampa Valley the city has thrived due to its proximity to the Routt National Forest and its plethora of trails. It doesn’t matter what your preferred form of recreation is, Steamboat has an abundance of resources for it.

One of the bike shops in Steamboat is in one of the most unique spaces I’ve ever visited. Period. When Jon from Moots took me to pick up some last minute supplies before embarking on our Steamboat Ramble Ride trip, my jaw was on the ground. While most of the outdoor shops in Steamboat are very clean and corporate, Orange Peel Bikes embraced its chaotic beauty. Much like something found in nature, there are no right angles in this bee-hive shaped space.

Bikes, Bags, and USA Made Tags: Bedrock Bags – Kyle Kelley

Reportage

Bikes, Bags, and USA Made Tags: Bedrock Bags – Kyle Kelley

Bikes, Bags, and USA Made Tags: Bedrock Bags
Photos and words by Kyle Kelley

One of Liz and my stops along the great American Bike Shop Tour of 2017 was Bedrock Bags in Durango, Colorado. A larger than life operation, in a very small space, boasting that they “make the best bikepacking gear on the market.” And when I mean small…I mean small, at first I had no clue how everyone worked in this small space at the same time, but as Joey Ernst, one of the owners, and Tae Hillyer, the production manager, and I chatted about the business I began to understand. This space had been thought out in the same tailored, tight, and clean aesthetic as all of their bags. Just like you don’t want your knees rubbing your framebag, everyone at Bedrock Bags had created a very workable space with no elbow rubbing in a very small, but very efficient corridor.

So you know your knees aren’t going to be rubbing one of their framebags.

Don’t Fake that Funk with Cjell Moné

Reportage

Don’t Fake that Funk with Cjell Moné

Don’t Fake that Funk with Moné Bikes

Words and photos by Spencer Harding

I first saw one of Cjell’s (pronounced like “shell”) bikes on a tour of Adventure Cycling’s headquarters in Missoula, Montana.  His lugged 29+ drop bar Great Divide rig hangs on the walls, in all of its patina’d glory.  Over the past few years, we have had a lot of near hangout misses, from a trip to Ecuador to being in Salida, Colorado the same day this past summer. But alas the stars finally aligned and after spending Thanksgiving in White Sands National Monument, my partner and I decided to make a stopover in Silver City for a spin in the hills and a dip in some hot springs. 

Inside / Out at Horse Cycles – Ian Matteson

Reportage

Inside / Out at Horse Cycles – Ian Matteson

Inside / Out at Horse Cycles

Photos by Ian Matteson, words by Kevin McClelland from ENVE

The Idea for this bike and trip transpired from a casual conversation at NAHBS in Hartford.  I approached Thomas from Horse Cycles at his stunning booth filled with some of my favorite bikes at the the show and we began talking about the yet to be released ENVE Gravel Fork and Gravel Bar. Thomas quickly started to show me photos of his freshly built cabin in Upstate New York surrounded by a beautiful landscape littered with some amazing gravel roads. That was the moment I knew I wanted to get out to New York for some riding with him and I knew I wanted it to be on a Horse Frame.

Loving the Uphill Battle with Roam Industries – Locke Hassett

Reportage

Loving the Uphill Battle with Roam Industries – Locke Hassett

Loving the Uphill Battle with Roam Industries
Words and photos by Locke Hassett

“Long time no see!” piped Dustin from a leather chair near a window with grey morning light pouring in through the huge windows of Roam Industry, a backcountry focused bike, climb, and ski shop in Monticello, UT. He sips his coffee as we catch up and listen to Zeppelin. His kid has teeth coming in, and he is a small business owner in a small town. He is tired, but not too tired to laugh, talk, and show me around the shop.

A Timeless Pairing at the Breadwinner Cycles Cafe

Reportage

A Timeless Pairing at the Breadwinner Cycles Cafe

Coffee and bikes. It’s a timeless pairing and one that Breadwinner Cycles, the Portland-based framebuilding operation, has embraced with their new cafe and shop. It’d been since 2015 when I got to visit their facilities, which at the time were in Tony Pereira’s house. Tony and Ira Ryan make up Breadwinner, along with some of their employees. Last year, Breadwinner opened their new shop and an adjacent cafe, along the bicycle expressway off North Williams. Since then, it’s become a hub for people meeting for group rides, or laptop-toting freelancers, and tourists like myself wanting to peek into the process that is making a Breadwinner.

Scenes from the Chris King Open House

Reportage

Scenes from the Chris King Open House

Finally! I finally made it to a Chris King Open House. Over the years, I’ve heard how much fun these events are. The events began on Thursday with an Industry Summit. On Friday we rode out to Chris King’s barn for lunch and Saturday, the doors at the Chris King factory opened to the public where visitors could take tours of the facilities, see the DropSet in person, check out the new limited edition colors – Matte Mango and Matte Turquoise – and ogle the bikes on display from 18 frame builders.

We’ll take a look at those tomorrow, but for now, let’s look inside the Chris King Open House!

____

Follow Chris King Precision Components on Instagram and check out more from the Open House at #ChrisKingOpenHouse.

A Randonneuring Paradise in Portland at Norther Cycles

Reportage

A Randonneuring Paradise in Portland at Norther Cycles

I met Norther Cycles owner StarMichael back in 2015 here in Portland at the Bike and Beer festival where I shot one of his creations, a beautiful randonneuring frame. As with most of 2015’s content, when our server crashed, we lost the images. Bummer! So when Rie and the Sim Works crew said they were going to a few shops to deliver tires and racks, I tagged along, especially once I heard they were going to Norther Cycles.

Building on Legacy: Eriksen Cycles and Bingham Built

Reportage

Building on Legacy: Eriksen Cycles and Bingham Built

Mountain towns with thriving ski scenes often benefit from a strong cycling presence to keep the economy alive during warmer months. Take Steamboat Springs, Colorado for instance. With a heavy snow sports presence and a healthy bike scene, the town is able to maintain tourism capital year round. This growth, however, was piecemeal, with one man doing the cycling community a great service by moving to this sleepy little Colorado town, forever changing the cycling community. Not just in Colorado either! His work rippled throughout the world… That man is Kent Eriksen.

In 1975 Kent Eriksen moved to Steamboat and in 1980 he started Sore Saddle Cyclery and Moots Bicycles with the help of several business partners. Kent didn’t just want to make bicycle frames, he wanted to innovate bicycle frame production. While it was summer, Sore Saddle kept the people of Steamboat rolling, and during the slow winter months, Moots production ramped up, to help secure the financial feasibility of Sore Saddle Cyclery. It was a unique business model and one that ensured the success of Moots.

Inside Moots: the Masters of Metal

Reportage

Inside Moots: the Masters of Metal

One of the hardest things about reporting on frame builders and their shops is doing their operations justice. I’m still buzzing from my trip to Colorado to hang out with the crew at Moots and ride the Steamboat Ramble Ride. Spending a few solid days literally living amidst the operations, riding with the fabricators, talking and photographing everyone behind the scenes brought such great joy that I’m literally gushing as I write this intro. The 23 people that make this company tick are all great people who truly love their job and love cycling, at many capacities. Capturing that in photos and then writing about it is not easy!

Moots began in 1981, from the shop of Kent Eriksen, called Sore Saddle Cyclery, which technically opened in 1980, but the operations of Moots didn’t get rolling for a whole year. Kent began the brand with the help of many others, and eventually sold it off to begin his own company, Eriksen Cycles. Meanwhile, Moots began to permutate into their current state as one of the largest framebuilding operations in the USA. I can’t compare their shop to anyone else, other than Seven in the Boston-area. In terms of scale and organization.