It is official. Melrose Ave will not be the same. Bikestyler Customs is officially on the block and open to the public. With a little help from their friends at Quamen bikes, the night was a success. LA won't be the same.
Toons and J Swift at Bikestyler Customs teamed-up with Quamen for the official launch of the Bikestyler Customs gallery/workspace/hang spot and Qmania was there to celebrate with them. How could we miss an event like this? Qmania was represented by Mike and Brendon. We think they did their best not to stink-up the place.
The night began with photographers snapping shots, rolling video and interviews. The people there were from all backgrounds, genders, races and ages. There were all sorts of bikes parked out front illustrating this diversity. It was a great representation of what Bikestyler is all about.
The exposed brick walls and high ceilings provided a backdrop that was perfect to show off everything art and bike. Bikestyler Customs has a unique approach to cycling, art and community. They mix it all up and it was evident that night.
By now most everybody knows about the hipster fixed gear scene taking over college campuses throughout the US. Though some of the custom bikes Bikestyler Customs creates are "fixed gear" oriented, it does start or end there. To them, the burgeoning, trendy fixed gear scene is just one, small element of what cycling is to any community. These guys embrace all things bike and work with all sorts of clients; ranging from the local rider that commutes to work each day on his bike to the Hollywood celebrity. They work with everybody.
If what they're doing isn't enough, they teamed up with Quamen bikes for the big launch. We got a chance to speak with the founder, Sugihara-san, and a head frame builder, Max, to learn a bit more about how they do things. These guys don't cut corners on their machines. The overwhelming impression that we got from them was the time and care they put into all of their hand-built bikes.
Quamen has historically focused on flat, street and dirt frames. They are known for having very strong and stiff frames. But they were feeling sneaky that night and unveiled their prototype road geometry frame. It's equipped with horizontal drop-outs and a fork with little-to-no rake. We want one!
We were able to see how Quamen and Bikestyler Customs were actually working together. Bikestyler took the removable dropouts from a few framesets and colored them in ways to make the frames look even better than they did when they came out of the Quamen shop. Bikestyler Customs like to collab and we like that about them. There are no boundaries and limitations. These guys take the ball and run with it, so to speak. Take a look below.
We can't forget to mention the food and drink. Function Energy Drinks were present and supply all of us with some tasty bottles of antioxidant elixirs while the catering folks pampered us with fantastic teriyaki chicken. Thanks, gang!
Thanks TOONS, J Swift, Salvador, Sugihara, Max and Keith. Keep up the good work and we look forward to seeing you on www.qmania.com !