Archive | February, 2012

#VendrediVideo – The Inverted Bike Shop + Vulture

Two videos this week, I especially love the first one (thanks Simon for sending me the link)…

Amongst the multitude of bike shops across Manhattan and Brooklyn, 718 Cyclery stands out for their unique approach to the business. This is the “inverted bike shop”.

These guys have got it spot on, this is what bike shops should be like.

This is also a nice little video, but unfortunately it’s restricted from being embedded, so click on the image to watch it on Vimeo…

Wade Beauchamp of Vulture Cycles talks about building custom bicycle frames.
Wade’s shop is in Bend, Oregon.

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Ok, so this is really last Friday’s #VendrediVideo in disguise, but that doesn’t matter… as I’ve got three great little videos for you.

First up I found that this one just made me smile.

28 is a chandelier designed and hand made in Canada.
Design by Omer Arbel for Bocci.
Video by Gwenael Lewis for New Document.
Music composed by Edo Van Breemen.
100% made in Vancouver Canada.

I really liked a line in this next video “…you actually have to go do it, it just takes time, it takes…experience, and there’s no substitute for that” as that really resonates with the reasoning behind our open workshop – by creating a place for you to practice you’ll get better and develop your skills, that’s how it works, practice makes perfect.

For over 30 years, Joe Elliott has forged fine ironwork by hand from his shops in Central Oregon. A true craftsman, he is a master blacksmith—one of the few remaining who practice this ancient trade.

Finally a frame building video, and another great line… “..we wanted to create the company that we ultimately wanted to work for…”. This is true of The Bicycle Academy, and more than that we’re also creating the frame building school that we would love to attend ourselves.

Sweetpea Bicycles is a small operation in Portland that hand-crafts a couple dozen beautiful steel bike frames a year fitted just for women.

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#VendrediVideo – Hand Made Volume

Two videos this week are both about hand made goodness, one frame building and the other leather goods. It’s interesting that the term hand made is often only thought about as meaning low volume and yet Orange Bikes (not a small bicycle company) make all their bikes by hand here in the UK. I really like the lack of pretence with the orange bikes video, and how open they are about things like how frame alignment is tweaked – any frame builder will know that’s how you get a frame straight, but most consumers probably don’t appreciate the simple yet very effective methods used to tweak a frame back into alignment. I admire their openness and honesty, and it has to be said – Guy Martin makes me laugh he’s just so funny and likeable.

The second video has a very different feel but is just as honest and interesting to watch, it talks about the notion of craft and quality but also about scaling up their business to meet demand. Still made by hand and still high quality, but they make more, and employ more people.

The natural progression of being an artisan maker of things is to either generate a long waiting list for your goods or to train others to do what you do so that you can meet the demand, both directions make sense but there’s something really nice about the notion of the success of one maker enabling the development of others.

A dimly lit workshop in the centre of Halifax is an unlikely backdrop for an art studio, twisting and manipulating aluminium, forming complex shapes to create a pure simplicity – the bike frame.

Proper engineering is a dark art in a world of sterile outsourced manufacturing. A black box of production, it was about time someone gave an updated snapshot into the people and processes that bring an Orange bike to life.

Cockney, Francis and Toddy bend and join aluminium using timeless skill and modern ingenuity, but getting them to explain what they do is no easy task. In steps TT legend and engineering ambassador to the people, Guy Martin.

A man of mechanical dexterity and dubbed the modern day Fred Dibnah, Guy phrases the questions nobody else would think to ask. Not afraid to state the obvious, he disseminates each step and shows exactly how a Five goes together. Banter in the workplace? Just a bit boy…

Guy gets a TIG welding assessment, Vaughan lets him loose with a gun, and wielding an Allen key he gets candid on DH “cock measuring”.

The usual factory video? Produced and innovatively shot by the legends at Cut Media, this is no ordinary tour. Finally available to watch in its entirety, settle down with a brew and hit play…

Brothers Chris and Kirk Bray have been producing leather goods for the last ten years. They launched Billykirk from Los Angeles in 1999, learning their craft from a third generation leather maker. A simple leather strap kick started the business, a decade later their collection has flourished into other offerings that consists of bags, belts, shoes, wallets, hats and other accessories.

Since expanding and moving their operation to the East, they’ve employed a group of Amish leather makers to produce much of their line, while wrapping up production in their studio. We visited the brothers over the summer to observe their operation first hand and to discover the beauty behind the process.


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#VendrediVideo – Frame building, Sword making and riding bikes.

Three videos this week, each one submitted from a different person:

First up this little treat made and sent in by Sarah Kinney (who shot the Atavistic Urge too)

A chat with the frame builder Lance Mercado of Squarebuilt. This version is what screened at the Bike film fest.

Next up, this wonderful submision from friend and backer Andy Grace

As one of Japan’s last remaining swordsmiths, Korehira Watanabe has honed his craft for 40 years while attempting to recreate the mythical Koto sword.

…and finally, our first twitter submission from @alinstone…. “If this isn’t #vv material then I don’t know what is!

I love being on a bike. It helps me feel free. I get it from my dad.

After 382 days spent riding through the streets of Montreal, being sometimes quite cold, sometimes quite hot – and sometimes quite scared, I dedicate this movie to you, Yves Blanchet :-)

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