A new bike store opened this weekend, sandwiched between two restaurants on the Koreatown section of Toronto's Bloor Street. This is not a major event in Toronto; lots of bike shops have been opening recently, notwithstanding the city's official ambivalence towards two-wheeled transport. But Gallant Cycles is different; there are just a few bikes on the floor, and they are all made to order under the Gallant Badge.
It's a new project by Tony Mammoliti, owner of the successful YNOT Cycle line of bike accessories, and Jason Wood. They have broken the process of choosing a bike down to a series of steps:
Surprisingly, the first step is to pick a colour. Jason has developed a powder coating process that matches the wheel rims to the frame.
Then you pick a frame, in a conventional or step-through design, in a wide range of sizes. you then have an option of single speed, fixed gear, coaster brake, 2 speed automatix coaster or freewheel or 3 speed. It's all so simple.
The design of the store is simple and minimalist; store fixturing is built out of Unistrut, an industrial framing system usually used for hanging pipes and ducts. It is far more attractive than the usual slatwall.
Here, the display system is holding other items in the YNOT line. Jason has hacked the Unistrut with wood strips so that it can accommodate standard Slatwall display hardware but still show the brick behind.
City bikes are a different, relatively new breed of bike. You don't need the weight and suspension of a mountain bike, and you don't want the cost and sitting position of a road bike. You just want to get where you are going in comfort and, frankly, a bit of style, at a not terribly high price. (These bikes start at C$ 599). I think Tony and Jason are on to something.
Not much information on the website yet at Gallant Bicycles