Three for Thursday highlights bike culture, bikes and gear as celebrated by local bike shops. Each week BikeRadar checks in with a different shop around the country to find out what's hot with riders in their area.
For this week's Three for Thursday, we contacted Kyle Kelley at the Golden Saddle Cyclery in downtown Los Angeles.
Golden Saddle Cyclery has been in business for just two years in the Silverlake area of downtown LA, but it's quickly become a hot hangout for local cyclists, seemingly selling 'soul' as much as physical product. The racks are stocked with a diverse arrangement of gear including Raleigh, Focus, Ritte, All-City, Surly, Linus and Brompton bikes, plus clothing and accessories from Leyzne, fi'zi:k, Smartwool, Defeet, Wald, Thomson, Chris King, Nitto and MKS, among others.
The walls are decorated with a wealth of vintage gear including bikes from Eddy Merckx and Fat City Cycles, and old manufacturer signs and wool team jerseys.
"We specialize in bikes that people ride, not hang on walls," Kelley told BikeRadar. "The bike brands we carry are selected because we feel they are really listening to and responding to the needs of cyclists [and they are] all brands we respect and would choose to ride ourselves. In general, all of the products we carry are things that we use personally and can stand behind from experience. Our typical client is anyone on two wheels and sometimes three. We try and stay away from the unicycle crowd."
1. What's the coolest thing in your shop? "Our Criterium 75 four-player pinball machine."
Despite Golden Saddle Cyclery's tight confines, the shop still has room for a Spanish-made vintage pinball machine that was last manufactured in 1986.
You won't lose any skin with this criterium, but you will lose some quarters
"Not too many of these machines ever made it over the pond," said Kelley. "I'm not even sure if there is another working one in the States, but I heard there is a broken one in Boston. Not a day goes by without Ty, Woody, Dave or myself playing it. It's great on laundry day as well."
2. What are you personally lusting after right now? "Some time off for a bike ride and maybe a cyclocross race."
We will file this one under, "there are some things that money can't buy..." Well, at least the time off.
3. What is your best seller? "The Golden Saddle Cyclery and Intelligentsia cycling caps will probably be our all-time bestseller and our kits sell out before they've even been sewn in downtown Los Angeles by Endo Customs."
"We're trying to bring good design back into the bike shop," said Kelley. "The easiest way to start doing that is to apply it to products cyclists need and use every single day: water bottles, kits, and caps. It also feels great to partner with other local businesses in our area to provide those products with a quality we can trust."
Caps by Endo Customs