After five years as Seven Cycles' senior fit technician — during which time he generated fit specifications for more than 7,000 riders — Zac Daab opened Cascade Bicycle Studio in 2006. Today the shop in Seattle's Fremont neighborhood specializes in, surprise, professional bike fit and high-end bikes and gear.
"At the time [it opened in 2006], it was one of the few bicycle studio models in the country that focused on high-end road bicycles, with more narrowly focused product lines," Daab said. "For six years, I worked exclusively by appointment."
Last year Daab took on a business partner and a full-time mechanic, and now the shop sells Seven, Parlee, Cervélo, Focus and Ibis. It is also the exclusive Rapha retailer for the state of Washington.
For this week's Three for Thursday, we checked in with Daab just as he was gearing up for the shop's celebration of Paris-Roubaix.
"One of our main priorities this year was to offer cyclists of all abilities the opportunity to come out and ride with us on Thursday and Saturday mornings. Strangely enough, Seattle doesn't have a lot of group ride options that happen regularly. We've had a lot of fun offering regular group rides this year. This April 7th, we are hosting a 'Day of Roubaix' where we'll have a mass-start Roubaix ride leaving from the shop where riders can demo products from Cervélo, Parlee, and Seven, and test out equipment on the cobbles of Seattle. We'll also be showing the race later that day, and will be raffling some very generous products from Rapha."
1. What's the coolest thing in your shop?
"One of the coolest things in our shop right now is a limited edition Seven Cycles Giro d'Italia steel Resolute frame we built with Seven Cycles in 2010," Daab said. "We worked with Seven Cycles to have a route map of the Giro painted on the frame and we had Seven paint Campagnolo Record hubs pink with the Italian tricolor."
A one-of-a-kind bike for the month of May
2. What is your current bestseller?
"Without sounding like a broken record, our current bestseller is a titanium Seven Cycles Axiom SL road bike," Daab said. "In our climate, we work with a lot of recreational cyclists who purchase custom Sevens to serve as their 'sunny day' road bike in the summer, but also their wet weather commuter bike in the winter. Seven affords folks the option to have simple items like fender mounts installed on a frame at no charge. We are also having really good success setting people up with Specialized's Expert Road shoe. Full carbon sole, Boa dial closure, $200. Super good value."
3. What are you personally lusting after right now?
"I'm really looking forward to building up our first Parlee Z-Zero carbon frame with Shimano's newest Dura-Ace Di2 9070 group," Daab said. "We were lucky to get a group set in the first distribution, and from all accounts, it promises to be fantastic. Also, we've been a huge fan of Portland Design Works Full Metal Fender. The design is very well thought out. Finally, all three of us at the shop are constantly going to back to our Rapha Rain Jacket and Rapha Pro Team Bib shorts. Just this morning, we all wore them on our shop ride."