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Gallant Bicycles’ Tony Mammoliti (left) and Jason Wood offer custom-made rides.
GALLANT BICYCLES 678 Bloor West, gallantbicycles.com
So you want to buy a bike? But you're a picky pedaller who's after something special, built in Toronto to your exact specifications. And, oh yeah, if it could cost well under $1,000, that would be great.
Think you're dreaming? Think again. Just in time for spring's rush of cycle shoppers, Gallant Bicycles has opened at Bloor and Clinton to cater to customers who don't want to settle on their bike purchase.
"There's all these compromises you usually have to make when you buy a bike," says Jason Wood, the Canadian rep for Aussie bag brand Crumpler, who co-founded Gallant with YNOT Cycle's Tony Mammoliti. "With Gallant, you can end up with something completely unique that reflects your personal style."
Here's how it works in store and online at gallantbicycles.com.
First, pick your frame, either the No. 1, a traditional track style, or No. 2, a step-through Dutch configuration. Then pick your colour from 14 hues and decide whether you want components like the fork, chain guard and handlebars painted with contrasting pigments. Continue customizing by selecting your handlebars (riser or swept back?), gears (from fixed to three-speed), brakes (maybe you don't need a rear one?), chain (how about something more colourful?), pedals (basic or clip-in?) and grips (an Oury upgrade adds $15 to the price).
Your bike gets put together and powder-coated at Gallant's 9,000- square-foot factory in the Junction, which Mammoliti compares to an auto assembly plant. So far, Gallant has pre-orders from 50 early adopters who are taking advantage of the $599 launch price (the bikes will regularly start at $699).
"Bike companies are still moving away, so we might be making a massive mistake [building bikes in Canada]," says Wood, citing the upcoming closing of the Raleigh plant in Quebec.
"But we've seen so much growth in makers creating stuff here," says Mammoliti. "We want to do the best we can to keep it local."