dandySHOPS: Blacksmith Cycle on Queen West

The team at Blacksmith.

dandySHOPS: Blacksmith Cycle on Queen St. West

Race-ready rides the speciality at new west-end shop

By Erik Adler
Photos by Jamie Rosenthal

Since opening in July of 2011 at 1101 Queen St. West, Blacksmith Cycle has quickly developed a reputation for stocking hard-to-find brands, providing stellar service, and serving some seriously good espresso.

Blacksmith Cycle is far from your typical local bike shop. It’s a place where weight is measured in mere grams, and many of the bikes hanging from the walls are found nowhere else in North America; paper-thin carbon fiber crafted in countries like Germany, Italy and Australia. It’s a place where bicycling bucket lists can be realized, and where even at a standstill the bikes look fast.

For the casual cyclist looking to get a flat fixed, stepping through Blacksmith’s doors for the first time can be a bit of a shock. In the world of ultra high-end road bikes, a frame alone can approach a price equivalent or surpassing that of a car. Exotic brands like Independent Fabrication, Alchemy, Scapin, Pegoretti and Carrera line the walls.

Looking into the shop window, one sees an attention-grabbing set of Mad Fiber carbon wheels, the futuristic brainchild of Ric Hjertberg, and a team made up of former aerospace engineers. For shop owner Mike Yakubowicz, the exotic nature of Blacksmith’s stock is very much the point, “Starting the shop was very much about brands, I’d always loved these European brands…these hallowed names…and I started talking to these companies about why they aren’t in Canada, and how to get them here.”

Wheel wall.

Ultimately, the goal for shop staff at Blacksmith is to, “Watch the customer walk out the door with their dream bike.” The key to achieving this is in how they approach the relationship between the rider and their bicycle: first and foremost is proper fit.

Fit expert Paul Parker uses a Juteau-Cantin fit system in tandem with a second system, known as Retül, a biomechanical motion-capture system used by some professional cyclists. Through using these, as well as other techniques, the team at Blacksmith identifies the smallest idiosyncrasies in your riding style. Once they know exactly how you ride a bike, they select an assortment of frames, one of which will serve as the foundation of your dream bike. Every component that goes into the finished bike is carefully considered, from saddle to stem.

“Let’s have the fit, handling and geometry be the deciding factor,” says Yakubowicz. The result is a bike that’s sure to turn the heads of other cyclists and probably some savvy motorists too.

Even though they deal in high-end bikes, there’s no high-end attitude at Blacksmith.

They do city bike tune-ups for $50 and road/Tri/MTB comprehensive tunes for $65.

Says Yakubowicz,  “Even though we are primarily a high-end boutique, we service all sorts of bikes in the same premium fashion.”

Blacksmith Cycles will be at the Bike Show this weekend in booth 701 and will have blow out specials on 2011 stock until the end of March when the 2012 items are fully introduced at the shop.

They’ll also be offering custom fittings at the show.

Blacksmith Cycle
1101 Queen St. West
Toronto, ON


Inside the shop. Photos by Jamie Rosenthal.

Jamie also contributed to our new winter web issue, which you can check out here, and will be joining the dandy team at the Bike Show this weekend! Look for our Bike Show recap on the dandyBLOG on Monday, March 5, 2012!

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