The French city of Bordeaux, in the south-west of the country on the Garonne River, is the wine capital of the world, with an annual production of approximately 960 million bottles. It’s also home to the ABOVE Workshop: two young men who, in a style typical of the French, are filled with passion for the art of the bicycle.
Remi and his best friend are both 23 year-old architecture students who also find creative release from working on old bicycles and, in the process, appreciating the engineering and function of the bike as a vehicle to carry a human through his environment. ‘Autumn Coaster’ is the first of many customised bicycles they will produce for admiring Bordelais.
“I grew up between old bikes and motorcycles,” Remi tells us, “so i got the virus very young, seeing my dad and uncle working on these oldies! I always customised all things around me, so I started mechanic on an old moped Motobecane AV88 at 10. I became the cycle mechanic of the family. In 2009 I started architecture studies: I learnt how to push a project, how to reflect on it and on its society.
“One day, we bought a Vespa Type N 150cc and a 1978 Yamaha DTMX 125cc and started to restore them. We rented a small space in the Bordeaux city centre that opens onto the street. Each day, people came to see us to tell us they enjoyed seeing our work. So we started to work for people who bring us their bikes and cycles to make them unique.”
‘Autumn Coaster’ sure is unique: The saddle, bar tape and luggage bag is all made by the two guys, along with the oak pedals and stainless steel bar ends. All bearings were stripped and repacked, the original crankset was restored and reinstalled onto the freshly stripped and clear coated frame. The Autumnal photo shoot was the final touch.