The black and white art deco façade doesn’t match any other store front on E. 11th Street. The 12 foot tall graffiti style tiger face doesn't help either. The sign on the front door says to use the side door. And upon entering Bicycle Speed Shop, you know your stepping into a unique bike shop. When you walk into the store, straight ahead of you, the owner Brian Jones is likely to be in the bike fitting space. To the left, towards the front of the building is the service counter where you’ll find Ryan Strayer building a custom wheelset or dialing in a customer’s bike for their next race or weekend ride. And to your right is a long, live edge wood community table with a coffee bar and small selection of the latest riding apparel where Casey and Carson will get you ready to ride.
Brian had invited Aaron and myself down to Houston for Bicycle Speed Shop’s 5th anniversary party. They wanted to celebrate five years of “making fast bikes faster” as they say and show off some of the Mosaic builds they have done along the way. They also just launched as a Rapha retail partner so it was an opportunity to show off some new kits as well.
As a performance-oriented shop, Brian has placed emphasis on fit and service for the shop. So where does a Mosaic, a built to order titanium or steel bicycle, fit in the lineup of tri bikes and aero road bikes queued up in the service department? The best way to be fast and comfortable on a bike is to ride a custom built one Brian says. And at Bicycle Speed Shop, the team lives what they sell.
In the lead up to the event, we talked about doing some wild paint job for an upcoming customer’s bike or updating the finish on of the shop guys’ bikes. But Brian wanted to do something different; he wanted to build his own RS-1d. We set about fabrication and called upon the paint team for some design work. We also called in an early order for a yet to be released set of Chris King Bourbon hubs, headset and bottom bracket to finish off the build. We wanted the bike to be uniquely Bicycle Speed Shop.
We rolled out on that Saturday morning with a group of about 50 riders, customers from across the Houston area that call Bicycle Speed Shop their local shop. Half the group split off for some off-road adventure and the rest of us rolled through the warm, fall morning for a proper 65 mile ride. It was nice departure from riding in Colorado where we’d already had one good snow fall and a series of snow storms were in the forecast the coming week.
Both groups managed to meet back up on the road and we rolled back into the parking lot all together. Ryan and Casey set about pulling together the Mosaics together and amassed almost 20 bikes to show off, each one unique to the owner. Tucked away inside was Brian’s new RS-1d, the first steel bike for Bicycle Speed Shop to build, dressed in paint so fresh it might have still been wet. Hints of the art deco tied in with the tiger face on the fork legs and a series of lightning bolts- the distinct mark of a Bicycle Speed Shop Mosaic build.
That afternoon Brian and I read through the list of Mosaic builds they have done in their first five years and it’s a healthy list of some really awesome bikes. The team at Bicycle Speed Shop has done an incredible job building deep connections with their customers to draw them into the shop and elevate their riding experiences from day one.
This is just a sampling of the bikes the team at Bicycle Speed Shop has put out on the roads of Houston. We are incredibly lucky to work with them to get customers on the right bike for them.