FRAME BY FRAME
Landyachtz team rider, Kyle Wien, worked for nearly a year renovating and restoring our Union Street building before we opened the doors. It wasn’t long after that Kyle had half a dozen bikes in to be restored, tuned up, or transformed completely. His love of building and riding bikes started to influence his daily commute. His beloved motorcycle, an 85′ GPZ550, started to show up at the office less and less.
Kyle found a new avenue for his passion when Paul Brodie, of Brodie Cycles, taught him how to build frames. Kyle is now developing a craft and embarking on a new and exciting career.
Kyle’s focus on bikes makes it easy to forget that he’s such a talented skater. We rode out to Leeside for a skate and to chat about his role with LY Bikes. It wasn’t long into the session before he was clearing the new door gap with room to spare.
When did you get your first bike?
No idea. I’m going to say young. It’s funny I can remember my first skateboard.
When did you learn to ride a bike?
Probably the same time I got that first bike.
[Laughs] Okay. Have you always ridden bikes?
Yeah. Since I was a kid. But, I only really, really got into cycling about a year ago. I always used bikes. But, as tools for leisure or fun. Never as a sport.
What’s the difference now?
Now I aim to perfect my bike. I’m super OCD. I make frames now, so I want a super fast and light bike. It’s also about pushing myself athletically and as a person.
What do you like right now about building frames?
I’m liking that I’m over the hurdle. Over the learning curve. I’m just perfecting everything now. Getting everything tighter and tighter. More beautiful. I notice it in every cut. Every braise. It’s great, I’m just making everything better.
Tell me about your current bike.
I’m riding the bike I built with Paul. It was two sessions from start to finish. It’s pretty racy. It’s got columbus tubes, dropouts. It’s very classic road. Yeah, it’s super sweet. It’s nostalgic for me because I made it with Paul. I’d like to hang it on the wall, but it’s more fun to ride. Ride it, don’t hide it! [Laughs] That’s a vintage motorcycle club slogan, I think. Ride it, don’t hide it.
What makes Landyachtz frames special?
The fact that we use an Anvil jig is really cool. A lot of reputable builders use this type of set up. It’s a benchmark in the industry. A standard. I think it puts us in a really great category. We’re using steel. We also use traditional fillet braise technique, which takes more time and care than a tig frame. But, there’s an attention to detail that comes with that.
Where do you see yourself in the future?
Here! I want Landyachtz to become a well-respected bike brand. A great bike brand. I want to see people riding bikes made in Vancouver. Made in Strathcona. By me. [Laughs] Sick.