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Blacksmith Cycle

Posted by Derek Flack / Posted on June 21, 2011

Blacksmith CycleBlacksmith Cycle is one of those stores that's bound to attract people who just want to talk about bikes. That's not to say that customers won't also purchase what the shop has on offer, but merely to draw attention to the fact that the retail space is slick and inviting and the staff are particularly welcoming. It doesn't hurt that there's a giant flat-screen television and decent coffee available in the almost cafe-like front of the store.

Blacksmith CycleIn fact, the whole concept feels vaguely European — which, of course, makes sense once you notice the names of the bikes that surround you: Carrera, Merida, Colnago, Scapin, etc. Yup, Italian racehorses all around. There's also American niche-brands like Baum Cycles and Independent Fabrication and Euro-cruisers by Gazelle, but these just fit in with the custom vibe that Blacksmith has going on (a hint of which is even contained with the name).

Blacksmith CycleIt's not so much about sourcing hard-to-find bikes, but about "the level of customization that can be achieved through these companies," explains owner Michael Yakubowicz. Whether it's a matter of a unique paint job or tailor made geometry, Blacksmith tries to differentiate itself from other up-market bike shops by offering more personalized options. As much as that puts the stock in the higher end of the price range, you can still get a built-in-Italy Carrera with Shimano 105-level components for about $1700. That's a lot if you want a bike to tool around the city, but not if you're an enthusiast looking for your first race-worthy road bike.

Blacksmith CycleAs far as the upper reaches of of the price end goes, as is the case with all shops that specialize in custom builds, the sky is the limit. But, at least customers can take solace in the fact that whatever bike they shell out for, it's bound to fit properly. Instead of going the standard route and fitting people himself, Yakubowicz has hired two expert fitters to handle what is a surprisingly important part of the bike purchasing process. Working with the a fully customizable Juteau-Cantin fit system, they'll be working with customers who have purchased bikes at the store (which is free) and with those who want to dial in the fit on their current ride (prices start at around $90 and go up to $240 depending on how in depth you want to get).

Blacksmith CycleOn the component and accessory end, Blacksmith carries almost all of the big names, but also products that have yet to make it to Toronto in any reasonable supply — stuff like Rudy Projects helmets and eye wear, Shutt apparel, and a whole host of wheel brands that I've never heard of but that look light and super fast.

Blacksmith CycleAs a bit of bike nerd, I could go on about the products, but the note that makes the most sense to sign-off on is the service. Each of two times I've been in the store, I've witnessed Yakubowicz helping a customer with a special request, and each time he was accommodating and helpful despite being given relatively short timelines to work worth. This is a good sign. If you want to deal in the ultra high end, you have to have the service chops to back it up — and from what I've seen, these guys do.

Blacksmith Cycle2011621-blacksmith-handlebars.jpgTHE SKINNY

Who the store caters to: roadies, racers, those passionate about bikes

Bike price range: $1700 - how much do you want to spend?

Service capabilities: Everything that a road bike could ever need

The tune-up: $75 for a tune-up that includes wheel-truing



Mark / June 21, 2011 at 05:06 pm
I love ads!
bikeroo / June 21, 2011 at 05:34 pm
Finding bike shops that actually bring people in for fittings rather than having the sales-person eye it is a uncommon in most shops so it's great to see another place that offers this.
Derek Flack replying to a comment from Mark / June 21, 2011 at 07:05 pm
I love trolls!
SV replying to a comment from Derek Flack / June 21, 2011 at 07:38 pm
I love douches!
Derek Flack replying to a comment from SV / June 21, 2011 at 07:50 pm
M / June 21, 2011 at 09:52 pm
I thought this space was being used very soon for a condo development? Is this a temp store front?
TokyoTuds / June 22, 2011 at 08:42 am
Sounds like a great shop ... in the east end there is a new option too called Cycleforth a few door down from my office.
Ian / June 22, 2011 at 09:32 am
What is the bike price range? "$1700" is not a range...
Derek Flack replying to a comment from Ian / June 22, 2011 at 09:35 am
Apologies if that's not clear, but the idea is that it starts at $1700 and goes up to whatever you want to spend (i.e a lot).
PK / June 22, 2011 at 09:51 am
There are Gazelle dutch bikes that come in under a grand, and Vanmoof city bikes that are more around the $7 bills range
Andrew / June 22, 2011 at 10:00 am
Looks like a great shop! Going to check it out as soon as I can...
Mike Yakubowicz / June 22, 2011 at 10:30 am
Thanks for the write-up, Derek!

For prices, as people have mentioned:
-Hand-made Dutch city bikes from $700 to $1375
-Road race bikes from $1700 to $17,000 ;)

We are doing our best to bring unique and outstanding cycling products from around the world to Toronto. No condo development for now!

We are open Wed-Sunday from 11 till 6, btw, or by appointment.

David / June 22, 2011 at 10:36 am
Just bought one of the Dutch Gazelles here a few weeks back. Amazing bike, and great store. Mike's one of those shop owners that will go out of his way to make a customer happy. He'll find something to fit pretty much any budget (he even carries some high end used frames/bikes), and will do so while making an awesome espresso. Also, there's a great shop dog there.
Ming / June 22, 2011 at 10:47 am
Grand opening, grand closing. $1700 bikes. Try kijiji
brycycle replying to a comment from Ming / June 23, 2011 at 08:57 am
ignorant comment, ming = you obviously aren't 'into' bikes...for those of us that are, it is great to have a shop with high-end offerings run by an owner that still had passion/enthusiasm for bikes and getting people on them.

catch a cycling club on a social group ride at a red light, MIng - you won't see a bike under $2000 (that's a conservative figure).

Ming replying to a comment from brycycle / June 24, 2011 at 10:10 am
You are correct, stupidity travels in packs.
Steve / July 2, 2011 at 04:34 pm
Those who can't afford will always heckle.
Thomas Mueller / September 11, 2011 at 11:33 pm

What's the deal with the Blacksmith Cycle Team Kit design winner? The winning entry was supposed to be announced weeks ago...
joe / September 15, 2011 at 08:02 pm
Thank god.. a bike shop that doesn't carry Specialized, Trek, Giant, Cannondale or all the other mass produced crap out there.
This place is bike porn at its best. The exotics of the exotics.
RBingham / September 15, 2011 at 10:11 pm
I don't get the haters who get all worked up about shops that handle high-end bikes. It's like getting mad at a Birks store or something. Either you are into serious cycling or you aren't, and if you are, a few grand on a great bike is money more than well spent. If you aren't, go to Canadian Tire and you will be well served.

My Bianchi was a top-end bike when I bought it 25 years ago and it still rides beautifully; when I drop $3K+ on my next one (most likely some kind of titanium job) I expect it will last as long, and bring me the same kind of joy every time I get on it.

Look at it that way and an expensive bike is actually pretty cheap.
Crystal / April 17, 2012 at 06:25 pm
I had a great experience when I stopped by this shop to check out the bikes it carried. I would agree with David that personable shop owner Mike goes out of his way to make a customer happy. He answered all of my many questions about the bike I was looking at and it was obvious that he knows his stuff. I hope to have to pleasure of stopping by again!

A / May 23, 2012 at 09:19 pm
AMAZING staff. Very friendly, welcoming and helpful
john replying to a comment from Ming / April 23, 2013 at 05:10 pm
What is actually stupid, is wasting your time posting about other people's hobbies...
manbitesdog / April 24, 2013 at 10:23 pm
Excellent shop. Beautiful bikes - unfortunately well outside of my snack bracket, but still fun to look at - and I did bring in my old but sweet steal frame Lemond for some work there last spring and they treated it like the Ferrari I imagine it to be. Good guys. Real pro.
Out riding / December 11, 2013 at 02:39 am
Blacksmith is a an excellent store. This isn't the type of shop where you walk in and they immediately push 5 different stock bikes onto you from the showroom floor, touting discounts or popularity as selling points. Mike really takes the time to understand what your custom needs are from a road bike and what type of frame and set up you should be riding as a result. He builds a bike that's truly made for you, guided by expert fittings. Highly recommended.
realcyclist / January 15, 2014 at 09:47 pm
I am sorry Derek but they do not carry Colnago as they claim to in your article. They purchase things on the Internet & then offer them to you for a higher price. Some of the "Italian" frames they charge big $$$$$ for are actually made in Asia and painted in Italy. Bikes sold at this shop come with poor or no warranty. These guys don't ride, they are skaters that have found a new hobby. There are only 2-3 top shops in Toronto where I got the chance ride with the owners or the employees...they ride hard and are true cyclists.

I do like the mechanic at this shop.
Mike Yakubowicz / September 18, 2014 at 11:18 pm
As an FYI, the pics above are of our old shop.
Feel free to check out our new Sorauren location, and judge us for yourself.

Mike Yakubowicz
Founder - Blacksmith Cycle

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