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Behind the scenes at YNOT Cycle in Toronto

Posted by Derek Flack / September 5, 2012

YNOT Cycle TorontoIt's always rewarding to happen upon local companies making interesting and innovative products. A recent discovery for me in this capacity is YNOT Cycle, a Junction-based cycling accessories outfit that makes some of the best designed backpacks and messenger bags that I've come across.

Started in fall of 2009 by Toronto entrepreneur Tony Mammoliti, YNOT has already come a long way since it specialized solely in the production of pedal straps manufactured in a Croft Street garage. Although this particular product still makes up a significant portion of the company's sales — and exists as the basis for its design philosophy — gone are the days of catering exclusively to the niche fixed gear market. A couple of years ago, you could only find YNOT products at Bikes on Wheels — now they're expanding their reach across the globe.

YNOT Cycle TorontoHeaded by Mammoliti and production manager Tom Mosher, one suspects that the key to YNOT's growth has been a commitment to turning out well designed products that put functionality at the forefront. "We're not trying to out-fashion the other guys," says Mammoliti of the competitive space YNOT occupies. "We trying to out-think them. Function comes first, and fashion comes second."

YKNOT Cycle TorontoThat's the type of line that you might expect from a company owner, but as I'm given a tour of YNOT's studio, the various products I'm shown all seem to have little features that set them apart from the other bags and packs I've tried, whether it be the placement of the straps for maximum on-bike comfort, the way that things like laptop sleeves are integrated with other products or just the location of the pockets for easy access and lock storage.

YNOT Cycle TorontoCoupled with the local connection — the bags are manufactured here using products sourced from North American markets — it's hard for cycling and design nerd like myself not to get a little excited by what YNOT is up to. Nice products aside, they're also active in the cycling community, promoting various events of the course of the year.

2012 will mark the second time that the company has a booth at Interbike, the world's largest cycling trade show. Following that, Mammoliti promises the release of more new products that are already at the design stage.

YKNOT Cycle TorontoWhile still only composed of eight employees (five full time, three part time), YNOT is now selling over 10,000 pedal straps and thousands of bags/packs a year. That might be small potatoes compared to some of the larger US brands like Chrome, but that represents impressive growth considering that it wasn't so long ago that this was a garage-based operation. If you're an urban cyclist, this is a company to keep an eye on.

Discussion

8 Comments

Andrew / September 5, 2012 at 11:08 am
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Now that it's fixed, my original comment looks pretty stupid ...

But this would be a funny thing to post on basically any post, on any site.
Aaron replying to a comment from Andrew / September 5, 2012 at 11:27 am
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@Andrew:

Oh, did you think that "N" was an "S"? That's adorable!
Derek replying to a comment from Andrew / September 5, 2012 at 11:42 am
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I nixed the original after making the change. Thank you for noting it, and saving me from further embarrassment...
Bamboo mike / September 5, 2012 at 02:37 pm
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i use YNOT straps on my bike after i got tired of having to wear my cycling shoes all the time (used to have clipless pedals) they are a great strap. tough as nails, anre are much easier to use than plastic or metal toe clips.

great product, great canadian company. i bought these over an american company that makes a similar product.
Andrew replying to a comment from Aaron / September 5, 2012 at 02:46 pm
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I'm pretty adorable ...
André / September 5, 2012 at 03:43 pm
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Brought my Gulper bag all the way down to México, and I carry it along on my daily travels. Much better than outdoors outfitters. Thanks Tony.
John Coates / September 6, 2012 at 03:57 am
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YNOT pedal straps are great. The best thing is they don't damage your shoes like pedal clips do and you can adjust them to fit boots!
eva / September 8, 2012 at 01:09 am
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i love my YNOT straps!

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