Gallant Bicycles is a made-to-order bike shop in downtown Toronto started by Jason Wood and Tony Mammoliti. In addition to retailing Orontas in their Bloor St. shop Gallant uses Orontas when assembling their custom bikes right here in Toronto.
Orontas: When did you open?
Gallant Bicycles: We launched the company at the Toronto International Bicycle Show in March 2013 and started accepting pre-orders. Later that month, we opened the doors of our retail space for the first time.
O: What was the idea/concept behind the store?
GB: We wanted to project the simplicity and finesse that we see in our bicycles into our retail space. Veering away from the overwhelming layout of many conventional bicycle stores with hundreds of bicycles lining the walls, we limited our store to a handful of fully built samples that customers feel comfortable picking up, touching and inspecting from all angles. We used powder coated tube samples mounted on one wall to display the 14 possible colours, and customers can remove the tubes to match them against other colours or components giving them a more interactive bicycle building experience. Since our focus is only urban commuter bikes, we were able to carefully choose unique bicycle accessories and limit the merchandise to preserve the simplicity in our store. We have also put an emphasis on Canadian-made products.
O: Why’d you setup in The Junction and Koreatown?
GB: Koreatown has a growing cycling community with lots of bicycle events happening at nearby parks. Tony (co-founder) also grew up here, so we feel right at home with close ties to families and other small businesses in the area. It doesn’t hurt that there’s amazing tacos and coffee nearby.
Our goal was to keep things as local as possible. The production facility in the Junction allowed for the necessary space without being far from the shop so it is perfect.
O: How would you describe the bike scene in Toronto?
GB: Eclectic – there are so many riders spearheading and trying new things that it is fascinating to see what will pop up in the bike scene next.
O: What’s the best and worst part about riding in Toronto?
GB: Best – Riding in Toronto is often the fastest form of transportation in the downtown core, and it gets you out of the crowded TTC (transit system)!
Worst – Despite having tons of riders, Toronto’s politics can often work against the cycling community and favour vehicles – a few years ago, money was invested to remove bike lanes, which was a huge loss to cyclists.
O: What trend do you really like in the bike industry?
GB: We are always excited about new inovation in products. With city cycling there is innovation in so many different ways not only with technology but also with design, materials, environmental impact and durability. We love this about city biking. It is not only a mode of transportation but an expression of your personality and we feel like Gallant Bicycles and our custom bikes are a reflection of that trend as well as an addition to it.
THE VITALS: GALLANT BICYCLES
678 Bloor St. West
M6G 1L2 Canada
THE BRIEF: TORONTO
Population: 2.315 million (Largest in Canada)
Area: 630 km²