Firstly, how are you doing?
We’re doing good, thanks! We’ve been keeping busy and we’re enjoying the fact that more and more people are getting into bikes these days.
Tell us a little bit about Temple Cycles and how the brand started.
I started Temple Cycles just over six years ago, after spending my university years repairing vintage bikes. I felt really inspired to take the basic design principles behind these majestic machines and create something new. I wanted to inspire more people to get out on their bikes and have adventures, and I felt confident that there would be a demand for more traditional steel-framed bikes as they’re so reliable. So over time, we’ve designed a range of versatile bikes to suit lots of different kinds of cyclists. They’re beautiful, durable, and - most importantly - they’re really fun to ride.
How long has Temple Cycles been running?
Temple Cycles started life in 2014 in Somerset, but as we grew and needed more space we moved to Bristol which is where the brand has been based ever since. In 2018 we set up our flagship shop on London’s Brick Lane. It’s really nice to have a mix of selling online and in store, and it’s great being able to meet our customers face to face so they can try the bikes out for themselves, meet the team, and come away with something they’re really happy with.
How does Temple Cycles fit into the local cycling scene/community?
The whole team at Temple are really into their bikes and so not only are we creating jobs within the industry and encouraging that passion, we also just want to promote the positive side of cycling. It can be seen as quite an elitist sport but we’re trying to remove those barriers and get as many people on two wheels as possible.
We put on regular events in both Bristol and London, such as our pop up shops and maintenance workshops (although this has of course been trickier during the pandemic). We’re also about to launch our Temple Rideouts which is exciting. These will be free and fun regular group rides in Bristol and London that anyone can join to bring our community together.
We’re all about making things as inclusive and accessible as possible so this feels like a great way to support that ethos. Current restrictions obviously make this more complicated but we have exciting plans for the summer when things are hopefully looking a bit brighter.
How has the COVID-19 pandemic affected your business?
Online sales have actually been really good for us. During the first lockdown lots more people started getting into cycling and we haven’t really seen that interest dip yet. Lots of seasoned cyclists have also spent more time on their bikes and so our business is thankfully doing well. It’s also really helped that bike shops have been allowed to stay open throughout each lockdown so we’ve been able to keep servicing bikes in our London shop and keep people moving.
We’ve had to make a lot of changes to how we operate. For example, our shop is now appointment only, and we’ve tried hard to keep things as safe as possible for our team and customers. We’re really proud to have been able to support the cycling community throughout this time, and we’re very grateful that our business hasn’t suffered as a result of the pandemic.
Talk us through an average day at Temple Cycles.
I normally start the day catching up with the team and working out if anything crucial needs to be sorted. Typically, I do a variety of things, from making changes to our website, taking photos of our products, planning the production side of things and developing new products. It’s been an intense year, and there are a lot of cups of tea and coffee that have kept me and the team fueled throughout.
Have you worked with any high profile riders/customers that have ridden your bikes?
We try to not lean into the elite cycling culture. We’re more excited about showing how brilliant cycling can be for everyone and so we spend a lot of time finding and supporting riders that are doing things slightly differently. For example, a local Bristol rider, Elle, decided to take on the 1200km Paris Brest Paris race on a fixie. We thought this idea was a bit mad but really cool, so we sorted her out with a bike. You can read more about her experience on our blog.
Are there any exciting projects in the works at the moment?
We’ve got some really exciting but top-secret products launching later this year… Watch this space!
What's the most interesting bike you've seen dropped into the shop?
We’ve done some really interesting custom builds over the years and occasionally they come back into the shop for a service. We recently serviced a bright purple Classic Tour fitted with a Velo Orange finishing kit that was pretty special.
Do your mechanics and bike builders specialise in anything in particular
Our production team are all really experienced and talented bike mechanics who’ve been doing this for years. They hand-assemble each bike from start to finish so they are experts in the whole process.
With the shift in the cycling industry catering towards gravel riding, bikepacking and ultra endurance racing, do Temple Cycles have any plans to tap into this new style of riding?
One of our flagship bikes, the Adventure Disc, is perfect for adventuring through different types of terrain, whether that be bikepacking, touring, or gravel riding. We’ve been encouraging this kind of cycling for years now and it’s really cool to see more people pushing themselves to take on more ambitious overnight adventures.
What are Temple's plans for the future?
We’re just going to keep doing what we’re doing; honing our skills, building on our customer base and making great bikes!
You can find out more about Temple Cycles by heading to their website:
@templecycles on instagram