Inside Landyachtz Bikes: Boards, Bicycles & Space Metal
British Columbia-based Landyachtz Bikes has a complete line of purpose-built bicycles and specializes in custom in-house titanium and steel dream rigs. We dropped by their shop in Vancouver to learn more about what they’re up to and check out some of their latest creations. Find an interview and a gallery of photos here…
I feel a little silly admitting this, but beyond their line of city and gravel bikes, I really had no idea what Landyachtz Bikes has been up to for the last few years. The truth is, when I think of Landyachtz, I think of skateboards, and I’m likely not alone on this. However, I had a sneaking suspicion there was a lot more to the brand than meets the eye, so I swung by their Vancouver bike shop to investigate and learn more about them first hand.
I spent a few hours at the shop, mostly chatting with Landyachtz’ marketing guy, Lucas Greenough, and I’m happy to report that there’s far more going on behind their doors than I ever would have guessed. From in-house parts fabrication to custom steel and titanium bikes, as well as gravel guides and some interesting new products, it turns out that Landyachtz Bikes isn’t just the skateboard-turned-bike brand I originally thought they were.
Their storefront and shop is located just east of downtown Vancouver, British Columbia, appropriately positioned on the AAA (All-Ages-and-Abilities) cycling network of quiet side streets and protected bike paths. Having not spent much time in large cities like Vancouver, I was blown away by how many cyclists passed by the shop. Aside from a full-service bike shop, Landyachtz also designs and welds custom frames in house, has the ability to fabricate parts in the nearby skateboard factory, and is developing a growing network of local gravel routes known as the Landyachtz Gravel Guide series.
After my visit, I sent Lucas some questions to learn more about their offerings, dispel any myths, and highlight a few of their most recent custom bikes as well as their latest stock bike, the Playbike 2.
Landyachtz is both a bike and skateboard brand. How did bikes work their way into the equation, and how much overlap is there from the business side?
The skate side of the business has been going on for just over 20 years, while the bike side of things has been going since 2016. The original idea for the bikes came from the desire to make fun, fast commuter bikes, right here in Vancouver, and it’s grown from there. The businesses are kept separate for the most part, but they do share the same foundation. A unique aspect of the whole corporation is that the skate side has quite a bit of experience and wisdom from the last 20 years of operation and the bike side can pull from that whenever it needs to.
How many employees are there at the bike shop? What are their roles?
There are about 18 employees at the bike shop: five mechanics, five customer service/shipping and receiving, three metal workers, and five in operations/design/media. All working closely with the two owners of the company.
Tell us about the Landyachtz Gravel Guide series you released earlier this year.
The Gravel Guide Series grew from a desire to offer our customers a resource and inspiration for a variety of bike rides. There is some amazing riding out there and we wanted to help share it with everyone. It can be intimidating to head out to a new area and explore the riding, especially if you’re new to gravel riding, and we hope that the gravel guides help give people the extra confidence needed to head out on that adventure they’ve wanted to do. Check them out here.
Aside from a full line of stock bikes, you also offer custom in-house steel and titanium bikes. Tell us more about your custom program and that process.
The 1146 Custom Program is one we’ve been doing for a few years now. The name comes from the fact that all the bikes are designed, welded, assembled in-house at our shop on 1146 Union St. in Vancouver. We make each bike specifically for the customer so that in the end they have a custom bike designed around their body to fit exactly how they want. Customers pick from either steel or titanium as a frame material, from there the bike is designed and mocked up on a bike fit machine to ensure it’s the right fit. Once the specifications are finalized, the tubes are cut and welded in the back. The frame is hand-finished before it’s painted or anodized, depending on the material. While that’s happening, all the parts are being ordered so that once the frames are done, we can build the bike up and dial it all in before handing it over to the customer.
What kind of options do folks have? Is there anything you can’t do?
We pride ourselves on making and building bikes that are exactly what our customers want. Sometimes that means we are fabricating custom components and trying things for the first time, so there’s never harm in asking. That being said, we’ve never ventured into the full-suspension or fat bike world.
How much of a custom bike is made in house?
We design and make steel and titanium frames, headtube badges, yokes, and racks all in-house. We anodize and sandblast the titanium frames in-house and we have a painter for our steel frames.
Tell us more about your new hardtail mountain bike. This is your first stock MTB, right?
The PlayBike 2 is our first stock hardtail, and we’re very excited about it, and a little nervous too. The idea behind it is a mountain touring bike that has the ability to shred some trails once you’ve uploaded and set up camp, so you can head out to get some laps in.
What can we expect from Landyachtz in 2022 and beyond?
You can expect to see some more adventure-oriented bikes with updated materials and specs. Also, we’re hoping to have some more handmade options for customers out there who want “Made in Vancouver” products.
Landyachtz PlayBike 2
The Playbike 2 is a steel Rigid Mountain touring bike. It comes in two builds: the first is a rigid, single-speed, and the second is an upgrade to a front fork and a 12-speed SRAM NX drivetrain. It is a bit of a chameleon in that it can adapt to fit your needs. Since it features sliding rear dropouts, you can run it geared or single-speed on either 27.5″ or 29″ wheels. The front end can be rigid or squishy (coming with a 140mm suspension fork). Finally, the frame can fit up to a three-inch tire.
Landyachtz 1146 Custom: Cliff Y
An endurance titanium gravel bike. The Frame has some additional mounting points to run the new Apidura bolt-on top tube bag, keeping it looking clean. The build features an SRAM mullet drivetrain with the new GX derailleur and a beautiful rainbow chain. The cockpit has a Redshift stem and bar to keep the Cliff nice and comfy. The bike is rolling on a set of Hunt wheels with Pirelli tires. Lastly, some Lezyne oil slick bottle cages.
Landyachtz 1146 Custom: Gary M
A mountain touring/bikepacking bike. Jones bars. Full SRAM GX drivetrain. We Are One Union Rims laced to a RaceFace Vault rear hub and a SineWave Dynamo front hub. Currently running our boost, steel adventure fork. The owner will be getting a Whisky MTN fork when it arrives.
Landyachtz 1146 Custom: George B
Steel Hardtail with sliding rear dropouts. We Are One Union rims laced to White Industries hubs, headset, cranks, and chainring. SRAM XX1 groupset. SRAM Guide RSC Brakes. Paul Comp stem. Raceface Atlas Carbon Bars. Rockshock Reverb dropper. RockShoxx Pike fork. Maxxis Minion tires.
During my visit, it was apparent that the entire team at Landyachtz is a dedicated bunch and passionate about their craft. Seeing bikes being fabricated a few feet away from a full-service bike shop was something new for me, and the overall vibe of the space was warm and welcoming—a description I’d love to be able to use more in our industry. I can’t help but think some of their success has something to do with their fairly young team, who I can only imagine inject a lot of energy into their work. While the bike shop itself focuses mainly on its own products, it’s also stocked with other components and accessories, including a nice selection of bags, racks, and other bikepacking gear.
Landyachtz’s custom bike program and ability to manufacture parts in house was a total surprise to me and has me thinking about a new steel hardtail for myself. At the time of my visit, Landyachtz was working on their 100th custom bike, a major milestone for the team and what would eventually be a custom bike for their frame builder. A few days later, I actually spotted Gary’s custom titanium touring rig outside the brewery in Powell River, which was a pleasant surprise. The Landyachtz team is also behind the made-in-Vancouver heat-moldable Reform saddle, which is said to improve weight distribution and comfort. I’m currently testing one out and will be sure to report back after some time in the saddle.
A huge shoutout goes to Lucas for taking time out of what seemed like a hectic last few weeks to show me around the shop. The last year has been challenging for shops of all sizes and it’s great to see a team as tight as Landyachtz continue to hustle, despite the current industry conditions. Clearly, there is a lot more going on behind Landyachtz’s doors than I originally thought, and I’m eager to see how their Gravel Guide Series and bike lineup evolve. There was talk of a non-custom, made-in-house offering for customers that value a locally made bike but don’t necessarily require custom geometry, which sounds like a real treat. Follow along on Instagram at (@landyachtzbikes) or online at LandyachtzBikes.com.
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