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Hot rod culture has hit the cycling world thanks to new restoration studio Bikestyler Customs, located at the intersection of Larchmont Boulevard and Melrose Avenue. Founded by artist Toons and bike fanatic / marketing guru Jay Swift, the shop specializes in turning Craigslist junkers and sketchbook visions into veritable kings of the road.
The due describe their process as "tailoring for your bike," and their sample bikes prove no project is too big: A denim-wrapped cycle with matching bag; the "Maria", a fiery little number with a Dia de Los Muertos theme; a Spiderman frame with helmet hand-painted to match. They work with everything from mountain bikes to beach cruisers, and they are in the process of collaborating with Buena Park-based manufacturer Quamen to build their own street frame. "Cycing in LA is definitely growing, but it's still such a car city—bikes play 20th fiddle to cars on the street," says Swift. "But the popularity of Midnight Ridazz and Critical Mass just shows how much it's catching on, and riders are looking for a way to stand out and express themselves."