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KE: Le Domestique’s le domestique.
KE started Le Domestique a few years ago after spending his formative years as a tennis pro and filmmaker. KE landed in the world of bikes after launching his BMX off the hugest jump when he was 8. While he enjoys many of the associated rituals with cycling, KE’s ultimate motivation is going up, going down, then going back up again.
JT: resident image taker/filmmaker.
Born and raised in the heart of Albertan oil country, JT has an affinity for shinny and a strong aversion to lifted pickups. Though his skill set lies in filmmaking, he swears by his ability to make a decent stovetop espresso. JT is a cyclocross racer, co-founder of Ultranaut Cycling and occasional bicycle tourist.
JB: the Buckminster Fuller of Le Domestique.
JB is originally from Calgary but has lived in Vancouver for the past five years. The climate here allows him to pretend he’s fast for more months per year. He’s been a working mechanic off and on for over a decade. Most importantly, JB can pick up an axe and play any Iron Maiden song without hesitation.
If both God and the Devil are in the details, then they must be important. At Le Domestique, details aren’t just part of a checklist, but rather, a chance to be creative and competent simultaneously. Below are some examples of which I’m quite proud.
Tubular tires are superior. End of story. The downside isn’t changing them (tubulars are substantially easier to change than clinchers) – the downside is the preparation: 1 day to stretch, and then 3 applications of glue with a day for each layer means if you want new tires it can be the better part of a week before you can ride them. This problem was solved by Le Domestique stocking some of the finest tires in the world – Veloflex Carbons – then stretching them and applying all but the last coat of glue. That week of waiting is now about 30 minutes.
Have you ever picked up your bike from a shop on a Friday afternoon and within that first few metres of your Saturday morning ride you realize that the squeak is still there, or the shifting is still off? That frustration was one of the original inception points of Le Domestique. Testing is a crucial part of service – running through the gear range in a stand is not acceptable testing in Le Domestique’s shop. Rather, there’s a designated 2km loop with a climb, a descent, proper corners, etc., that all services must pass. Below is the proof – 6 sets of shoes with Time, Look, Shimano, Speedplay, Campagnolo and SPD cleats. Why? Because pedals can tell a large part of the story.
Carbon bikes are ridiculously strong and weak at the same time. Should you clamp the seatpost or the top tube? What if the cables get in the way? Should the bike be parallel or slanted forward? The answer is to use a race stand. It lets one work on the bike without the constant fear (or inevitability) of damaging it your several thousand dollar ride. We don’t use hammers to true wheels, and we don’t use clamps on carbon components.