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Raphael Cycles: Raphael Cycles // Rafi Ajl:

Exhibitor Tips:

  • Harvard Graduate School of Design dropout turned to framebuilder,

Raphael Cycles was born out of the idea that a bicycle should last forever, that it should be a constant companion on adventure, that a bicycle should inspire confidence, it should disappear underneath you, be a bomb proof and durable machine, and be of art and quality. This machine should be built by a local builder, using the highest grade materials, sized and constructed in a local workshop. Bicycles are a synthesis of art and technology, of the classic and the romantic. I work to instill the absolute amount of quality into each machine I create.

I have been in love with bicycles since I was a kid growing up in Brooklyn, but I got the real itch about 7 years ago. In college my friend Josey showed me a monster of a bicycle he had built, JB Weld-ing a sprocket to a freewheel hub, mismatched crank sizes, no paint to speak of. I fell in love again, fast and head-over-heals. I made my own fixed gear, and the intensity of my relationship with bicycles was reborn. I moved out to SF in the Fall of 2005, and here is where I fell deeply and truly in love. Riding as a lifestyle, bicycle adventuring and camping, being a lead mechanic at a local shop, volunteering at a non-profit teaching folks to fix their own bikes, riding 3800 miles across the USA.

But. I uprooted everything and moved across the country to attend Harvard’s Graduate School of Design for landscape architecture. But I couldn’t stay away. Not a chance. I dropped out of Harvard and made my way back to my home in the West, and dove headfirst into my true love, working with a local framebuilder, and my own hands and mind, my heart and sweat, to learn a new craft.

So here I am. In San Francisco. In my Mission workshop. Building bicycles. For you.

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