Sanny takes a step into the alternative bike world of Ben Cooper. What he finds is that it isn’t just about the bike. Not even close.
Words & Photography Sanny
I first came across Ben and his Glasgow-based shop Kinetics many moons ago when he started plying his somewhat-removed-from-mainstream bikes and accessories in a small row of shops just down the road from my parents’ house. Aside from his infectious enthusiasm, I was struck by just how much of a practical problem-solver he is for all things mechanical and electrical and by his love of engineering and industry. While some of us lusted over the latest Deore XT-sporting, Tange Prestige ultralight race frame from some obscure US manufacturer, Ben was already into gearbox hubs, dynamo lights and recumbents coming out of Germany. While most bike shops would be offering fairly standard servicing and repairs, Ben was getting acquainted with a welding torch and soldering iron. Not for him the standard puncture repair and gear adjustment. Rather, if you had a problem that nobody else could solve, like The A Team, Ben would be the man to call. Fitting discs to a Brompton? Sure, no problem. Want to cut your frame in half and fit S&S steel couplings for pain-free flights? He could do that too. Long before drones were a thing, Ben was already building and piloting them himself. You get the picture.
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