We all know that how one can feel when he buys a new bike with clean tyres, stainless handlebar tape from a bike store. You feel special and can’t wait for your first ride. After a few rides, your bike becomes your best friend. After getting used to it, you try to personalize it. A new handlebar tape, different kinds of tyres, a new wheelset and finishing kits with different sizes… All these can make your bike to reflect you and can make your connection stronger with your bike. But then, what happens?
These days, bikes designed for users are in demand around the world. This has just started to attract the current users in Turkey and there are some people interested in it in recent years. One of them is Yasin Bingöl. You should get used to hearing this name baceuse we are talking about a person who is willing to improve himself and has a high order form. If you are aware the fact that you can personalize your bike to some extent, you can start searching for some other ways in order to have a bike just designed for you. Hereby, you will have a bike that you will never say goodbye regardless of its oldness.
We had a conversation with Yasin about his talents, how he started to do this job and his brand.
Let us meet with you and your brand first… Who were you before all these things you are busy with now were not in your life?
I can say that before all these I was a a child because from secondary school I used to wake up early and ride my bike. In my university years I stopped riding my bike for some time but after that it became a part of my life. First I started with mountain bike like all Turkish teenagers, but then I bought a road bike in order to pass through long distances. I can say that after my accident in a muntain bike race, I started to use road bike totally.
Apart from bike, when I was a child I had handcraft skills and I used to like playing with paraphernalia. First I was keen on painting but then it turned into making model boats. I even created my own studio just for this hobby.
When it comes to designing bikes…. Actually, I started to work on this by making carbon fiber mountain bike frames ten years ago while I was studying on my postgraduate thesis. Apart from this, I decided to go through my own way after all my experiences. I reorganized my studio that I was using just for hobby and I bought necessary machines and started to produce frames.
Soulrider… This name should have a story; what was your motivation for both this brand and the whole work?
Soulsurfer was my inspiration. This word is used for surfers and defines the ones who follow the biggest wave, surf for themselves. I thought that Soulrider was a word that could be used for bikes and cyclists. A Soulrider rides for the feeling of freedom, to explore his own physical boundaries and to be on road. Racing and rivalry aren’t in the first place. This is how I spent last ten years; for five years I worked as an engineer, and for five years I did engineering works for my own firm but I never felt any pleasure about creating something. This is the most important reason. Actually, I can say that you are one of the unique people that can understand me. I can understand the things you want to do about road bikes.
Can you please tell us how a frame is created for the ones who want to have a bike designed for themselves?
The creation of the bike starts with listening and understanding the customer’s desires. It’s very important to understand what they want to see when we are talking about bikes designed for themselves. When they make their mind about the feeling of ride, we start to deal with one of themost important things; geometry and measuring. If I design a bike for a person who already has a bike, I can use the same measurements. If they don’t have a bike, I recommend them to see a fitting expert. Çağrı Terzioğlu is one of the most trustable experts for this.
When we solve the fitting issue, we design the bike on digital platform and decide about the tubes’ sizes and types. Then I arrange the fixture, I develop constantly, according to the bike and I cut the tubes and make them ready for seaming. I use TIG seam method. This is one of the lightest methods of steel frame production. For braze-on, I use silver brazing.
After all the seaming and combaining, I start the most enjoying part; painting. I complete the painting and graphic design towards the customer’s desires and sometimes I use my own initiative. I use decals and stickers to make the frames colourful. Apart from Colombus labels, all the other things are made with paint.
How many bikes have you designed so far? If it is possible, can you share the name of the people with us?
I started to design frames in 2016 and these days I’m about to complete the sixth frame. The first frame was for myself. Then I designed for Semih Altunel, Abdullah Kaleli, Serkan Yazıcı, Çağrı Terzioğlu. The lastest frame is for Burkay Günay and he will use it for Transcontinental Race. Every passing day a new name is written on the list.
Can you give us information about the price? How can a person contact with you and how they arrange their budgets?
The price depends on the bike. But to sum up, a road bike frame with calliper brakes designed with Columbus Zone steel tupes costs about 900$-1000$. Also it depends on the fork. They can contact with me via Soulrider website in order to learn more about price and process.