studio ROOK is a bicycle (re)building space & social hangout
Relevant keywords: vintage bicycles, bicycle recycling, restoration, rebuilding, upgrading, problem solving, new and vintage quality parts, nice framesets, commuterbikes, citybikes, tourbikes, grocery getters, bike packing, basket packing, made to order custom builds
A brief history of ROOK
What began with me trying to fix the bike I inherited from my grandfather in order to extend its life (mainly because I didn’t want to spend money at a bike shop, oh the irony now), progressed into tinkering with my first vintage Gazelle road bike in a cramped living room in the summer of 2013. One year later, this tinkering evolved and grew into a basement workshop without any daylight. As such, on Oktober 1st 2014, things got more serious and I, impulsively, quit my job and RestoRokus was born.
Even though the grind called life progressed rather victoriously, that need for daylight grew. The subsequent summer in July 2015, I took a leap forward and moved shop to Goudsesingel 212. All of a sudden, I had a big shop window display which attracted a lot of attention. Combined with some serious studio photography and long nights restoring bicycles, I gained a little exposure. After another 2 years, the space was in need of restoration and a 4 month renovation process began.
In early spring, March of 2018, I started with a clean slate and a completely new shop space — a white cube. Together with a name change to ROOK, it felt like a whole new beginning. The name change was due to the fact that I desired to broaden my perspective, instead of merely focussing on the Resto(ration) part of the work.
With the name ROOK, as short for Rokus, I strive to build a bigger, close-knit, thriving community of likeminded people and to welcome them into my ‘house’. On that ideological assumption, I organised the first edition of ROOK & Friends in the summer of 2019 — an art expo with affordable printed works in collaboration with close creatives of ROOK.
After a 5 year period and a lot of daydreaming at 212, I felt that it was time to take another step forward, for something was missing. At this time, I could not keep up with the amount of noise the shop received. To make things more efficient and less hectic, I changed the direction slightly. In February of 2020, I moved to an ‘appointment only’ studio and workshop at Schiemond 38 in the West of Rotterdam. This felt like a breath of fresh air after running the shop at 212 pretty much on my own for almost 5 years.
The idea of providing the customer with a made-to-order commuter / city bicycle or touring / bike-packing bike was born with a ‘request a bike’ form on the website — a way to specify your needs and wishes to build up that perfect bike for you.
At studio ROOK, bicycles receive a lot of attention before they leave the workshop. Foremost, my goal is for you to feel a close bond with the bike you purchase. My philosophy is that the bicycle is an extension of yourself, something you identify with. The embodiment of freedom. Thus, why not decide on and create a bike that fits you perfectly and on which you are completely comfortable?
Together with a growing community, plans have been made for 2022 to make the studio an even more social hangout.