King Kog Bicycle Shop in Downtown Oakland, CA, has been managed by Shawn Yackle since they opened their doors on 17th Street almost 8 years ago and before that he did a stint working at the King Kog in Brooklyn.
We caught up with Shawn to talk all thing King Kog.
Kali: Tell us a little bit about yourself and King Kog.
Shawn: I’ve spent most of my adult life either here in the Bay or in New York City. Before King Kog, I was a bike messenger in both New York City and San Francisco for about 10 years. We are a neighborhood bike shop that started as the probably the only fixed gear specific bike shop anywhere in the world back in 2005. It was like a small one room boutique type of situation and then we moved out of there and have branched out to all kinds of bikes and services.
Kali: What percentage is still fixie?
Shawn: It’s quite a bit. About 80% maybe and we sell mostly commuter-oriented bikes otherwise. But we are also an Ibis dealer and we carry All City and Bianchi bikes. But we still sell a large percentage of fixed gear, for sure.
Kali: The neighborhood has changed quite a bit in the last 8 years. How do you stay in business?
Shawn: It’s a mixed bag, there is definitely gentrification. There are condos on almost every corner and Amazon trucks on every block. It’s hard for mom and pop businesses to stay competitive and valid. Everybody is ordering everything online.
Kali: What allows you to stay in business while others struggle?
Shawn: We all ride all the types of bikes and love it and are very passionate about. We also maintain a large stock of collectibles and vintage things you can’t just get anywhere or get online and grab. We try to have unique products. We support our friends who make things locally and in California. Hand built bikes. It’s all for the love.