At first glance Crema Cycles looks like a very well designed high-end bike shop. The type of shop that you would expect to find in a big city, not in a small village located in the Bavarian mountains. But Crema isn’t just a high-end bike shop, far from it.
Ken Bloomer, a former pro MTB racer for companies such as Sycip and Independent Fabrication, is the founder of Crema Cycles. An American who has been living in Germany for the past nine years, it was the later of these companies that Ken started to build a business around.
During his racing career, Ken also worked as a barista and coffee roaster, so not only does the name Crema come from his passion for coffee, but it also forms the idea around which the company tries to operate; bringing people together in a friendly environment.
Companies such as Chris King, ENVE and Alchemy quickly realised that as an ex-pat, he was the perfect person to guide them in the European market. Crema Cycles soon became well known for American brands in Europe. But that was only the beginning of the story.
In 2007 Independent Fabrication was bought by Gary Smith, who brought about a number of changes to the company that put Ken’s business with them in a precarious place. He decided he had to adapt and his solution was that Crema Cycles should produce their own steel frames.
Ken was able to use his experience as a racer to inform what he wanted from his bikes and began a process of prototyping and testing various frames and frame makers. Crema do not themselves build the frames, but Ken works closely with frame builder Mattia Paganotti, of Legor Cicli, in Barcelona to produce the Crema Frames.
Crema was always intended to be more than just a bike company, shop or café – more of an ideal. His dedication to hosting a cyclocross race every year that he calls ‘Crosstoberfest’ (http://www.crosstober.de) is a testament to this. A cyclocross race during the day with a party in the evening at the shop with dinner, live music and of course, local beer. This year’s event takes place on 9th – 11th October and features a weekend full of cross-based activities.
Crema offers road, gravel, cross and mountain bike models, all featuring a custom blend of steel tubing from True Temper and Columbus. Road, gravel and cross frames with ENVE forks start at 2900 EUR and mountain frames start at 1900 EUR.