Cycles Bikyle manager Alex Winoski on his custom "giraffe" Drifter

Aug 10, 2019
Cycles Bikyle manager Alex Winoski on his custom "giraffe" Drifter

Alex Winoski, a passionate cyclist and manager of the upscale shop Cycles Bikyle outside Philadelphia, struggled to find a bike that would “last forever” in his 13 years working at the shop and even longer as a lifelong recreational rider. 

“That changed when I was introduced to No. 22,” he says. “The first thing I noticed about the bikes, when I first met the brand at the Philly Bike Expo, was the beautiful anodization. But working in the industry so long, I also noticed the detailed work on the welds right away — I couldn’t find one bad point on the bike. It just shows the attention to detail in the construction is so high.”

Winoski knows that when a customer comes in the door at Cycles Bikyle looking for a new bike, they’re going to trust his opinion on what brand to carry. 

“It’s nice to be able to show a bike like a No. 22 that I know with confidence is going to work for them. With a material like titanium, it can withstand anything ” he says. “Titanium is more compliant on the rear wheel," Winoski says, pointing out that this provides more comfort. "That's something a lot of our clientele really look for in a bike. You can also take a titanium bike on a spirited group ride — we have several at the shop each week — and be confident the frame won’t flex."

Winoski got his start in cycling as a BMX rider at a young age, but found that through making friends in the sport and having a love of the outdoors, he gravitated to gravel and road riding. And going for rides became an instrumental part of Winoski's lifestyle. "Cycling is really an outlet for frustration and anxiety, I just love to get out there; I don’t even use a cycling computer,” he says. Given that his rides generally take him on and off road, when deciding on the right bike for him he went with the Drifter.

“Since I’m not too competitive I felt like I didn’t need the Broken Arrow, but the Drifter was a great option because I can commute to work on it and it can fit all tire clearances,” he says. “When I picked my bike up in New York, [operations manager] Scott gave me the tour of the factory and how the bikes are built. As a mechanic, it was great to see that. It made me love my bike even more.”

Winoski knew exactly what he wanted in his own custom build.

“I started with a stock Drifter frameset, and was really thrilled that I could get an integrated seat post similar to the Aurora,” he explains. “I went with a SRAM Force groupset, and a 1X set-up because it’s easy to clean and simple to maintain. I work on other people’s bikes all day — I don’t want to have to work on mine!”

He loved the purple anodization and on his seat topper got a giraffe decal. “I’m a huge fan of giraffes. It was nice they were able to add that, I gave them artistic license and it turned out great.”

Whether it’s going full speed on a single track downhill, casually riding on the road with friends, or hopping into a local cyclocross race, Winoski has found the Drifter to be the bike that can do it all. 

“I’m excited to maybe do some more cyclocross racing this year,” he says. “Every time I ride my Drifter it puts a smile on my face, but I feel like on a cyclocross course I’m going to be able to learn even more about it and what it can handle.”