Monday, June 24, 2013

Visit to Rebound Centre


Visit to Rebound Centre 15th June 15, 2013 , Saturday  (more photos here)
This is really a cool place! 
Always heard about this mysterious place. Where old bicycles get reborn and they work better than they were new.  Such a place is Rebound Centre, located at Geylang East industrial estate.
Rebound Centre address :
Block 1013 Geylang East Industrial Park, Singapore 389725. Tel:67439474
in the heart of an old industrial estate
dusty and utility
This was my lucky day as Gary offered to help introduce me to the men who were known that magical touch. Sulaiman and John Chan.  Actually I reached early and wandered along the industrial estate.  It gave away nothing about this gem of a shop.  Pressed the elevator and it rumbled slowly to the 5th floor… stomach with butterflies as it was very exciting to meet a legend.
At the entrance, I could see action unfolding. I was really lucky as a gentleman came and collected a spanking “new” Raleigh chopper. Hovering like a proud father was Sulaiman relating to him how each bit was restored and how bad the rust was. It was a beautiful sight and the bike simply sparkled. 
Taufik with his yellow Raleigh Chopper 
oh wow.. oh wow... oh wow
When he wipes the greasy finger prints.. he also wipe it so gently with love. 
Handing over the bike to the owner!
We engaged in friendly banter about bikes and he started to share more about himself and Rebound Centre. "It started around 1994 where he went to the states to do a course on bike fabrication.  And later on, came back and started shop to repair bikes. There were so many bicycles waiting to be worked on…  everyone with a particular issue or problem. There were no "direct-plugin solution" a part and get the problem solved..." Related Sulaiman.
“People come to me when they want to restore their bikes. For some it may cost more than the bicycle. They tell me it is for memories and they want to remember the good times they had, with friends and the bike.”  To reiterate the point he went into a room and grabbed one, explaining me the finer details of the wear and tear.  I see the deep intensity and passion of a person who clearly believes in what he does. It’s a good feeling.
Things progressively got more interesting. He showed us the “engine room” where the magic happens.  My jaw dropped. There was a Milling machine, 2 lathes and all adjustable brazing fixtures and lots of old bikes lying around.  
Lathe and many old bikes waiting to be worked on
Miill and a well used one. 
Projects he and his partner are working on
He explained this is a room, which he shared with an engineering company, and the person also happens to love working on bicycles.  The conversation rambled on and he also shared that he can conduct bicycle building classes. Ok, when he meant that, he means BUILDING/DESIGNING the bike from scratch. Not our google for a frame, parts and “building in up”. That’s a whole totally cool thing! 
Doing it the old skool way. One at a time. 
Lug for steel tubes
For the brave and someone who wants to learn and have your very own bike. It will take 80 man hour(min) and $2500(materials all in) to get ur bike frame done. Sulaiman will personally go through the design process (drawing a 1:1 layout), geometry and tube selection, milling, mitering and brazing.  Oh wow… I am very very tempted. Haha.
Its also a museum... George and Gary ooohhing and ahhing
Another very under-looked area is the bike painting room, many out sourced it out but over at Rebound Centre, the painting is done in house.  I saw lots of bicycles in the stages of paint removal, primer and some just gleaming after the paint job, drying it out before the final stage of polishing. 
Check out the paint work. Even the decals are made by them!
Messy but this is custom paint work
It looks messy but I could see the passion for the craft and the pride that is obvious in the paint work. Sulaiman attention to detail went even to retracing the old decal and making new  ones . It was amazing to see this actually happening in Singapore. 
Mr Sulaiman
John Chan
Azmi  
In Summary, if u have an old bike which you love and want to give it a “over haul”,I think it would be worth a visit to come to ReboundCentre.  It will not be quick but I think it will be worth your time. They certainly have the skill and machinery to do the modification and repairs. Most importantly, they have an listening ear(even if u are just an amateur) to hear what you are looking for, the passion to do things right, do things well. Ok, It's not in a fancy air-con place but it sure is a place where bikes get reborn and rebound! 
Thank you Mr Sulaiman and John Chan for explaining,guiding and showing me around the really cool shop.
I really love what you do
. Please continue the awesome work! 

9 comments:

  1. Will be collecting my baby soon from them :) 94 Bridgestone MB3!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Sir Al, I saw ur baby... it was gleaming at the paint room! It will be a really blast to ride it! I think Bromo correct?

      Delete
  2. Yes indeed my dear Bro! Bromo but first Singkep if the winds are kind to us. Great article, as always.

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  3. Nice article.
    If History Channel - King of Restoration can do a Singapore edition.
    That will satisfy many enthusiastic bike lovers here.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. haha, yes definetly and thanks for coming by and reading my blog:)

      Delete
  4. Dear Taiwoon,

    I am trying to include blogs from around our region into my reading list.

    I hope you don't mind that I have include yours to cover Singapore.
    My blogs are under http://ahpekbiker.blogspot.com/

    Should you feel this is inappropriate, do let me know.

    Regards

    Jotaro Zen
    (th AhPek Biker)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sure and I will add yours too on my links as well! Thanks!

      Delete
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    ReplyDelete