Cyclope Bikes Shop

Sometimes I catch my husband looking at me when I blow my nose into a cloth or stick hair in the compost jar. He doesn't say anything discouraging or judgey, and though his look often covers a magnificent swath of rhetoric, he's quite supportive. When he realized I wasn't using- or buying- toilet paper anymore,* he gamely considered alternatives, waiting an extended period before discreetly slipping out to buy a pack for himself. When I started using honey instead of shampoo or conditioner, he was cool, assuring me my hair still smelled good, "Like a baguette."

In the matter of no-impact transportation, though, my husband is really advanced. He's been anti-Métro since Chirac, he's never had a Navigo, and he found his original bike- a matte black fixie- on Leboncoin. Sadly, that ebony ingot went the way of so many good bikes these days; stolen one night in Ménilmontant. Not only was his precious find gone, but his independence, freedom from traffic jams, and immunity to RATP strikes were wrested away, it seemed, irrevocably. Something more than Leboncoin was needed here.

Cyclope Fixed Gear is caddy-corner to Canal St. Martin, an unmarked shop a few minutes from Republique. The staff never forget a customer or a bike; cycle building is a dying craft in many countries, but here, it's running a 10k, riding a hot air balloon, and taking the stairs two at a time. The boys sit at a giant Mac creating perfect fixies, piece by piece, like Gary and Wyatt conjuring up Kelly LeBrock. My husband chose a champagne frame with matte trim. Cyclope threw in premium wheels and blackened logos for a unified appearance. Here's the finished product:

In the past, I've borrowed friends' bikes and rented Velibs, for nighttime rides along the Seine or heart-stopping car chases on Place de la Concorde. But I never considered investing in one as a daily means of transport. This beautiful, buy-once, keep-forever treasure may change my mind.

You can buy a recycled bike every Saturday from 10 am-1pm and 2-7 pm at 14 bis rue Cloÿs, 75018 Paris. Update: Cyclope Bikes Shop has a beautiful new home at 15 Rue Marie Stuart, 75002 Paris.

*This isn't the method I use, but here's an interesting article on family cloth. After researching the epidemiology of invasive fungal infections in tp-using countries, particularly France, Italy, and the US, vs. non tp-countries such as South Korea, India, and Thailand, I started using soap and water like my Hanguk-in friends. Remember, they invented BB creams and talking refrigerators. What has the US come up with recently? Six seasons of Duck Dynasty?
Paris to Go


  1. My whole family (except me) is biking all over this summer. I really believe it is the way of the future. And it is so nice for a biker to get a bike that really speaks to him or her...

  2. I have been trying to figure out what you mean in your footnote by the Korean method. Unfortunately I can only find recommendations for western travelers in Korea. Do you think you could elaborate or share a link that explains the method?
    - Alaina

  3. Hi Alaina! I haven't found anything online about it, I was just trying to indirectly explain what I've observed in my own experience and my family's experience, without being too explicit.

    Basically, many Asian countries don't rely on toilet paper like Western countries. They use soap and water. Many toilets in Seoul (and Singapore, and Bangkok, and Kuala Lumpur) are now equipped with bidets and automatic, no mess soap dispensers, even perfume. It was weird to me at first but now I feel dirty if I'm out of my house and left only with toilet paper.

    Despite what I've read online, most of the Koreans I've met in the older generation did not use toilet paper. They used soap and water every time, and cleaned the bathroom often.

    Granted, bidets aren't practical for everyone, especially in our apartment, where we rent. But soap and water is. I clean the bathroom almost every day, too.

  4. Hi Ariana,
    I also live in an apartment and really want to compost but don't have much space and I'm not too sure what to do with my compost as I only have two small household plants. We go through a lot of fruit and vegetable scraps though and I hate just chucking them in the bin. How to you compost and what do you do with the compost?
    Thank you!

    1. Hi! I had the same problem. I put my scraps in a glass jar or covered bucket and take it to a community compost down the street. I used to compost on our balcony and dump the dirt out in our friends' garden, but I'd have to lug it across town and my gardienne eventually told me composting was illegal in our neighborhood (which is a lie, and it didn't smell or attract bugs, I'm not sure what the issue was but she removed it anyway). You can use the compost as fertilizer for your two small plants, but you'd end up with excess- is there anyone you can give it as a gift to? I know it sounds weird but my friends hate going to Truffaut to buy dirt for a hefty price... they were happy to accept the compost!

      I read that many small space apartment dwellers like the NatureMill because it converts scraps to soil quickly, but it still leaves the problem of what to do with the dirt after... I'm sorry, this isn't very helpful!

    2. No, that's very helpful - I never thought that other people might want some compost too! Thanks!!

  5. Ariana, do you happen to have the brand name of the various component parts? I'm just starting to look at buying a road bike and am fully in the research stage. I confess, this one is *gorgeous* and tempting me on that trait alone. Or perhaps your husband has a list of must-haves.

    1. Hi Darcy! Sorry I'm replying so late, for some reason I didn't get the notification :( The frame is La Piovra, but they took the other parts from old bikes. I was looking at a white women's one they made from old bike parts- it was like a piece of art.

    2. Thanks so much. Yes, I can imagine that the white one was a stunner. It's such a chic bike (and truly, how often does one say that?)