Mission Workshop sets up shop in London

Venture from Chrome founders celebrates opening in West Coast style this Thursday

San Francisco-based Mission Workshop is launching its first international store this Thursday in the Old Truman Brewery in London’s East End, where it will share a roof with hand-made frame builders, 14 Bike Co.

The new store will showcase the entire Mission Workshop range of expandaple backpacks, messenger bags and a newly launched urban cycling shoe that is SPD compatible.

In a nod to its San Francisco roots in the West Coast city’s Mission district, the company will be throwing a Mission-style party to celebrate the opening of the London store, featuring a margarita bar, California beer and a backyard BBQ.

Co-founder Bart Kyzak said: “We felt the time was right to set up shop in London. Over the last 15 years we have been fortunate to be part of a larger network of cycling enthusiasts from around the world. London is known for having a thriving bike community with passionate riders, we love being part of the scene, it was a natural transition for us and it felt right.”

Kyzar and co-founder Mark Falvai founded Mission Workshop in October last year, shortly after the expiry of a non-compete clause they had signed following the sale of their previous business, Chrome Bags, which they had founded in the mid-1990s.

Inevitably, comparisons have been drawn between the two brands, but Kyzar said last year that the new company is “pretty different than Chrome. It's the same people who started Chrome so there's always that symmetry, but the product is a bit more high-end. We're bringing a lot of the outdoor and mountaineering elements into the functional side of the pack.”

The latest product in the Mission Workshop range is the SPD-compatible sneaker, suitable for wearing on and off the bike, which joins the Vandal and Rambler expandable backpacks in the brand’s line-up.

The Vandal is the larger of the pair, and is aimed at those who need a backpack that can grow to cope with additional loads as necessary and incorporates fibreglass rods for support, comfort and improved stability.

“Most people prefer as small of a pack as possible but regularly need extra carrying capacity,” explains Kyzar. “Even with a full load, the Vandal can expand to accommodate an additional bag of groceries or a case of your favorite brew. It easily turns from 1,400 cubic inches into 4,000 cubic inches on the fly.”

The full range can be seen on the Mission Workshop website, and the launch party takes place on Thursday 12 August from 7.30-10pm at Mission Workshop, 13 Elys Yard, The Truman Brewery, London E1 6QL.


Simon has been news editor at since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.

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