Casey Sussman is Mars Cycles.
I met Casey through my friends Gina and Shawn, owners of the King Kog in Oakland, CA. By far my favorite King Kog, as it’s the only one that’s been welcoming and friendly to me, and not to mention the owners, Gina and Shawn are some of the best people I’ve ever known. Haven’t stepped a foot in the Brooklyn King Kog in maybe a couple years now, which sucks, beacause I still have some parts and a NOS GT ‘Zoot Scoot’ there that I’d really like back.
Not sure if you remember I actually helped Gina and Shawn move cross country in one of the first No Life stories on the site, which I need to dig out from the back of the closet and start sharing images from again. Their new-ish Oakland location is amazing, Casey had been building bikes not that far away from the Oakland King Kog at that point. During a visit back to SF a while ago, I borrowed one of Casey’s Mars builds from the shop(thank you Shawn!) to ride around town as a loaner, and have never been so lucky to ride such a steep, and tight track bike, nevermind through the streets of SF(photo by Richard Dreyer):
That bike was so god damned fun and fast, responsive and TIGHT. I still remember hearing pebbles getting stuck and shooting out of the seat stay wishbone. Slightly worrisome, but also way too sick.
Casey, in my eyes, is one of those people that builds bikes, with the end goal, and the end purpose in mind. ‘What’s this bike for?’, ‘How are you going to ride it?’, and finally ‘What’s the aesthetic on this one?’ He also has such a super specific flavor, and it’s kind of spicy to be totally honest. Like good spicy.
Casey’s bikes are so sick. They’re so sick. I’m still kind of hung up on this bike he had leaning in his booth at the expo, and it was a road bike, with track dropouts, and a derailleur hanger, and it was convertible. You heading out to a road crit, then racing a fixed crit later that day? Just swap wheels and some other details, and you’re good to go, no readjusting to another bike.
This carbon seat-tubed road bike is so sick. The build, the build out, the details like the junction box under the saddle, the anno’d hollowgram cranks, the headtube details, even the decals. This bike is fucking sick. I don’t really know what else to say about it. I’m just stoked that Casey is a tall guy, and maybe some day I can get something he used to ride, and put it through the ringer.
Casey’s built a ton of bikes, but you can see a handful more over on his website