For those who haven’t worked in the bike industry, Michael Gamstetter’s name may well be unknown. He is, however, one of the more endlessly fascinating people the bike industry has sucked into its orbit and refused to relinquish.
I came to know Gamstetter when he was a staffer and then editor at the trade magazine of record for the bike industry, Bicycle Retailer and Industry News. But to call Michael a journalist would short-change him the way handing your barista a $50 for a coffee and them asking if you want change. There’s so much more to this guy.
For starters, he’s a painter and saxophone player, was a truly badass cyclocross racer and race promoter and hails from a part of Ohio that seems to produce talented people the way LA produces traffic. He spent years in Japan and knows more about Japanese culture than any two other people I know.
In a move that is unusual with established professionals, though maybe not the endlessly curious, following his stint at BRAIN, he went back to school and earned a degree in industrial design. Since then, he’s worked as a product manager for Box Components, Airborne Bicycles and his current gig with a revived BMX brand, Race Inc.
However, as he puts it in our interview, “Everyone needs a side hustle.” In Michael’s case, imagine we printed hustle thusly. After some years of producing period-correct BMX number plates under the monicker 44×16, he rekindled his love of 1980s-era road bikes (not to mention some of the stars of that era). As a kindred spirit, I can say Michael’s love is a little obsessive and has resulted in him producing gloves, bib shorts and now tires meant to evoke the look and feel of the era. It’s his Gammi Sport products that have occasioned this interview.