Many people in the Atlanta area know John Rich by reputation of his highly regarded Hoschton-based shop, Oakleaf & Acorn, where he curates a rugged mix of Southern-bred wares and vintage treasures. But John’s passion for the integrity of well-made commodities extends far beyond the four walls of his store. Now, with the help of his brothers, Jim and Paul, he’s literally riding into a new arena: bikes.
John’s a man of many friends and sources, so it’s unsurprising that one day a pal tipped John off to a honeypot of vintage bikes. Often, these bikes rust away due to the labor and expense required to restore them to their former glory. But John’s cut from a different cloth, and he and his brother Paul loved the geometry of the DL-1 frame. They sought to build a classic racer with the best modern day hardware. So the Brothers Rich endeavored upon a full-scale restoration project backed by their family name.
The guys wanted the bikes to reflect their Southern upbringing and the cities which contributed to the project. So they chose Paul’s birthplace as the namesake for the first model: Charleston. The most recent release? The Panhandle, an homage to their fondness for the Gulf coast and good times growing up in Tallahassee.
“Brothers Rich was a way to keep us close and in constant contact,” says John, recounting the challenges and triumphs of the Brothers Rich endeavor. And it’s a nice notion—the project is truly a labor of love on every level—but lest we overlook the obvious here, the bikes are absolutely drop-dead gorgeous. The attention to detail, down to the decals and Brooks parts, is staggering. They’re highly covetable machines—ones that I’m lusting for myself, especially as summer sets in down South.
For more on John and his latest project, check out The Love List.