Per and Nicholas started Wrench Monkees in 2008, after 10 years customising old off-road motorcycles, Kawasaki 750’s and even mopeds as kids. Their obsession with bikes and customisation started early. Per began customising small mopeds for motocross as a teenager while Nicholas’ father rode and customised bikes for a living but his love for building and rebuilding extended to anything from lego to skateboards to furniture. Through mutual friends, this mutual passion brought them together and after a number of years customising bikes for themselves, they thought they would see if they could make a part time job out of it.
Per moved to Copenhagen in the late 90’s and once Nicholas had joined him they decided to rent a garage from which they could work and store their growing number of bikes. Soon, a part time job of working weekends and nights turned into a full time job for both of them. As their reputation grew for customising old bikes, lovingly dismantling, repairing and redesigning them, so did the demand for them from all over Europe.
They do not discriminate between bike makes or the age of bikes, they often take on projects that include a bikes that would otherwise be scrapped. They have a philosophy of recycling, “It’s fairly simple, we just think it’s stupid to throw out stuff that is functional and could have a new life with a little love and a pair of handy hands. This world has become so much about consuming and flashing your wealth, and we think it’s a pity when there are so much good material being trashed.” This ethos of reusing obsolete, unloved bikes means that every bike is different, and the customisation process can be long and challenging. In the early days they set themselves a goal, “We tried bikes that were really cheap, even bikes that people didn’t consider a nice bike.
The first challenge we put up was to make three nice bikes out of three ordinary bikes that nobody really cares about. We got them really cheap and started converting those, and one step led to the other, and we went to a bike show here in Denmark and the response was very positive.”
There are no other workshops like Wrench Monkees in Copenhagen. Their approach has roots in a love for customisation that was never meant to be a business plan. “We said, ok, let’s keep up and gave it a year. If nothing happened or we didn’t have any interest, we would just go back to doing it for fun. But eventually the bikes were sold, and we got more and more interest from people and from media and yeah, things just evolved pretty quick. So it wasn’t really like a big plan, it was just us doing what we wanted to do. And within a year-and-a-half, Per and I worked full-time with the company.”