California shop makes lowrider bikes with expertise and heart

Thu Jul 7, 2016 7:28pm EDT
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COMPTON, California - Mexican-born Manny Silva is known as the "godfather of lowriders" thanks to the custom-made bicycles he makes in the shop he set up in Compton in 1973.

His lowriders, with frames closer to the ground, feature tooled handlebars, detailed spokes, specialized insignia and designer seats.

"The lowrider bikes, every single piece is special because it's custom, hand-made," explained Silva, whose shop team includes his sons, nephews and even grandchildren.

"We fix people's bicycles and we help people to fix their lives," he added.

Creations from Manny's Bike Shop have been featured in music videos and films and sold to clients in Britain, China, South Korea, Puerto Rico and Mexico. He has also made specialized bikes for disabled children.

Manny Silva sits on a low rider bicycle he customized, outside his bike shop in Compton, California U.S., June 3, 2016. Picture taken June 3, 2016. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni