About Toxik Design Lab
Toxik Design Lab is the gallery, workshop, and testing laboratory of one of cycling’s most trusted painters “Toxik Harald” Strasser.
Harald has been painting bikes for more than 25 years. Brodie Bicycles, Rocky Mountain Bicycles, and Dekerf Cycle Innovations pioneered Canada’s MTB bikes in the 1990s—and each designer relied on Harald Strasser to paint their frames.
Today Harald is sought after for his accurate restorations of vintage road and mountain bikes as well as his custom paint work.
Harald continues to innovate. He has successfully finished bikes with glow-in-the-dark paint, and mirrorlike chrome paint (nano-plating). He expects to experiment with electro-luminescent paint soon.
We do not powder coat. Here’s why.
- 1984 ➞ At age 17 Harald and his family leave Austria and immigrate to Roblin, Manitoba, Canada, where he learned about life on the farm and graduated from high school.
- 1986 ➞ Harald moved to Edmonton and later to Toronto where he worked as a bicycle courier prior to coming to Vancouver B.C. in 1991. Throughout these years Hararld was a contributing member in the underground art scene in each respective city.
- 1992 ➞ Harald teams up with Paul Brodie and quickly becomes head painter, then manager, of Brodie Bikes’ paint department. In his spare time he creates art and does graphic design for DJs, bands, and promoters.
- 1993 ➞ At Brodie Bikes Harald’s coworkers nicknamed him “Toxic Harald” for his seemingly contradictory mix of being an industrial painter, a smoker, and a vocal environmentalist. The name sticks but Harald alters it to “Toxik Harald” to show allegiance to both his Germanic background and his ties to Kustom Kulture.
- 1994 ➞ Harald names his side business “Toxik Design Lab” and adds custom painting to his graphic design services.
- 1996 ➞ Harald joins Rocky Mountain Bicycles and adds high-quality production painting and nightshift management to his skill set.
- 1999 ➞ Harald takes time out to go to Vancouver Community College to upgrade his graphic design skills and learn new technologies.
- 2000 ➞ Chris Dekerf asks Harald to join his team, Dekerf Cycle Innovations and Harald steps in as head painter and then art director.
- 2003 ➞ After ten years and thousands of painted bikes, Harald returns to school, this time to learn how to expand his business.
- 2004 ➞ Harald registers his business as “Toxik Design Laboratory.” He moves his paint booth and equipment into a warehouse in Richmond, just south of Vancouver, British Columbia.
- 2006 ➞ Harald’s passion for vintage bicycles and restoration intersects. On a sunny May weekend he throws his doors of his lab open to the region’s keenest collectors and enthusiasts of historic bicycles. Dubbed “The Spring National Cruiser Ride and Bicycle Show ‘n’ Shine,” Harald’s day-long open-house event feeds and entertains bike buffs of all ages. He encourages the community to enter to win a trophy for Best Custom bike, Best Vintage Original, Best Vintage Custom, and Best in Show. The event is such a success Harald makes it an annual event held on every first Sunday of May.
- 2019 ➞ Fifteen years in, Toxik Design Lab is seen as one of the premier bicycle paint shops in North America. Legendary riders, teams, builders and collectors come to Harald for his integrity, artistry, and innovation.