Monday, March 18, 2013

New Bike Shops! (Part II)

This is Part II of a post about Cincy’s two newest urban-oriented bike shops - Reser Bicycle Outfitters OTR and Spun Bicycles. Read more about Reser OTR in Part I.

Spun Bicycle's front door
Spun is the brainchild of Judi and Dominic LoPresti, who are well known in the local bicycle community for their volunteer work and commitment to bicycle advocacy. Spun had their official grand opening last weekend, and so far they plan to carry Raleigh, Masi, Haro, Surly, Redline, and a bunch of BMX brands. In terms of price point, they plan to carry entry-level to mid-range bicycles, but Dom says he can get anything you want - just ask! He also mentioned that they plan to get close-outs of last year’s models when they can too, so that they can transfer those savings over to their customers.

Additionally, they carry a full line of Diamondback bikes for kids, starting at just $120. According to Dom, the Diamondbacks are a step up from what you could buy some place like Dick’s Sporting Goods, but these will last longer and are at a great price point. 

Like Reser OTR, Spun is also selling used bikes, which I think is awesome. I know a lot of people who are interested in getting back into bicycling but are hesitant to make a larger investment until they know whether or not they’ll stick with it, or even what kind of bike they really want. Craigslist has some good bikes every once in awhile, but it just isn’t a great option for people new to bicycling unless they happen to have a bike-geek friend who can help them figure out whether what they’re seeing is a good quality bike in decent shape. So I’m really glad that Reser and Spun have decided to deal in used bikes, because I think it’s going to make purchasing a bike so much more accessible to so many people. 

MM: Why did you open in Northside?

Judi: It's filling a niche for the residents in Northside, they need a bike shop here. Too many people ride bikes here for them not to have their own neighborhood bike shop. Everybody rides bikes. We're definitely catering to something that's been needed in the neighborhood for a long time. 

MM: What do you want people to know about Spun? What makes Spun unique?

Dominic: Spun Bicycles exists to make people enjoy the lifestyle of having bikes in their lives, and what it can do for them and the people around them. That’s really what it’s about; it’s not just a bike shop, it’s a place where people can come hang out and enjoy bike culture.

Judi: We created a bike shop where people can come, hang out, watch TV, drink a beer from next door...we wanted to make it a destination. We wanted to recreate that bike shop you remember as a kid, the one you never wanted to leave. We wanted to be a friendly shop. Approachable, less intimidating for the average bicyclist who isn't looking to get into racing. We wanted to carry affordable bikes, all under $1000.00, and cater to the neighborhoods needs. There are plenty of race shops in the city we can refer people too, but we won't be selling carbon fiber bikes. Dominic also wants to promote the sport of BMX and so we carry plenty of that as well. We'll be carrying skateboards this summer.

Judi, Dom, and John of Spun Bicycles
Judi, Dom, and John

That’s it for Part II of New Bike Shops!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

New Bike Shops! (Part I)

Last weekend I stopped in at the grand opening of Spun Bicycles in Northside. Spun is the 2nd new bike shop to open in the city within the last year (Reser Bicycle Outfitters opened their Over-the-Rhine location last June). Two new shops have opened recently out in the burbs as well: Freedom Gear Cyclery in Anderson, and a new Montgomery Cyclery location in Western Hills (down the street from Bicycles and More).  

Both Reser OTR and Spun have kind of an urban focus which I think is really cool, and which I hope is indicative of real growth in the number of city residents using bicycles for transportation. The last few annual city surveys have always indicated that Cincinnatians use bicycles for recreation more often than they use them for transportation. But I think we're probably getting pretty close to the tipping point, which in my opinion makes us more of a well rounded cycling community.

As it turns out, trying to write about both shops in one post made for a really, really long post. So, this is going to be a two part post: Part I on Reser, and Part II on Spun. 

Front door at Reser Bicycle Outfitter sOTR
Reser Bicycle Outfitters OTR
Reser OTR's main brands are State (single speed, fixed gear bikes), Public (classic European city bikes/errand running bikes), and Orbea (flat bar road bikes), but they also sell Origin-8 and Torker. And they sell a lot of used bikes; in fact, half the bikes in their showroom are used! (And they offer used parts too!) Below are a few excerpts from a conversation with Store Manager Matt Baker.

MM: Why did you open in OTR?

Matt: We opened in OTR because of the population boom and resurgence of the whole OTR district. The population is growing up on top of itself, it’s becoming more densely populated; I think it’s one of the fastest growing urban cores in the country right now, and there was no bike shop. It seemed crazy in a city that’s this easy to ride around in, that there wouldn’t be a shop in the middle of it. So, we did that. 

It’s an easy city to ride around in; it’s not the biggest city, the traffic is slow and there are lots of traffic lights, and as far as riding in the city goes, it’s safe. Though we’re not known for being a big cycling community, we will be soon. We’ve got all of these businesses moving into OTR and Downtown, and condos going in, and the developers in the area have done a great job with all the low income housing too, so we’ve got a super diverse, increasingly dense population of people who ride their bikes.     
Chase and Matt from Reser Bicycle Outfitters OTR
Chase and Matt

MM: What makes Reser OTR unique?

Chrome bags at Reser Bicycle Outfiters OTR

Matt: We’ve got a lot more options for city bikes, and bikes you can put racks and stuff on to run errands and go into Findlay Market, and get around town. And we have a huge selection of used bikes, and very urban accessories. 

We don’t have any spandex. We have heavy duty overpants that are meant for keeping the pants they go over top of dry and clean in all weather. We have jackets that you can wear all day without looking like you’re about to go on a roadbike race. 

We’ve got hardshell helmets. We’ve got a huge selection of locks that are great for Downtown, not just lightweight, cool looking locks, but stuff that is going to keep your bike from getting stolen – which is pretty important around here. 

We carry bags and baskets and racks and backpacks that are built for taking a lot of abuse and being used on a daily basis. It’s not just that we’re in an urban center, we are urban-centered. Everything we have is meant for real heavy use, and being used by people that are going to be relying on their bikes everyday like it was a car.

Skirt garters at Reser Bicycle Outfitters OTR
Skirt garters
Baskets, fenders, and racks at Reser Bicycle Outfitters OTR

Bike polo hot balls at Reser Bicycle Outfitters OTR
Bike polo hot balls

Brooks gear at Reser Bicycle Outfitters OTR
Brooks gear

That's it for Part I on Reser OTR. Stay tuned for Part II on Spun!