Walking into Bicycle Express is like walking into a time warp, but not in the conventional sense of the idea. Old meets new in this cutting edge store that makes itself known at 124 Hallifax Street in Adelaide.
A family owned business, Bicycle Express is run by young brothers Sam and Ben Tregoweth. The boys grew up around the store and have both been working in the bike retail business since their teens. Talking to Sam, you get the impression that he’s the kind of guy who is always thinking what’s next, but who has learned and developed an earnest respect for the business, for the bike, and most importantly, for the customer.
“It might sound like a cliché, but the most important thing for us is customer service; the experience that someone has in the shop,” he said.
Classic Customer Service with a Fresh Layout
At Bicycle Express, Sam, Ben and the team make sure that their customers are looked after, and not just those who are there to buy a new $16,000 road bike. They are not trying to be a high-end only store (although they certainly carry high-end product), they have created a space that anyone can enter and find what they are looking for.
“We had a guy come in a couple of years ago, he was looking for a bike for his kid. He spent a couple hundred dollars on his kid and mentioned he might come back looking for something for himself. He came back two months later and bought a $22,000 road bike. He’s been a loyal customer ever since. You just never know who is going to come through the door, so we always make sure we treat every customer the same.”
When we turned up at the shop they guys had only recently finished re-fitting the entire store. Neon lights blaze in the background, beckoning you inside a huge space; a huge space that is full of amazing product. The carry a lot of stock at Bicycle Express, Ben said that if they advertise a product, they will have it in store. Surprisingly with the current layout, you never feel claustrophobic – there is always enough room to stand back and admire the beautiful Trek Project One Emonda SLR with Aeolus 3 wheels custom designed for the Adelaide Crows perched among other elite machines behind the counter.
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The store is easy to navigate. In other stores carrying that much stock, oftentimes you’ll find yourself lost among the aisles, not sure whether you should be looking at the roof or at your feet. Areas are categorised: ‘Bar Tape’, ‘Handle Bars’, ‘Women’s Clothing’ — everything is given space and pride of place, you never feel like you have to drag out items to get to what you are looking for.
The helmet wall is the perfect example of their focus on design. If there was a school just for cycling, this is where the kids would stow their helmets (not sure where the book bags would go). Shoes are just around the corner so you can mix and match, working out the perfect combination.
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Trek Project One & Precision Bike Fit
On the other side of the store in pride of place near the shop front window is the Trek Project One station. Bicycle Express is the only shop in SA to have the Project One in store. You can pick your model; your colours, groupset, bars, crank length and virtually everything in between to build your own unique Trek with the help of the Bicycle Express team.
Tucked behind the Project One station is the Precision Fit centre where one of the team, Jamie Moore, ensures that customers leave the store with a bike that fits perfectly to their unique geometry.
While customer service is at the root of that magic – a quality that every Bicycle Express employee needs to have – it becomes clear that individual staff members have individual specialist knowledge, like Jamie and the bike fitting. It makes sense: in order to stock products to suit every type of rider, you need every type of rider on the team. Whether you are after a buggy for taking the kids out, or you’re looking at a brand new Cannondale Jekyll Enduro monster, there is someone there to provide you with expert consultation.
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And if it’s a service you are after, they offer a range of packages from a simple tune-up right through to complete clean and rebuild services. The workshop is pride of place, a window through to another world behind the main counter where you can see the technicians working their magic. Once you are all set to roll, make sure you check out the map table; staff are more than happy to point our some great spots to aim for on your rides.
Walking around the store taking pictures and chatting to the team it was difficult not to start dreaming. This is the kind of store that you walk into and later walk out with something awesome, either because they had what you wanted, or because they had something you never knew you wanted in the first place.
Beginner's Road Ride – Every Saturday 7:30am. Easy going ride that aims to build your confidence on the bike.
MTB with Chris – Saturdays by Appt 8.00am. For the mountain bikers: sharpen your skills and familiarise yourself with some new trails.
Carolyn’s Ride – Every Sat 7:30am. For the roadies.
The Social Club – Every Wed 9:00am. For the recreational cyclist.