Total Rush is like the Mercedes-Benz of the bike riding world; it’s where you go when quality matters more than cost.
The Richmond store is akin to walking into a luxury dealer, so it’s not surprising to discover that owner Simon Coffin did in fact model his store layout and experience on top-end car showrooms.
It’s all polished concrete surfaces, hot bikes and open spaces - even the crystal clean repair service area is part of the showroom; there’s no wall sectioning off this area, meaning customers can get a close-up view of work happening.
Since its very early days when the store was on Swan St, Richmond (it’s now located on Punt Rd in the same suburb), Total Rush has been known as a premiere Specialized concept store. In fact it was a global first; the brand’s original 100 per cent concept store, which is a pretty big deal when you’re talking one of the world’s biggest, most recognised bike logos.
Along with Specialized Total Rush also features at its two other locations Cervelo, Cannondale, Look and BMC; “the best brands in business,” as Simon says simply. It’s a pretty straight-forward selection criteria that informs a lot of his decisions - if the brand or product has a podium position in the marketplace, then he’ll definitely consider it. If it’s the best of the best, it could end up at Total Rush.
He should know what makes the cut given his connection to bikes and bike riding.
In the 90s Simon raced downhill at World Cup level. He purchased Hampton Cycles from his parents in 1993 before deciding to expand, which led to the opening of Total Rush in 1997 (Hampton was subsequently sold in 2005). There are now 25 staff working across three stores known as the ‘Rush Group’, which (along with being synonymous with Melbourne’s passionate bike culture) has established a strong reputation as one of city’s best bike fit destinations.
Bike fitting was always something in which Simon has seen huge value. Before the idea of a bespoke bike really hit its straps, Simon began to learn the ropes under the guidance of John Kennedy, of Kennedy Cycle Fit. He then flew to the US to meet with Dr. Andy Pruitt, one of the most recognised and respected names in the world of bike fitting. Simon returned to Boulder, CA some five times to maintain and update his training under Dr. Pruitt. This experience has proven invaluable - Simon’s opportunity to learn from the best of the best has helped establish Total Rush’s Body Geometry Fit as the pointy end of premium, precise bike fits.
It’s that quality of expertise and desire to be the cream of the crop that is pretty apparent the moment you walk into Total Rush. These guys get customer service - they're on the ball, they know what questions to ask, they have the answers.
And is there a better example of customer service in a bike shop than an in-house cafe? Opening at 6.30am and closing at 4pm (perfect Rider Business Hours if you ask us), the coffee churns out super quality Supreme coffee, great brekkies and lunches - take away or eat in (right near the workshop so you can have one eye on your Strava and the other one what’s happening to your bike as it gets its service).
The coffee shop’s a big hit with the bunch rides that roll out from Total Rush, too. Weekly rides on a Saturday morning head down Beach Rd, Tuesday mornings they take off to Kew Boulie. Every Wednesday fortnight there’s a MTB group leaving for the Yarra trails, and once a month a women’s ride meets and decides where to head.
If you’re a Melbourne cyclist you’d be well familiar with the Total Rush kit - hard to miss and plenty of it around! Simon’s wife Francine, a graphic designer, is responsible for the kit design (there’s a refresh every other year), as well as pretty much all the cool creative work for the business.
When he’s not on the floor or out on a bunch ride, Simon’s also kept busy with the other side of the business - running corporate cycling events and charity rides. Given cycling’s the new golf, it’s fair to say this is a major part of Total Rush life, and is getting busier by the year.
So maybe we will see more and more car dealers offering a bike on the roof versus golf clubs in the back...?