So there’s a new bike store opening in Sydney. “So what”? I hear you say… another bike store, in a market which some may say is already saturated. However, this is a really interesting concept. What they do, is import second hand bikes from Holland. Apparently, the Dutch government gives tax incentives to people to buy bikes, so they generally turn them over quite quickly (and sell them very cheaply). So, what the guys do, is buy a container load (I’m assuming unseen) and ship them to Australia to sell.
I was lucky enough to meet Oliver (one of the owners of the store) at Cycle Recycle and he invited us to have a sneak peak at the store before it’s official opening. (photos to follow) The shop is in Marrickville, an edgy, coming on trendy part of town. The store is a bit hard to find, being up a side street off a major road, however it does make parking easy and I’d imagine it will be much easier to find once there is some signage in place.
Now, the bit you’re really interested in – the bikes. Well, there really is an assortment, in all sorts of conditions. There are plenty of what I’d call your typical “Dutch bike” – not many gears (3 or below), beautiful curving handlebars and an upright seated position. Lots of the bikes have dynamo hubs and front and rear lights, and most bikes have a rear rack (or front basket). Brooks leather saddles abound. The bikes vary in condition – from really good, to well, average, although I suspect that some of them were actually damaged in transit.
There’s also a few more interesting bikes including a recreational tandem bike, and a very large cargo bike and a few touring bikes.
I think it will be interesting how they go. I hope they do well – I like the idea that you can buy a cheaper bike that is still good quality, and the guys that run the shop seem really passionate about getting people onto bikes, and super friendly (I even got to mind the shop for a while), but I worry that some of the bikes are a bit expensive for what they are – I mean $500 for a second hand single speed with coaster brakes seems a bit steep, even if it is in really good condition – I mean when was the last time you rode a bike with coaster brakes? Yet there are also some really good deals to be had – $1100 for a fully kitted out touring bike – including dynamo hub, double kickstand, front and rear racks, handlebar bag and lights seems like a really good deal.
However, the shop is well worth a look. Did I buy a bike? You’ll have to wait and see