There is a kind of magic that exists within the confines of all bike shops. The scents of rubber, oil and metal come together to take your imagination for a ride that preempts the many rides those brand new bikes are destined to take at the hands of their future owners.
Cape Town has a good spread of excellent bike shops, both physical and online. A short while ago I posted a picture of my new road bike (and still current fling!), and it was during the search for this perfect machine that I had cause to visit many of them. This post, then, will be the first in a series of authentic, first-hand accounts of what each of our city's bike shops has to offer. Call it a series of reviews, if you will.
First, though, I need to make full disclosure: As I've already mentioned, I did buy a bike - and boy oh boy is it a beauty. 2011 Giant TCR aluxx sl, 65cm (to go with my extra long limbs!) with Shimano 105 group-set. I could go on for days about the bike - and probably will post a full write-up once I've spent more time in the saddle. I bought the bike from Olympic Cycles, but I won't factor this into my reviews - I promise!
33°55'26.36" S 18°24'54.86" E
Dubbed "Cape Town's Coolest Bicycle Store", Revolution Cycles owes its name to the inspiration its owner received from Che Guevara's "Motorcycle Diaries" and the Cuban revolution. The clearly visible store-front is situated near the top of Bree Street. (Full marks for ease of access and parking!)
The first thing you'll notice about Revolution Cycles is how friendly the proprietor and staff are. They really capture the ethos of the "LBS" (Local Bike Store, for those who haven't encountered the acronym - yet).
The store stocks mostly mountain bikes, but every time I've visited there have been a couple of delectable road bikes on display and even the odd fixie! The ratio between road bikes to mountain bikes reflects sales trends: I was told that 5 mountain bikes are sold for every road bike! (I've often wondered why - any comments?)
The shop sells all the accessories, magazines, supplements and apparel one could ask for. Revolution Cycles has clearly paid a lot of attention to its branding and it's even possible to pick up Revolution Cycles branded clothing bearing iconic references to Che.
Usefully, the store stocks a selection of highly desirable Thule bike carriers - the best in the market for securing precious cargo to our second-favourite modes of transport!
Revolution stocks Specialised, Schwinn, Rocky Mountain, Merida and Felt bikes, at prices which one would reasonably expect to pay for these mid- to high-end machines. They also sell second hand bikes on behalf of private owners. All second hand bikes are given a full service to ensure they're in top working order. Not surprisingly, the store boasts a full workshop.
In my opinion, Revolution Cycles covers all the bases and adds to the mix ease of access and a very friendly owner. What's more, the shop has the atmosphere of a place where, even if business was slow (which it doesn't ever seem to be) the staff would still arrive early and leave late. To sum up, it's possibly the finest example of an LBS in the city bowl.
|Revolution Cycles, almost on the corner of Bree and Pepper|