New kid on the block, and sad to see one going.

On Thorndon Quay we Wellingtonians have a new bike shop. iRIDE have been open since just before Christmas. I haven’t been inside, and I can’t yet comment on their service, but they are carrying Globe bikes for sale and for hire. Globe is the city bike range from Specialised. It’s great to see practical upright city bikes for hire in town.

Bike Barn in liquidation

In other local bike shop news, I am sorry to hear that we are losing Bike Barn on Wakefield Street, who have gone into liquidation. I have dropped into Bike Barn on several occasions and found the guys there a brilliant help with impromtu bike repairs. They very rarely charged much (and sometimes nothing) for their help, and it seemed that they wanted to share their expertise rather than just sell some product. Perhaps this was their downfall.

I’ll need to find a new friendly shop in the city for these unanticipated events. I’ve had quite discouraging experiences in another city centre bike shop. I was looking for a replacement bolt for my mudguard stays, but my request for help was brusquely dismissed, as the salesman made a dash past me to a mature gentleman browsing among the high end road bikes. Now of course the sting in the tale for the salesman was that the mature gentleman in among the road bikes was my Dad who was just passing time waiting for me. The salesman apologised to my Dad for not being able to help me, and my permanent loss as a customer was finalised.

So I tried Bike Barn who were brilliant. The assistant spent some time searching catalogues, phoning their supplier to check on the dimensions, and ordering the item in for me. And all for a grand total of $10. Shame to see them go.

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14 thoughts on “New kid on the block, and sad to see one going.

  1. In theory I think single speed city bikes are neat. But in Wellington? I’d like to see you explore this more. I can just about imagine one of the modern internal gear hubs being usable in our hilly terrain — I dream of getting around the city with one of those flash 8 speed systems — but I struggle to imagine how a city bike like the Globe can work for the majority of us who don’t live in Te Aro or Newtown.

    Bummer about your bike shop experience. Name and shame, I say.

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  2. Lesley

    I have no particular axe to grind about Globe, but some of there models do have 7 or 8 speed derallieres. I’m not sure about the ones they are hiring at iRIDE though.

    I agree about bike gearing systems. What I’d like is a city bike with 21 gears AND a chainguard. But this seems to be the holy grain of the urban cyclist. I end up having 2 bikes. One with baskets, 7 hub gears and a chainguard for city shopping trips. For hills I have a 27 geared bike, but my clothes get filthy when I ride this meaning it’s impractical for most rides.

    Yes, good topic for a post, I’d say.

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  3. Glen

    Having a 21-27 gear dérailleur doesn’t necessarily make it better than a 7-8 gear hub on hills. For a start, you’ll probably find that typically about half of your front-back dérailleur gear combinations are either unusable or repetitive. And more important is over what range your high and low gears span in each case. So long as you can crawl up the steep hills in low gear and zoom down them in high gear then a hub may work just fine.

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  4. Bullitt

    Single speeds are still useable in Wellington. Last year I regularly rode a 42/17 single speed up Brooklyn Hill.

    Keep hoping a Wellington Bike shop will start stocking bikes that are abit out the traditional. Might be waiting awhile for a Pashley dealer though…

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  5. Megan

    Such a shame to hear that Bike Barn is out of the picture. On a recent bike shopping adventure, they turned out to be the friendliest and most helpful and ultimately got our money for a beautiful single-speed Marin. (I’ve been intending to gush about it in a post but it’s my partner’s ride and I can’t really get him off it.) We haven’t been on Wellington’s highest hills on it yet, but as San Francisco transplants, we’ve both experienced big hills on single-speeds and heavy three-speed cruisers without a problem. If I can’t make it up a hill, I walk. Sometimes I walked faster than the guy spinning spinning spinning along in first gear!

    Not to sound too fickle about the loss of Bike Barn, but ooh, a Pashley dealer would be nice.

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    1. At the risk of spamming this thread, we have Pashleys in stock here in Chch. We’re currently a bit light on the womens models, which comprise about 85% of our Pashley sales, but more are arriving in 6- 8 weeks. See them here: http://www.velo-ideale.com and tell your favourite bike shop (we have deals for them) that you want to too see them on the shop floor 🙂
      If they’re not interested, we’ll sell you one via the web and can get it all ready to ride via a mechanic in Wellington (or wherever you are).

      “If I can’t make it up a hill, I walk.”
      Love this comment. I used to be such a gear nerd, but after spending time riding fixed and other single-speed bicycles, I no longer stress about the number of gears. Hey, it’s just a bicycle. If adventurous types took off ’round the world on Penny Farthings more than a century ago, a commute or trip to the shops/cafe/waterfront/etc. on a simple bicycle isn’t such a big deal.

      And now when I foot it, it’s “walking up the hill with a bicycle”, not “pushing the bike”. Only semantics I know, yet it changes my attitude and I don’t have any hang-ups about not riding every inch of the hill. And as Megan writes: “Sometimes I walked faster than the guy spinning spinning spinning along in first gear!”

      Sometimes less is more, a simple bike is a low maintenance bike (ask any s/speeder of fixed gear rider)

      Oops, mustn’t rant! Pedal on, David

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  6. Joan Robb

    “Bolt for mudguard”
    Most bike shops are good with little bits.
    However you want to explore nuts and bolts places who are usually pretty good.

    Avoid the ones who want a minimum order of $20 plus.

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  7. atom

    i just made a phone call to the local bike-barn, and it seems that rumors of their demise are premature. i’m not entirely clear on this, but i think they’re now owned by a bicycle distributor, and the plan is to maintain bike-barn as a retail outlet. the guy at the shop seemed confident that they’ll be sticking around, and he’s expecting new inventory within the next few days.

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  8. Pingback: Cycling in Wellington

  9. Amy

    Yeah shame about Bike Barns liquidation. Shame I had a bike on lay-buy there and I have lost $200 as they sold my bike and have no money to pay me back. Bad taste in my mouth as I wasn’t warned of this grrrrr!

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