Hawthorn East’s Bike Gallery has been a go-to for Melbourne cyclists for years. But, to mark its 10-year anniversary, the store spent most of lockdown getting a makeover. Now more than ever it’s a spot for bike enthusiasts to shop, chat and relax – all in the one place.
“The store was already operating on solar, but we gave the space a complete overhaul with new lights [that] operate more efficiently,” owner James Cameron says. “The new floors are … exposed concrete but with a super-jazzy terrazzo effect we’re pretty into.”
With the fit-out changes also comes a new espresso bar that’s open to customers for pre- or post-ride caffeination. “The shop is all about the social aspect of cycling and we wanted a place for people to stand or sit when they had a coffee,” says Cameron.
But the biggest news is to do with stock. Bike Gallery is now a proud stockist of Dario Pegoretti bike frames, a cult (and relatively hard-to-get) Italian brand, which Cameron says was a result of many months of negotiations.
“Buying [Pegoretti] frames outside of Italy was nearly impossible without some kind of relationship with the man and the business,” he says. “We kept asking and finally received an answer at the beginning of the year. The first bikes arrived in August in all their personalised, hand-built glory – only in steel and alloy. Classic-style frames in classic materials.”
The Pegoretti frames are available in an array of colourways, but Cameron says the Ciavete is what to go for. “It was an initiative started by Dario himself. Customers would say ‘Dario’s choice’ and he would elaborately decorate the frames.” Pegoretti would note down the customer’s colour preferences, but then create the frame in his own style.
Bike Gallery also runs group rides, both through the city and Victoria’s High Country. And before Covid-19 the team also organised bike trips all over the globe, from Japan to Italy. For famous events, the store becomes a hive of social activity as fans gather to enjoy wines and watch races.
Cameron’s next venture is a line of casual wear with a focus on practicality. “The range has been designed to reflect the lifestyle our customers lead, rather than the brands they ride. Simple and fun.”