Hawthorn East’s Bike Gallery has been a go-to for Melbourne cyclists for over a decade. After a makeover in 2020, including the addition of an espresso bar, it became a go-to spot for bike enthusiasts to shop, chat and relax.
Now owner Cameron McDonald has replicated the concept for South Melbourne. The new store opened on Ferrars Street in May, building on the community and culture of the original.
“With our second store we wanted to offer a personalised experience, one that doesn't make you feel like you’re in a sports store,” McDonald tells Broadsheet. “Buying a high-end road bike shouldn’t be any different to buying a car – you want to feel comfortable that you're making the right decisions about your purchase, and confident about everything that follows [like] support etc.”
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At first glance the space looks like a lofty coffee shop, with emerald-green tiles on the outside and a light, bright, minimal and open interior with concrete flooring and lush indoor plants. And yes, there’s a La Marzocco Linea coffee machine (pulling Axil Coffee beans) for pre- or post-ride caffeination. The coffee's complimentary for customers and available for anyone to purchase.
“The space we have now reflects all our philosophies and feelings; an inviting space where people are not necessarily inclined to purchase, but somewhere they feel at home,” says McDonald. “A place they can come to unwind and be truly comfortable.”
If you are in the market for a bike, the shop stocks brands like Cervelo, Specialized, Colnago, Pinarello and BMC as well as handmade custom bikes by Pegoretti – a cult Italian brand that’s relatively hard-to-get – available in a range of colourways. And there’s a workshop to help keep your bike in optimal condition (just make sure to pre-book your service – there’s no walk-ins).
There’s also cycling gear and apparel, including jerseys, bibs, gloves, shoes and socks. Plus, a capsule of casualwear like tees, hoodies, beanies and totes as “[an] extension of our brand that could be worn off the bike rather than just being about lycra,” says McDonald.
Bike Gallery also runs group rides from each shop on Saturdays, and screens major events like the Tour de France for people to gather and watch the race together. It’s all part of their mission to build community, and a deeper connection with customers that goes beyond a transactional relationship.
“Whether it’s Friday night beers or watching the Tour together, we want our customers to feel as if they are part of something,” says McDonald. “Because without them, this doesn’t exist and we want to make sure they know how valued they are.”
203 Ferrars Street, South Melbourne
Mon to Weds 10.30am–6.30pm