Despite the image of a certain yellow jersey saturating the media of late, it’s not a sea of lycra that confronts you when you see a bunch of cyclists on their morning commute. It’s jeans and leather boots, floral dresses and sandals, business suits and brogues.
As cycling has become the transport mode of choice for the everyday commute, particularly among inner city residents, we can’t help put notice the sea of bikes – in various colours, sizes and styles – flying past at most corners around peak hour.
Mark Johnson, the co-owner of Bicycle Recycle (otherwise known as second hand bike lover’s paradise) in Moorabin, says there has been a huge increase in dedicated riders putting more effort into custom builds.
“The joy of completing a re-build is a big reason for our sales,” he says. “As well, it seems that fitness and ease of maintenance are two other major reasons. Our customers come from all over the city."
Bill Bretherton, from Human Powered Cycles in Thornbury – which services all types of bikes and sells parts and accessories – agrees, saying that while off-the-shelf sales have plateaued, a tailor-made bike feels more special and personal, suiting the rider and the road usage, and that is what people are after when they ride their bike on the daily.
With this in mind, we've picked out a few places around town where you can get your tyres pumped, brakes checked and bolts tightened.
72a South Road, Moorabbin
(03) 9555 8692
Open: Mon to Fri 9am–5pm, Sat 9am–4pm
Bicycle Recycle has a fully equipped workshop that fixes and services all types of bikes. The store sells new bikes but is also Melbourne's premier second hand bike retailer.
Human Powered Cycles
562 High Street, Thornbury
(03) 9029 6504
Open: Mon to Fri 8am–6pm, Sat 10am–5pm
Human Powered Cycles runs bike maintenance sessions and provides hire bikes. They stock plenty of parts and service old and new bikes.
27 Swan Street, Richmond
(03) 9429 6889
Open: Mon to Fri 8am–6pm, Sat 9am–12.30pm
The Abbotsford Cycles workshop is as well equipped as you can get, and a Mecca for single speed enthusiasts. Check them out if your converting your bike to single speed.
112 Carlisle Street, St Kilda
(30) 9537 0522
100 Park Street, South Melbourne
(03) 9696 8588
Open: Mon to Fri 9am–6pm, Sat 9am–5pm
Formerly Spoke(n), BikeNow services all types of bikes and also provides onsite servicing. The store offers bike hire for road bikes, city bikes and mountain bikes.
The Bike Shed at CERES
Corner of Roberts Street and Stewart Street, Brunswick East
(03) 9389 0100
Open: Fri 11am–5pm, Sat 11am–5pm, Sun noon–4pm
A $10 per year membership gets you unlimited access to bike tools. It's run by volunteers who don't fix your bike, but teach you how to do it yourself.
851 Nicholson Street, Carlton North
(03) 9381 0088
Not only does Velo Cycles provide professional bike maintenance training, but has a mobile mechanic that services employees' bikes while they are at work.