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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Everyone,
I am thinking of opening a bike cafe and wanted some feed back from the cycling community. If you had a bike shop/cafe would you frequent it or add it as a destination to your group ride?
 

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Cranky Old Bastard
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I'm wondering what you mean by "bike cafe."

You need to create a cafe that gets good business from everyone all the time. Can be hard to make money; often lots of competition.

How about a cycling theme and good, visible bike racks and maybe carpet to make it easier to walk in cleats?

We have a Panera Bread here that is very popular. Huge outdoor patio with plenty of places to park and lock bikes. Hard to compete with that.

And it is always location, location, location.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yeah I am thinking of an lbs and coffee shop combo. The location I am looking at is in a pretty affluent shopping center that surprisingly does not have a coffee shop in it. Plus it is right next to a well used bike path.
 

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Hi Everyone,
I am thinking of opening a bike cafe and wanted some feed back from the cycling community. If you had a bike shop/cafe would you frequent it or add it as a destination to your group ride?
We've got one of those right near here, in Lambertville, NJ.

Pure Energy Cycling & Java House



Popular bike shop, which doesn't do much java business beyond cycling customers, near as I can tell. I can't imagine that you'd be able to pull many "coffee customers" into a bike shop. Which would probably better from a bike shop standpoint. I would be pretty miffed if I were trying to buy a $5,000 bike from a guy who had to keep excusing himself to serve coffee.
 

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Cranky Old Bastard
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Since cycling is such a seasonal activity I'm surprised that more LBSs don't get into other sports/activites that will generate income all year.
A cafe could help you in that way. But obviously, if you're in an area with year-round cycling that is less important.

I've always liked the idea of a bike/hobby shop here in Ohio.
 

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A wheelist
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We have one here in Fort Collins called RD34. They have a bar that serves food and a bike shop. I have been in once and I have never spent any money there. They seem more like a bar hang out for the collage kids then a real shop or a place for cyclists to hang out. We also have Cranknstein its a cafe with a cycling them. I have never been to that one ether. I don't ride my bike to cafes and I'm not a coffee person so I don't drink it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
They would definitely have different staffs. My wife is a baker and would manage the cafe and I would run the shop. I missed RD34 on my last trip to FTC. The pictures of the place look cool though. I also like The Hub in Asheville.
 

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RJP, You beat me to the punch with Pure Energy. And I agree that it's not likely to pull in non-cyclists. But it does nurture a welcoming atmosphere - as if to say "we don't mind if you come in to the shop just to hang out"
 

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It may be better to offer things other than coffee, such as cakes, pastries, and perhaps beer and wine. Just don't accidentally put chamois cream in the coffee.
 

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Since cycling is such a seasonal activity I'm surprised that more LBSs don't get into other sports/activites that will generate income all year.
A cafe could help you in that way. But obviously, if you're in an area with year-round cycling that is less important.

I've always liked the idea of a bike/hobby shop here in Ohio.
There's a shop in Far Hills, NJ that was a combination bike shop - ski shop - fly fishing shop. They just recently shut down.
 

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Cranky Old Bastard
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There's a shop in Far Hills, NJ that was a combination bike shop - ski shop - fly fishing shop. They just recently shut down.
That's a shame. I don't ski much but enjoy fly fishing.

A lot of people don't realize just how hard it is to make a business successful, especially when they sell a product that ties up most of their money in stock.

But I think a LBS/bakery/cafe next to a bike path could do well...with the right staff and attitude and product and service and promotion and pricing and owners' commitment and ............
 

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the lbs - cafe combo is cool,
often tried , very , very rarely successful.

the trick is making it cool and desirable as a cafe which happens to have bikes.

if it is a bike shop which happens to have coffee, you'll never make it in both, since you'll need to pay full time coffee shop employees from day one.

bike sales is an involved task and you can't be switching back and forth from
beans to grease .
 

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Slightly Opinionated
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Honestly, I'd suggest you go with a bike friendly cafe. That way you'll generate regular customers through the cafe's coffee and food offerings while generating summer cycling traffic.

For a bike friendly cafe, think of a lot of outdoor seating, a large amount of bike rack space and possibly consider carrying cycling food (such as cliff bars and such.)
 

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Descender
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We have a new one here in CoSprings called CafeVelo. They are doing well.
Have separate staff for cafe and lbs - in both they have well qualified personel.
In a fairly affluent part of town, up and coming area - they sell high end bikes - cheapest being around $2,000, road mtn. and Tri, BMC, Cervelo and Spec.
Their challege is really space - the need more for the bike shop for sure - and could also expand the cafe.
Cafe attracts healthy hipsters, college kids and cyclists - usually busy. Serve healthy sandwiches and pastries, coffee of course.

I'm in there often as I trust the mechanics and like the food.
They mostly charge MSRP - whhich I think is one of their achilles heels - there are many options for discounted quality parts. They do a great business in repair.

Point is, it can work with research and business foresight. Good Luck
 

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Ride Studio Cafe in Lexington MA has been doing a pretty good business since they opened. Average nice weekend has tons of bikes in front, and the place is full. Weekdays are slower, but it still seems to have a reasonable customer base.
 
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