Melbourne Bike Shops: An Observational Review
There are a number of things that prompted me to write this article. Anyone living in or that knows anything about Melbourne will tell you that this is a pretty cycling-mad city. People ride with their kids, they ride to work, they ride to get fit, they ride to race and they ride just because it’s considered trendy as hell … fixie, anyone?
That said, an obvious question springs to mind. Who should you see when your bike needs something done? This is, of course, assuming you’re not a bike mechanic and don’t already work at a bike shop … a lot of the stuff below will be meaningless, otherwise.
Also, who am I? I’m a guy (originally from Wellington, NZ) that has made Melbourne home since early 2009. I took a break from Australia during the GFC and went home for a bit but ended up coming back. I’ve visited a LOT of bike shops in Melbourne for various reasons and figure someone might find this info useful.
Hell yes! I’ve owned a bike in one form or another since I was a kid, back when I used to ride to school every day. Since then, I’ve gotten into mountain biking in a pretty big way, including racing competitively for a few years. I did OK, won a couple of races, tried my hand at road riding (I suck at it) and now, here I am - back in the MTB world. However, none of the info below is MTB-specific.
I currently ride Specialized, although I also own a Cannondale and have, in the past few years, owned bikes from Scott, Malvern Star, Orbea, Giant, Avanti, GT and Maverick, to name a few. I have no brand bias, as far as I can tell.
I’m going to make personal observations on the following bike shops in Melbourne. This list is in alphabetical order, to ensure no obvious bias … yet. I’ve had bikes serviced at or have bought things from each of the stores below.
- Bicycle Superstore, Flemington.
- BikeForce, Docklands & Richmond
- BikeNow, South Melbourne.
- Cycles Galleria, Melbourne.
- My Mountain, Brunswick East.
- Ted’s Cycles, Footscray.
- Trailmix, Lysterfield Park.
For the above stores, here are the things I’ll comment on - to me, they’re the only things worth worrying about.
- Staff attitude & approachability (by far the most important thing, in my opinion).
- In-store stock/range i.e. will they have what you want?
- Staff bias i.e. do they listen to what YOU want or just sell you what they like?
- Competitiveness i.e. are they interested in “dealing” if told they have competition?
That’s probably enough, otherwise this article will be far too long … if you’re still with me - woohoo!
For the comments below, note that a competitiveness rating of n/a indicates that a deal wasn’t available or relevant.
Bicycle Superstore, Flemington
Staff 8/10 | Stock 7/10 | Bias 7/10 | Competitiveness 9/10
This store is BIG. For that reason, the in-store stock point is a no-brainer as there’s an excellent chance they’ll have what you want or something that will do what you want it to. The staff are helpful, friendly, approachable & knowledgable and more than happy to help.
My most recent visit was a phone call that basically begged them to perform a disc brake bleed with about 30 minutes notice. Yes, that’s cheeky as hell but they came to the party and had it done in less than 2 hours from when I called them. Amazing.
At a later date, when I was looking at replacing my GPS unit, they were more than happy to reduce their retail price to beat a competitive quote I’d been given.