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Monday, June 17
The Indiana Daily Student

sports

Bloomington Bicycles bike shop open for business

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The old building on SR 46 and SR 446, previously used as a car repair shop, has some new life in Bloomington Bicycles. Bloomington’s newest bicycle shop is a Specialized and Cervélo dealer and RETÜL-certified bike position fitter. 

Bloomington Bicycles officially opened its garage doors to the public Feb. 19. 

Bloomington Bicycles is the fifth currently operating bike shop in Bloomington, joining Bikesmiths, Bicycle Garage Inc., Bicycle Doctor USA and Revolution Bike and Bean

Aside from the difference in location compared to Bikesmiths, Revolution Bike and Bean and Bicycle Garage Inc. — which are all within walking distance from each other in downtown Bloomington — owner and elite bicycle racer John Becker hopes Bloomington Bicycles can stand out in other ways. 

“I truly think I can do it differently than the shops in town,” Becker said in an interview with the Indiana Daily Student on Feb. 12. 

Becker wants Bloomington Bicycles to become a hub for cyclists in the Bloomington area through hosting events, group rides and races from the shop — something, he says, other shops in Bloomington aren’t doing. 

“Our goal is to be a lot more involved in the Bloomington community,” Becker said. “No other shops in town do any kind of community events or events with cycling groups, and I plan to do the exact opposite.” 

Bicycle shops in Bloomington used to be far more involved in the cycling community. Bicycle Garage Inc. and Revolution Bike and Bean supported the Bloomington Classic Criterium when the race was held.   

Bloomington Bicycles organized a race for March 16, less than one month after opening. The event is a self-supported 90-mile bike race called “The Unofficial Official Hoosier Classic” and winners will receive a $100 prize. 

The event was free and open to all. Riders departed the Bloomington Bicycles bike shop at 11 a.m., rode the 90-mile loop and finished the race at the Bloomington sign westbound into Bloomington on SR45. 

While catering to some elite bicycle racers through high-level equipment and racing events, Bloomington Bicycles will also offer entry-level bicycles at low price points for any cycling enthusiast, student or commuter. 

“We’ll have bikes at a $200-400 price point that I feel that most shops in town don’t have and don’t cater to,” Becker said. 

Bikes from Cannondale, a brand carried by the Bikesmiths bike shop, offer city-style bicycles starting at $600, Revolution Bike and Bean’s lowest priced bike is $499.95, Bicycle Garage Inc.’s city bike lineup starts at $599.99 and Bicycle Doctor USA bicycles, advertised on its website, are priced at just under $600. 

Servicing bicycles is something also being done differently at Bloomington Bicycles.  

Becker hopes to simplify the pricing of services, mentioning that other bike shops complicate various quick fixes with different pricings.  

Services such as flat tire repairs, brake adjustments and derailleur adjustments will all be $10 each. 

While customers are waiting for their quick repair, they can browse the large store or hang out and watch professional bike racing reruns. 

With the building previously functioning as a car repair shop, it boasts spaciousness. The main room has a large open floor with bikes and products lining the wall, a separate large space for bike mechanics with an added loft for extra stock and office spaces for bike fitting and employee training. 

Alex Hamilton, a junior at Indiana University, bike mechanic and one of the many Little 500 cyclists working at Bloomington Bicycles, enjoys the atmosphere and added experience of the shop. 

“I think what Becker is trying to create is a cool culture,” Hamilton said. “The bicycle shop is a welcome place, and when I come here, I’m able to hone my experience with working on different bikes.”  

Being welcome — Becker hopes — is something that everyone feels when they walk into Bloomington Bicycles.  

“I want to make sure people feel comfortable being around the shop and asking us questions,” Becker said. 

During warmer weather, Bloomington Bicycles will open its garage doors, allowing customers to roll right into the shop.

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