If you’ve been in the Nunhead area over the Christmas break, you’ll have noticed that we’ve been making a few changes to the shop. Sure, we’ve reorganised things a bit, added in some more lights and had a tidy up and given the walls a lick of paint, but none of those is the big change. The major change is that we have stopped selling bikes.
That’s right – we are now a bike shop that doesn’t sell bikes.
Sounds crazy, right? Well, yes and no.
A small part of our decision was business-based, let’s not lie – we don’t have the space or the facilities to compete with the large retailers (both high street and on-line), and bicycle sales haven’t ever really formed a huge part of our business. But the main reason we decided to make the change is that we firmly believe that a business should play to its strengths.
At Rat Race Cycles, we’ve have always prided ourselves on the quality of our mechanics. We are one of only a few bike shops whose mechanics are all qualified at Cytech 2 level or above. Our passion is servicing and building bicycles and wheels, not selling someone else’s bikes off the peg. And with only a small shop to play with, it makes much more sense to devote what space we do have to the things we’re really good at.
So, we’re not so much a bike shop any more, we’re more a bicycle workshop. We will focus on providing first class bicycle servicing and repairs, as well as building custom bikes and selling Pete’s hand built wheels. In terms of the shop, we have worked hard to brighten up the whole workshop, and created two new dedicated spaces for our mechanics to work in. We’re putting what we’re really great at front and centre, instead of hiding it out at the back of the shop.
At the moment it’s still a bit of a work in progress (we only had a week after all!) but here’s a sneak peak of what’s going on, and – now we’re open again – why not pop by and see for yourself.
Plus, keep your eyes peeled for our official relaunch in February. Far be it from me to try to bribe you or anything, but there will almost certainly be fizz.
Happy New Year from all the team at Rat Race Cycles. We’re excited about what 2016 has in store for us and hope you’ll join us for the ride.