In all the experiences that I have had with Bikes n Bites, three aspects of Paul and his team have always stood out.
Expertise – Paul, David, Theo, Mickey and the rest of the Bikes n Bites team are experts in their field. They have had so much experience building and servicing bikes that the advice they give and the standards of workmanship that they hold themselves to are remarkable. For example, when I was collecting the Cervelo P2 I was fitted for, Paul was able to identify that I would need two additional 1mm washers to push out each pedal, so as to keep my knees aligned – at that time, I have to admit, I felt perplexed that a clean looking machine like that needed four measly washers to accomplish what seemed to be a jerry-rigged fix – yet, after months of riding almost every day, I have not had any pain in my knees or legs when riding the bike. I deem myself very fortunate to have been able to work with Paul and his team – looking back, their expertise has given me a bike ownership and riding experience that I would otherwise have taken many more months or years to get right.
Willingness to Share – Another reason why I believe that Paul and his team have allowed me to grow more quickly as a bike owner and rider is that they always always make time to talk to me and explain concepts, considerations and alternate options. They are never in a hurry to make a sale, and they have been immeasurably patient with me during those long days when I was deciding between options that could have caused a fair bit of buyer’s remorse if not properly chosen. They are a very warm bunch, and on more than one occasion I’ve been offered a share of the snacks that they happened to be enjoying – freeze-dried durian and some delicious kuehs are what I recall offhand.
Curation of Goods – I once asked Paul if there were any other items that I could possibly need for my bike that I would have to obtain from other specialist shops, other than at Bikes n Bikes – he thought about it for a few seconds before responding in the negative. For a while I wondered if that response was a business owner taking pride in the selection of goods he had chosen to bring in – but ever since I’ve got into riding, I’ve made it a point to visit every bicycle shop I get into the vicinity of and, I have to admit, Paul is right. The articles stocked at Bikes n Bites always seem to be the best that the market has to offer, and Paul regularly seeks out manufacturers to secure items that he believes will make a difference to the riding experience of his customers – this is a man who is passionate about bringing only the good stuff to the local market, and anyone who has had the pleasure of perusing the shelves at Bikes n Bites would agree. The inventory on display is constantly evolving and dropping by every once in a while is always a delight as new, clever items are stocked and ready.
Side Note: Biobike Fit – Oh yes, a lot has been said about the benefits of a bike fit, and under Paul’s conscientious guidance, two Biobike Fit sessions have given me great setups for both road and TT bikes. I always feel seamlessly connected with the bikes that have been fitted for me at Bikes n Bites – they fit like a glove, and I always feel that I am in a strong riding position – and whenever someone asks me if they should consider getting a new or second-hand bike, I always, unhesitatingly, recommend a bike fit with Paul as the first step to determining whether the geometry of the frame they had their sights on is suitable for their physiology in the first place. If not for speaking to Paul and scheduling a bike fit in those early days, and instead heading straight for that second-hand bike I wanted, I would probably have lost a few months trying to sort out my ride instead of enjoying my first few weeks as a cyclist.
Ok, I know it sounds like I cannot run out of good things to say about this place, but I stand by this review as a rider who has benefited immensely from the time and effort that this place has given to me, and also the potentially misplaced time and effort that this team has spared me from squandering. If you love cycling, this store and its staff will make you feel right at home. If you don’t already love cycling, Bikes n Bites is an awesome place to watch a passionate, inspiring, local business in action. Either way, I’ve found that a visit to Bikes n Bites has always been worth the trip! 🙂