The Bike Tree, Dore, Sheffield
The recipe for a good bike shop should be simple enough. Take a handful of sexy bikes, stir in some cheerful assistants, a good workshop and some trick components and, hey presto, biker heaven. So why does that simple formula so often end up as a bland mess of poor service, disinterested staff and grumpy customers? Admit it, we’ve all found ourselves standing in a bike emporium thoroughly dissatisfied and feeling that we’re actually doing them a favour putting our hands in our pockets.
Which is why The Bike Tree in Sheffield is such a refreshing change. Bright and welcoming, full of first rate bikes and actively connecting with its customers and the local cycling community it’s exactly what a bike shop should be. Part of the reason for this lies in the commercial background from which proprietor Scott hails. His former incarnation as a big wheel in the Ticket2ride set-up in Whistler has made him passionate about customer relations. He’s also an uber-geek, encyclopaedic on all matters technical and a passionate rider. Expect to end up in some lively discussions if you visit. Luckily, his staff are equally enthusiastic. Dan, Ash and Swinny make every visit an absolute pleasure.
What of the stock? I guess it’s fair to say there’s something for everyone from entry level hard tails to exotica that will make your mouth water including Yeti, Morewood, Cube, Mondraker, Cannondale, Cove, and Charge. More than a smattering of road bikes, some very sweet jump bikes and a tempting collection of bling components make browsing a pleasure.
The shop rides set out every Wednesday drawing on the wealth of brilliant Peak District riding on the doorstep. The shop is already helping out a number of talented local riders, and if you fancy putting your feet up and watching rounds of the World Cup Downhill with like-minded obsessives, the shop sets the big screen up on race days and all are welcome.
Importantly, the plan is to have a selection of demo-bikes, available at no charge. Now, that’s how you sell a bike. It doesn’t really matter whether you’re after a spare inner tube or a new bike, The Bike Tree is well worth a look. www.thebiketree.co.uk
John Horscroft, August 2010