Bike repair team Handlebars is aiming to help London become more cycle-friendly by turning empty space into bicycle workshops.
Cyclists are already 15 times more likely than drivers to be killed on UK roads, but Handlebars hopes that by providing a support network, it can help make sure more people are riding road-worthy bicycles and reduce the chances of bike-related injuries.
Co-founder Nick Staite said: “Cyclists are finding it increasingly harder to locate workshops convenient to them and they often encounter frustrating waiting lists. Our mechanics are experienced, and we combine their years of knowledge with technology to provide clear estimates and price breakdowns, so cyclists are clear about what they need to spend where.”
Handlebars accesses underutilised space in areas of high cycling traffic and sets up small but fully functional workshops including all the tools and parts required as well as trained mechanics. Lee Askew, former head mechanic of the professional cycling team DHB Canyon, came on board to help ensure the team can service a full range of bikes from commuters, to e-bikes to high-end race machines.
It now has spaces open by Monument Station and St John’s Church Grounds, Shoreditch.
Co-founder Jeyda Heselton added: “There’s so much land dedicated to cars and as the number of cars declines, this is one way to repurpose space which encourages a very sustainable form of transport that needs to grow.”
Handlebars is supported by Brompton Bike Hire, which shares a vision for as many people cycling as possible. It has provided Brompton bikes which Handlebars customers can use as loan bikes whilst theirs are in for repairs.
CEO Julian Scriven said: “I love what Handlebars is doing and it will help cycling prosper. Our compact bikes are a perfect design to be used by Handlebars customers as loan bikes and also make it easier for Handlebars to operate from its repurposed locations.”
The Handlebars team is gearing up to an exciting 2020 where their plans involve growing across multiple UK cities, expanding their mobile corporate offering and supporting bike manufacturers to deliver high-quality after-care on their sales.