The official opening for the Cyclefit store and bike fitting studio in Manchester was carried out yesterday by Jens Voigt. The former Trek Factory Racing pro, famous for his heroic lone breakaways in the Tour de France, served coffee and cake to some of the 100 customers who turned up for the opening. The store has been up and running for nine weeks and is the northern branch of the Covent Garden Cyclefit business which was founded by Phil Cavell and Julian Wall in 2002.
Voigt was also present at an evening party held in the 3,500 sq/ft store, which is housed in a Grade II Listed former yarn mill in Manchester's now trendy Northern Quarter.
Wall said: "We wanted Jens Voigt to open the store because he is very popular. There's also a tie-in with Trek bicycles, and we also do the bike fits for the Trek Factory Racing Team, including doing bike fits on Jens."
Cyclefit's new store has two bike fitting studios, and a workshop. Cyclefit stocks frames from Parlee, Seven, Passoni and bikes from Trek, Cervelo and BMC. It is also soon to stock Storck bikes, and new to the store are handbuilt steel frames from Honey Bikes of Boston, USA. The first three Honey frames arrived yesterday and were unboxed to "ooohs and aaahs" from Cyclefit staffers.
Prices for Cyclefit's services are on a blackboard behind the shop's till. A standard bike fit – with a qualified physiotherapist – costs £250. A bike fit along with saddle pressure mapping costs £295. A full service for a bicycle costs £150. Cavell told BikeBiz that the London store generates 80 percent of its turnover from retail and twenty percent from bike fitting.
What Cyclefit doesn't have, and which is now almost essential in any upscale bike shop, is an espresso bar. Why not?
"There's a great cafe next door to us," said Cavell. "In fact, Ezra and Gil is doing the catering for today's launch. We don't want to duplicate, we want to be good neighbours."