It's been stimulating being part of the new management team at Naples Cyclery. Over the past year, we kept what worked, added fresh ideas, and changed what wasn't working.
One aspect of the bike industry that is dear to my heart is bike fitting. I genuinely appreciate a bike that fits perfectly, and over the past 20 years, I have honed my bike fitting skills with thousands of bike fits.
For my customers, a bike fitting has always been an integral part of a road, gravel, or tri-bike purchase.
Both pre-purchase to determine the bike models, sizes, and setup that will be ideal. Then, our mechanics build the bike to match the bike fit data, followed by a final fitting when the customer picks up their bike.
When I came to Naples Cyclery, I felt the fitting studio, located in a cargo container inside of Fit and Fuel, was a hidden gem. But I quickly learned in practice the space wasn't optimum. The studio was dark and claustrophobic and had the added challenge of getting bikes and customers in and out of the container. During the weekend, the container door was often totally blocked by the band.
With the restaurant's renovation to Bicyclette Cookshop, I was asked to relocate the fit studio into the bike shop. I welcomed the idea. The challenge was finding a suitable space that worked with the flow of the store.
I immediately thought of a space that was under-utilized in our store's prime retail square footage.
When you walked in the front door, there was a boxed in area (floor to ceiling) that had slatwall for merchandise, and a storage area behind it. The crazy thing is that the storage area blocked the front windows in that half of the store. There was even a door hidden there!
I imagined removing the wall and opening the space to let the light in. We would build the fit studio behind a half wall. I marked out the space needed on the floor with painter's tape to confirm the change wouldn't disrupt the store traffic flow.
I initially thought of having an angled wall that got wider as it went back, but Sue hated the idea, and we settled on having a rounded wall to smooth the flow. This idea was better as it gave me even more space for the fit studio. We discussed this with contractor Gus Barragan (who is also a cyclist), and he said no problem!
Gus and his team did a fantastic job converting the space!
Our store now looks much bigger and has way more light. Since the change, I've been super busy with bike fittings, with many fits tied to new bike sales. It's a perfect space as it is separated enough to have privacy with the client I'm fitting, but it also allows other customers in the store to become intrigued about the process. When they ask me about bike fitting, many hardcore cyclist enthusiasts say they have never had a bike fitting and question if they are even on the right size bike.
I love that bike fitting is now visible in our operation and has become a focal point. Recently, Edwin Navez, the CEO of Assos Switzerland, visited, and he complimented us on our fit studio. We share the same philosophy of the importance of bike fitting and even talked about the interrelationship between the saddle, bike short chamois thickness, and the impact on seat height.
It is so true that the optimum cycling experience is not just from the bike; it's also the fit and even the clothing.
Please email if you would like to schedule a bike fitting or want a free new bike consultation.
Enjoy the ride!