PAUL Smith is reluctant to describe his newly relocated business as a ‘one stop shop’ for cyclists.
But given you can also partake in a freshly brewed coffee and snack at the same premises on Shaw Road, the description is nothing but accurate.
From sales, after sales, repairs, advice, finance plans, cycling accessories, coffee bar Paul’s Cycle Centre show room is a two-wheeled world of wonder.
Formerly known as Cycle Tech, Oldham, it is also thought to be the last independent cycle shop in Oldham after the closure of Skidmores on Union Street.
Previously based in Lees, dad-of-three Paul explained the reason for the recent change of business location.
“We have moved from a side street with little footfall on to a main road, into bigger premises where we can offer more stuff – and we are already seeing an increase in traffic.”
When finally completed the array of equipment will be distributed across two floors.
The coffee bar, operated by Paul’s friend, Michael Whitehead and his wife Tina, is already open on the ground floor.
Certainly, Norman Tebbitt who infamously told the unemployed of the 1980s to ‘get on your bike’ to find work, would be staggered in the advancement of machinery, especially when it comes to electric bikes.
“They are going to be this year’s big thing,” explained Paul, a former service manager for Renault Trucks.
“They have gone through a stage where people thought the use of electric bikes was cheating.
“Sometimes you reach a stage in life where you are not as fit as you used to be. Plus we live in Oldham where there are lots of hills.
“An electric bike allows you to carry on riding. You don’t have to have it on full power all the time.
“If you need a little bit of help you can turn up the power a little bit.”
Paul’s electric bikes retail from around £1,000 up to nearly £4,000. He can also convert traditional, human powered bikes.
“Customers can bring in a standard bike and we can turn it into an electric one and it’s a service that is proving really popular,” he explained.
“We have also invested heavily in training with Bosch so we can keep up to date with repairs and the warranty side of things.”
If you are not switched on by electric machines, the Cycle Centre also sells mountain bikes, road bikes, folding bikes and children’s bikes.
There’s a 0 percent finance scheme to offset the cost as well as involvement with the ever popular ‘cycle to work’ schemes that can see the cost of a bike reduced by up to 25 percent.
“We also offer a professional bike fitting service,” added Paul.
“A lot of cyclists sit wrongly on their bike and we have a studio where we are trained to set the bike up to fit the rider.
“We also do bike box hire, we will deliver to homes and we are also working with Raleigh to become one of their partner stores.
“I have always been interested in bikes and initially I joined Cycle Tech UK, the mobile bike repairs.
“I am still a member but as business grew tt got to the stage where I needed premises. These on Shaw Road are the latest expansion.”
You don’t have to make a cycle related purchase to relax with a brew.
“You can come in just for a coffee,” said Michael, also owner of Brewzuki mobile coffee van.
“I know people are always looking for places to meet and something like this is different.
“It adds to the cycle shop and helps both businesses.
“Paul sent me a message saying ‘I am thinking of moving, it’s a long way off yet but would you consider putting in a coffee bar?
“I was made redundant from my job in January and the next thing he says: ‘I have signed for shop, let’s do it. And here we are!”