The Tale of a Hard Working Bike Mechanic.

Not always as miserable 😁

A little over 5 years ago your intrepid voyager (see above) took a huge risk and left a secure and well paid job……. Why??? It’s a question that I haven’t asked myself in a very long time. There isn’t really an answer other than to follow a dream. Which is a good lead in to say that dreams can also become nightmares too.

I not only gave up a well paid secure job, but I took a chance that I could become a successful business owner.

Success – the accomplishment of an aim or purpose.”there is a thin line between success and failure”

In may ways I do think that I’ve achieved my initial goal. Though in doing so a number of further lessons have been learned. Being successful in business is not guaranteed simply because you have a good idea/product or service.

Many other things come to light on that journey. The relationships you damage, the negative impact of those that want you to fail! The joy in helping those that value what you do, your advice and of course skills. But of course that doesn’t pay the bills. The simple day to day struggles of earning a living from something you have a talent and passion for.

During my journey through self employed shop ownership I’ve made more friends than I’ve lost. I still love what I do, but it seems that I will have a decision to make about the future of Steel Town Cycles next year. We have lots of great customers and plans to expand into bike sales, new and good quality second hand, if there’s a demand. We’ll leave the BSO’s to others.

We sell so much more than I think a lot of folks know. But because it seems many don’t want to come to an independent specialist shop and would rather spend online with a faceless company not even owned by cyclists anymore. We aren’t just a normal bike shop and have just as many lady customers as gentlemen. Many of our North East cycle shop institutions have gone. Many in the last few years. The independent bike shops that I knew when I was first starting out as a green cyclist. I hope that I’ve inspired my customers like those shops did for me. No question will ever be a silly one and you might leave us with a new found inspiration to get on your bike. If you have then we are doing our job right.

Plans for 2022

We’ll be starting early bird sales through January and February 2022, on accessories. (Only available in the shop)

In February/March 2022, we’ll be introducing a loyalty scheme to enable our customers to benefit from savings on parts and accessories and get additional offers throughout the year.

This may seem like a bit of a rant but I think I’ve been polite long enough. These online sales platforms are already damaging our high street with many big name brands focusing on out of town or city centres forcing rents up in those smaller towns and leaving many units empty. Leading to the consumer to be often heard to say “ I shop locally where I can” or “there’s nothing in my town centre, so I have to go to the next big town or city” There simply is no incentive for these NAMES to risk putting a store in a town where their research shows they won’t be successful.

The next generation of Steel Town Cycles professional mechanic?

More eBikes more maintenance………

Bikes are not getting simpler by any means at all. Many eBikes have mechanical gear and braking systems. The drive units do break and cannot be fixed by untrained amateurs. There’s a growing number of trained specialists that can repair broken drive units. Like many other things buying an eBike from a dealer ensues that prices come within the realm of the wider population. DIY kits and the sellers of such are not recommended. Many are illegal to use anywhere other than private land and with the land owners permission. This is due to being rated above the 250w motor size limit in the UK. I’ve personally seen machines with 1000W + motors. Though obviously not worked on them. These are designed for use on eCargo bikes and eRickshaws.

Illegal practices such as overriding the speed limiter can and will be detected by professionals. This invalidates warranty, a professional shop/bike mechanic can refuse to work on the bike, which means even routine repairs and by knowingly using a machine in this condition the rider can be fined and be prosecuted for the use of an untaxed and uninsured vehicle on the roads. Oh and Bridleways are public too so it’s illegal to ride there too.

Steel Town Cycles hope to be serving the local community and beyond for many more years to come. To do this we need your support and the support of your friends and family. We aren’t JUST a service and repair shop. We are a real bricks and mortar SHOP. We cater for all types and makes of bike from the kids and family bikes to commuters and racing cyclists on or off road. If we don’t have what you’re looking for in the shop we can usually order it for next day delivery. As I’ve already said though we have much more than many think.

We are trying to educate our friends and customers old, new and beyond that we are open for business and worth looking for. Once you’ve found us you’ll not need to go anywhere else.

Steel Town Cycles can be found at Unit 4, 25-27 Derwent Street, Blackhill. DH8 8LR

phone 01207258270

Thank you for reading Kind Regards Steel Town Cycles.

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