We are not defined by what we sell, but by who we are
We don's have a sales staff...its just us. We stock the shop with the things that we use and believe in. Sharing these experiences with our customers is our pitch.
Joe started 718 Cyclery in his backyard in 2008. Joe has been an architect for the last 20 years at some of the biggest firms in Manhattan. He left the office to make the shop his full time thing in 2013. He also founded a non-profit called Brooklyn Lacrosse, and currently is an (adjunct) Professor at Pratt. The last Van Halen album Joe recognizes is 1984.
Greg has 3 responsibilities at the shop:
- Take out garbage
- Order lunch
- Dont mess with the music, especially if it's Van Halen
Colin is 27. He rides bikes. He works at a bike shop. The convenience of this is not lost on him. Although a "little heavy on the keys", Colin has come to accept Van Halen from 1986 to Present.
Alfred grew up in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and lived there and in Maine, New Hampshire, and Chicago, Illinois. He moved to New York from Cambridge when he was twenty-three and he’s been here since. He’s interested in all kinds of bike stuff. He likes a challenge, and he’s food-motivated. Alfred believes that Michael Anthony is the key to the whole Van Halen operation.
Elori is pretty cool. Waaaay cooler than any of the subsequent front-men Van Halen had after David Le Roth. She's also cooler than Michael Anthony.
Carrot has been more "paws off" since she became a manager and began working from home. Carrot's favorite toy is an Eddie Van Halen chew bone.
Aaron glides around the shop, whistling classic Van Halen ditties like "Ice Cream Man" and "Big Bad Bill". He says those songs remind him of a simpler time, when Van Halen were just 4 guys looking to make their mark.
Daniel was left on our doorstep, carefully swaddled. In the ensuing 18 years, he has learned a few things about bikes. No one sells more Schwalbe Marathons or orders more Breakfast Special #108 for the guys than Steady. Daniel believes Van Halen is some sort of graphic novel.
Its hard to read Dustin. You just can't tell which Van Halen brother is his favorite (If his notebook scribblings are any clue, its Alex!)
Andrew started turning wrenches on bicycles in the golden west in the golden nineties because he took to heart the timeless adage that "a punk's gotta have a trade" and bicycles seemed like the fairest. Many miles and wheel sizes later he still believes a well designed and tuned bicycle is one of life's great joys. He also believes anything by Van Halen from the "Diamond" Dave era is all killer, no filler.
Clay Hartmann is from the norther part of Southern California, and was introduced to mechanic-ing at bike co-ops up and down the coast. His interests include bike camping, vintage Bridgestones, generator lighting, psychoanalysis, and teaching Jackson about heart break. He has been 700x23 free for over 5 years. Clay's opinion on Van Halen is unknown, probably because no one has asked him yet.
718 Cyclery is a full service bike shop in Gowanus, Brooklyn. Founded in 2008, our focus has always been working collaboratively with our customers. 718 Cyclery was founded on the principle that we are practitioners of 100+ year old technology, not the guardians of it. We strive to create an environment where arrogance and attitude have no place.
I was an architect for 20 years (still licensed), and started getting involved with bikes later in life. I was a messenger in NYC in the 80’s, but really wasn't attached to the culture. I started building things with my hands as a reaction to the digital life that I was living, and as a way to connect with a life my hands and I once knew. Now I ride my Salsa Fargo around Brooklyn with frame bags like a backwoods freak.
We are a destination shop, meaning that people seek us out. We are not defined by what we sell, but by who we are. We have built a business around what interests us, and that is the full business plan (seriously). We have determined that getting our customers interested in what gets us going is a way to grow a sustainable business.
We build bikes with our customers, inviting them in on the process. Again, getting them excited about what excites us is a great way to create a relationship that is far beyond a cash register transaction. Buying a bike off the rack takes 30 minutes, building a bike with us draws us into your world.
We are very interested in bike camping, mountain biking and cargo bikes. Those first 2 may seem strange for a shop in Brooklyn, but we have tapped into a desire that urban dwellers have to escape, be it only for a few hours or a weekend. We take trips and go on (off) road rides on a regular basis, which is decidedly not the NYC way to run a shop ride (think Power Meters and pace-lines).
We are an independent local bike shop, and proud to not carry one of the “Big 3” bike brands. We sell what we use and what we ride, which makes selling easy as we have no sales staff. We don't care how much things cost on the internet, because we are not competing on price. We focus on what the internet can't match, which is a human connection. As Matthew Crawford says, “You can't hammer a nail over the internet”.
We teach free classes every week. In an age of “cashing in”, we keep these classes free, as we feel that nothing that we do is very proprietary anyway. Other shops tell us we should charge $5 of $10, and I love hearing that. I enjoy knowing we are swimming away from them and their 1950’s version of Main Street retail. When that student tells their friend the next day about our shop, we get a peer-to-peer recommendation, which is the most coveted referral in the world of advertising. For free.
We have the best staff in NYC. It has taken me a few years to utter that out loud and in print, but if you saw what I see every day, you’d agree. I tell my (bookkeeping) wife that money spent on staff is the best money we could be spending.
My history on a bike is one shared by many of us; childhood freedom, exploration, then fitness and transportation. I was a bike messenger in the late 80's/early 90's in NYC (for Primetime, and later Meteour, until I got hit by a car on Broadway and 23rd Street). As much as I rode, I shudder to think how little I knew about my bike back then. I got “into” bikes after mine got stolen in 2008.
With great encouragement from my friends at Team Lope in SF, I decided to build a bike to commute to my job as an Architect on Wall Street.
3 things happened:
- While building in my front yard, my neighbor asked “do you sell those?”
- I found that getting hurt and filthy was a great counter-balance to my double-monitor desk job
- My wife told me that if I built any more bikes, I would have to get rid of some
Work commenced day and nigh, through rain and snow. There was an endless parade of people who felt the same way I did about working with one's hands.
In late 2010, a storefront opened up a mere 1/2 block form my house. we decided that if we were ever going to make this backyard idea into a shop, this would be the chance to do it. The day we moved it, I realized it was too small for the amount of work coming in. In late 2011 we found a great space in Gowanus, which is where we sit today. In 2013 I left my full-time job as an architect to run the shop full time.
I do what I do without arrogance or attitude, and run my shop the way that I would want my family to be treated. In addition to the bike thing, I also teach at Pratt and founded a non-profit that teaches lacrosse to city kids (www.brooklynlacrosse.org). The shop is open full-time, thanks to my good fortune of having the best staff in NYC.
I think that these gigs really round out my teaching/creative/athletic/mechanic life.
Thanks for having a look, it is greatly appreciated
We do get involved with "deal sites" like Groupon and Living Social to lure new customers in. Coupon waiving folks that are choosing us merely based on price are not a sustainable way to grow a customer base.
Working with Quire, we have developed a way to reward our existing customers.
- Check-in while getting a flat fixed, and the 5th one is on us.
- Check into 4 our of our Free Classes to receive at 10% on a purchase of tools (up to $100).
- Check into 3 of our Shop Rides and receive 20% off of a shop purchase (up to $200, excludes labor)
- Check-in while simply visiting the shop to enter into our $150 Gift Card drawing on 12/1/16...just in time for the holidays!
The Check-in process is simple, seamless and requires no app or intrusive download. Just text the provided code to our rewards phone number (details in shop and/or at events)
All bikes left 72 hours after completion notification will incur a $5/day charge. After 30 days, the bike will be donated.
If you are not entirely satisfied with your purchase, simply return the unused item in its original packaging within 30 days. A receipt is required for all returns and exchanges. Opened items return is at the sole discretion of the shop, and may be issued as store credit. Refunds will be issued in the same method of payment as the original payment. Returning bikes is at the sole discretion of the shop.
The perfect gift for the bike-loving people on your list. Buy online, call it in, or stop by the shop. We will mail this card anywhere. Gift Cards are good for in-store purchases only.