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  1. #1
    Senior Member datlas's Avatar
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    Phoenixville, PA - Phoenix Cycles - Closed?!?

    Anyone know what happened??

    There were two co-owners, Roy and Chet. I really like Roy, he was an amazing wrench who helped me build up my Habanero Ti frame a few years ago. He seemed to vanish from the scene some time last year, but the shop was still open and seemingly operating normally. I asked what happened to Roy but was only told he was no longer there.

    I didn't really know Chet as well, he seemed to be more the "businessman." The shop used to be called "The Bike Barn" and was in a barn-like building outside of town for many years, then about 3 years ago it moved into new digs downtown. I used to swing by every now and then to buy swag or just talk bikes.

    But...

    The store is now all shut down, but the stock is still there, and the front doors have papers showing a "Sheriff Sale." I noticed the owners listed on the Sheriff Sale Form included BOTH Roy and Chet.

    I hope that if the store is sold, it is sold to a bicycle lover...
    Quote Originally Posted by RUOkie View Post
    never underestimate the idiocy of BF.

  2. #2
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    Sounds like they didn't pay their bills.

  3. #3
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    When my wife and I ride the SRT we work out of the Longford Road dog parks. When we head home we go through Phoenixville. Last year we stopped in that store. It looked as if everything was road bike oriented. Wife and I are in our early 70's. Once in the store the staff literally ignored us. No can I help you approach. So we just turned around and walked out. Several other people we ride with on the trail had the same experience.

    Last year there were a lot of bike shops in a bind. Large stocks of expensive road bikes that nobody seemed to want. Here at my local LBS they had signs on some telling you to make an offer. Another LBS we frequent in Montgomery had the same thing.

    People we ride with who are into road bikes would comment about going to Performance in Wayne or up in Allentown claiming a better selection and better pricing.

    A small old bike shop on the main street in Phoenixville also folded last year and another on Ridge Pike near Norristown.

    According to my local LBS the road bike business was way down while hybrid and comfort bike sales were up.

  4. #4
    Senior Member datlas's Avatar
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    I agree that the shop in question definitely catered towards the "high end" road cyclists and triathletes. I think that's partly because that's where the money is/was, but also because the shop on the other side of the street (I forget its name but it also folded) catered more towards the BMX and utility riders.

    Sadly, now downtown Phoenixville has no bike shops at all...but hoping there will be a buyer for Phoenix Cycles. So it can rise from the ashes yet again (sorry, could not resist the metaphor).
    Quote Originally Posted by RUOkie View Post
    never underestimate the idiocy of BF.

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    Quote Originally Posted by datlas View Post
    I agree that the shop in question definitely catered towards the "high end" road cyclists and triathletes. I think that's partly because that's where the money is/was, but also because the shop on the other side of the street (I forget its name but it also folded) catered more towards the BMX and utility riders.

    Sadly, now downtown Phoenixville has no bike shops at all...but hoping there will be a buyer for Phoenix Cycles. So it can rise from the ashes yet again (sorry, could not resist the metaphor).
    My wife and spend a lot of time on the SRT out of Port Providence. During the past year we noticed fewer road bikers on the trail. We don't see near the number of group rides that we used to see. We have used that trail for 10 years now. At the same time we see a dramatic increase in the number of hybrids and comfort bikes on the trail. The customer base changed for some of the bike stores that concentrated on road bikes and they ran into serious cash flow problems. The LBS we buy our clothing at had this problem. A lot of money tied up in high end road bikes that simply were not selling.

    The LBS that I have used for 10 years had to diversify into fitness equipment to survive the usual winter sales slump. This past winter was long and bitter. We had snow on the ground for close to 3 months. Really killed the bike business at the LBS.

    I suspect that the fixed costs involved with the shop in downtown Phoenixville may have sealed their fate.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
    Sounds like they didn't pay their bills.
    Didn't pay their rent, didn't pay their suppliers, didn't pay their taxes.... Had a lousy business plan.... Wait a minute... I don't think they had a business plan.

    There was a lot of shady stuff going on there. Very little of it was Roy's fault.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bobby Peru View Post
    Didn't pay their rent, didn't pay their suppliers, didn't pay their taxes.... Had a lousy business plan.... Wait a minute... I don't think they had a business plan.

    There was a lot of shady stuff going on there. Very little of it was Roy's fault.
    Following up on my previous post... Chet is a total fraud. I worked for him a while ago so I know. He has just enough knowledge about bikes to make him dangerous. And he seems to have no knowledge of how to run a business (which is obvious now because they are closed and owe money out the wazoo).

    He would talk and talk and talk but if you listened to him he really didn't know what he was talking about. Just a bag of hot air. People would ask him why he only sold Specialized and he would reply: "Because they make the best bikes." That's it? People would accept this answer? It's BS. The reason he only sold specialized is because no one else would sell to him. His credit was crap.

    Don't get me started on why he didn't know his market... That shop was never really a high end road shop. Chet would have liked it to be but it wasn't. The bulk of the bikes that they sold were hybrids. He should have realized that earlier and tried to expand in that market. He also just tried to sell you what he wanted you to buy. He used to slam Shimano and try to sell you SRAM. He would slam Look pedals and try to sell you Speed Play. What if I want Shimano or Look? Idiot. He deserves to be out of business.


    It is a shame that there is no longer a bike shop in that town. The last thing it needs is another bar or restaurant. Someone will eventually move in and fill the void. Hopefully it will be someone who is an honest business person

  8. #8
    Senior Member datlas's Avatar
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    I don't have firsthand knowledge, but I agree Chet seemed to be more of a sales guy and a talker. He did not really seem to be passionate or even knowledgeable about cycling.

    Roy, on the other hand, was a cyclist's cyclist. I miss him, do you know if he is wrenching somewhere??

    I was in town the other day, and the inventory is all gone. Shop is empty. Sad.
    Quote Originally Posted by RUOkie View Post
    never underestimate the idiocy of BF.

  9. #9
    USA Huffy Enthusiast Johnny Mullet's Avatar
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    I have seen this happen with all kinds of small business. Get used to it.
    My Racer - 1988 Huffy Techtra Lite
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  10. #10
    Senior Member Angry_Monkey's Avatar
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    Just saw this thread.
    I drove past the store today - still empty. Too bad, this would have been my LBS (walking distance). The guys there seemed nice enough in the limited interactions I had with them.

    I was in the store a couple years ago asking about new bikes. They weren't interested in selling me anything that wasn't Specialized - even after I told them several times that I was not interested in Specialized. After talking to a couple people, it seems that Specialized has some rather... well, let's say "restrictive" conditions for dealers.
    I can't help but wonder if the "Specialized-or-nothing" attitude from either the dealer or the manufacturer tended to alienate customers. I know I was put off by this when I was in there.

    Just speculating - I didn't know the crew at the store, and I don't know the details of Specialized dealer contracts (I have my opinions of the brand, but that is a different issue).

    There was at one point another bike shop, Autura(?), right across the street. They were more of a beach cruiser / casual family bike shop. Don't know what happened there.

    And if any one is going to be in the Phoenixville, PA area, drop me a PM. I can give you a heads up on any cultural events (First Friday, Colonial Theatre), or dining options.

    ~Monkey~

  11. #11
    Senior Member datlas's Avatar
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    Update, I was riding today and saw a fellow cyclist who was more in-the-know about what happened.

    He confirmed that the business relationship was a bit shady and did not end well.

    He said he heard Roy left the area and is staying with a relative in South Carolina. He is a good cyclist, a good mechanic, and a very good guy. I only hope that he has found a LBS that appreciates him.

    Now who is ready for spring time riding? Snow, be gone!!
    Quote Originally Posted by RUOkie View Post
    never underestimate the idiocy of BF.

  12. #12
    Senior Member mtbikerinpa's Avatar
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    I was in there mid last year and there was a shop in working order near the river trail. It wasn't huge but it was decent. Not sure of the name though. Alan's?
    Aviation Mechanic, Bike racer, Fitness Equipment Restorer

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  13. #13
    Senior Member datlas's Avatar
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    Alan's is a different shop. I have never been but I am told it's a good shop. The one in question used to be called "the bike barn" and later Phoenix Cycles, but has since closed.
    Quote Originally Posted by RUOkie View Post
    never underestimate the idiocy of BF.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by datlas View Post
    Update, I was riding today and saw a fellow cyclist who was more in-the-know about what happened.

    He confirmed that the business relationship was a bit shady and did not end well.

    He said he heard Roy left the area and is staying with a relative in South Carolina. He is a good cyclist, a good mechanic, and a very good guy. I only hope that he has found a LBS that appreciates him.

    Now who is ready for spring time riding? Snow, be gone!!

    Bump. I was at the races yesterday and the GF and I saw Ed formerly of Wissahickon Cyclery. I say formerly because he just recently left Wissahickon to open his own shop on P'Ville. If I heard him correctly, the shop is going to be next door to the closed one. He's shooting for a mid-July opening date.

    Ed is an excellent mechanic and is incredibly knowledgeable about all sorts of bikes and riding. He had a hand in building this up for me last month:

    IMG_0001.jpg

    Unless there is an emergency, Wissahickon is (and will continue to be) the only shop we take our road bikes to. (We live near the Art Museum so P'ville is just too far from us.) He only left Wissahickon because he needs to secure his future. We had always assumed he was part owner, but we were wrong. I am sorry to see him go, but wish him the best of luck in his new undertaking. I will definitely pay him a visit once he's up and running.
    "I've wanted you to succeed, but watching you find excuse after excuse after excuse and then laugh it off as the loveable, quirky, chubby guy is getting old."--Ill.Clyde

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    I'll keep an eye out for the new place. A pizza place is now where the old place used to be.

  16. #16
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    Pizza and bikes. Perfect together.

  17. #17
    Senior Member datlas's Avatar
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    Good to know. I will check it out next time I am in town.

    BTW there is a very good wood-burning oven pizza place a couple blocks from the bike shop(s) in question. Vecchia. Highly recommended.
    Quote Originally Posted by RUOkie View Post
    never underestimate the idiocy of BF.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by datlas View Post
    Good to know. I will check it out next time I am in town.

    BTW there is a very good wood-burning oven pizza place a couple blocks from the bike shop(s) in question. Vecchia. Highly recommended.
    That pizza place is delicious

  19. #19
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    +1 Vecchia is some of the best pizza i've ever had hands down. Easy menu to decide too being it has one page.

  20. #20
    Senior Member datlas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 09box View Post
    +1 Vecchia is some of the best pizza i've ever had hands down. Easy menu to decide too being it has one page.
    Yes. Did you try their nutella dessert pizza?? It's quite good too.
    Quote Originally Posted by RUOkie View Post
    never underestimate the idiocy of BF.

  21. #21
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    Haven't had the Nutella Pizza yet but next time Mrs. Box and I are there, its on the to try menu.

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