We are celebrating our employee of the month right now at Pedal Revolution. Our intern Emil is about 4 months into his 6 month internship at the bike shop and doing a great job!
Way to go Emil!
I lusted after a “Green Machine” as a kid. It was like a “Big Wheel” on steroids. Nobody was gonna step to your skid game if you had one of those. Unfortunately, I never graduated beyond a plain old “Big Wheel” and my skid game remained very junior varsity. Anybody else out there remember this thing?!
Pedal Revolution has dug deep on this one and brought our fantasy to life.
Classic Cannondale SM700 mountain bike frame with one of those killer paint jobs that made the era so special. Who wouldn’t want a black bike with green splatter?! Don’t feel like you have to answer that question. Pedal Mechanic(a) Extraordinaire Angela rebuilt this one up with a nod to the classic bike it once was. Kitted with an original Shimano XT drivetrain, semi-knob tires, updated brakes, shifters, levers, and Ahearne handlebar this gem is ready for street or trail use. It would definitely make for the coolest bike in the boring commuter bike rack line up at work. Crackled paint pedals, “Green Machine” inspired ESI Silicone grips and matchy match green cable housing for extra flair points.
18″ fits 5’7″ – 5’11”
This beauty of a Bridgestone Mixte showed up recently at Pedal. It gave the owner many years of dutiful service but she was excited to donate it to the shop and see what magic we would cook up when we rebuilt it.
The frame looks to be an 86′ from the classic and much loved years of the Bridgestone bicycle era. Lugged steel construction and made in Japan for the American market, this bike was a balanced mix of utility and aesthetics. We, at Pedal Revolution do a fair amount of custom mixte rebuilds and they are well appreciated by our customers and tend to sell rather quickly. For this Bridgestone we opted to take a different route than the typical classic upright city bike that the step-though style of bikes end up as. Enter the Drop bar! Setting this bike up with a drop bar and bar-end shifters was motivated by Pedal mechanic and custom used bike builder Todd. The idea was to maintain the classic look and charm of the frame but update it to the performance and versatility of a more modern road/touring bike. Todd accomplished this by completely rebuilding the bike with new parts; a modern road wheel set allowed for a wider range rear cassette body of gears for easier climbing, matched to a compact range road crankset. Dual pivot brake calipers for stronger stopping power, Shimano 8 speed bar end shifters for reliable and streamlined shifting, and of course Pedal Rev favorites like a nice tall Nitto Technomic stem to get the Soma Highway 1 bar nice and level with the saddle, Panaracer Pasela tires in the “sweet-spot” 32mm width for comfy rolling on all road/non-road surfaces. This bike is quick handling, lightweight and rides wonderfully. It’s sized as a 52cm and would fit an individual between 5’2″ and 5’6″ very well. Why don’t they make bikes like this anymore!? Oh wait, they do at Pedal Rev!
Springtime must be the season for lovers and good friends here at Pedal Revolution. Thanks to the benevolence of a generous donor we were given the opportunity to rehabilitate and foster this awesome Burley Duet tandem bicycle, a bicycle built for two!
This American made bicycle had been well cared for and was equipped with very nice parts (really strong tandem wheels with lots of extra spokes and wide rims) so it did not require a visionary make-over.
What it did receive was a new fork (fear not, the original fork was not damaged in an accident and merely had a destroyed brake boss), handlebar (Soma Highway One: need I say Pedal Revolution staff favorite?), durable and reliable bar end shifters (the original integrated “brifters” were worn out), and new Shimano V Brakes and comfortable linear/long-pull Tektro Levers.
Under no circumstance was this mechanic/parts curator ditching this suspension seat-post that arrived with the bike. In addition to having a name that is both provocative and evocative, it has a certain utility on a tandem bike since the stoker (rider in the rear) really has to remain seated and is unable to lift off the saddle to avoid sudden bumps in the road the the pilot (rider in the front) can see.
As you can see from the above video of the twins this bike is a blast to ride. If you have never ridden a tandem before you really must try it out. Being able to actually ride with someone and work together to cycle over a distance is a real thrill (and you can really get moving quickly with two people powering the bike). Perhaps the greatest part of the experience is the ease with which tandem riders can converse with one another. When you and a partner (friend, lover, bff, team member, twin brother, etc) tandem, you are really riding together. Unlike another recent pair of refurbished bikes at Pedal Revolution, that have incidentally already been split up, the tandem is an inextricably linked cycling union.
Burley Duet – $1500
The great folks over at SPOKEFLY got together with Pedal Revolution to talk bike shops, job-training for youth, and San Francisco cycling culture. SPOKEFLY is a breakthrough development in bike rental where, individuals and bike shops can offer rental bikes through a location based app. Customers can access a rental bike of their choice based on their location and proximity to a rental fleet dispersed throughout the city and access it on the go!
And….keep your eyes on the Pedal Rev social media for updates on SPOKEFLY accessible Pedal Revolution rental bikes coming this summer!
“This week Spokefly caught up with Steve Fiduccia, General Manager of Pedal Revolution – a NonProfit Bike Shop and social enterprise of New Door Ventures. Located in San Francisco’s Mission District, Pedal Revolution helps at risk youth in San Francisco by providing on the job training and employment to young people. With the training and support of professional bike mechanics, interns learn how to assemble and refurbish bikes, as well as gain valuable experience with sales and customer service. In our interview with Steve, he tells us about bicycle retail, what it takes to start a bike shop, and the general bike scene in San Francisco.
Tell us a little about your background, how did you start in the bicycle industry?
My first job in the bike industry was when I was 14 years old at a small classic Schwinn shop in Chicago. I was basically the lunch getter, coffee maker, flat fixer, bike seller. I swept the floor, took out the trash, did the dishes, stocked inventory. I worked there for about 3 months before they even considered letting me touch the tools! Finally, the two brothers that owned the shop started to teach me mechanical skills after I’d earned their trust and “paid my dues”. Fast forward through a lot of years and numerous other jobs in different fields and about 15 years ago I found myself running a seasonal bike shop in Telluride, CO. I did that for a few years until making my way to San Francisco and finding my way to Pedal Revolution. I was curious about the social mission aspect of the shop and started as a mechanic/salesperson/intern trainer. I’ve been the General Manager of Pedal Revolution for almost ten years now. I manage all aspects of the business and the youth intern program.
Tell us a little about Pedal Revolution and how it all got started.
Pedal Revolution started in the early 90’s in San Francisco as a bicycle based program to provide job experience for at-risk youth. It began as a donation based bike shop that fixed up and sold used bikes to fund the business and the youth program. The young people that participate in our internship program are between the ages of 16-23 and received training in retail and bike assembly. We are currently a full-service shop with 6 F/T professional employees and we provide paid 6 month work internships for 15 San Francisco youth every year who work in the shop with us. Over the years we’ve incorporated new bikes, parts, and accessories into the business. Pedal Revolution is a neighborhood bike shop that specializes in new and refurbished used bikes for everyday day use, whether for road, touring, or commuting. We love steel-framed bikes that are built to last and are designed for versatility.
Talk a little bit about bicycling retail.
Bicycling retail is a tough business and a labor of love. Margins on bicycles are slim and there is significant competition with other shops and online retailers. If you like the option to be able to roll into your local bike shop and have them tweak your derailleur or fix your flat when you’re running late, tell your friends to shop there and support them! Bicycle retail certainly has it’s challenges, but on the positive side it’s gratifying to get people on bikes. In a city like San Francisco, it makes much more sense to travel via bicycle versus car or public transportation. It’s quick, efficient, healthy, and much more fun. At the end of the day, I feel pretty good if what I’m responsible for is getting more people on bicycles.
How much capital does it take to start a bike shop?
It really depends on the scope of what you are trying to do. Most independent shops start small with minimal staff and have a mostly service based business relying on repairs to bring in constant revenue with a small selection of bikes and accessories for sale. As shops expand they tend to bring on more product lines and expand their retail offerings. A small service based shop can provide a modest existence for one or two owner/employees. Most small bike shops need at least $100 -200K of capital to get up and running, order product, cover G&A, and provide a small cushion until the business can break even. Many people follow their love of bikes and go after the business end but it’s tough to be expand beyond the initial size.
Is that mostly inventory?
Once again, it depends on the goals of the business but yes, inventory is tricky to negotiate in a bike shop. First you have to have significant inventory of “back-end” parts for repair work; wheels of all sizes, drivetrain parts, brakes, shifters, tires, brake pads, headsets, cranksets and keep in mind that all this stuff is proprietary to era, size, style, brand. Then there are the retail accessories and bike inventory. Big dollar investments for a seasonally based product. There is also pressure to bring in the newest product and bike models each year so many shops have to further minimize their margins by putting bikes on sale to make room for the new ones.
How do you help to train and grow staff at the shop? You’re in a unique position as far as staffing by employing local youth.
Staffing is unique at Pedal Revolution. We need to have skilled mechanics who have sales and customer service abilities and are also engaged with our social mission. It’s a tall order as many bike mechanics are often interested in the mechanical side of the job and approach the customer service side of the business reluctantly. When I interview potential staff I spend a good deal of time explaining the youth program and ask them directly, “How do you feel about teenagers?”. This is a good general guide for me to see if they flinch or hesitate (Ha!) because they will be spending a lot of time around teenagers if they want to work here. The Staff who end up at Pedal Rev typically have a shared love for bikes and bicycling and a motivation for social change. If they are excited by the opportunity for a very grassroots hands-on experience helping out young people in need of direction and support, they won’t find a better match than at our shop.
What marketing techniques have you seen work well for bike shops?
Bike shops often don’t have a lot of money to spend on traditional marketing like advertisements. Social Media is a great option for bike shops trying to build community. Blogging, digital newsletters, in-store workshops, events, and group rides are great way to bring people into your shop and have worked well for our shop.
What are the biggest mistakes you’ve seen when people start a bike shop?
1) Not having a solid business plan and vision for the type of shop you want to be.
2) Not incorporating strategic planning for how to grow the business.
3) Not having enough capital to weather the time it takes to break-even/become profitable.
4) Too much inventory too soon.
And finally, talk a bit about the bike scene in San Francisco and how it’s changed since you’ve been in the city.
The bike scene in San Francisco has evolved significantly in the 20 years I’ve been in the city. The developments in cycling infrastructure thanks to the SFBC (support your local Bicycle Coalition!!) have made bicycle transportation much safer, practical, and pleasurable for a wider category of rider. In the old days there was a mentality that if you were a bike commuter, you kind of a pioneer or an eccentric….putting yourself at risk to ride in traffic. The image for the daily bike rider was often characterized as a hardcore bike courier type and in some ways the urban landscape demanded it. Motorists weren’t as accommodating as they are now and bike lanes and bike racks were a rarity. It says a lot that the Critical Mass movement started in this city as an attempt to broaden the understanding and awareness of the challenges that cyclists faced every day.
Currently, bike rider-ship continues to grow dramatically every year in San Francisco and the urban cycling infrastructure continues to develop, becoming much more accommodating to novice riders. I love to see these changes. I’m biased, of course, being a daily commuter and bicycle shop manager but I do whole-heartedly believe that increased bicycle rider-ship will only help SF become a happier, healthier, more communally aware city. It teaches cyclists and motorists to respect each other and behave better, follow the rules of the road, etc. When you ride a bike in the city you are aware of your surroundings, you make eye contact and interact with people, you observe things in detail because you’re moving at a slower pace. You become part of the environment in a way that you can’t when in a car. It’s a fantastic city to ride a bike in and if you’re up for some longer rides there are adventures easily accessible in almost every direction.
Thanks so much to the Steve and the Pedal Revolution team for participating in this interview. If you’re ever in the Mission District of San Francisco, be sure to stop in and support your local bike shop!
3085 21st St
San Francisco, CA 94110
This unique Peugeot “Limestone” frame-set was donated recently. I hadn’t seen this model before but it’s an early hybrid frame design from 89′ with a tig welded steel frame with recreational road bike geometry. Designed somewhere between an early Hybrid bike and a Cross/Touring bike. It has cantilever brake mounts for big tire/fender clearance. We built it up with all new parts, a vintage set of Shimano friction bar-end shifters, a flipped Soma Oxford bar mounted to a high rise stem, and Panaracer Pasela tires. This set up provides the comfort of a swept back handlebar with a slightly more forward position on the bike for efficient climbing.
Sized at 55cm. Ideal for someone 5’7″ to 5’11”.
58 cm SOLD!!!
52 cm avail. $625
There was that extra bright moon last week. I don’t think any comets have blown over us recently but cosmic forces are seemingly at work at Pedal Revolution. We received these two Centurion Le Mans bikes as separate donations recently, about a week apart. Imagine our thrill envisioning the possibilities for “Twin” Rebuilds in the refurbished bikes department.
The result is a complimentary set of lovely 80’s Japanese lugged Steel road styled frames in classic brown and gold color scheme. One is a Mixte (step-through) style…great for ease of getting on an off the bike, especially if you’ve got a loaded basket on the front (we recommend!). The other is a traditional diamond frame style. Refurbished bike visionary Mechanic Todd built us both of these from bare frames to mirror each other. All new components were added including sealed bearing-double walled-rim wheel sets, 1×7 drivetrains, sturdy Vittoria Randonneur tires, Velo Orange Milan swept back handlebars, and dual pivot brakes.
They are both set up for everyday riding with a comfortable semi-upright seated position, perfect simplified gearing for flats and hills. Both of these bikes are lighter than most new contemporary hybrid bikes due to the lively and lightweight steel tubing used which also make for a very supple and smooth ride. The step-through model measures about a 52cm -perfect for someone 5’2″ -5’6″ and goes for $625.
They are not conjoined twins and can definitely be sold separately. However, if you happen to know any of those wacky couples who like to dress alike when they go out, point them in the direction of Pedal Rev. We’ve got their bikes!
Pedal Rev has a great selection of Refurbished bikes on the floor right now! Come and pick up one of these one-of-a-kind unicorns and improve your life by 63.75% immediately.
Things are getting weird…