Davy is leaving Cheeky

Posted in in Bobo Bikes, General Stuff, Uncategorized on February 29th, 2012 by davos | 5 Comments

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P1010725.JPGP1010725.JPGP1020340.JPGIt’ll be my last Saturday at Cheeky this Saturday. I’m off to Canberra to help run a shop down there. I just wanted to say a huge Thank You to all our fantastic customers for the last nine years, you have helped make my job a lot of fun and very rewarding. Part of me can’t believe I’m leaving but giving my children an experience of a different place and the desire for change are significant motivators.

Thank You. David.

 

 

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Bicycle Maintenance Courses are back

Posted in in General Stuff, News, Workshop on October 5th, 2011 by davos | No Comments

We’ll be calling all of you who have registered interest in the various courses we run. Next Tuesday 11th of October we will have the basic maintenance course: wheel removal, flat repair and basic safety check. This course is $60 per person prepaid.

It's not always just dudes but these guys were a good bunch learning about hub bearing overhaul

The 18th of October we’ll run the brakes course, the following will be gears. If there is enough interest I’d be happy to run wheel truing and/or bearing adjustment but it seems gears and brakes are the most popular so we might just cycle through those for the people that are interested.

If you would like to organise a group of friends or a one-on-one course tailored to your specific requirements we can organise this also.

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October Long Weekend Spiel

Posted in in General Stuff, People, Rants on September 26th, 2011 by davos | 3 Comments

The last few months have been pretty busy and exciting at Cheeky Transport. A while back Nick and I had our own little separate existential moments, totally fine now though. Adam and Jennifer welcomed Billie into the world and are now frolicking in the joy of finally having her home. And what might have been a quieter time of year saw the popularity of Bromptons and Breezer bikes swell whilst repairs remained steady.

In the last few months I was frequently working to the wee hours trying to get frames done for bobo and in the process realised whilst the ecstatic joy of being in a workshop building a frame or doing a repair for someone was immense I probably should be spending time helping to raise my family. Finding a balance between the missus, the kids, a full time job and part time frame-building I think will be my lifelong challenge.

I have always felt a tension when I”m building frames between needing my head to be buried in framebuilding, creating solutions to welding or machining issues and servicing bobo’s customers and trying to give a much as I can to Cheeky which has allowed me the opportunity to build frames in the first place.

I love greeting customers, giving no nonsense advice to beginners as well as experienced cyclists and not necessarily forcing a sale, I think people appreciate it. We do have an incredible range of cool stuff though, Stein hypercrackers, skirt garters, Hebie chaingliders, Klean Kanteen, King Cage.

What has been particularly interesting as I spend more time back out the front of the shop is meeting cyclists we haven’t see before who I can only guess are returning or coming anew to cycling in Sydney. Whilst we love our solid core of customers the increase in people deciding they are prepared to give cycling a go and come looking for a bike or accessories to equip their new bike is substantial and a fairly recent phenomenon for us. Quite a few of our new customers experience the City of Sydney Cycling Confidence courses either by our recommendation or after they do the course and need to find a bicycle shop to help them. These cyclists speak glowingly of the course.

Repairing bicycles is a whole lot of fun (although I did get screwed by three consecutive mystery punctures by an unnamed brand of tube today, changed the brand of tube I was using, fixed the problem) and the beginning of Spring has seen many neglected bicycles dusted off and wheeled in to be freshened up and made a pleasure to ride again.

Social media in business looks like its set to be a constant wave of ways to remind customers about cool things to purchase or events coming up. I’m unsure about this whole virtual community thing, what do you actually belong to? A collection of people in front of their screens appreciating similar stuff…..Ecstasy of information overload I think. Speaking of which a customer once gave us a fantastic print of an iZombie, worth looking up to your left as you are walking into the shop to catch it.

Nick has grown into his role as head communicator, facilitating Brompton enquiries with true passion for and expertise of the product is a sight to behold and holding the business together the way he does I think he performs very well. He’ll probably edit my post because he’ll feel a little embarrassed about how I write, it certainly could do with a picture or two.

You might hear Classic FM in the shop a bit more. FBI and 2SER do a sterling job most of the time but we find Classic FM very relaxing and calming to our mood and keeps us in good spirits for our customers.

Well, this has taken me about two hours to write, I tried unsuccesfully to have a picture of a Breezer Villager and a raw lacquer Brompton in it but maybe Nick can work his magic.

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Corkage

Posted in in General Stuff on June 16th, 2010 by schmadzie | 22 Comments

Been thinking about how annoyed we get when someone comes in with a boxes of chainreaction/ebay/wiggle and wants us to build their dream bike for them. Particularly when it’s stuff that we specialise in (take the time and money to research and stock product). There have been times when the customer wouldn’t have even know about the internet purchased products, but for our time in analysing their particular situation and offering a solution (generally by Nick, who is a solutions man). Yeah it’s cheaper blah blah but fuck, that’s just rude!

So our labour rates are worked out based on what could be done by Adam or Dave at $80 an hour which also includes workshop equipment, tools blah blah.. Which is way less than what I was charging as an essentially unskilled trainee accountant 20 years ago. How much do you earn? We are both very smart and handsome guys and given our shop specialisation you get great value because we know what we are doing. Unfortunately that doesn’t mean that we earn $80 for every hour the shop is open because we have to order stuff, talk to lovely people who share our bike lifestyle,  and do other things, like talk to people about which things they should buy on ebay/wiggle/chainreaction.

So we have to balance how to price our time and how to price our products that we stock. That mix has been the same for pretty much ten years. Our markup on parts has gone up a bit. Our standard service price has gone up from $50 or $60 in 1999 to $90 in 2010. ( I gotta stop feeling guilty when I hear people whinging about their mortgages. House prices have more than doubled in that period, and I don’t own a house yet.) The model works if we sell a bit of stuff and fix stuff. Right now, it works pretty well. We have a truly wonderful lot of customers (hate that word) who have been with us for a long time, and we feel a 2 way relationship. People pay a fair price for our advice and services, and everyone pays the same. We don’t discriminate against huffy riders or roadies. So, the thing is, the business model currently depends on service charges, profit on parts and accessories and profit on bikes. Becasue we spend so much time with new bike owners and building the bikes up properly, we don’t make money on new bikes, and I really don’t know why we stock bikes. Except for how cool it is seeing someone pick up their new bike. 2 year olds or 62 year olds, the look is generally the same.

Anyway, when someone gets their bike fixed, or a new set of wheels built, or a custom bike built, our labour rate factors in the profit from the parts/accessories that we sell with the service. So when someone brings in their ebay/chainreaction/wiggle , and we don’t get any of the profit from those parts, but we still spend the same amount of time on their project, smiling , we are ripping ourself off.

So what do we do? If we put our service prices up across the board, and all those lovely customers who haven’t been buying internet parts and bringing them in for us to fit will have to pay more. That doesn’t seem right. Or we could just say no internet buyers, like other shops say no to Huffys. I’m tempted, because then I wouldn’t need to be annoyed every time I am working on their internet products. We don’t really need any more customers. But people will keep buying more stuff off the internet unless there is a true carbon price put on all those airfreights, ha. Or maybe we should charge a corkage, 50% extra labour to work on internet provided bits. Or should we just bite it and keep  saying “oh awesome! We are so excited that you have bought all this stuff on the internet, even though we sell it too!”

Spose it doesn’t happen that much. Lucky we don’t depend on high end stuff .

Can’t wait for the day when we only do BoBo bikes and repairs.

End of rant

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Free sewing workshop for cyclists

Posted in in Events, General Stuff, Uncategorized on April 23rd, 2010 by schmadzie | No Comments

Saturday 15 May, 2pm – 5pm

Spoke + Spool are running a free afternoon sewing workshop for bike lovers near and far! Come along with some old clothing or fabric and make your own cycling clothes to wear when pedalling your bike.

The Spoke + Spool team will give gentle guidance to help you transform or amend your old clothing into new, bike-friendly, functional pieces. You can make anything from complete transformations to simply adding a map into your pocket or reflective cuff to your jeans. What better way to learn new skills, make cool gear and enjoy a relaxed, friendly and fun afternoon!

Sewing machines and equipment will be provided on the day. All levels of sewing expertise are welcome, but a love of cycling is a must.

Bookings – to book in to the workshop please email: laura@spokenspool.com

Spoke + Spool

Spoke + Spool is a new clothing label tailored for cyclists by Sydney-based designers, Alia Parker and Laura Pike.

Spoke + Spool’s unique garments are handmade from recycled second-hand clothing. Designed with a focus on functionality and purpose, their range is for the inner-city commuter who chooses to move on two wheels.

Spoke + Spool focuses on transformability, reflectivity, mapping, navigation, considerations of inevitable perspiration and ease of movement. For more information visit www.spokenspool.com

Proudly supported by Spoke + Spool, Husqvarna and Frasers’ Studio.

With thanks to City of Sydney.

Where: Frasers’ Studio

10-14 Kensington Street,

Chippendale

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2010 – Get a Grip!

Posted in in General Stuff, New products on January 12th, 2010 by nicholasb | 1 Comment

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We’re stoked to be back at work for 2010. We would’ve updated the blog earlier, but we’ve been hectic for services since we opened back up. Check out all our cool new All City star MTB grips. We’ve got heaps of Ourys, natural cork grips and Powergrips Pedal Straps back in stock!

Ben’s a lawyer, customer and friend of ours, who bought a new Team Blue SE Lager for himself. He sent us a cool photo of him and his new bike and his wig - Here Comes The Judge!

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Check some of these sweet rides

Posted in in General Stuff on December 20th, 2009 by nicholasb | No Comments

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The images above are just a few of the cool people we’ve worked with and cool bikes we’ve worked on this year. Thanks for another great one, and we’ll see you in 2010.

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Indigenous Literacy Project

Posted in in General Stuff on September 2nd, 2009 by schmadzie | No Comments

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Today is Indigenous Literacy Day, which is to promote the Project to raise the appallingly low literacy levels and improve the lives of Indigenous Australians living in remote areas.

It’s a bloody good project, a partnership between the Australian booksellers Assoc and the Fred Hollows Foundation.

Please contribute by attending various events , buying a book at an independant bookseller or donating here

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For the Love of Bikes !

Posted in in General Stuff on August 27th, 2009 by schmadzie | No Comments

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Singlespeed nationals Newcastle in NOvember

Posted in in General Stuff on August 23rd, 2009 by schmadzie | 3 Comments

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The Australian Single Speed Nationals are on for 2009 over the weekend of the 28th and 29th of November. Details and registration at www.twentysixinches.com/ssnats

This extravaganza is dedicated to the dedicated. The Single Speed Nationals 2009 is an event to be missed only by the foolhardy.

When?

28-29 November

The stunning harbour side city of Newcastle will host the festivities, with Hunter Mountain Bike Association (HMBA) looking after the main race which will be held at their newest trail network, Awaba. There will also be a treasure trove of novelty entertainment to keep even the most distracted spectator amused.

Try to make some extra time around this event. There is enough social riding planned to put saddle sores on the most callused freckle. With Glenrock and Killingworth down the road and Ourimbah just a little further away, you will have no trouble finding the perfect trail.

Don’t forget to pack your surfboard and towel as the coast is riddled with pristine beaches to wash away the hard earned trail dust.

The shenanigans on offer will include plenty of old school racing events, and don’t be too surprised if there are some twists and turns to the standard single speed race format.

Skidders, Bunny Hoppers and those inclined to one wheel will be well catered for, as will those who are just looking for a cool place to sink a few ales with like minded gear free folk.

16″ crits and the Huffy toss will be back with a few other spectacles rarely seen but eagerly awaited.

Planning is well under way and the website will be regularly updated with all the information you require, not to mention a few things you would rather not know.

Happy planning, we look forward to seeing you in November.

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