We took the opportunity to drop in to Ronde Bicycle Outfitters in Edinburgh to have a look at an example of the “cycling lifestyle” stores popping up more frequently throughout Europe. It’s a nice looking store.
In a vein similar to the Bianchi Cafe & Cycles in Stockholm and the new Pearson Performance Store in Sheen, London, this is more than just a bike shop.
Ronde is a short walk or ride from the center of Edinburgh, one of Europe’s finest cities, and we turned up on a fairly typical wet ‘n windy winter day.
The store is split into two “halves” probably over two prior premises, with one side housing a relaxed feeling cafe serving teas, coffees and cakes, decorated with some very cool photos, and riding memorabilia. The other half houses the main part of the shop.
The shop is nicely fitted out in a simple, clean style and has a feel more like a gallery than a bike shop.
The idea of being able to pop in for a coffee and have a look at the various cycling publications, photos and soak up the relaxed feel of the place does have appeal. This appeal is accompanied by some very nice kit – the product lines have clearly been selected by cyclists, for cyclists.
The bikes on the floor included MCipollini, Look frames and some very, very nice looking Cinellis. They are stockists of Condor bikes, and had a nice range of these hanging in various places throughout. They also deal in other high end, endorsed bikes such as Colnago, as well as Campagnolo running gear, Mavic, Zipp and Fulcrum wheel sets. All of the gear is nicely displayed, keeping the gallery theme.
The back of the shop is the “workshop area”, where they also provide a fitting service, using a static measuring jig as a starting point, they’ll set your bike up and then fine tune you on the turbo trainer. They also offer power and threshold testing on the turbo trainer. Merely for the amusement of the punters of course, with real euro training conducted solely on ‘feel’ 😉
Top all of this off with some good looking clothing racks, with Sportful, MCipollini and Rapha lines – you could do worse than to base your Christmas wish list on a few of these items! Next year maybe.
They appear to have shop rides, and have run some information evenings on various cycling topics, so they are trying to tap into the fact that for many of us, cycling is much more than just riding a bike.
All in all, if I was living nearby, its a place which I think I would be found passing a fair amount of time, pre and post ride and socialising with other like minded, style conscious riders….although based on Edinburgh’s weather, Rule #53 would certainly apply for some months of the year.
Although not all OREC endorsed product lines, if you kit up at Ronde, you’ll certainly be carrying a high degree of euro style.