Spokes n’ Stuff is the quintessential neighborhood bike shop. The small store has been a fixture of the neighborhood for more than 45 years. At the present Melrose Ave. location for the last 18 years, owner Joey Harris says the store offers a wide range of bike-related services and sales.
“We do bike repairs, rentals, sales and we ship bikes, too. We have bicycles for the whole family and we offer a lifetime free service when you buy a bicycle here,” Harris says.
Free lifetime service is an extremely good deal, and Harris is proud of this offer. He notes that the shop’s stellar service is “how we compete with Amazon. They can’t give you the personal service that we do.”
From repairing a brake line to fixing a flat, from crank repair to broken spokes, Harris offers a full range of bike servicing. “That’s what we really offer – great service. We do free adjustments, and as long as the customer hasn’t broken the bike, we will repair anything.”
And when it comes to purchasing a bike, Harris and his staff are on the ball there, too, committed to selling riders what they need. “We have something for everyone,” Harris explains. “People can come into our store and we will sell them a bike that fits their particular needs.”
The store carries brands like Schwinn, Fuji, GT, and Red Line, among others, with bikes that are great for street use, casual biking, or performance biking. Harris says it’s easy for people who know nothing at all about bikes to purchase one, or for experienced riders to find exactly what they want at his friendly shop, but he considers his store to be more than just a place to buy or repair a bike.
“We are really more than just a bicycle shop. We love to talk to people. It’s like going to an old school barber shop,” he laughs. “While people are waiting for a repair to be made, we love to talk current events or politics, that is if the boss is here, which is me.” He adds “In this neighborhood it’s nice for me to speak with people about anything, with the same or differing opinions.”
From their charming, old-fashioned exterior wall mural to their respectful and lively bantering in-store, Harris’ shop is a true neighborhood institution. “Most of our customers are local. We take care of the neighborhood. While we don’t seek out people in other areas, because they have their own shops, we find that people who move out of the area come back to us to buy bikes and for service,” Harris asserts.
Happy customers say Harris ‘tells them like it is’ when it comes to bikes, with an inclusive knowledge that’s similar to that of an auto mechanic. The store also stocks fun accessories like colorful bike horns and a variety of bike seats. Some customers bring in antique bikes for evaluation and repair, others rely on the shop to rebuild a bike from scratch, or just handle simple repairs like changing a tire, all in-house.