Among the many bike shops in Manhattan and Brooklyn, 718 Cyclery stands out for its unique approach to doing business. The start-up, founded four years ago by Joe Nocella, is what could be described as an ‘inverted’ bike shop. That doesn’t mean 718 Cyclery sells upsidedown or backwards bikes, rather the whole bicycle creation process has been ‘inverted’.
Instead of a customer going in to browse a range of factory-made and standardised cycles and then picking out the one that is the closest match for their needs, Nocella and his team create from scratch custom bikes that correspond exactly to the client’s requirements. “We sit down with customers and ask them ‘what do you see yourself doing with this bike?’,” says Nocella.
Following that chat, 718 Cyclery put together a parts list that will satisfy the customer’s needs, email it out to them and then the client can make changes online together with 718 Cyclery.
“It’s a very fluid process,” says Nocella.
Once all the parts are ordered and ready, the client will come in and can actually build the bike with Nocella and his team.
“Some people want to do all the assembling themselves, while at the other end of the spectrum some people just want to watch and take photos,” he says. “This whole business is based around building bikes with people. Building your own bike is about being empowered to know more about the machine you’re on, to feel more confident about using it and fixing it.”
And focusing on what the customers wants and providing it is good business. In just a few years founder Joe Nocella has gone from working part time from his garage to opening a small shop, to quickly expanding to much larger premises.