The Build-A-Bear of Bike Shops

New Toronto store pioneers new way to sell city bikes

A new bike shop in Toronto is pioneering a business model that seems to have been inspired in equal parts by Build-A-Bear and the user-friendly simplicity of the iPhone.

Gallant Bicycles takes the ingenious step of removing the bewildering array of choices—not to mention the visual clutter—that a casual urban cyclist faces when entering a typical shop. Here, you take a look at a few display models for inspiration, and then follow a 3-step process that will end in a made-to-order bike for cruising around your hood.

TreeHugger’s Lloyd Alter visited the shop and breaks down the process like so: First you pick a color, then either a conventional or step-through frame, by size. Last comes the gear system, which ranges from fixed to 3-speed with coaster/freewheel variants in between.

At Canadian $599 to start, these are definitely more than you’d pay for a starter cruiser (usually $200-$300), but what you get is custom built, powder-coated style. We'll be interested to see how this model works out in the long run and whether other shops will pick up on the idea.

Via TreeHugger.