Everything about Longmont Bicycle Company is, in a word, welcoming. The brick façade outside, the bright décor inside, the wood coffee bar made from dark, reclaimed wood, and the relaxed coffee lounge --- all of it combines to create an uptown vibe that’s still “comfy,” to use owner Chris Salt’s word. It’s a place where even when there’s eight inches of snow on the ground and your bike may be hanging from a hook in the garage, you’d still feel at home sipping a latte and watching the flakes fall while you plan your next getaway to Moab. Or Marseille.
Owners Chris Salt and Kristie Shevin are eager to invite you in to their shared vision of what a bike store should be and what a community of cyclists looks like to them.
Read on to find out more about the LBC (est. 2017), their favorite customer stories, and why choosing a bike is less like buying a car and more like being fitted for a tailored suit.
Tell me about how you’ve come to get started in the bike business.
Kristie: In 2017, we had no idea about opening a bike shop. We’d thought about purchasing an existing store but that didn’t work out. But by then Chris was hooked on the idea. So we looked around for spaces and the one we’re in became available and we couldn’t have found a better spot. As soon as we found (314 Main St., Longmont) we knew this was where we wanted to be. We feel very lucky to be downtown in Longmont. This is a really good time to be here. LDDA (the Longmont Downtown Development Authority) has done an amazing job promoting downtown businesses.
What is it about Longmont, and downtown in particular, that makes it so suitable for a bike shop like yours?
Kristie: There are a lot of families here. An avid cycling community, and quite a few styles of riding within that community. People have been really responsive to having a bike shop downtown. It’s convenient and there’s plenty of parking if you have to drive your bike down for repairs.
Chris: The storefront has a lot of character and is attractive to both foot and street traffic. This is definitely an up and coming block in downtown. The traffic that we get and the eyes that we get on the shop make this location ideal.
Longmont Bicycle Company is more than a bike retailer and service shop. You also have a coffee lounge right in the middle of the store. How did you come to that decision?
Chris: The coffee bar was part of Kristie’s vision. Now that we’re actually selling coffee, it’s been cool to see it growing as a little community spot. Customers could drop off their bike or for a quick repair and then think ‘Oh, I’ll just get some coffee here.’ It smells like new rubber and coffee. (Laughs). It’s nice to have that sense of community building – where people come in and talk and get to know somebody and get to know us and know the shop. We actually have ‘regulars’ already. It’s exactly what we wanted to see happen and it’s happening already.
Kristie: It was part of our vision to create more than just a bike shop. We wanted something that fostered a community of cyclists that and that had a warm, welcoming feel to it. We didn’t want to be in a cookie cutter environment kind of thing.