How long has the shop been in business?
Sid's has been in business since 1969. It started out in the Bronx, and now there are two locations: Kips Bay/Murray Hill (at 235 East 34th St) and Chelsea (at 151 West 19th St)
How many people work here?
Between the two shops, there are 30 employees with 8-12 working each day.
What is your specialty?
We specialize in introducing people to cycling and competitive cycling. We're great at helping people who are just getting into the sport, and we really try to sell the lifestyle of cycling. We're more of a "retailer" than your typical "bike shop." Our space is cleaner and more open, and it really offers an all-encompassing experience.
What do customers request most often?
More often than not, our customers are first-time-buyers. They tell us they really need something nice and they want help figuring out how to get it.
Tell us about your favorite customer.
It's that person who genuinely needs help getting into the sport. It's the person who's scared. There's a lot of intimidation surrounding this sport, and there's a "clubhouse" feeling to it. We want to do away with that and make people feel like they're in the club. These customers are "gateway customers" and they become hooked pretty quickly.
What are the most difficult requests you receive?
It can be difficult to try and meet the demands of the New York clientele. They'll say "I need it now" and "I want it delivered." We can do all those things, but people have really high expectations. They're also very savvy, and won't hesitate to drop $10,000 on a bike. Continual service is key. New Yorkers love that relationship, and we have to work hard to keep them coming back. That said, people really do want to come back here. Bike shops are normally mom + pop institutions, but it's moving away from that and we need to support our consumers as such.
What makes you proud of the shop?
I'm proud of the people who work here and the reputations we garner for working so hard. We've really raised the bar, and we couldn't do that without our dedicated employees.
What are your goals and aspirations for the shop?
We want to bring biking into the 21st century by creating a real, positive consumer experience. It really comes down to customer service. Cannondale's really staying true to what they are, and that helps. We're one of the most diverse bike shops in the country and in the world, really. Ultimately we'd like to grow and open more stores. You don't get all these choices elsewhere, but New Yorkers still say "Is this all you've got?"
If your shop was a Cannondale bike, which one would it be and why?
It'd have to be the CAAD series. It's the one we sell the most of because it's above entry level, and people love riding it and adding to it. It's that "gateway bike" they keep reinventing and improving, and that's what we're doing here.
What's the best part about being a Cannondale retailer?
Historically, Cannondale is a lot like us. They run like a smaller company and react to our needs. They really support our business, and they don't push their agenda on us… they enable us to have our own.
Anything else you want to share?
We're the shop that's going to work harder for the customer. We want people to come in and get hooked on the lifestyle. We have the best stuff and the nicest people to help you out.
Kips Bay/Murray Hill
235 East 34th Street
New York, NY
West 19th Street
151 West 19th Street
New York, NY
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