Adelaide, South Australia
Adelaide’s leading commuter and urban bike specialist, Treadly Bike Store, is on the market, as founder and co-owner Sam Neeft looks to recharge his batteries and spend more time with his young family.
After more than a decade building the business into an integrated part of the city’s urban and adventure cycling community – including two very challenging years during the pandemic – Sam his wife Emily are ready for a sea change in regional South Australia.
Sam and Emily were early movers in the urban, commuter and cargo bike space when they established Treadly Bike Shop in Adelaide’s CBD 12 years ago.
Sam was studying a Masters in urban design and planning, and the couple had a strong interest in urban bikes and city commuting.
Specialist urban bike stores were starting to appear in Melbourne but there was nothing similar in Adelaide, so Sam and Emily decided to create one and embrace the opportunity to be their own bosses.
They set out with a focus on boutique products that were making a name for themselves overseas – such as Phil Wood, Chrome Industries and Tokyo Bike – as well as custom builds and restorations.
“Then it grew into something more along the lines of high-end custom builds for adventure bikes, touring and gravel,” Sam said.
“About six years ago, we started going more into the fatter tyre and off-road domain.”
Strong Community Connections
Their divergence into event organisers, including the Boucle de Burbs alleyways and backstreets tour and the Maker handmade bike show – held during the Tour Down Under – helped build a strong following among Adelaide’s urban cycling and touring fraternity.
Two years ago, Treadly Bike Store moved out of the city and into a 200m2 premises in the back streets of Norwood, in Adelaide’s inner eastern suburbs.
“We suddenly had much more space for displays, storage and a much larger workshop,” Sam said.
Their shop design played on its warehouse setting, to create a strong urban feel and encourage patrons to spend some time.
“We have integrated the workshop very much into the display space, so customers can have a coffee and chat to us while we’re working on their bikes. It’s become a meeting place for many of our regulars.”
There’s a library of cycling books in one corner, as well as a space with toys for kids.
“We open up the space for events and film nights for cycling titles. The store’s creative patrons include tourers who love to produce films of their adventures.
“The extra space has also meant we’ve been able to do more cargo bikes, which is something we’ve always wanted to do more.”
He said despite the challenges of COVID, the business continued its steady growth.
“We have a couple of ideas to keep that going and, with the investment of a little capital, would reap rewards in a couple of years’ time. But I have done that plenty of times to get it to this point and I’m not in the right mindset to do it again.
“We’re looking for a sea change and more balance between work and family life.
“We thought about moving the store to Victor Harbor but I’m ready to do something else.
“It’s still a small store, with mainly just Emily and me working here, along with a couple of casuals. But there’s a lot of potential for someone to come in with more vigour than I have at the moment and really take the store to the next level.
“There are brands in the store we have curated over the years that no one else in Adelaide has. We’re not doing any marketing at the moment, it’s all word of mouth. And if you were to put some work into those brands, you would see a lot more people coming through the door.”
Sam and Emily are noticing a lot more interest in cargo and e-cargo bikes, as well as Brompton folding bikes.
Tready is also stocking Surly, Bombtrack, Yuba, Beno cargo bikes, Kona, Salsa, Tokyo Bike, Breezer and Brooklyn Bike Co.
“The store is certainly suited to someone who likes to engage with customers, who really enjoys riding and wants to be part of the community,” he concluded.