New Farm Bikes, located at 77 Merthyr Rd in the inner eastern Brisbane suburb of New Farm only a couple of kilometres from Brisbane’s city centre, is closing its doors.
Long time owner Tina Quintner’s late husband Alex Quintner founded New Farm Bikes back in the late 1980’s. Tina has decided to close the business, effective from Thursday 30th January.
Tina took some time out from her closing down sale to reflect upon the past three decades. She first recalled the rather unusual circumstances that led to the shop being created.
“We owned a pawn brokers shop in New Farm,” she said. “We were going to move across the road and were worried that someone would move in another pawn brokers shop into our former premises. Someone suggested a bike shop because the area was full of backpackers and we were going to do bike rentals.
“I still had a car yard back then,” continued Tina who is an expert and sometime dealer and collector of classic Mercedes and early Holdens. “I did not work in the bike business in the very early days. But by about 1994 I was in the bike shop. I was still selling cars, but it was a bit of a hobby.
“When we started the shop, the only brand we could get was Repco. Our first major brand was Mongoose. Noel (McFarlane, importer of Mongoose at that time) had faith in me. That was our main brand and we became known as New Farm Mountain Bikes. We had a couch in the shop and nobody (staff) would not get off it unless a customer wanted to spend over $2,000! We did hard core MTB brands like Craftworks. I still have my Mongoose Amplier Pro which was my first dual suspension bike.
“Back in that era we also did Cannondale in that early 1990’s era that they came out with their Coda range of products, which was American for ‘crap’… everything broke! Wheels, hubs, cranks, everything failed.
“That was when we were up in Brunswick St. We were there for nine years, then nine years in 79a Merthyr Road and now in my present shop next door for about 13 years.
“That’s when we changed to the name to New Farm Bikes. One of my staff members brought in an Electra Townie in about 2005 and I said, ‘That’s us!’. We became a huge Electra dealer.
“We went in a complete circle. Where I previously specialised in mountain bikes, now I specialise in kids bikes, kids scooters and quality adult bikes.”
As to why she is closing down, Tina chose to sum it up like this, “I’ve been in retail for so long, that I’m just a bit jaded. I’m not very good a putting things on Facebook and the world of the internet. I think it’s definitely a younger person’s game.
“It’s a different world. The customer loyalty from my older customers is beautiful. But it’s vastly different now.
“It’s been fun. It’s been a blast, but for now I want to do other things.”