Friday, March 27, 2009

Spin Street Bicycles

Spin Street Bicycles is Lansing's newest local bike shop. Its location on Turner Street puts it square in the middle of what is undeniably the hippest Lansing neighborhood, Old Town. If there are hipsters in Lansing outside of MSU, they're to be found at the Perspective2 Art Studio, the lofts along Turner street, and foodie breakfast heaven Golden Harvest, all of which lie within the bounds of Old Town. So they've got a bike shop in Old Town now. Messenger bags, fixed-gears, and pretentious music, right?

Well, it's much more than that. Chad Cottom, the owner of Spin Street Bicycles, told me that they get their fair share of MSU kids coming across town - just last week he sold a Pista, matter of fact. He had a couple fixies proudly displayed alongside the other bikes, and he deals in Bianchi and Fuji, both of which have great street cred in the urban cycling scene. There was even a Fuji OBEY fixed-gear, a flate-black bike with brassy accents, just dripping in cool.

But Old Town is situated in Lansing after all, which means Spin Street caters to a crowd far beyond the few fixie riders that live in the area. The shop certainly has a road bike bent to it, which is natural given the area. Bianchi and Fuji both have a full lineup from steel to carbon frames, and everything in between. Chad seems to have a couple of Randonneur customers as well, so if your cycling needs include long hauls through the countryside, Spin Street has you covered. They also have started carrying the Jamis line of bikes, which covers many areas and pricepoints Fuji and Bianchi do not. Thre was even a Rans Hammertruck there, an extracycle-like cargo bike capable of carrying a mammoth load in the hundreds of pounds.

The shop does both sales and service, and carries a full line of accessories from tools and locks to helmets and clothing. While there, I noticed a peculiar lack of the "holier-than-thou" attitude that pervades many other local bike shops, and I'd bet this would be a good shop for the cyclist tired of being talked down to, if the attitude of the owner is any indication. I may bug him about carrying the goods from my favorite online bike shop, Velo-Orange, as I think it would fit in well with the other items on hand. Come to think of it, I think Surly bikes would make a good fit too. Of course, there's only so much showroom space.

Spin Street Bicycles
1214 Turner St.

Other Bike Goodness

I had a pleasant surprise while riding to Old Town. I took the whole length of the Rivertrail, and was shocked to see that all the borken pavement along the path near Potter Park has been completely resurfaced! Anyone who had to skip that section and ride along the parking lot will know what a relief this is. Unfortunately the path northwest of the park is still broken in many places, with huge headset-loosening bumps caused by tree roots. Hopefully this section is next on the agenda for the city.

Photo-Related Surprise

Speaking of Potter Park, I was shocked to see a young woman lean out of a car and snap a photo of me riding. With a Diana! If you don't know, anyone who uses a Diana has a special place in my heart, so of course I had to have a short chat with her about crappy cameras. Apparently, MSU still had a real photography course, where pople use real cameras and get this - REAL FILM! She even mentioned 4x5. Awesome. Thanks for stopping, Caitlin!


Amanda said...

We got bikes today. I want a basket. Should I get a fron basket or a behind basket? I'm leaning towards behind...but don't know how these things work. Or if one would be harder t ride with.

Erich said...

well, that's actually a tough question. personally, if I'm gonna put a basket on a bike I like it in the front - it makes it easier to access and I personally find it easier to ride with. Not all agree however, and some bikes take to baskets better than others.

For brands, I like Wald baskets. you'll want something that attaches to something other than just your handlebars, and has some support so it doesn't swing around and flop up and down. Plus, they're pretty cheap and available everywhere.