Bikestop celebrates 10-year D-Air anniversary with May 7 event
Bike Stop in Stevenage are celebrating 10 years of stocking and selling Italian kit brand Dainese’s D-Air products and are marking the occasion with an event on Saturday May 7 2022.
To celebrate the anniversary, owner of Bike Stop Martin Brown is going to deploy one of the airbags at the store – something he’s done three times previously but says still makes the adrenaline run. Attendees will even get a discount on airbags over the weekend.
Martin spoke to MCN and said: “I think D-Air almost encapsulates what Bike Stop’s about. We know it, we stock it, we wear it!”
Housing a massive seven showrooms in the affectionately named ‘Tardis’ which is best shown by Dougie Lampkin riding through the store (take a look on YouTube), Bike Stop partnered with Dainese 10 years ago and became the first retailer in England to stock the brand. Since then, hundreds of D-Air units have been sold from the grade two listed building.
“The story I always tell people is that we had two young guys in, and both were getting married that year, so money was focused on the wedding. One fell off his bike without getting D-Air and broke his collarbone, which is what is protected in the suit. He was off work six or eight weeks with a £67,000 medical bill and was self-employed.
“Then his mate bought one. The very next day he fell off the bike while wearing it and didn’t break a thing.”
Whether it’s off the peg or made to measure D-Air racing suits, Bike Stop are very much a ‘try before you buy’ retailer with a million pounds worth of stock in store, and their events calendar has filled up fast with monthly rideouts and café racer days.
‘People come from miles around to visit Bike Stop’
First published on 16 March, 2022 by Saffron Wilson
Known as the oldest Dainese dealer in the country, Bike Stop now packs an impressive seven showrooms inside its grade two listed building on Stevenage’s old town High Street, and prides itself on customer service. Although already a destination, with the café alongside, it’s a perfect pitstop for a post-ride cuppa too.
“We do paninis, sandwiches, cakes, hot and cold drinks as well as coffee and tea,” says owner Martin Brown. “And interestingly we’ve not had any negative feedback for our coffee. The only comment we ever hear is that it’s better than Costa!”
There’s much more to the venue than just the food and drink. At the front of the store is dedicated bike parking complete with ground anchors to give you that extra peace of mind. But on event days, you’ll have to be quick as the parking area swells with bikes.
“We put flags out and barriers, plus the tyre fitters next door give me their driveway, so we can park bikes all down the wall,” Martin adds.
“But when we did our last Custom Cafe Day, it was 9.30am and we had 100 bikes, so we kept moving the bollards and just took over as many parking bays as we possibly could!”
Martin announces Bike Stop’s events on the shop’s social media channels as well as their website, Google, and you’ll find them in the MCN’s listings, too.
“The old town really like us because we run around 25 events a year – and they love the fact that our customers come from all over, at least a 100-mile radius around the store.”
At the moment, the café is only open at weekends which may change as the warmer weather comes along, but the shop is open six days a week. Tuesday to Saturday from 9am until 5pm and on Sunday 10am until 1pm.