Anyone up for a bike tour around Finland?
A shared love of cycling made three friends start the coolest bike shop.
Seinäjoki in western Finland is best known for its summer festivals, which attract over half a million visitors annually. The city is also a hotspot for entrepreneurs, but one among the 600 local businesses proudly stands out: a brightly coloured hipster bike store called Cycli.
A shared love of speed and fast bikes brought together the three owners, Heikki Kulmala, Tuukka Kuosmanen, and Tapio Roiha, who got the venture going after the local sports goods store closed down. With room on the market for new players, the boys jumped at the chance of making their dream come true and running their own store.
With three years’ experience now under their belt, the trio recently upgraded to a 550 square metre space with a café and repair shop.
“Our store has a fresh look, but our core business is still mountain bikes (MTBs). Hipster wheels like Pelagos account for only ten per cent of sales, while the rest is pure MTB,” says Roiha.
“Ride, work, love”
Cycli caters to the growing number of bike enthusiasts in the area. According to Roiha, the triathlon boom has done wonders for the business, but the real “market disruptor” has been the growing wellness trend. “People are starting to take better care of themselves, and nothing is better for you than biking,” he explains. “Our clientele includes plenty of former runners and cross-country skiers who prefer biking because it places less wear and tear on the joints.”
Roiha knows from personal experience. “I was in a motorcycle accident and had to give up skateboarding and snowboarding. I took up biking instead and steadily my muscles grew stronger and my legs healed. Biking basically saved me.”
Roiha regards biking as a meditative practice in his daily life: Ride, work, love, as the store’s slogan goes.
The store’s team of local bikers are easy to recognise by their brightly-coloured lycra outfits with huge pineapples printed on the front of the jacket. The store organises weekly bike rides and welcomes out-of-town visitors to join in. Bikes, helmets, and lycra can either be rented or purchased in the store.
Text Elena Sulin
Photos Hannes Repo