| Spokes Cycles - Past – Present - Future |
Spokes Cycles first opened its doors on the 12th of September 1994 in Waterford city, by a 21 year old business man named Liam Lowe. The shop was set up to cover all aspects of bicycles repairs and sales. The first couple of years of business proved to be tough, as far as trying to stock big named brands, as we had 2 well established competitors in the city. Our big break came when Raleigh Bikes offered us the chance to stock their brand. This gave us a lot of confidence in the bikes we were selling and opened the door to many other big named bike brands.
As Liam was quite young when he opened the shop (21), He was able to connect with the young cycling enthusiasts in the city. With this connection he was able to find out what the mountain bikers and BMXers of Waterford wanted for the bike scene. Throughout the years Spokes Cycles hosted and sponsored a number of downhill mountain biking races and BMX dirt jumping competitions, showcasing the young talent of Waterford. Liam also organized a number of road trips for Waterford's BMXers to the indoor skate parks in Dublin.
Time went on and a new sport exploded onto the scene in Waterford. When the Waterford Triathlon Club organized their first ever Dunmore Triathlon, They came to Liam for sponsorship for the event, and He was only more then happy to do what he could to help out. From that day on, The sport never looked back and is now one of the fastest growing sports not only in the Sunny South East, but the whole of Ireland. We focused on catering to the needs of Waterford's triathletes and started stocking brands such as Zipp, 2XU, Zoot and many more triathlon specific brands. Liam himself fell in love with the sport and has since completed numerous Triathlons including Sprint, Olympic, Half Ironman distance events and finally in 2009 completed the Nice Ironman in France, Which consisted of a 3.86km ocean swim, 180.2km cycle and finishing the event was a 42 km run.
In February 2008, We ran the first ever Spokes Cycles Tramore Duathlon which had a record breaking turn out. In August of the same year we hosted the Spokes Cycles Tramore Triathlon which also had a massive turn out. Both of these events are now annual events held in the seaside town of Tramore, Co. Waterford. All Spokes Cycles events were held in aid of local charities and we are proud to say we raised an estimated €20,000 for these charities.
In the summer of 2009 Liam and a number of local cyclists set up a new cycling club names Sportif Waterford Cycling Club. The aims of SWCC is to cater to the needs of the average leisure cyclist who want to just go out and have fun with a good group of people. Popularity of the club soared and it is now nearly 70 members strong in only a short few months. With already a number of long distance events such as the Ring of Kerry Event and the Wicklow 200 under their belt, Waterford Sportif is truly here to stay.
What does the future hold for Spokes Cycles? We are currently in the process of planning a renovation of our current store, which will give us the chance to stock more big named brands such as Specialized, Bianchi, Pinarello, Argon 18, Cervelo, Dolan and Kuota Carbon fiber frames. Shimano, Sram and Campagnolo Groupsets and Zipp, Flashpoint, Hed, Spinergy, Mavic and Easton Wheels. The new www.spokes.ie online store has been set up in order to cater for not only the Irish market, but also the rest of Europe and further abroad.
The shop is currently ran by 3 full time staff. Liam, Kevin and Jimmy.
Kevin started off working after school and weekend hours for Liam in 2000. At the time He was an avid Mountain biker who would cycle out to the local tracks on his time off with his friends to build and ride the trails. In 2005 when he finished school, Kevin began working full time with Liam. By 2007 he moved up to become the Manager of the shop, where he specialized in the BMX and Mountain bike side of the business.
Jimmy started coming in and out of the shop as a young BMXer, buying bits and bobs for his bike, then in 2005 went to Spokes for 2 weeks work experience around Christmas time. In 2007 while in college, He received a phone call one day from Liam asking would he like to do part time/weekend work in the shop. Then in the summer of 2007 he started working full time doing repairs, and general shop work. As time went on he was given more responsibilities in the shop such as managing the stock, helping organizing the Spokes Duathlons and triathlons as well as being put in charge of the new spokes.ie website.