For those looking to buy a bike, this weekend was an excellent time to do so.
The Devil’s Gear Bike Shop offered bikes at reduced prices over the weekend in an effort to lighten the load for their upcoming move to a new storefront. Founder and owner Matthew Feiner sent an email to the Yale Cycling Team in April letting them know that the shop was in significant financial trouble and that he had started a fundraiser to keep the store open. He said he has decided to move to a new location in order to alleviate some of the store’s expenses. Although the new storefront is only 50 yards away from their current address at 151 Orange St., the store’s management team has decided to have a moving sale to make the move easier, Feiner said. The shop will move to the new store during the last weekend of September, and Feiner plans to reopen on the 29th.
“The space we were in was a little pricey, with the rent going up a certain percent every year,” Feiner said. “At the end of five years, it just wasn’t worth it anymore.”
Their new location, at 135 Orange St., is located in the historic Palladium Building, built in 1855. Feiner said the rent is less expensive there and that the arrangement of the space — with one continuous, long room with high ceilings as well as a large basement — fits their needs for the store.
Along with moving to a less expensive location, the store’s management has also cut Devil’s Gear advertising and staff in order to keep the shop open and running. The bike shop is also working to scale down on the number of bicycle lines they currently offer in order to cut down costs.
Feiner also expressed gratitude to New Haven residents for helping the shop move through its tough financial situation.
“People donated the construction costs, the painting costs, and the landlord gave us three months of rent for free,” Feiner said. “It’s humbling when people just give you things like that without you having to ask for it.”
Doug Hausladen ’04, director of transportation for the city of New Haven and head of the New Haven Transit Authority, called Devil’s Gear the soul of New Haven’s cycling community.
Jordan Bravin ’16, the sponsorship director for the Yale Cycling Team, said Feiner and the shop have played an integral role in building the team’s success and in developing a thriving community of local riders. Bravin also praised the shop’s moving sale.
“The moving sale was the perfect opportunity for those who were on the edge about getting more into cycling to do so,” Bravin said. “Cycling is an expensive sport, so opportunities like these are a great way to get started.”
Although “people came out in hoards” to the moving sale, according to Feiner, they decided to continue the sale on various bike brands and other items to continue reducing inventory.
Feiner is confident that the store’s new location will not negatively affect his customer base, given that it is very close to the current location.
“Bike shops are like auto shops in the sense that customers have shop loyalty,” Yale Cycling Team men’s captain Michael Grome GRD ’19 said.
The Devil’s Gear Bike Shop was founded in 2001.