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Soho Bikes to Close on 26th January 2018

Jan 17, 2018
by Pinkbike Staff  
News just in from Facebook – Soho Bikes will sadly be closing.


bigquotesI am disappointed to announce that Soho Bikes will cease trading from its Berwick Street premises on Friday 26 January. The store will remain open and we will continue to run the café and a limited workshop service until that date*. A clearance sale for all stock starts today; do drop by for some mega bargains!

Soho Bikes opened in summer 2014 as a full-service bike shop, workshop and café. We took the bold decision to also sell mountain bikes, a market that we felt was underserved in London. In many respects the shop has gone from strength-to-strength, as I am sure any regular visitor would testify: Soho Bikes sells a wealth of quality products from market leading brands, our workshop is flat out and our coffee is highly acclaimed. The store has achieved a 4.9 star rating on Facebook, 4.8 star rating on Google, 4/5 rating on London’s Best Coffee, 9.1 rating on Beanhunter, was runner-up in the ‘Best UK Bike Shop’ category at the Singletrack Reader Awards in 2016 and won ‘Best Bike Shop in London’ in the MBR reader awards 2017.

Unfortunately, and as clichéd as it sounds, all good things must come to end. I have taken the decision that for personal reasons I can no longer continue to run Soho Bikes and I have been left with no other alternative but to close the doors for good.

If you have recently placed an order with us, or have your bike in for servicing, please don’t panic! We will be in touch during today or tomorrow to discuss the best options for you.

I would like to thank all our loyal customers, fantastic staff (past and present) and many great suppliers. It has been fun – I am just sorry it has had to end.
Nick Hawker

More information as we get it.

Posted In:
Interviews



62 Comments

  • 17 2
 Absolutely gutted to hear this, brilliant store, brilliant staff and great selection of products! I never visit London without popping into the store, it'll be missed
  • 6 1
 It is just in the wrong location. It needs to be near dirt, not concrete or diversify more to do BMX and Hipster bikes... Shame to see it go. My wheels they built in 2014 are still going strong.
  • 3 1
 @fartymarty: it needs to be out of London, how on earth a small shop can survive with the cost of overheads and personal cost of living there is a mystery.
  • 3 0
 @Racer951: I thought the same thing when they opened (but were glad they did as it was a cool shop). It's one of the most expensive cities in the world and the rent must be eye watering. Also they are a long way from their target customers altho I guess there are a few city boys with fancy bikes...
  • 3 0
 @fartymarty: to sell boutique bicycles you need boutique money. I guess Cheshire and Surrey were already saturated with bike shops, London is the perfect location.
  • 2 0
 @Braindrain: It is just a shame London isn't Vancouver.
  • 2 0
 @Braindrain: Except that it's London and the rent will be £60 to £100 per square foot of shop floor. It wouldn't surprise me if the rent was over £250k, or if they got the original lease for cheap for it's about to go through the ceiling on renewal.
  • 1 0
 When you visited, did you ever buy anything other than a t-shirt or coffee?

A shop was in birmingham in a similar way yeeears ago now, I used to go there and buy t-shirs etc, have a chat as I really liked the guys and the shop, they closed down a few years in though as nobody was actually buying the expensive things.
  • 10 0
 Sorry to hear your closing, looked after me brilliantly when I realised I’d left my shoes at home and was due to ride down to the coast, after running round what seemed like a thousand generic bike shops desperately looking for a decent pair. I had a ping in my head as I remembered soho bikes, 10 minuets later I was down stairs trying on a pair of lovely 5ten freeriders, you even gave me a discount when I told you what I needed them for. A truly great bike shop with exceptional customer service. Then to top it of you let me use the stores computer for google maps so I could find the hotel I was staying in cos my phone was out of charge.

Epic place! This is why we riders should support our local shops as much as we can, once there are gone, there gone. As great the internet stores are with all here deals it was only soho bike that could save my ride that day. ????????
  • 8 2
 Such a shame, if they can't keep the doors open with all the advertising / Rob Warner / Soho TV / social media / coffee shop / high profile visitors & co owners it does not look good for other shops without the high profile Frown
  • 15 1
 "I have taken the decision that for personal reasons I can no longer continue to run Soho Bikes" No mention of it not being financially sustainable, just a personal decision. Not yet time to decree that all bike shops are doomed.
  • 3 0
 @codfather1234: this is true and I agree but it makes you wonder why the business couldn’t be sold on if it was viable? I saw for a few months that they had changed their opening hours including closing every weekend which seemed to me a strange move for a retail business let alone a bike shop. Feel sorry for the owners and staff involved- here’s to their success going forward. You will be missed!
  • 1 1
 London, soho, enough said.
  • 1 0
 @codfather1234: Indeed, but if they were profitable why not look to sell the business rather than fold it?
  • 1 0
 @StevieJB: this was my thought too- we probably will never know but I imagine the process of selling a buisiness is pretty stressful and perhaps no buyers came forward and enough was enough. Feel for the staff involved.
  • 1 0
 @nickkk: In order to sell a business it either needs to be a going concern or have some intrinsic value.

It sounds like the owner and people involved in Soho are what made the business (warner, good social media, friends with many riders and brands) what it was, and why people liked the shop, if it was sold on to new owners all of that is potentially lost, its just a bike shop named after a place then.

People are the heart and soul of a small business like a bike shop so unless it is making a huge profit who would want it? Who would take such a risk? You are set to believe that location plays no role in this kind of thing but running a shop in the centre of one of the most expensive cities on earth is always going to be a tall order, no matter what it is selling and let alone performance MTB gear.

Maybe the owner just got completely stressed out of his brains, felt the financial reward was not up to scratch so decided to call it a day - Having run a small business myself I know how that feels, it is not too hard to make a profit but achieving that without working silly hours, taking work home (either physically or in your own head) and being consumed by the 1000 things a day that needs doing can be difficult and its the reality of many small businesses, if the financial rewards are not then up to scratch it can be hard to keep going.
  • 1 3
 @Racer951: cool story bro.
  • 2 0
 @nickkk: are you really 34? 'Bro'?
  • 1 1
 @Racer951: yes I am. Not familiar with the internet meme I see then. Oh well.
  • 2 0
 @Racer951: fwiw, your post was eloquent and made some good points and I read it and took it all in. Don’t take Pinkbike so seriously.
  • 8 0
 Gutted. Lucky enough to have the pleasure to work with them for the last six months. All the best moving forward chaps X
  • 5 0
 Nooooooo Frown you guys have been such huge supporters of my company. I am so sorry to see you close. Huge hugs and all the best for what comes next. xo
  • 3 0
 Such a bummer. Did Warner still have part of this business? I noticed that on their site their history and ‘mission’ piece was signed off as Nick and Rob -but this closure notice only by Nick and I don’t think Rob has mentioned anything on social media about it. They set the bar for what a shop could be really, such a cool place and I’ll miss going past. I must have about 6 SohoBikes tshirts!
  • 1 0
 6 tshirts?! I took a trip into London hoping to get a shirt this week but they had none left Frown Just wanted a piece of history.
  • 1 0
 @Mhowood: aye, got the first one when they opened. And got a couple as Xmas presents from family in london who knew I was a fan. They had several versions on the go in a ton of colours over the years.
  • 2 0
 I'm absolutely gutted about this. Arguably some of the best coffee in London and definitely the best vibe. Loved being able to be in central london, go escape there, have a great coffee with mountain bike films playing in the background. Or flick through one of their many mtb photobooks etc.

London is full of coffee shops, that make enough to stay open.
Soho bikes was a coffee shop that also happened to sell and fix bikes. I know coffee won't be bringing much money in, but if other places manage it, are there other factors in play here?

Either way, will be very sorely missed. Whenever I was in London I'd nip in for a flat white and inevitably buy a shirt too.
Cheers for the good times guys.
  • 1 0
 Really sad news, friendly shop and they had a great workshop who were really knowledgeable and did a great job every time I used them. They were really helpful with SRAM warranties, even though I hadn't bought the products from them. There is a real gap in servicing technical MTB stuff if you are in inner london. I really hope that guys there land on on their feet.
  • 6 2
 It is hardly surprising. However good a shop it may have been, it's like opening a beachwear shop in Greenland.
  • 2 0
 Have you seen how many bikes there are in london? It's a lot more than most British cities, and they are not all fixie/road bikes.
  • 2 0
 @djm35: yea but how many people are riding a £6k Santa Cruz around the street?
  • 1 0
 @Racer951: Once. I saw a dude riding a brand new Santa Cruz Nomad near Kings Cross. I was shocked.

Then visited the store a week or so later and realised it was their mechanic that i'd seen.
  • 4 0
 @priceye36: umm, not sure thats the best example really.
  • 2 0
 I work in Central London but live out towards Epping, I've been in many times. Central is where the money is, I know people who would spend £5-6k without thinking.
  • 1 0
 @robowns: I'm pretty sure I wasn't thinking when I did the same.
  • 1 0
 @Racer951: You do know that as a bike shop they would fix your normal commuter bike as well don't you? Or do you think that they refused to fix anything but 6k mtb's?!
  • 1 0
 @priceye36: and the 1st thing that came into your head is “ bet he just knicked it “ !
  • 1 0
 @mgolder: Who said that? Where did you get the idea that I said that? I was saying that not many people ride their £6k santa cruz around the street and that the product itself maybe isn't best suited the central London location - I didn't mention anything about commuter bikes, fixing bikes, coffee or anything else for that matter.
  • 1 0
 @Racer951: if you live near the shop and ride MTB at the weekends, you will be their target customer for both sales and repairs. Regardless of where you actually ride that bike.
  • 1 1
 @vt612: You do know this is London, more specifically Soho we are talking about?

As many have said on here, most people popped in for a coffee and to have a look around while in London for work, being tourists etc, lots saying they bought t-shirts or had a nice chat in there but not many /nobody in here is saying they popped in to pickup their newest bike etc - the person below this even used them for SRAM warranty dispite him not buying a single thing from them.

I wish the people who started and ran the shop all of the best, maybe if personal circumstances improve a new location can be found that isnt quite so 'difficult' - Sounds like everybody loved the guys.
  • 1 0
 @Racer951: mate why are you determined to remind us all it was in London...and in SoHo? Is that news to us? We know where the shop was and we know it was likely very expensive to have a retail business, many people have said the same thing. We get it. Quit stating the obvious. What’s your point?

If it was such a terrible place for business it wouldn’t have survived 4months let alone 4 years. It clearly was a viable business. So your point about it’s ‘difficult’ situation in London is irrelevant. There were other factors that must have been at play here.
  • 1 1
 @nickkk: Yea, location is completely 'irrelevant', nothing to do with anything at all... must be a conspiracy or something.... if its obvious construct the opposite narrative.

'Obviously a viable place for business'...... then closes.
  • 1 0
 its a cool place to stop by at, and theres a lot of people with a lot of cash in these parts but surely there is no market for very high end full suspension bikes in central London? was ogling a new SC Hightower LT in there before crimbo, a thing of beauty but id be interested to know how many they sold...
  • 1 0
 Gutted to see them go. They really were the hub of mountain biking in london (yes people here ride mountain bikes). I was always popping in to get little bits done on my bike or picking up stuff. The whole crew knew their stuff from coffee to cassettes. They will be well the truly missed in the London bike community.
  • 1 0
 I’m very sad to heart. I’ve always wondered about its brave entry into the bike retail landscape, especially in London. Interestingly, Rob Warner doesn’t seem to be a director of the company so his involvement might have been on a non commercial basis only.
  • 1 0
 Such a massive shame that Nick and the team are having to close, soon there are going to know good trustworthy MTB specialists in London. 1st Cycle Surgery on Stype Street closes, who had a good selection of kit for a big chain and a knowledgeable friendly manager in Barry, now this. Moose is probably the only other good shop with good kit that I know of in Central London. LBS's are loosing an uphill battle!!
  • 2 0
 Looks like Warner will have to find a new residence for interviews! Never been instore but it looked the perfect mix!! Good luck in future endeavours
  • 1 0
 Very sad to hear this. I was in there Monday and it is always a delight to have a look around. Nick has been excellent at organising rides and events and I am very sad to see this bastion to UK mtb disappearing.
  • 1 0
 Bummer. I'd go in there every time I was in London for a few days. Cool shop. I guess I'll have to be careful with my my Soho bike t-shirts
  • 2 0
 Was actually planning to pay a visit in the springtime. :-(
  • 2 0
 Aww shit. Sorry to hear. RIP.
  • 2 0
 rip
  • 2 0
 Great shop, great shame.
  • 2 0
 Gutted!!
  • 2 0
 Now that's a real shame!
  • 5 5
 Warner drunk all the profits..
  • 1 4
 Crc
  • 1 0
 You mean wiggle...
  • 1 0
 @ermoldaker: Yep one and the same these days.

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