Bent Up Cycles began in June 2003 during the process of purchasing my first VK2 (pictured below). I was so impressed with Kamil Manecki’s level of customer service at Velokraft, that I offered to be his US importer (at the time it was just a way to justify my time spent in the garage to my wife!).
In October 2003, the deal was complete, and I began taking orders for VK2s.
During this process, Bryan Ball of BentRiderOnline connected me with J&B Importers, and slowly the collection grew to include the Sun line of recumbents, the T-Bone from Reynolds Weld Lab, and the Hediger Trimuter. The garage was beginning to look like a veritable bike shop!
To Shop or Not to Shop
As business increased, so did my apathy for my day job. Let’s face it, I’d rather be spending my time working with bicycles than bureaucracy (I was in Social Work)! As Spring approached, we decided to watch business for a few months to get a glimpse of trends, and then decide what to do.
Well, I quit my “job” on Memorial Day weekend (yes…it was memorable), and on July 1st, moved into our first shop in Van Nuys.
A Place Called Home…
While not a huge shop, we sure packed a lot in!
Over the course of six and a half years, we knocked out two walls to increase our floor space to 2400 square feet, purchased two lines of recumbents (Barcroft and Carbent), and opened a workshop down the street to build Carbents. Our Balboa Blvd. location worked well as it was centrally located in the San Fernando Valley, and there was plenty of space for test rides in the industrial complexes behind the shop.
At the end of 2010, we decided to move to an even better location – North Hollywood! North Hollywood is close to public access, including the Red and Orange lines, the 170 and 101 freeways, and the Orange Line bike path. NoHo has a large cycling population, and we’ve settled in nicely. The local neighborhood provides more walk-in business than our location in Van Nuys, and recumbent customers still don’t have a problem finding us.
Feedback that we have received is that customers feel quite comfortable here. We try to create a relaxed environment where people can test ride as much as they like and take as long as needed to choose the right recumbent the first time.
We look forward to meeting you soon!
Dana Lieberman, Owner
Bent Up Cycles