Sheffield boasts new community bike shop as city charity launches A Different Gear

For the last 10 months, the shutters at ReCycle Bikes’s workshop, at the top of a steep road in Heeley, have been down while major renovation and remodelling works have been under way.

Friday, 6th March 2020, 5:00 pm

Work has been taking place to transform the old premises into a new, community-owned, bike shop, which is going to reopen this weekend.

Now called A Different Gear, the new shop reckons to feature Sheffield’s largest collection of electric cargo bikes.

There’s also a commercial workshop and a separate community and teaching workshop at the base in Ash Tree Yard, 62-68 Thirlwell Road, Heeley.

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Cycling projects manager Angela Walker with one of the e-cargo bikes at A Different Gear, Heeley

The venture is run by Heeley Trust, a community-based charity that runs a variety of other projects from Ash Tree Yard and Meersbrook Hall.

These currently include Heeley People’s Park, Sum Studios, Sheffield Online and other courses, the Big Boulder music festival and Heeley Institute.

Alongside the e-cargo bikes at A Different Gear there’s a new range of adult and children’s bikes focusing on the themes of adventure and utility as well as a wide variety of reconditioned bikes.

A Different Gear say you’ll be able to buy a bike and all of the kit required to carry you around the world, alongside another that will carry your weekly shop, and the kids, up Sheffield’s many hills without breaking a sweat.

Sales manager Tori Gray behind the counter at A Different Gear, Heeley, Sheffield

New sales manager Tori Gray said: “We’re really excited to be stocking premium brands Bombtrack, Cinelli and BiViBIKES, plus e-bikes from Raleigh and Gepida, alongside Sheffield’s largest collection of e-cargo bikes from Tern, Urban Arrow, Benno and Larry Vs Harry.

“As well as new bikes, we’re also stocking a great range of bikepacking, commuting and touring accessories from Apidura, Brooks, Exposure, Lezyne, Ortlieb and more.

“By choosing to stock a different range of products we’re hoping to complement rather than compete with Sheffield’s existing bike shops.

“As our new name implies, we are different.”

Workshop manager Karlos Bingham gets a bike back on the road again at A Different Gear, Sheffield

A Different Gear also features a larger commercial workshop for servicing and repairs.

The team are extending their weekday opening times until 7pm to make it easier for customers to drop off and collect their bikes after work.

So what prompted the big change?

Cycling projects manager Angela Walker said: “Our professional mechanics have developed a wealth of knowledge and experience working on such a wide variety of donated bikes over the years.

New shop display in A Different Gear, heffield

“We are just as comfortable servicing high-end premium bikes as we are old vintage bikes and we felt that our message of expertise and quality was sometimes obscured behind our old name, so it was time for a change.”

Fans and loyal customers of ReCycle Bikes need not despair, however.

A Different Gear say they will still be delivering all of the community-focused services that they’re known for.

These including their drop-in Bike Kitchen, the S-Cargo rental scheme, bike recycling, reconditioned bike sales, maintenance classes and the opportunity to have a rummage through their extensive collection of second-hand parts and spares.

A Different Gear officially opens on Saturday, March 7 at 9am.

Events happening in-store throughout the day including competitions, spot prizes, bike demos and a mini cycling treasure hunt around the city.

The official ribbon-cutting ceremony will take place at 5.30pm and the ceremony will be performed by Pete Zanzoterra - Sheffield City Region's active travel project director.

If you can’t wait until Saturday, you can take a look at some of the new products that they’re stocking online at www.adifferentgear.com.

There’s another bike-related event celebrating the reopening on Saturday evening at Heeley Institute.

It's a film screening of Antonin Michaud-Soret’s film Onboard the Transcontinental Race.

The film traces three years of the 4,000km cross-Europe race for unassisted competitors, who aim to finish the trek in 17 days.

The film also follows Mathieu, who undergoes a personal battle just to be able to take part.

Doors open with a bar selling beer and soft drinks at 7pm and the screening takes place at 7.30pm.

That will be followed by a Q&A session with race director Anna Haslock and veterans of past races.

To book tickets, go online at the A Different Gear website.