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Anybody know why they lost their lease? Seems kind of odd, since they only recently re-located their service department to be next to the rest of the store.

back in the 1970's there were 3 bike stores/shops on Capitol Hill/ Navy Yard.

Soon there will be zero.

Of course- CHB catered to athletic cyclists and not to city bicyclists so it aint that big a loss. City Bikes has a far superior technical staff that bolws away the kids in CHB- period

The short story why they lost their lease was the hired too many high paid people and could not pay their bills. "lost the lease"= can't pay the rent. The staff has not had paychecks in two weeks. The service manager bernie was a idiot. We could not keep anyone good because they all quit because of him. He used to work at city bikes. He was making 22 dollars an hour and he killed the shop.

well, all I can say is that they often turned me away for things they could not fix or didnt know how to fix- and one time they did a repair and it broke on my way home and I had to carry my bike all the way back. They did shoddy work.
In my experience- City Bikes has a much better crew- and I stopped going to CHB since I could not count on them to do a good repair job to get me back on the bicycle. This is sad news.

I concur on CHB's service. I wanted to like CHB, and for a while when I rode over the 11th street bridge on my commute it was more or less on my way to work.

My long spiel: I took it in for an annual overhaul-type service once, and when I called to verify that it was ready to pick up, on the day they said it would be ready, they said that something with the back rim on the bike was terribly wrong and they'd have to put another wheel on it. Fine, I said. Fast forward a month or two, and several spokes break in rather quick succession. To their credit, they replace it under warranty, but tell me that I should have had the wheel trued and the spokes adjusted. A few months later it seems like the spokes on the replacement wheel are getting loose, so I bring it in, and they true it up, but without any apparent awareness of the story I told of why I was bringing it in. A few months later, a bunch of spokes on the replacement wheel break in quick succession, and I head to City Bikes to get yet another wheel. This wheel has been fine.

It seemed to me like they didn't have any idea how to do the initial inspection when I dropped it off, to see what sort of problems they might need to fix; their stock items were cheaply made, and they never thought about how to provide a continuity of service to fix a recurrent problem.

CHB is my neighborhood bike shop so I went there a lot. I had some bad experiences, but they also had some really good mechanics I felt.

I'd been hearing rumors about the store's finances for a year. That they weren't paying their bills, that suppliers were denying them credit (hence the low inventory) and that they were hemorrhaging money. Not sure how true any of that is, but it seems more so in light of today's announcement.

This means there isn't a single bike shop outside of NW (unless you count the Bike Station) and so I disagree that it isn't a big loss. They were positioning themselves as a triathlete store at one point, but they still sold a lot of other bikes including folding bikes and "comfort bikes".

If anyone wants to open a bike shop in DC, there is now a lot of open space. Everything east of 11th Street NW and south of K street NW.

heard bernie is relocating to bicycle stations on 14th st.

Wow. We're in the middle of the most impressive bike boom in 30 years and there is a shop with no competition in a pretty high-income neighborhood that goes out of business?

Something must have been seriously wrong.

Interesting story about the inability to fix a wheel. Wow.

Somebody must be able to make that location work. Would be lovely for a bike coop to move in.

as for "comfort bikes" and folders- they took their very best rational everyday city type bicycle- a Breezer model- out of stock- I had considered buying one from them- and when I saw that they were moving against the healthy trend that has been emphasizing practical cycling over athletic cycling- I gave up on them. That was around the time the screwed up my repair job. It is a loss to the neighborhood- and I live a block from the place so if someone does buy them out and re-open as a better businees- that would be great.

BTW- there has been a bike store on that spot since the 1970's. It has gone thru numerous differnet owners over the years but has somehow survived as a bike shop.

With all of the car driver yuppies on CH/ NY now- I doubt that anyone would think to open a new bike shop- but maybe I'm wrong.It seems that most of the newcomers go out to Virginia to do any major shopping- so a new bike store is not necessarily going to thrive. Too many people in the neighborhood are car-centric. I hope I'm wrong- we need one or two- and two bike shops would give us a choice- whereas with CHB we had only one place to go to.Of course- we will likely get another phoney Irish bar or lousy TexMex restaurant and not a bike store/shop.

I want someone to open something like the Copenhagen Cyclery in Chicago http://www.copenhagenbike.com/. I'd even played around with the idea of doing it myself but for one major issue: I'd want to do it in Old Town because (a) that's where I live (b) it's a pretty good place for a Dutch bike shop.

Problems with Old Town are manifold, however. First and foremost, if it were successful, it would be replicated by someone else in Dupont or on the Hill, and who knows if the DC market could handle two such shops (and seriously, this has happened time and again with bar/restaurant concepts and retail shops so it's a valid concern). Also, there are so many bike shops in and around Old Town already that it would probably be a risky move. And I think that bike manufacturers don't allow two shops to carry their brand if the shops are too close together, so that would knock out at least one major brand I'd want to carry.

So yeah. That's about it. Someone else have a go. Make sure you have at least one cargo/kid carrying bike, especially if you open on the Hill.

Great, just another sign of the slow decline of Capitol Hill as a neighborhood. Interestingly, the period of decline I'm talking about starts just under 2 years ago, with the arrival of the Heritage Foundation on Pennsylvania and 3rd. Connection? I think so!

No, but seriously, my own politics aside, Capitol Hill is in dire need of retail stores. With places like the Trover Shop bookstore and Capitol Hill Bikes gone (which were not only community anchors in their own right, but provided valuable services and retail options), the neighborhood is slowly but surely being suffocated by all the restaurants and bars.

The casual observer will see all these restaurants and bars and think "Well, this is clearly a fun, healthy, vibrant neighborhood." But if we don't start attracting a greater variety of services and retail, the Hill is going to suffer economically, and become a less desirable place to live. On that last point, the preponderance of bland, crappy bars on Pennsylvania Ave and 8th Street, among other things, makes the area a less hospitable place for families to live...and this is coming from a 24 year old who loves himself a cold brew!

Oh, to clarify, I know I pointed to something called "Copenhagen Cyclery" and went on to talk about Dutch bikes. I know Copenhagen's in Denmark. I just think of that style as "Dutch style" even though it's not restricted to the Netherlands and think that there needs to be a better term.

When a friend of mine lost his job recently I tried to convince him to open just such a shop - like bikes@Vienna but geared toward cargo and city bikes - on H Street. He didn't go for it.

Maybe Arrow will expand. They have CH experience.


the only way to stop the real decline of CH/NY is to get rid of the CHRS.

They have been the big enemy of small business on CH/NY for decades- and they have not only allowed- but have encouraged property owners to convert their previously mixed usage buildings into strictly residential usage.CH/NY area used to house HUNDREDS of small businesses prior to the 1960's when CHRS came into being. This is a primeval NIMBY elderly, car-oriented group that is against new streetcars, against pedestrians, against cyclists, and very pro - parking preservation.

If not for their misdeeds- we would have numerous small and mid-sized shops and buildings all around CH/NY for new bike businesses to open.

Hello Ben. This is Bernie's wife. I would appreciate you not spreading lies that could potentially affect our livlihood in this manner and if you continue to do so we may have a legal issue.

I'm sad to see yet another Capitol Hill business going down, but I have to say I won't miss this place. I came there once for repairs, they spent more time deriding my bike and trying to convince me to buy a new one (assuring me that SOMEONE on cragislist would pay AT LEAST $300 just for the frame) than asking me about what was wrong with the bike.

I tried out some of their bikes while they did repairs just for the hell of it...computer-aided fitting and all. All three bikes, each one costing over $1,000, felt awful compared to my $10 Salivation Army jalopy I'd brought in for repairs. I actually had a back ache for the next couple of days from a 5 minute ride on one of the test bikes! To top it all off, the repairs only lasted about a week.

Again, sorry to see my neighborhood take another hit, but GOOD RIDDANCE!

I have been fielding some inquiries resulting from comments made by the poster referring to himself as "Ben."

Since these comments are inflammatory, suggest some familiarity with the business and there are other people who share the same first name, I am asking "Ben" to use his last name so that others may avoid being associated with his antisocial and irresponsible comments.

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