A new bike shop has just started business in Thomson Road, directly opposite Thomson Medical Centre. Peeping into the shop from the glass doors, you’ll realise that this bike shop is truly one of the more specialised bike shops around the vicinity.
Inside the small, quaint and unassuming shop is a few of the finest brands in cycling. With frames coming from Elite Bicycles, Serotta and Parlee. These three American brands supply the frames, and are complemented by the other side of the business – unique and quality components from ISM Saddles, Enve Components, and Thomson. Then, there are the accessories which atheletes at the highest level use. From the TorHans aero-bottles widely used in triathlons, to Cycle Soles moulded in-soles.
The shop has seen significant changes since the last time we went there to have a look. Two weeks ago, the bike shop was still in its preliminary stages, with few bike frames and even fewer accessories. Today, it is open to the raffle of a lion dance and barbecued satay, with an audience of 50 or so, and with beer from Brewerkz freely flowing.
The shop, owned by David Greenfield, the head honcho at the head company Elite Bicycles, created Elite Custom as a means to reach out to road racers, triatheletes and people with such aspirations to achieve their dreams. Bringing with him the expertise on human physiology and bike fitting, David provides a critical service to cyclists of all levels.
Operating on a open-door policy where people of all levels can come to meet David and his right hand man, Max Hamalainen, to discuss topics which pertain to their interests. If you were a beginner and would like to get tips and advice on how you can reach a certain goal, say, complete the Tour de Bintan, David and Max would be happy to help you out. Similarly, if you would like to do a full Ironman, these two men would be happy to help you out too, both having remarkable experience in racing and triathlons. And with Elite Custom, service isn’t a one-time affair where you come in, get the service, and case closed. Once you’re a customer of Elite, you’ll be a person who David and Max would be happy to service in the future as you grow deeper into the sport and advance through it.
Of course, a bike shop wouldn’t be complete without its services and Elite Custom presents itself as the antithesis of the standard bike shop – yes, they have “stock” bikes, but more often than not, you’ll realise why the world Custom exists in the official name of the bike shop, and simply because they specialise in custom or semi-custom bikes – critically, one must examine the role of the Elite Bicycles line.
Elite Bicycles, as David remarks, isn’t merely a “lego custom”. Its frames can be fully customised – no restrictions – so if you want a tube a bit longer, a little thinner and angled in a steeper way, you can have it made to order. But it doesn’t end there. A good custom bike is inextricable from a good fitter and a person knowledgeable in human physiology, and that’s where Elite Custom finds it strength. Its comprehensive four-step bike fitting package starts from getting to know you better with regards to your health, body and ambitions, all the way to getting on the Calfee Sizer Cycle.
The future of Elite Bicycles Custom is still in the works but David has a few ideas on how it can be a place much unlike any other. Elite Custom, as it seems, will engage people interested in cycling by offering symposiums on various topics, events, rides and monthly guest speakers. Whether or not this will be come to being will be seen in the next few months, but as it is right now, road cyclists and triatheletes should take note that Thomson Road has a new boutique on the block.