The Cycle of Success

Jeff’s Bike Shop is thriving in its new location

By Michelle Goodman

The Cycle of Success

It’s a cool spring Saturday morning, and Jeff Joy is already hard at work adjusting the cables on Jenny Erwin’s mountain bike. Erwin, who bought her first bicycle at Jeff’s Bike Shop eight years ago, made the trek from Milton to the downtown Huntington shop because, for one reason, she knew the kind of customer service that she’d receive.

“Today, I wasn’t real happy with something on my bike,” Erwin said. “I can bring it in, and Jeff’s will take the time to look at it. If I have problems, they try and have my bike back to me quickly. I think they do good, quality work here.”

Shortly after, Erwin was on her way home and Joy was replacing the rubber tube on a tire for a walk-in customer, another of the 15-25 repairs the shop averages each day. It’s all in a day’s work for Joy, who started the shop 28 years ago.

Jeff’s Bike Shop first opened in 1989 in what is now the AT&T store across from Pullman Square. Joy still has the simple hand-painted sign that marked the address, 901 Third Ave., and the phone number, 522-BIKE.

“I was always riding bikes,” Joy says. “I raced bikes for many years. I just always loved to ride bikes and work on bikes. I wanted to see if I could make a living out of doing it.”

Six years later, the shop moved to a larger location across Ninth Street. Then in 1999, Jeff’s moved to the corner-facing building on Sixth Avenue and Eighth Street.

The Cycle of Success

“Every time we moved, we needed more room,” Joy recalls.

Last year, Joy closed up shop and removed his now-recognizable neon sign to make way for a Sheetz gas station/convenience store. But one doesn’t have to look far to find his new location with the sign glowing.

Jeff’s Bike Shop, rebuilt from the ground up, now sits just across from the side parking lot of Sheetz on Sixth Avenue. The new space is about 4,000 square feet, double the size of his first store.

Despite competition over the years from big box stores, Joy attributes his longevity to the community’s growing interest in cycling, as well as being one of only a few “true” bike shops in the region.

“We’ve always been a hands-on smaller shop, very personable,” Joy says. “You don’t see true bicycle shops in areas like this. It seems like it’s more of a destination.”

In addition to offering full-service repairs and adjustments, Jeff’s Bike Shop has anything the novice or experienced rider could need — gloves and helmets, riding wear, water bottles and, of course, bicycles.

Joy said he thinks there will always be a need for a bike shop in town. And after 28 years, he sees a lot of familiar faces.

“We have customers now who bought bikes for their kids,” Joy says. “And those kids now have kids and they are buying bikes for them. It’s kind of cool.”

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