What’s better than a bike shop? A bike shop with a cafe, or is it a cafe with a bike shop?! With top-notch coffee and a seriously tasty menu this Dunstable VOLT electric bike dealer is more than worth the visit!
Trying our best not to get distracted by that awesome menu, we caught up with our Bedfordshire partners Rob and Sue and their wonderful Hub & Spoke Café.
Discover the inspiring tale of how Rob and Sue left their corporate careers behind to embark on a journey of combining their passion for connection, community and cycling developed into the Hub and Spoke café.
Hub & Spoke Café – Dealer Spotlight
1. What motivated you to open a bike shop & what makes your store unique?
Rob is a lifelong cyclist, firstly mountain biking & now a roadie, and in his spare time he organised charity fundraising cycling tours to Northern Europe for 12 years, taking groups of novice cyclists to some of the best Northern European cycling countries, where drivers really respect cyclists!
Sue was a University Director but more and more involved in volunteering within our village community, and walking group. During the pandemic we decided on a complete change of lifestyle combining both of these passions and the Hub & Spoke cafe & bike shop plan started as a result of a holiday brainstorm.
We left our Corporate worlds and opened in March 2021 during lockdown 2, first the cafe then the bike sales followed soon after (when bikes finally became available as everyone had started cycling to get out)!
So we are quite unique in that we are very strongly connected to our community, with all sorts of local groups holding joint events with us such as the 0-4 club running soft play days, special needs schools visiting to help children cope with being in a café, brownies learning about cafes, and the Salvation Army and local school choirs performing, plus a few singalongs. We were shortlisted in 2022 and 2023 as one of the top 3 cafes in Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire and our own recipe Sausage Roll was voted as the best ever tasted by Bedfordshire Today
2. How long have you been a VOLT Electric Bikes dealer, and what initially attracted you to the brand?
We started trading VOLT ebikes in April 2022. We choose Volt as our first range based on two important principles which match our values – we like top quality, award winning products sourced as locally as possible from people we like. Their range is manufactured just up the road in Milton Keynes and the bikes are recognised by most leading cycling pundits/ journalist as top quality well built and with a wide range of different styles of bikes.
3. What is the funniest/strangest request you have ever had from a customer?
Strangest request – a lady whilst testing the Kensington classic frame e-bike (the one with a basket at the front) – is it suitable for a chihuahua?
4. Tell us about a favourite local cycling adventure? Or your favourite local cycling route?
Rob’s most favourite ride has to be cycling the dedicated cycle lane on the coast of Holland from the Hook of Holland all the way North for 60 miles. Cycling in between the dunes on a well-maintained tarmac path with every type of bike imaginable on this glorious strip was fantastic!
Locally we have wonderful hilly surroundings along the Chiltern Hills on which we and customers frequently test the VOLT range.
5. Which is your favourite VOLT Bike and why?
Our favourite bike is the Burlington. We use it for delivering our first-class pizzas in our village, another unique service. It’s extremely comfortable, very nippy & anyone can ride it whether you are short or tall!
6. Can you provide any tips or recommendations for someone who is considering purchasing their first electric bike?
Don’t be fooled by the last bar on the power battery level, when you drop below 2 bars of battery, the last bar won’t deliver any pedal power, just lights & a slight reserve of pedal assist!
7. What is your favourite poison (coffee, matcha, beer, tea, spirit, cocktail, energy drink, juice, etc.)?
After a long ride Rob likes a good long cool beer which is very rejuvenating!
8. How can our followers or potential customers engage with you directly or visit your dealership to test ride or learn more about electric bikes?
There’s no better place to relax & make a decision to plunge into electric pedal power! We have a lovely cosy cafe with great food & drink and time to talk. And we have the glorious countryside around us in which to test the bikes – particularly the hills! Visit us on our website www.thehubandspokecafe.co.uk or Pick up the phone and book a test ride or call the lovely people at VOLT HQ to book.
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