House calls for bikes: Mobile cycle shop stayed in high gear amid closures

  • Sean Condon, co-owner of the mobile bike shop Speed and Sprocket, works on three bikes for Jessica Kolb and her two children, Grace Kolb, 10, and Avery Kolb, 8. The Kolbs drove from Brimfield to the home of family member Dick Fournier, who lives in Easthampton. STAFF PHOTO/CAROL LOLLIS

  • Sean Condon, co-owner of the mobile bike shop Speed and Sprocket, works on three bikes for Jessica Kolb and her two children, Grace Kolb, 10, and Avery Kolb, 8. The Kolbs drove from Brimfield to the home of family member Dick Fournier, who lives in Easthampton. STAFF PHOTO/CAROL LOLLIS

  • Sean Condon, co-owner of the mobile bike shop Speed and Sprocket, works on three bikes for Jessica Kolb and her two children, Grace Kolb, 10, and Avery Kolb, 8. The Kolbs drove from Brimfield to the home of family member Dick Fournier, who lives in Easthampton. STAFF PHOTO/CAROL LOLLIS

  • Sean Condon, co-owner of the mobile bike shop Speed and Sprocket, works on three bikes for Jessica Kolb and her two children, Grace Kolb, 10, and Avery Kolb, 8. The Kolbs drove from Brimfield to the home of family member Dick Fournier, who lives in Easthampton. STAFF PHOTO/CAROL LOLLIS

  • Sean Condon, co-owner of the mobile bike shop Speed and Sprocket, works on three bikes for Jessica Kolb and her two children, Grace Kolb, 10, and Avery Kolb, 8. The Kolbs drove from Brimfield to the home of family member Dick Fournier, who lives in Easthampton. STAFF PHOTO/CAROL LOLLIS

Staff Writer 
Published: 6/26/2020 6:49:34 AM

While most bike shops had to close temporarily during the pandemic, Speed & Sprocket Cycle Works was busier than ever. For the past seven years, the mobile bike shop has set up shop in customers’ driveways, fixing older bikes and delivering new ones to customers. 

Northampton residents Sean Condon, 46, and Elizabeth Budd, 33, are the married co-owners of Speed & Sprocket, which they opened in January 2013. 

“At the time, there were even more bike shops in the Valley than there are now,” Condon said. “The Valley didn’t need another traditional brick-and-mortar bike shop. We came up with this idea of a mobile shop where the shop came to the customer instead of the customer going to the shop.”

The mobile “shop” is a large Ford Transit van with enough room in the back to transport bicycles, store parts and accessories, and use as a workshop. 

“Most of our customers are families with three, four, five or six bikes who couldn’t get them all to a shop, even if they wanted to,” Condon said. “We can go to them and do all of the bikes in one visit.” 

Condon, who is also a seventh grade English teacher in Granby Public Schools, said that during the school year, he and Budd typically work on bikes on evenings or weekends. But since the pandemic started, they’ve been receiving more calls for customer appointments. 

“There’s just been an explosion of people just getting back on their bikes,” he said. “We’ve seen a lot of bikes this year that haven’t seen the light of day in years. People are digging them out of the back of their garage or basement and are finally getting back out on them, which is great to see. It’s kind of a silver lining of what’s going on right now.” 

This year, Speed & Sprocket also partnered with All Out Adventures — the Northampton-based nonprofit organization that focuses on outdoor recreation for people of all abilities — which also sells three-wheeled bikes, or trikes. 

“We’re now servicing all of their trike customers,” Condon said. “A trike is four times bigger than a regular bike, so it’s even harder for someone to get into a shop.” 

Condon said that over the years, he and Budd have been able to build relationships that are especially strong because they get to meet their bike-riding customers at their homes. 

“We have customers who we’ve had for years who keep having us come back and service their bikes regularly every year,” he said. 

Millie Rossman, a longtime customer of Speed & Sprocket who also serves as a board member of MassBike Pioneer Valley, a local chapter of the statewide advocacy group, said the mobile bike shop has worked on her bike and those of her three children since 2014. 

“They’ve helped over the years with everything from general cleaning and tune-ups to a new seat or adjustments as my kids have grown,” said Rossman, whose children are now 20, 18 and 16.

With the current public health crisis, she noted, Speed & Sprocket offers people “peace of mind to have someone come to you.” 

Belchertown couple Lloyd Ortman and Melinda Rigney, both 69, own about a dozen bicycles and often ride during charity events. They met Condon and Budd during charity rides and learned of their business. 

Not only are Condon and Budd servicing bicycles, Ortman said, but they’re educating their customers about them.

“One day, Sean came in the middle of the winter and I had a couple of things for him to look at and I said, ‘Sean, you’re here. I have nine bicycles. Let’s just go over all of them.’ I had a big project in mind, but he went over every bike,” Ortman said. “And throughout the whole process, he not only is helping me fix them, but he’s also showing me what he’s doing and allows me to participate.”

For more information about Speed & Sprocket, visit the mobile bike shop’s website at speedandsprocket.com

Chris Goudreau can be reached at cgoudreau@gazettenet.com. 


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