ROXBOROUGH >> For just about any bicycle, new or used, residents can visit Barr’s Bikes and Boards in Roxborough, a shop owned by the knowledgeable Joe Barr, who has had passion for bikes since he was a child growing up in Manayunk.
Barr’s Bikes and Boards, located at 4458 Ridge Ave., is in its eighth year, having opened for business in 2010. The store sells new and used bicycles, as well as parts and accessories. Barr’s Bikes also offers repair and tune-up services.
The store carries a full spectrum of products in sizes for men, women, and children from brands such as Fuji, SE, Breezer, Kestrel and Big Shot, with entry level bikes starting at about $400. Though Barr stocks what he considers their “house brands,” he is able to order “anything else I can get my hands on,” Barr said.
Barr deals with a local biking warehouse, which enables him to get goods for his customers as quickly as one day. These days, one of the most frequently-requested items is the SE So Cal Flyer.
“They are in big demand,” Barr said, adding that he ordered some 2018 SE So Cal Flyers before they were built to help meet his demand.
One of the most-asked questions Barr receives is “what’s the best bicycle?”
“A bicycle, in my opinion, is a frame design and a paint job,” said Barr.
All of the other components that make up the bike will change depending on the price point, so it comes down to what kind of components the customer wants and/or what they desire to spend.
Barr has had a lifelong passion for bicycles which started when he was a kid collecting old bikes to restore. He built his first bike using parts salvaged from a neighborhood junkyard.
Today, he still bikes to this store every day from his home in Fort Washington.
“My carbon footprint over the summer is very small,” he said.
Though Barr’s Bikes has only been open for a few years, Barr’s experience running a bike shop goes back much further. He and a former partner previously owned a bike store in the same space. According to Barr, they didn’t see eye to eye, so Barr was bought out. The bike shop remained in the space, and the operator continued to pay rent to Barr, who owns the building, for about 15 years. Once the store closed, Barr decided to open his own bike business.
Barr initially opened with a partner, but today, he is the sole owner of the business. And though the store used to carry skateboards, hence the name of the shop, the focus is now entirely on bikes.
In addition, Barr and his wife, Nancy, have operated the salon next door, Hair Jazz, for more than 30 years. The couple rented the space at first, but after a few years, they bought the property and have owned the building ever since.
Nancy primarily runs the salon, but Barr works there as well, splitting his time evenly between both businesses. He has been cutting hair for more than four decades.
Barr’s Bikes and Boards is open noon to 6 p.m. on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. on Friday and 9 a.m.-4 p.m. on Saturday. For more information call 267-297-3266 or visit www.barrsbikesandboards.com.