A NEW bike repair shop has enjoyed a successful opening period after transforming from an online store to a bricks-and-mortar shop.

Wolf Cycles, a new cycle parts shop and repair centre based in Borders Business park in Longtown, opened on January 20.

Alex Foster, 26, from Brampton, is the founder and a director of Wolf Cycles. He set up the business when he was 18 whilst trying to pursue a career in bike racing and earning a wage that worked around his training.

He located distributors and suppliers for popular cycling brands and set up eBay/Amazon stores to sell them. Alex's ambitions for a career in bike racing did not work out but the business continued to grow and Alex was able to keep it going whilst at university.

He later joined forces with his business partner Chris Marshall, who developed their website in exchange for a share in the company.

News and Star: Wolf Cycles have a race team funded through the shop with 8 Cumbrian riders racing at National B level events around the Country.Wolf Cycles have a race team funded through the shop with 8 Cumbrian riders racing at National B level events around the Country. (Image: Wolf Cycles)

Alex said: "In 2020, during the Covid pandemic, the cycling industry grew rapidly as it was one of the few accessible sports people were allowed to do.

"People would turn to cycling as a form of exercise and many needed new parts to repair old bikes, or would be looking to upgrade the spec on their current bikes.

"With the increased demand, I took the plunge to rent a warehouse in Longtown and go full time with the shop as it coincided with me finishing university and returning to Cumbria."

Soon after, they welcomed Hayward Wu as their warehouse manager.

In 2021, Adam Bent, a 20-year-old cyclist, joined Wolf Cycles, splitting his time between training, racing for a Spanish team in summer, and working at the store during winters.

On his return to Cumbria, he brought along his expertise as a bike mechanic which led Wolf Cycles to extend their operations beyond being an online retail store.

News and Star: Helping customers on opening dayHelping customers on opening day (Image: Wolf Cycles)

They refurbished their establishment, creating a shopfront and a workshop repair centre. Adam will now manage the shop front and the workshop, while Alex oversees the progression of the online store.

Alex said: "Our focus with the shop is to use our online order volume to provide high end components locally at competitive 'online prices' while maintaining a local bike shop feel.

"We don’t sell bikes at the moment, for now we are keeping focussed on parts and accessories. We predominantly sell road biking products more so than mountain bike but we’re hoping to improve our off-road range throughout the year.

"The store has been going steady since opening after a very busy opening day, though we expected this as it will take time to build up a local customer base and it’s the quieter part of the year for cycling stores."