By: Michael Lander
|The Bikesmith, which is owned and operated by Jim |
Steffen, has been in business about a year and it offers
a distinctively unique bicycle repair service throughout
The Memphis metropolitan area has about a dozen bike repair shops, but Jim Steffen has taken the model of a bike shop and turned it inside out.
He has done this with his own bike shop, The Bikesmith, which is quite unlike any other.
Steffen began his mobile bike repair shop about a year ago and his business is unlike the conventional brick-and-mortar bike shops in and around our city because it isn’t the customer who comes to him, but it is Steffen in his brown Bikesmith truck that often comes to the customer.
“I pick up bikes from people’s houses or I work at their houses. A lot of what I offer is convenience. I want to make it easier for everyone. It can be hard to get your whole family’s bikes to the store for tune-ups, but I can come to you,” Steffen said.
Because he is able to provide his bike repair service anywhere, Steffen feels like that he has become a local bike shop to Memphians across the city, regardless of where they live.
“Being mobile means I can be a neighborhood bike repair store for any neighborhood in Memphis,” Steffen said.
Even though Steffen has only been in business for a year, he has many years of experience of working on many different kinds of bikes.
“I’ve worked on all types of bikes that include cargo, triathlon, road bikes, and more,” Steffen said.
The Bikesmith is open for business every day, but his hours change to allow him to schedule appointments with people at a time that is convenient for them.
On Sundays, he can be found at the east end of the Greenline at Shelby Farms, (near Shelby Farm’s Bike Rental at the intersection of Farm and Mullins Station Rd).
Gary Jewell is among the many customers that he has had at Shelby Farms.
“I turned to him to replace a tube for my tire while I was on the Greenline and I thought he provided good service, at reasonable price, and was really a pleasure to do business with,” Jewell said.
|Most of the business for The Bikesmith involves making|
house calls, but Jim Steffen can be found at the east end
of the Shelby Farms Greenline (at the intersection of
Farm and Mullins Rd) on Sundays.
In addition to working near the Greenline, and making house calls, Steffen has also been available at various cycling events that occur in the Memphis area throughout the year.
“I’ve been honored to be part of a variety of events, especially the St. Jude Ride and I’m looking forward to being part of it again this year,” Steffen said.
Before Steffen started his business he worked at a digital printing company and today he is living his dream.
“I’ve dreamed about owning a bike store for a long time and I have slowly been taking steps toward fulfilling that dream,” Steffen said.
The Bikesmith is currently a one-man operation, but he would love nothing more than to expand his operation to include his dog, Steamboat, who he’d love to join him and keep him company.
Other than the love that he has for Steamboat and for working on bikes, he also has a real passion for bicycling.
“I love everything about biking. I’ve done Ironman and centuries, as well as mountain biking for years and I also just love riding my cruiser on the Greenline, too,” he said.
Steffen is very optimistic and happy about the future for himself as well as for the city of Memphis.
“I’m just so excited to see Memphis become more bike-friendly and to see more bikers out there riding,” Steffen said.
As more people take up cycling for themselves, they should take comfort in knowing that there will be a smiling face and a helpful hand from The Bikesmith, if they ever need him.
To read more about The Bikesmith, click on this link to the peopleforbikes article, entitled, “Rolling Repairs: A Mobile Bike Shop in Memphis” and you can also check him out on facebook, YouTube, and on Vimeo.