Walk into Banker Supply Co. in Echo Park and you'd be forgiven for thinking you'd just entered an exhibition space instead of a new bike store.
The "cycling lifestyle" boutique, as it's described by founder Nick Drombosky, opened for business last month in an 1,800-square-foot space with high ceilings, white walls and concrete flooring that showcases about a dozen bikes, racks of stylish clothing and footwear designed for everyday urban biking.
The apparel includes San Francisco-brand Parker Dusseau's dress shirts made from antimicrobial performance fabrics, and shoes from DZR — which look like regular street shoes but are designed for pedals. There are also accessories like sleek titanium locks and a special wax that adheres eyeglasses to the face.
"We look at bikes as a part of your life," said Drombosky. "Our customers are people who ride to the grocery store, the local bar, to work, who think, 'Why am I driving?'"
Drombosky opened the first Banker Supply — the name is inspired by George Banker, a cycling champion in the late 1800s — two years ago in Pittsburgh. He chose Echo Park for his second location because of the area's "high ridership" and urban sensibility. Instead of a sales floor crammed with bicycles and more hanging overhead, he's chosen a few from brands like Brooklyn Bicycle Co. and Coast Cycles and arranged them artfully on the floor.
"These companies make nice-looking but functional bikes. They should be inexpensive to maintain. A bike shouldn't be a burden. It's something that you should have as part of your life."
The average cost of a bike at the store is $600; the electric ones go up to about $2,000.
Drombosky says that this accessible approach to bike shopping led to 70% of sales last year at his Pittsburgh store being made to women.
"We didn't purposely set out to target women," he said. "We just wanted to make the store inclusive of all types of people."