Finally, a bike store in Greenpoint. Greenpoint Bikes is located at the north end of Manhattan Avenue—between Eagle and Dupont Streets—and they have been officially open just since Labor Day. Unofficially though, they have been doing repairs for a few weeks, essentially as soon as Pablo Airaldi, one of the two owners, got some tools and a stand. Before this, Airaldi was a mechanic at Brooklyn Bike and Board in Prospect Heights and a bike messenger in the city for five years prior to that. Plus, out of necessity as well as hobby, Airaldi has been repairing bikes for the last twelve years. Needless to say, he’s pretty well versed in everything bikes.
Airaldi met his business partner Adam Sosnicki à la Desperately Seeking Susan: through an ad. Sosnicki, long-time Greenpoint resident and the man behind Uro Café (at Driggs Avenue and Leonard Street), already had the experience of being a business owner, but had never worked in a bike shop before and needed someone with the knowledge of how one should be run. Enter Airaldi who “like[s] to get [his] hands dirty and work.”
Airaldi rides a fixed gear bike, but he’s not judging you based on what kind you ride. He wants to sell bikes to, and fix bikes for everyone. “We try to be an all-around shop. I don’t care to be boutique. What I want to do is cater to everybody that I can from entry-level commuters all the way up to road-enthusiasts and fixed-enthusiasts,” Airaldi said.
Not big on trends, Airaldi builds utilitarian bikes where function, rather than fashion, is at the forefront of importance. His bikes are specifically made for commuting and they’re often simplified down to a single speed: he believes it’s not practical to have multiple gears in the city. “It’s a mix between comfort and speed—you often tend to sacrifice one for the other with a bike, but we’re trying to kind of mesh them together,”
New to Greenpoint, establishing himself in the neighborhood has proven to be a priority for Airaldi. As a burgeoning business, he doesn’t want to come in and change what has already existed in this neighborhood for forty-five years. “It’s a neat little neighborhood. That’s why I don’t want new business to push out the old. I’d rather there be a good mesh between all of us,” Airaldi said. In response, Airaldi’s business model is to not be a selective bike shop and to cater to all. “I try to be a neighborhood bike shop. I’ll help a kid out if he doesn’t have any money, and at the same time, you know, I do need to make money to continue doing what I need to do,” he added.
To help celebrate their arrival to the neighborhood, Greenpoint Bikes will be holding a gallery at their shop in conjunction with Greenpoint Open Studios October 1-3. That Saturday, October 2, Greenpoint Bikes is having an opening party from 6:00-10:00 p.m.
Greenpoint Bikes is located at 1078 Manhattan Avenue between Eagle and Dupont Streets. They are currently open seven days a week from 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.