Ride Velo on tour: Barcelona

Barceloneta Bikes has one of the most enviable locations in the world: not only is it in one of the greatest cities on the planet: (Barcelona) but, as its name suggests, it’s also positioned in the heart of Barceloneta, one of the cooler, trendier and edgier barrios of this wonderful, vibrant and bustling metropolis.

 Fixie heaven...

Fixie heaven...

First impressions are that this is fixie heaven, with brightly coloured wheels hanging from the ceiling; chain and crank sets displayed against pine-clad walls. You can tell these guys know their stuff when you admire their display of customised bikes with Cinelli, Bianchi and Langster frames, to name but a few, that hark back to the fixie bike roots of the track. No knocked off cheap frames imported in bulk from Taiwan here. 

  Barceloneta Bikes'  Club jersey: cool!

Barceloneta Bikes' Club jersey: cool!

The apparel is quality too: T-shirts with great designs including Barceloneta Bikes’ own logo, natty socks and beautiful Eroica wool jerseys. There are sharp cycling shoes as well as retro leather ones, and some stylish urban helmets. 

 Crank it up Spanish Stlyleee

Crank it up Spanish Stlyleee

 El Jefe, Tony (courtesy of A&E TV)

El Jefe, Tony (courtesy of A&E TV)

But Tony Valcarel, who set the shop up four years ago, says there’s more to BBikes than just fixies or single speeds. He got into cycling as a mountain biker originally, then moved into road then track racing. What he loves best is to customize any bike to your needs; whether it’s an urban, mountain or road bike. He even works with frame builders in the city to help you achieve the perfect geometry, fit and feel for you. No wonder then that the shop is now the subject of a real life documentary called ‘Be-Bike’, produced by A&E productions in the USA.

 Demon wheels

Demon wheels

Ok, so you’re probably not going to order your bike from here while on your summer holiday, but if you want something a little sharper to spin round the streets of the city on your visit than the rather heavy city bikes on offer elsewhere, you could do worse than heading down to Barceloneta Bikes to rent one for the day or longer. You’ll be sure of a warm and friendly welcome, and all the guys speak excellent English. 

 Does my bum look big on this?

Does my bum look big on this?

They even invited us out on one of their weekly night-time rides out to the airport and back. And if you’re like us, and just love to drool over some great bikes and kit, this offers an alternative to Barcelona’s other attractions.