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The oldest bike shop
in the world

By Adam Marsal

Pearson Cycles in Sutton, London is the oldest bike shop in the world. There are no doubts about it since it was approved by Guinness Book of Records. The shop was founded in 1860, which was 154 years ago. Guy Pearson and his brother William represent the fifth generation of owners. We paid a visit there in November.

„My great great grand father Tom Pearson started here as a blacksmith. He put shoes on horses and he made things from metal,” says Guy Pearson when we meet him at his family shop. „And then bicycles became very popular and so we turn our intentions more into them.”

Guy himself is very keen into cycling. He became a British cycle cross champion when he was sixteen. The heritage is what he keeps in his mind but not only this. „We would’t be here if we looked always backwards. We’ve got the latest bicycles and the latest technology. It’s all about providing a superb service and knowing that all the people who work in this business are really passionate about cycling, including us,” explains Guy Pearson.

„We love cycling,” he says, what makes us really happy. Guy started riding in 1971 when he got his first bike. „Just a single gear, large tires, it was quite heavy. I was just three when I learned to ride on two wheels. I’ve never had stabilizers,” he makes a point. He surely inherited his passion for cycling – something we call the cycling gene.

Guy and his brother William are running already two shops in London and they seem to be pretty successful in the business. They’re not only retailers but also producers of their own bike brand. You can find fourteen different models in the range of Pearson Bikes including frames from precious materials like titanium. Most of the models are built for demanding riders. „We’re very pleased of geometry, that we use,” Guy says. „We have also steel bikes, some has gears, some has single speed. And we have a range of bikes just for commuting.”

Having the world’s oldest bikes shop doesn’t mean that Pearsons leave things just going. „We have to compete with online traders who sell the stuff very cheap so we have to attract people to the store,” says Guy. His idea is to build bikes that are totally fitted to his customers. For that reason he uses special method which measures his client’s proportions to their latest inch. „That really works for every biker. It’s a half an hour process of understanding how exactly the rider will sit on the bike. And then we build the bike into his shape which help him pedal better and ride better and and for longer,” he explains.

The future is something Guy doesn’t want to predict in a rash. He has three daughters while his brother William was gifted by three sons. „We’re not going to push them into what we do. If the opportunity arises, yes, it would be very nice to have the sixth generation running this shop,” Guy says.

Visit his shop to see more. We’ll be pleased when if you write to us your own experiences. Thank you.

watch the cycling gene video