Whether your preference is electric, road or city – or you don’t know yet – LAP Bikes has your perfect bike, along with expert staff and Service Station to keep you safe on the road
The pandemic reminded us all that, in shrinking our world down to our nearby surroundings, we can in fact open up our lives to so much more, as well as improving the planet’s health, and our own. This localisation reflects the ‘15-minute city’ concept, developed by Professor Carlos Moreno long before Covid-19. Moreno believes it should take no more than 15 minutes to get to all ‘daily urban necessities’, on foot or by bike, to improve quality of life and reduce travel as much as possible.
Wellbeing, connection and convenience have been designed into the foundations of Canary Wharf and travelling by bike is key to this; specialist retailer LAP Bikes has just opened in Churchill Place to serve the whole Estate.
The idea was born in 2016 when two friends – Nico Roche and Boj Savkov – had “big dreams” for the world of cycling. Nico, a professional cyclist since 2005 with more than 20 Grand Tours to his name, is one of the most experienced and well-respected riders in the peloton, while Boj, an equally passionate cyclist and successful entrepreneur, has 15 years of experience in the retail, food and beverage and financial sectors. They wanted to offer people, both aficionados like themselves and those new to bikes, a “carefully-curated portfolio of high-quality bicycles across multiple categories”, and to make the experience of buying a bike “simple and personal”. Its name is a translation of ‘tour’ (as in Tour de France) and ‘giro’ (as in Giro d’Italia) and thus pronounced ‘lap’.
Nico and Boj believe in a future where bicycles are the main mode of transportation in a city; this has happened already in Amsterdam and Copenhagen where more than 40% of residents commute by bike. E-bikes have turbo-charged this change, making it more practical, safer and easier to get around town and allowing people with different levels of abilities and fitness to cycle. People are using public transport less since the pandemic started and the e-bike is a great way to get to the office without getting sweaty. “Bikes are going to change our cities forever,” Boj states emphatically, “making them greener and healthier for everyone. We want to promote commuting to work and getting around town by bicycle. At LAP, we want to be part of this journey.”
So this year, LAP stores are opening in London, New York and Tokyo. “We don’t try to have everything,” Boj explains. “We want people to have a high-end experience, that’s special and different, and all about quality.” So they stock only bikes – brilliant bikes, by the likes of BMC, Cannondale, Scott and Cervelo, starting at around £800 – and key components such as wheels, helmets and apparel. The Service Station offers Basic, Standard and Full bike services, from £50. “The people we have working here understand bikes inside out and know how to communicate this with customers.”
LAP Bikes is also perfectly placed to introduce new brands to our Estate thanks to its partnerships and connections in the industry; it is the first store to stock Leger, a premium cycling apparel range co-founded by friends of LAP Jenson Button and James Rossiter. Boj admires their focus on quality; Nico and Boj have the same approach to quality, which is what their customers can expect from LAP.