Bike Shop – Adeline Adeline

Adeline Adeline is the product of genuine love and strange coincidence.

By Carolyn Szczepanski

Adeline Adeline is the product of genuine love and strange coincidence.

The welcoming vibe starts with the business sign at the chic little bike shop in New York City’s TriBeCa neighborhood. Owner Julie Hirschfeld named her store after two women close to her heart. “Both my grandmothers’ names are Adeline,” she said with a laugh. “It’s kind of a weird coincidence.”

It’s also unexpected that Hirschfeld, a graphic designer by trade,

would ever dabble in two-wheeling commerce. But love works in mysterious ways. What Hirschfeld thought would be a simple affair turned into a very serious relationship.

A native of Washington, DC, Hirschfeld built a successful graphic design firm in New York City. But, after a decade in the business, her heart wasn’t in it. “I was just starting to burn out,” she said.

Her passion was reignited when she started looking for a new bicycle. Her eye for aesthetics drew her to the vintage charm of an old Schwinn. It was love at first sight.

“I didn’t need 15 speeds; I liked that it was simple,” she said.

But her new bike lacked one crucial element: durability. Luckily, Hirschfeld’s circle of friends included a number of Europeans, including folks from Denmark, the Mecca of cycling. “They pointed me in the direction of a lot of brands they knew and it opened a whole world of bikes I hadn’t seen,” she said.

She was introduced to commuter bike brands commonly seen on the

streets of Amsterdam and Copenhagen: Pashley, Batavus and Workcycles. They were so practical and beautiful that Hirschfeld was shocked when she couldn’t find any of them in the supposedly trend-setting, globe-circling shops of New York City.

By January 2010, Hirschfeld found a retail space. Two months later, Adeline Adeline opened its doors.

The sleek space, with wood accents and pastel paint, has earned Hirschfeld comparisons to “Sex and the City” protagonist Carrie Bradshaw. She has an eye for both form and function.

“Our bikes are simple. Most of them have internally geared hubs, so you don’t have to mess with a chain falling off. They’re as user-friendly and easy as possible.”

Of course, simplicity doesn’t overrule style. Sleek accessories – from

Basil’s wicker baskets to hand-painted DringDring bells – are a huge part of Adeline Adeline.

Like any trend-setter, Hirschfeld wants to be at the forefront of

European-style innovation. In 2011, she plans to expand her offerings of BioMega bikes, bring in new models from Linus and introduce PUBLIC bikes for the sportier set.

Hirschfeld won’t carry just any bike in a shop named after her grandmothers. “I want bikes I feel you can fall in love with,” she said. “If people are spending $500, I want the bike to really be something they connect to, an object of lust and desire.”

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