Bike Shop: Houndstooth Road

Much like the duotone textile pattern of the same name, the bicycles that you’ll find within the doors of Houndstooth Road in Decatur, GA, are timeless, classic, simple, and elegant.

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Much like the duotone textile pattern of the same name, the bicycles that you’ll find within the doors of Houndstooth Road in Decatur, GA, are timeless, classic, simple, and elegant.

“I generally hate bike shops,” said Jae Schmidt, the owner of Houndstooth Road. In his search for a middle ground between “macho” technical shops and women’s-only shops, Schmidt paved his own way. His vision? To sell bicycles and accessories of an enduring aesthetic, support the companies making them, and treat customers with respect and kindness.

Founded in 2010, the company began with nothing but a warehouse space, a delivery van, a laptop, and half a dozen Pashleys. The retail boutique opened in May 2012 and reflects Schmidt’s dedication to close partnerships with small-volume, independent designers. The space is decorated with custom made, oxidized steel sculptures and displays by local design firm Lemay and Rivenbark. Unique products – such as hand-painted helmets by Danielle Baskinand hand-woven, Ghanaian bicycle baskets by House of Talent – catch the eye. If you’re looking for Cyclodelic bags, clothing, and reflective cuffs by Amy Fleuriot, this is the only place in the US where you can find them. A floor stocked with a selection of tried-and true European city bicycles (previously unavailable in the Southeastern United States) reflects Schmidt’s commitment to beauty, efficiency, craftsmanship, and longevity.

It’s not just the products at Houndstooth Road that make the shop unique. Schmidt has a special approach to people and bicycles: “Fundamentally, I like to remember that our customers don’t want to buy a bicycle – they want to buy wind. Then, it’s just a matter of deciding how to reflect their personal style through that tool.” Schmidt assists everyone from 20-year-olds to 70-year-olds, from the bike savvy (who already own several bicycles) to the bike curious (who haven’t ridden in 30 years). Women account for 75 percent of Schmidt’s customers, something he attributes to his efforts to develop trust and his approach of respect and empowerment. Schmidt also credits the work that the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition has done to encourage more women to cycle, most notably its Heels on Wheels group rides. Women, through design and manufacturing, are also at the core of the companies whose products line Schmidt’s shelves.

In a relatively short amount of time, Houndstooth Road has become a hub for chic urban cyclists in both Decatur and Atlanta. People often visit simply to chat, and it’s not uncommon for customers to help other customers. Schmidt explained: “We’re not really selling bicycles. What we’re selling is friendships.” Last fall, Schmidt organized a tweed and vintage ride – the Decatur Autumn Classic Ride; he plans to make it an annual event. Also in the works is a picnic ride (featuring a Deep South theme) as well as evening guest lectures on bicycle-related topics.

The Details

Address: 316 Church Street, Decatur, GA, 30030, USA


Phone: 404-220-8957

Bikes by: Bella Ciao, Bobbin, Christiania Cargo Bikes, Royal Dutch Gazelle, Pashley, Pilen, Tern, Xtracycle, Early Rider Balance

Accessories and Apparel from: Bookman Lighting, Brooks England, Cleverhood, Cyclodelic London, Georgia in Dublin, House of Talents Baskets, Kryptonite, Light and Motion Lighting, Michaux Club, Nantucket Bike Basket Company, Nutcase Child Helmets, Orontas Plant-Based Lubricants, PoCampo, Power Grips, Portland Design Works, and more.

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