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The evening got underway much as any visit to the Specialized Stellenbosch store would – with a drink at the Caveman Café, in this case sumptuous local wine and craft beer rather than one of Conrad Stoltz’s famous coffees. The Caveman Café is designed as an integral part of the store. With its relaxed seating on the patio, overlooking the kiddies bike track (complete with a range of Specialized kids bikes and helmets) and long trellis table tucked into a corner undisturbed by foot traffic. It’s already proving popular as a destination on its own. Not only are moms and dads bringing their children down for a ride while they enjoy a coffee and homemade treats. But it’s become a popular spot to sit and catch up on e-mails for people passing through Stellenbosch on business.

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From the Caveman Café at the front of the store to the lounge area at the back, complete with a television playing the world’s best riding videos for now, but undoubtedly footage from the Absa Cape Epic come the 13th of March and the Tour de France from the 2nd of July, the store is an immersive experience. The modular display system allows for continual refreshing and the displays lure you into what Specialized dub “experiences”. There are road, mountain, ladies, kids and triathlon sections and within these sections they further break it down to rider style. You will find all the gear you need, head to toe, in 1 area.

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At 830 square meters the Stellenbosch store is one of the largest Specialized stores in the country, but it’s not just in showroom space that Specialized have invested. There are extensive changing rooms, complete with shower facilities for the riders who would like to use the store as the starting and finishing point of a ride. The access to the trails of Eden are a mere kilometre away and there is scenic road riding in the area too. The store has quickly become a popular destination for cyclists and their massive workshop is building a great reputation. Designed with 5 work stations, the workshop is a constant hub of activity and services all bike brands.


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The store also features a state of the art Body Geometry Fit and Physiotherapy studio from which fit expert and physiotherapist, Peet le Roux, will be practicing. The studio is separate from the store and has an unintimidating but medical air about it. It also features the Retul 3D Motion Capture system as well as a Retül Müve Dynamic Fit Bike – tools which makes dialling in your perfect bike fit so much easier.

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The Stellenbosch store is the first store globally to be owned by Specialized Bicycles, with the purpose of facilitating more than solely a retail store environment. Bobby Behan, Specialized Market Leader Africa, says that the new store is a training facility for all staff, and is a means for them to understand retail and therefore better support their retailer base and most importantly the end consumer and his / her needs. The driving rationale behind the store is one of providing what Behan terms a “test bed” for shop fitting, retail systems, product training, stock management and marketing. Retailers will also be able to send staff to the Stellenbosch store for on the job training under the experienced team at the store. Trevor Marshall and Maria Martinez manage the store and are backed by an incredible team with extensive knowledge and experience in the industry.

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With some of the best riders in the world already congregating in Stellenbosch for training, like superstar triathlete Javier Gómez, and other riders like Lisa Norden and Christoph Sauser, the eyes of the cycling world are already on Stellenbosch. With it’s growing international interest the store now provides the support and facilities for not only the local riders and visiting professionals but also leading the way for Stellenbosch in another sphere of cycling.

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Photos by Ewald Sadie | www.esphotography.co.za.