Full Cycle is Not Your Typical Biker Bar. One of Boulder’s Favorite Bike Shops Adds a Bar and Café.
Walking into the Full Cycle in Boulder on the corner of Pearl and 18th St., it’s suddenly unclear if you’re walking into the neighborhood bike shop or the neighborhood bar. One side of the space is lined with bikes, gear and mechanics wrenching on equipment at a service station. Along the other side and near the front, is a brand-new bar top that sits over 15 people, with 16 taps, and a handful of large, high top tables. This was Russel Chandler’s vision since buying Full Cycle in 2016.
“Our goal is to establish the Full Cycle bar and café as the community hub for group rides, bicycling events, fundraising, coaching, clinics and maintenance classes,” says Chandler.
This spring, the renovation added a bar and café to the bike and service shop. Chandler hopes the newly remodeled digs can be a general hangout for folks wanting to pop in for a beer or glass of wine after a ride or grab a quick coffee and panini mid-day.
“It’s also somewhat of an attempt to combat online shopping,” says Chandler. “We want to make it easy and welcoming for everyone to just come on in.”
Full Cycle started in 1982 with humble beginnings in a garage under a different owner. Today, there is the Pearl Street location and the location on the hill, both owned by Chandler and his business partner, Ed Kuh.
Chandler doesn’t define himself as a “traditional bike guy.” With a degree in Computer Science and an M.A. in Geology, he worked as a GIS software developer and became more active in the cycling community in the early 2000s. Over time, his involvement in the Boulder bike scene has evolved. He helped start the publication “Bike Life Boulder County,” and along with some friends, he started the “Wednesday Morning Velo,” a group riding network that meets weekly, May through September. After the flooding in 2013, he and other cyclists put on fundraisers for mountain towns in the area affected by the floods.
“The success of those fundraisers lead us to form the non-profit called ‘Cyclists for Community,’ which is a grassroots organization that stretches across all bike shops in Boulder, not just Full Cycle,” explains Chandler. While ‘Cyclists for Community’ is not affiliated with Full Cycle, Chandler says it was that background and involvement that got him into the bike industry.
“The Boulder bike community is one of the best in the world,” he says. “We want to make it easy for the whole community, not just certain kinds of cyclists or racers, to make biking an integral part of their lifestyle. So, instead of going someplace else for coffee or a beer after a ride, getting their bike serviced or buying gear, people can have the whole experience here.”