April 22, 2016 (Montreal, Que.) – Bicycles Quilicot, the oldest continuously operating bike shop in Quebec, recently opened a new store carrying only electric bikes. Called Vélo Branché par Quilicot, it is Quilicot’s fourth retail location. Located in Montreal’s trendy Plateau District, it targets a very different clientele from Quilicot’s traditional patrons.
“We officially re-opened on March 4 as we did some renovations – it’s a completely a new store,” explained co-owner Marc-André Lebeau. “Now we are servicing a new clientele of young urban professionals riding electric bikes.”
“We currently sell BionX, EVO and Evox; we will add Devinci, Felt, Specialized and Velec so that our offering is fairly complete. As for accessories, we sell everything and have added a clothing department as well. We also installed an automatic door and customers appreciate this feature – we’re already seeing clientele from our other stores. There’s a a good team in place and we continue to work with the former owners and their expertise to provide the best services and products to this emerging segment of riders.”
Velo Branche par Quilicot © Quilicot
Asked if it is ironic that a 100-year-old bike shop is now selling electric bikes, he points out that Quilicot has sold motorbikes, Vespas, tricycles and utility bikes in the past, so this is not a big break with tradition. Lebeau also sees strong potential in electric bikes in North America, but doubts that they will become as popular here as in Asia or Europe.
Lebeau was once the Canadian junior points champion, but admits that running four stores means he is “not in shape to go back into racing.” He nonetheless manages to ride about four times a week in season, totaling about 3,500km per year. Lebeau mentions that his wife and store co-owner expects to give birth in a few days. “This is a bigger challenge to ride…”
The historic legendary bike shop chain has another distinction. Lebeau displays old newspaper clippings that feature a Quilicot-sponsored rider, Pierre Gachon, joining the 1937 British Tour de France team. Gachon was the first North American to ride at cycling’s most prestigious event.
Vélo Branché par Quilicot
(open seven days a week)
4801 Avenue Papineau
Montreal, H2H 1V7