How did your business start?
The Devil's Gear was started by Matthew Feiner in 2001 after moving back to CT from Austin, TX. Matthew wanted to create a bike-friendly environment in New Haven like he had experienced in other places. At the same time, he helped to found Elm City Cycling, a non-profit that focuses on advocacy for cyclists in the area. The Devil's Gear is focused on our community and helping to get more people on bicycles.
What kind of person would enjoy your product or service?
We sell and fix bicycles for anyone in New Haven, from a basic commuter bike to a high-end racing bike. Interactions differ based on what the customer is looking for - sometimes we are able to fix an issue within 5 minutes, and sometimes we ask customers to leave their bike with us for weeks at a time. Selling a new bicycle really depends upon the type of riding a customer wants to do, and where they see themselves riding.
What are your best selling products/most popular services?
Our most popular service is a flat tire fix. In terms of products, there is massive disruption to the supply chain in our industry. People are currently buying any bicycle that is close enough to what they actually want in terms of fit, price, and style.
How has your business been impacted by COVID-19?
COVID-19 has caused a dramatic increase in demand for bicycles, bicycle parts, and bicycle services. We have been very strict with our policies in order to ensure that our staff, our customers, and our community stays safe. We would prefer to make a little bit less money if it will save lives.
What’s a long term goal you have for your business?
We would like to sell a bicycle that New Haven can be proud of - perhaps even one that is made here.