Well, not Brighton, not even in Hove, actually, but further still down the coast and through the endless creep of suburbs to the "idyllic seaside setting" of Shoreham-by-Sea.
As part of Giant’s Global strategy (did you just hear evil cackling and gentle white cat stroking?) to make cycling accessible to all, the latest addition to the Giant store family has begun trading an invigorating pedal along the seafront cycle path from the trendy mess of Brighton.
Located on Shoreham’s Little High Street facing the busy roundabout in full view of the queuing traffic who might get the hint the store offers a full range of Giant bikes, from electric runarounds through all the genres right the way up to full-on Rabobank race replicas.
The shop is managed by Rod Lambert, who already runs the LBS Mr Cycles down the coast in Seaford, and chatting to him it's easy to see he's gently and genuinely enthusiastic about the airy new store with it's brand new body-scanner for accurate bike-fitting, large workshop, hire bikes and try before they buy demo service.
It's a nice place to be, southerly-facing floor to ceiling windows mean all that seaside sunshine floods the shop-floor making it as far from a traditional dark and dingy bike-environment as it could be. Bikes are spatially arranged around the 300 m2 space and easy to view, service counters are unobtrusive and tidy, and there's even a comfy sofa to sit down in and read cycling magazines.
It's a shop that encourages browsing and chatting. Aside from the full range of Giant bikes to peruse there's a comprehensive selection of Giant finishing kit, clothing and helmets to fondle, and also an assortment of Altura clothing, Shimano shoes and a sprinkling of Howies t-shirts.
There are benefits to not being stuck in the middle of Brighton, for those in a car it's easy to get to from either the seafront road or main A27, with the bonus of easy and free parking out the back. The store is perfectly placed for cyclists too as it's right on a busy bike-commuter artery and for more leisurely riders it's conveniently at the start, or finish, of the Downslink, the 37-mile walking, cycling and riding graded off-road path that meanders through Sussex to Guildford, it's a couple of miles pedal to the South Downs and it's trails and it's Way, less than half a mile from the circuitous South Coast Cycle Route (Route 2) of the National Cycle Network, and it's a quick pedal up the Adur valley to the limitless country lanes of Mid-Sussex. And there's a chippy across the way for essential ride sustenance. And a pub.
With a well-established Halfords just up the road, recently opened MS Cycles literally a few doors away up Shoreham High Street and bracketed by the mass of bike shops of Brighton and Worthing this unassuming bit of the South Coast is a surprisingly happy and healthy hunting ground for cyclists of all tribes.
Giant Store - Shoreham
Unit 1, Falconer's Court
Little High Street
Jo Burt has spent the majority of his life riding bikes, drawing bikes and writing about bikes. When he’s not scribbling pictures for the whole gamut of cycling media he writes words about them for road.cc and when he’s not doing either of those he’s pedaling. Then in whatever spare minutes there are in between he’s agonizing over getting his socks, cycling cap and bar-tape to coordinate just so. And is quietly disappointed that yours doesn’t. He rides and races road bikes a bit, cyclo-cross bikes a lot and mountainbikes a fair bit too. Would rather be up a mountain.