Covered in bike grease alongside a myriad of tools, rising freshman Alex Reichmann works for hours in his garage repairing bikes for his customers. While some people are trying to relax during quarantine, Reichmann took the initiative and started his own business.
Reichmann received a bike stand for his birthday and began repairing his own bike during his free time. After that, his aunt gave him her bikes to repair and suggested he start a business.
“I’m a cyclist, so I have the experience and I like working on bikes and since quarantine started I’ve had a lot of time to do it,” Reichmann said. “I’ve noticed that the bike shop is super crowded so people can come to me and I’ll do tune-ups for them.”
Reichmann’s business steadily increased after his mother, Lisa Levin, posted a picture on Facebook of Reichmann fixing bikes. He repairs around five to seven bikes a week, with costs varying depending on the parts needed and the complexity of the repair. His customers went to him because the bike shop nearby was too busy. Because of the need for bike repairs, word spread quickly about the business.
“I’ve gotten avid cyclists who need their bikes fixed really fast, and the bike shop can’t do that, or people that are pulling their bikes out of their garages for the first time in a few years and just want to ride,” Reichmann said.
He used the money made from the business to buy himself a $2,200 racing bike. He also invests the money back into the business to buy parts and tools from a nearby bike shop and online to allow him to do more complex repairs.
One of Reichmann’s first customers, Mathew Gittleson, lives a few houses down from him. He saw an ad for Reichmann’s business and decided to give him his bike for a tune-up. Reichmann returned the bike within hours.
“I was completely satisfied. I thought he did a great job; he was very professional, and it was a pleasure to deal with,” Gittleson said. “My confidence in his knowledge of bicycles is very high, he seemed to know what he was doing, and he was very dependable and thorough.”
Gittleson was so impressed with Reichmann’s work that he went back to the shop four more times for repairs on his other bikes. He now rides his bike almost every day because of Reichmann.
“[Reichmann’s bike repair] has made my experience during COVID-19 much better,” Gittleson said. “I am very appreciative that he made it so that I could [ride my bike more often].”