Editor’s Note: We spoke with Gary Vasbinder, the owner of Real Bikes Englewood with his wife Melody. Visit RealBikesEnglewood.com; call 941-445-7325. The store is located at 445 South Indiana Ave.
Gary, what’s the history of Real
We opened the doors in November 2012 and have enjoyed serving our community for over six years. We have seen our store grow out of its original spot and recently moved to a larger location several doors down in the same plaza at Englewood Square.
What bike brands do you currently feature and what are some of the newer models that are doing well with local customers?
We carry Giant, Jamis and Specialized and although Hybrids are our bread and butter, we are excited about the Gravel bikes and E-bikes. The Gravel bikes give you the opportunity to pedal on and off the road and the ability to tour and bike-pack. E-Bikes are you – only faster and with more choices for on and off the road.
Are most of your customers buying road bikes or do you sell more hybrids?
We sell more Hybrids in the winter, more Mountain bikes in the spring and more Road bikes in the summer. We are blessed to have year-round groups and clubs that we cater to and support. They ride almost every day thanks to our wonderful weather.
What are some good Hybrid bikes that can work well on any surface including the beach?
We have Giant Cypress, Jamis Hudson’s and Specialized Rolls that have a larger tire size that makes it easy to pedal on most surfaces, however riding the beach is easiest with Fat Tired Bikes. We have found with a 4.0+ tire one can pedal the sandy beaches at a comfortable rate without wearing yourself out.
What would you like to share about your service department?
We are a full-service bike shop offering many options. We box bikes, ship bikes, assemble bikes, rebuild, tune-up, sell after-market wheels and components, do performance upgrades, and more.
How about bike rentals?
We offer Road, Hybrid and Mountain bikes and you can rent by the day, week or month.
What’s the latest with your children Reagan and Gavin?
Reagan is soaking up her Senior year at Lemon Bay High School swimming, running track and playing water polo. We are in the process of evaluating colleges. Gavin attends the Sky Academy and is active with Boy Scout Troop 36 and he’s also on the Gulf Coast Scholastic Clays Team. We are blessed to have both kids involved with groups and activities that motivate and challenge them.