Tell us a little bit about Bikepacking Belgium and how the brand started.
As an early adopter myself, I was not satisfied in the traditional bike shops where all kinds of bikes are sold and there is little expertise on bike travel. Also in the outdoor shops I was frustrated because their focus is on climbing and hiking. So I decided to start a shop focused only on expertise and products for biketrave, bike touring and bikepacking.
How does Bikepacking Belgium fit into the local cycling scene/community?
All people that are willing to value expertise in a specialized shop are welcome. We also have a special friendly atmosphere in our shop that is very original. We try to create a local community by organizing some events, like film screenings, talks and organised rides. We also love hearing about the bike travel experiences of our customers.
Talk us through an average day at Bikepacking Belgium.
In the shop: talking to customers, sharing expertise, selling products, solving problems, fixing bikes, receiving products, etc. Behind the shop: inventory management, admin, creating the product portfolio, etc. Combining them together: tough combination! :)
What made you want to stock Restrap?
Restrap is goodlooking, high quality and still quite affordable.
What's the most interesting bike you've seen dropped into the shop?
I think there is no such thing as the most interesting bike, only the most interesting story. First, we only work with quality brands, preferably brands that only focus on bike touring or bikepacking. Second, we always try to look for that perfect bike that fits the dreams and wishes of the customer. In this there are many parameters such as budget, materials, underground, gears, comfort, weight, reliability, etc.
So if this exercise with our customer succeeds then we are very happy!
With the shift in the cycling industry catering towards gravel riding, bikepacking and ultra endurance racing, how do Bikepacking Belgium plan to tap into this new style of riding, which is mainly off-road?
We mainly focus on bike touring and bikepacking, which can be road or off-road. Everybody has their personal preferences, the most important is to move and breath outside. We promote bike travel starting at the front door without the use of fossil fuels such as car and plane.
Do your mechanics and bike builders specialise in anything in particular
We are still a small shop and we are looking for more people looking for a challenge and with a heart and expertise in bike travel.
What are Bikepacking Belgium's plans for the future?
We still have many plans but that is top-secret. You'll have to follow us to find out :)
A big thank you to Thomas at Bikepacking Belgium, in Antwerp.
Address : Paviljoen 1 / 2
Paradeplein 31 / 13