Inside Southern Bicycle’s new location on Perkins Road

It wasn’t easy for Southern Bicycle Co. to close The Bicycle Shop, its Highland Road store at the edge of LSU’s campus, earlier this year. But its newly opened Perkins Road location offers an opportunity to accommodate the larger cycling community in the south Baton Rouge area. 

Lack of parking, structure damage after a flood and a need for a bigger space were among the reasons the brand moved away from campus, says manager Jacob Boles. When the new location at 4237 Perkins Road opened in May, all those problems were fixed. With its own parking lot and a renovated 3,000-square-foot building, Southern Bicycle Co. has been able to expand its market significantly.

“We have more people; foot traffic has gone way up,” Boles says. “We also have more offerings and more stock as a business.”

The store carries bicycles and bike parts from an array of brands such as Specialized and Cervelo. The front of the shop displays cycling products ranging from apparel and accessories like helmets to nutrition products and YETI tumblers.

The entire back section of the shop is dedicated to bicycle service.

Boles says the expert bicycle technicians that work at Southern Bicycle Co. offer exceptional service for any problem except painting and welding.

With the new location being 1.3 miles away from the original location, Boles says the company is able to “foster a bigger community” without abandoning campus customers.

“(The old location) served college students well, but not enough people were on campus buying bikes to operate as a fully-functional bike shop,” Boles says. “We are a business, and it is harder and harder for a small business to carve out its spot in the world.”

That’s not the end of the story, however. Boles says the bicycle shop still faces its greatest challenge: the internet. As many businesses are experiencing today, internet shopping offers prices and convenience for consumers that can be hard to beat. Boles says that is why Southern Bicycle Co. emphasizes the importance of its bicycle repairs and services to keep the customers flowing. 

“We didn’t want to abandon campus,” Boles says. “(The new store) is a good place to serve everyone in the community and not just on campus.”

He also notes that a Tiger Trails stop less than a block away has not posed any problems for students who do not have a car and need bicycle repairs.

“We want to help people get into the world of cycling,” Boles says. “Whether it be comfort and leisure, or more performance goals in mind, we want to help them achieve whatever their goals are.”

Southern Bicycle Co. is open Monday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Find more info on Facebook.