Viking Cycle Works provides quick and affordable bike repairs

Jacquelyn Pierce, Campus Carrier staff writer

Benjamin L. Walker | CAMPUS CARRIER

Junior Benji Britt works on a bike at the Viking Cycle Works shop. Britt is one of three students employed at the shop, which is open exclusively to students, faculty and staff.

Berry Viking Cycle Works has been a fixture in student life for several years. 

It all started with Casey Retterer, a Berry student who started the enterprise six years ago.    

“Casey showed (the student enterprise staff) that there are more benefits than risks, and clearly they liked the idea enough to invest the money into it and to keep us going and supporting us over the past few years,” senior Sidney Elston, general manager of Berry Viking Cycle Works and avid cyclist, said.

  The enterprise services Berry students, faculty and staff.

 “Since we are so close to the dorms, they don’t want us servicing outside people because then that would be having outside people too close to the residence halls,” Elston said.

The bike shop team does basic bike repairs. If there is a repair that requires a special tool or knowledge that the student workers don’t have, the shop sends the bike to another shop in town.

 “Usually people come in to get a check up or the brakes not working or gears not shifting,” Jordan Liebel, a repair worker at the shop, said.

According to Liebel, Berry students prefer going to Viking Cycle Works to get their bikes fixed compared to other places in Rome mainly because of their prices. 

 “Our prices are much cheaper than regular bike shops,” Elston said. “For example, the bike shop in town, if you want a tune up or brakes shifters—that would be anywhere from $80 to $100, and we charge $25. We try to keep things as reasonable as possible.”

They also carry a small line of replacement parts, and  partner with Cycle Therapy, a shop in downtown Rome who supplies their parts. 

Junior Benji Britt, a repairman at Viking Cycle Works, explained the reasons they are cheaper than other bike shops in town. 

“(Other shops) are certified by all the different bike companies, and we are not,” Britt said. “They cater towards people who race their bikes and to people where money is no object for how much they can put into their bike. Our clientele is not that. No college student wants to pay $100 to get their brakes fixed, so we are definitely catering towards different types.”

According to Britt, shop sales are increasing this year and the shop is becoming more popular. Cycle Works’ three employees normally work on four to five bikes a week, so the shop can often get backed up.

 “We sat outside Krannert every Tuesday and did ‘Tuesday tune-ups’ at the beginning of the year, and I think that was great advertisement, so I think a lot of people know we exist,” Britt said.

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