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Prologue cycle shop Harrogate

Prologue owner John Reid

When I meet John Reid in June 2014, he doesn't want to tell me how much his bike cost, in case his wife reads this. He must have got a discount, though, as he's the owner of Prologue cycle shop in Harrogate. He has just come off the phone to a Texan billionaire, who is trying to get hold of a replacement top-of-the-range Lightweight Meilenstein wheel, before setting off to tackle all 21 stages of the Tour de France.

Some of these wheels, which cost a few thousand pounds, are hanging on the wall. Not everything at Prologue has a price in four figures, but it's fair to say their products are at the premium end of the market. All the brands they stock have a no-discounts policy, which probably helps a real shop thrive against virtual competition. 

At Prologue, you can buy Bont shoes, Oakley sunglasses, Cervelo and Look bikes, and Parlee frames as part of custom-built bike. There's also clothing and accessories.

Prologue is not just a bike shop. Their idea is to provide everything a cyclist needs, so as well as the bikes and accessories, there's a workshop, bike fitting, physio and massage service, and fitness testing and training from physiologist and triathlete Craig Stevenson.

Prologue cafe

They haven't missed out that other cycling essential either - cake. The cafe is run by Victoria Tremlin, who is also marketing manager. It's popular with local cycling clubs, including the Capuccino Cycle Club, and Harrogate Nova. Victoria tells me that the clubs often start and finish their rides at Prologue, and watch cycling on the huge TV there. (The 2012 Tour de France highlights are showing when I'm there).

Prologue cycle shop Harrogate, from outside

There's a feeling that cycling is on the up in the UK, and nowhere more so than in North Yorkshire, with the imminent arrival of the Tour de France. Prologue opened in March 2014. They will have a stand at the Tour de France Fan Park on the Stray (Harrogate's spectator hub), and they've organised a VIP experience on Saturday 5th July, at the Yorkshire Hotel, which includes a view of the Stage 1 finish from the balcony. Later that day, there'll be a Yorkshire-meets-France BBQ at Prologue.

You can't help thinking that Prologue is a cycle business that's in the right place at the right time.

Prologue Cycling, Units 3 & 4, Wellington House, Cold Bath Road, Harrogate, HG2 0NA

Website: www.prologuecycling.co.uk

Tel: 01423 503000

Article by David Mitchell