South Maui Bicycles (SMB), "The biggest little bike shop in the Pacific," recently celebrated 21 years of wheeling and dealing bikes and riding accessories in Kihei. As one of the oldest bicycle shops on the island, SMB has become an intrinsic part of the bicycle culture on Maui.
SMB owner Frank Hackett opened the doors to his humble shop 20-plus years ago after seeing the need for a full-service shop and for greater bicycle awareness in South Maui. The original shop was in a small building directly across the street from the whale statue in Kalama Park. The shop outgrew the space, and in 1996 he moved it to its current location in the Island Surf Building on South Kihei Road across from Charlie Young Beach and Kihei Cove.
SMB is a full-service shop offering new bicycles, service, repairs, rentals, clothing and complete line of cycling accessories.
South Maui Bicycles owner Frank Hackett (right) and shop Manager Tim Kramer recently celebrated 21 years of wheeling and dealing bikes and riding accessories in Kihei.
"We service and repair all makes of bicycles," said Frank, "and we carry cycling accessories from all major manufactures."
The first thing you might notice about the shop is its repair department located where you can watch technicians work. This was critical to Frank, who wanted customers to know exactly what work was being done and how long it took in order to build trust with his customers.
"It's a relationship," said Frank. The shop was recently featured in Bicycling Magazine as one of the highest quality shops in the country.
"It was nice to have them notice us like that," said Frank.
SMB not only goes that extra mile for the customer, but also the community by sponsoring youth sports teams, volunteering at bicycle rodeos and organizing the two largest annual rides on Maui, the Maui Metric Century Ride (100 km) and the Maui Century Ride (100 miles). They are also involved in every other cycling event of any significance held on the island.
"We really see ourselves as a community bike shop and do all that comes along with that," said Frank.
The shop also assists various advocacy organizations such as the Maui Bicycle Club and the Maui Bicycle Alliance, and most recently shared in the donation of four bicycles for the new Kihei police bicycle patrol.
"We are always looking for a way to say yes," said Tim Kramer, the shop's manager.
Tim has been Frank's right-hand for nearly five years. Tim owned his own bike shop in the Seattle area for seven years prior to making the move to Maui.
"I was lucky the day Tim walked through the door," said Frank. "There are very few guys with his skills available out there."
Tim holds several technical certificates, as do all the mechanics at SMB.
"I truly feel I have the best crew on the island" said Frank.
Tim is one of few certified "bike fitting specialists" on the island, and he also holds a Trek Fit Service certification, a new approach focused on "fitting" bicycles to riders using biomechanical principles.
"The right fit is everything," said Tim, "so Trek fit-trained retailers offer the best performance, the most comfort, and the best experience when shopping for a new bike."
SMB prides itself on giving every customer an individualized experience, assisting in choosing just the right equipment for his or her bicycling needs.
The shop has been around long enough to span a generation with parents who bought their first bike from SMB now bringing their kids in to get their own first bicycle. The shop has always catered to families, carrying everything from tricycles to that first BMX or mountain bike. All bike sales come with two years of free service.
They also have many solutions to Kihei's fiat tire issue.
"So if your bikes are going unused because of fiats, bring them in and the guys will fix you up," said Tim.
The shop is known for having a complete selection of bikes, from the most basic cruiser to the most cutting-edge technology available in road and mountain cycling today.
SMB offers Trek's Project One program, in which the rider can customize his or her bicycle frame, components and paint at little or no extra charge to the customer.
"Just come by and sit down with us, and we'll design the bike of your dreams," said Tim.
Drop by any time for a test ride or make an appointment for a custom bike fitting for that new bike purchase or to get more comfortable on your old bike.
Stop in, check out the shop and talk with Frank and Tim or any of the guys, who not only exude passion and love for riding, but are more than willing to share their vast knowledge of bicycling niches, equipment, supplies, attire and techniques.
For you tri-athletes gearing up for the Olympic distance South Maui Triathlon in Wailea on Sunday, June 10, come in for a pre-race tune up and all the other services available from one of the shop's stellar service men. SMB is the official bike shop for the race.
The shop is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday--they ride Sundays.