Elliott Bay Bicycles closing after 31 years, Davidson moving to new space

Image from the Elliott Bay Bicycles website

Image from the Elliott Bay Bicycles website

Bike Hugger broke the news yesterday that Elliott Bay Bicycles on Western just north of Pike Place Market is closing after 31 years. Bike Hugger called the news “the end of an era.”

Locals probably know it for its service, but people all around the region and the world know it as the place where Davidson Bicycles are made by hand.

The good news for Davidson fans is that maker Bill Davidson is not stopping. He plans to move operations to a new fabrication shop where he can focus on building bikes.

But the retail shop is closing as Bob Freeman starts his well-earned retirement. The shop will close September 30.

Here’s an email to shop customers, posted to facebook:

All good things must come to an end, and new things will start. After 31 years at the bike shop, we decided to close Elliott Bay Bicycles on September 30, 2014. Bob will start enjoying retirement and riding his vintage bikes, and Bill will start a new fabrication shop to do what he enjoys the most, building a custom bicycle. The new Davidson will continue to serve our Davidson customers.

As of a part of closing process, we begin a “farewell sale” on September 2nd in an effort to clear out our entire inventory. All of our inventory will be offered with largely discounted prices. We hope you will come and take advantage of these savings. All outstanding Davidson orders will be finished by the end of September, and Bill will continue to offer service to all Davidson customers at the new location.

We want to thank you for being a loyal customer and tell you how much we have enjoyed having you as a customer. Please don’t hesitate to stop by and wish us well if you like before September 30th. We will be happy to see you.

Best Regards,

Bill, Bob and the staff of Elliott Bay Bicycles

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20 Responses to Elliott Bay Bicycles closing after 31 years, Davidson moving to new space

  1. Gary says:

    Dang, I love that shop.

  2. Kirk says:

    I love that shop too. I bought my Davidson in 1982 from Bob Freeman, and I bought my my current Civia commuter from him at Elliott Bay Bicycles too. They have been dynamite with parts and service, and are close to my office downtown. I love looking at all the old school vintage bikes hung from the ceiling, and they would always have a few really nice and interesting vintage bikes for sale. I will miss Elliott Bay Bicycles. Good Luck to Bob and Bill, and all the staff.

  3. Brian says:

    Argh! I love that place. It’s also my go-to repair place since I work downtown near the Market. Now, I’ve lost Counterbalance and Elliott on my commute route. What other bike shops are downtown, north of the commercial core (i.e., near Belltown and Denny)?

  4. Conrad says:

    I will miss the shop. I think it was valuable to have a shop with a builder in house- they are more capable of tricky repairs. For example, they straightened what I thought was a ruined fork a couple of times for me. Hopefully Davidson will still do repairs for non-Davidson bicycles? And it was always fun to look at those beautiful old bicycles. Now that Il Vecchio is gone too, I guess Classic Cycles on Bainbridge will be the last place around here for that….

  5. Peri Hartman says:

    Yes, sad for me, too. Happy for Bob, I hope! I’ve been going to them for nearly 20 years and I feel they (Mark, usually) puts a lot of care into what he does. I suppose many of the other shops are good, too, but I wasn’t planning to look :)

  6. Peter Verbrugge says:

    Although I did not live close enough to become a regular customer I have been fortunate enough to spend a bit of time in this wonderful Seattle store. I use the word “store” loosely because it was always way more than just a store- it’s a wonderful homage to fine bicycle craft building and beautiful lightweight vintage cycles, plus a great place just to hang out and talk bikes. The back of the shop is where I really enjoyed visiting- seeing Bill at Work in the fabrication shop and checking out Bob’s amazing bike collection will be a memory forever etched in my memory. Its the kind of place where you walk in to buy a chain and end up walking out with a new killer vintage Colnago-or a Jack Taylor..or both like I did over the years!
    Good luck to Bill on the new digs and I am sure we’ll see more of Bob on one of his fine steeds enjoying a well deserved retirement.

  7. randy siepser says:

    I needed my bike modified with barcons and knew bob was an expert at that sort of thing, having seen bikes in his shop restored with barcons. I gave them my bike, which btw, was of most unusual type design and configuration, and he did an excellent job installing my barcons.

  8. Allen Brown says:

    I will miss this shop. I had my Bianchi stolen from me in 1985 while living in the Tri-Cities and to console myself I vowed to buy even a better bike. Problem was I had already maxed out the best bike available in the Tri-City area when I bought the Bianchi. So I made a trip to Seattle and a buddy of mine took me to 4 shops (R&E, Montlake, Greggs, and Elliot Bay) I test rode a few and returned to EBB to buy a Challenge. Rode that bike daily for the next 8 years. Best thousand dollars I ever spent. I still have the bike but the entire drivetrain needs replacing since I plum wore it out having so much fun on a great ride.

  9. Dave says:

    I wish Bob a cyclist’s dream retirement. Hopefully there are others of his vintage and with his knowledge range staying in the business another few years!

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  11. Peter Hawley says:

    I met Bob when Cascade Bicycle Club was meeting in The Bush School. He was always a class act person & I felt very honored when he showed me his “back room” collection of great, classic bikes on one of my infrequent trips into Seattle via the Sounder train/bike system I love to use for Seattle travel. I was shocked when I passed the shop & saw it closed in March, 2015 and wish Bob many happy days of classic bike riding.

  12. Rick Blume says:

    Having bought a beautiful Davidson road bike in mid 80s and then a Davidson tandem shortly there after, I always had the highest regard and appreciation for their attention to details and for the customers specific needs.
    Best wishes for an enjoyable retirement knowing the pleasure you have helped many share.

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