Bike Slug: Brooklyn's Tiniest Bike Shop Opens its Doors!

It's so darn cute (awww) and convenient!

A brand-new bicycle repair shop has opened in Bedford-Stuyvesant just in time for the year's prime season of two-wheeled tooling around.

Bike Slug is nestled in a garden-level storefront next to the restaurant on Bedford Avenue. The tiny shop — approximately 150 sq. ft — is so darn cute and snuggly, if you don’t own a bike, you’ll want to buy one as an excuse to walk in.

Owner Alex Picca opened the store two weeks ago to build upon the growing success of his website www.bikeslug.com, where he restores and sells vintage bicycles online.

Originally from Clarkston, Georgia, Picca, 33, moved to New York City five years ago and then to Bed-Stuy three and a half years ago into the brownstone adjacent to his new shop.

“When I moved from Georgia, I brought a moped with me, and I thought it would be the answer to all my problems of getting around in NYC,” said Picca. “So I’m riding this moped, and kids on bikes were just blowing right past me. And then my moped was constantly breaking down every week. So eventually, I just said ‘screw it,’ and decided to buy a bike.”

Picca wanted a vintage bike but found most of them in New York City were overpriced. So he took a trip out to New Jersey with one of his buddies visiting from Kentucky, and ended up connecting with this guy who collected vintage bikes in need of repair. Picca found one he loved.

“But on the ride back, I thought, ‘Man, I spent so long just trying to get my hands on a vintage bike—I should just buy five off of him and fix them up and sell them.'”

Only problem was, Picca knew nothing about bikes. But he used to fix cars, and he knew he was good with his hands—one of the reasons he was able to secure the job he held at that time building guitars for Sadowsky Guitars.

“So I bought a lot of books and was scouring a ton of bicycle sites online,” said Picca.  “Even now, I’m constantly devouring as much information as I can. And then there’s practice. Of course, the first 25 or so bike repairs I did were a little weird for me at first.

“But after 500, you kind of get better at it,” he said with a sarcastic laugh.

Already, Bike Slug is like a walk-in doctor’s office. On a sunny Saturday afternoon, bikers were steadily streaming through, looking for Picca’s handywork, a band-aid for a small bruise. The small fixes, he was able to take care of in 5-10 minutes.

But he also does full tune-ups ($50), wash-and-waxes ($15), derailleur adjustments ($10) and a lot more. Most repairs are $10 and under. The store also sells bike paraphernalia, such as locks, helmets and, of course, bike slugs.

“For the most part, I can fix anything. And if I can’t, I can give you an honest assessment of why I can’t and what you need to do,” said Picca.

Bike Slug, located at 1050 Bedford Avenue, is open Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, from 11:00am – 9:00pm, Saturday-Sunday, 10:00am – 6:00pm.

tom fr April 18, 2012 at 01:17 AM
Another yuppy pushing out the center of black culture in Brooklyn.
Jad2k April 18, 2012 at 03:27 AM
Yuppy pushing out black culture? This is a guy, who saw a business opportunity (there are a lot of bike riders in Brooklyn and Bed-Stuy) and decided to pursue that opportunity. He wasn't pushing anyone's culture out, it's a bike repair shop for God's sake! I'm black, and sick and tired of hearing this type of whining. This guy LIVES in this community so he opened up a business to SERVE this community. If a black person decided to open up a juice bar, would that be "pushing out black culture"?
pat April 18, 2012 at 03:39 AM
Good luck to you at Bike Slug. We wish you well and a soon expansion.
pat April 18, 2012 at 04:09 AM
Stop being a Racist.
Mike H April 18, 2012 at 05:10 AM
Man o man, I hear you Tom fr. If I have one more Armani suit wearing yuppie come fix my toilet, my transmission or weld some metal in front of me, I will lose it. Those fat cats just can't get enough of manual labor like running a small affordable bike repair shop that adds to the commuinty. Makes me so angry.
SuF April 18, 2012 at 02:01 PM
Mike--If you can send me a photo of a (presumably you mean white) guy in an Armani suit fixing a toilet, I'll send you $100. Otherwise, why use such inflammatory (and inaccurate) language? I agree with Jad2k. The people who use and fix bikes aren't just one race or ethnicity, so how is it wrong for someone to provide a service for everyone here, whether white, black or anything else? If the guy who opened that shop was black, that would be great (since we need bike shops). The fact that he's white isn't a reason to be angry. Maybe you could use turn your anger into energy spent working for Obama's re-election campaign or some other useful purpose?
Eddie G April 18, 2012 at 02:07 PM
Mike is friends with the owner and he was being sarcastic. I guess the irony was lost on you...
SuF April 18, 2012 at 03:46 PM
Yes, the irony was lost. It might also be lost on other readers. Perhaps because his ironic style isn't quite good enough. (?) But then again, the miserable fact is that there are people (on Patch and elsewhere) who would say that same thing for real. Anyway, I'm glad to know that at least he isn't harboring such idiotic prejudices.
Eddie G April 18, 2012 at 03:54 PM
your ironic style is not up to par, mike
Mike H April 18, 2012 at 04:07 PM
I was trying to match the silliness - or as SuF rightly calls it, the inaccuracy, of using the term "yuppie" and apologize if I failed in that effort. I only know the guy from when the store was online and he helped me with a bike. Seems like a good shop run by a good guy, and I just hate seeing any undo negativity.
Mike H April 18, 2012 at 04:08 PM
I was trying to match the silliness - and as SuF rightly calls it, the inaccuracy - of using the term "yuppie" and apologize if I failed in that effort.
pat April 18, 2012 at 04:17 PM
@ Mike H. You were spot on, my wife had just finished telling me something along the lines of what you wrote. We understood what you were saying and thank you for being sarcastic. It needed to be put in that manner for some readers to understand.
peter s. April 18, 2012 at 04:35 PM
Oh fer crissake! You'd think we were talking about five dollar cupcakes & wine sipping, designer coffee, sushi shops or something. Your comment doesn't apply here. Black folks do ride bicycles. I'd rather get mine fixed by a resident "hipster" in the hood than have to go to Man hat in and pay ridiculous money for the same work. Nope, no loss of blackness in that.
Kevin Drexler April 18, 2012 at 05:32 PM
Can I bring a Golden Retreiver in there if I come to buy a bike?
Jodine Dorce April 18, 2012 at 06:04 PM
And they have bike washes too? Nice!
Danny V April 18, 2012 at 06:11 PM
everyone knows Kevin is a racist name as well.
rendak April 18, 2012 at 07:33 PM
Hey Alex, check it out: 21st Annual Antique & Classic Bicycle Auction Auction: Saturday April 21, 2012 @ 10 AM Swap Meet: Friday April 20 - Dawn 'til Dusk www.copakeauction.com info@copakeauction.com
scratch April 18, 2012 at 08:22 PM
Welcome to the neighborhood. Happy your here.. I'll bring over a welcome loaf soon :)
Benjamin Kintisch April 19, 2012 at 01:46 PM
Welcome to the neighborhood!
Cee Cee April 20, 2012 at 12:11 AM
I'm white. I drive an SUV. My roommate is black. She rides a bike. She got her bike fixed at the Bike Slug by a white man. I got my car seat fixed at Fitz Custom Auto across the street from Bike Slug by a black man... Im confused as to why this is a race issue? Can't we all just use transportation that works best for us? Oh and both Alex and Fitz are amazing people who are grateful to have good business in the neighborhood.
ebee_maree May 15, 2012 at 01:55 PM
WELCOME TO THE NEIGHBORHOOD Bike Slug! So glad to have you :)
prateektiwari441 May 25, 2012 at 09:31 AM
In fact, im working at a car-garage, repairing cars and motorcycles all day long. I got all the manuals i needed from http://www.carmanualstore.com! Check it out - they have the best quality manuals for cheapest price in my opinion. I use it everytime, when im confronted with a problem, where i need some help.


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