05 Oct Featured Dealer: Bk Lisboa
At DAHON, we always want to encourage our fans all across the world to have amazing rides with our wide range of user-friendly folding bikes for everyone, with this in mind we want to give a shout out to our authorized dealers and distributors who are an important part of the DAHON family that commit to giving riders the best customer experience in their regions. In the coming months we will shine the spotlight on some of them; sharing their stories and hard work with our global riding community.
This month bk lisboa is up! Check out our interview with its owner Diogo to get the full lowdown:
Year Founded: 2012
Staff number: 4
How many stores do you have? 1 showroom in Lisboa. 3 support centres in Lisboa, Porto and Algarve
Showroom Location: Rio de Janeiro 29b, Lisboa, Portugal
Website and socials: https://www.bklisboa.pt/ @bklisbon (Facebook, Instagram and Twitter)
1. How did your company start out?
It all started in 2011 when my wife and I took a trip around Europe by train, we found it amazing seeing the amount of people using their bikes to commute. I had never experienced that in my life, in my country Portugal, we were (and still are) far away from this level of commuting. But as with any movement, I knew that sooner or later it would happen in my region too.
As we all know, there is no planet B. We have to take care of ourselves and encourage others to do the same, so as soon as I arrived back from my trip, the first thing I did was look for a new job related to bicycles. I just wanted to be involved in this sector by encouraging everyone to use a bicycle to commute. I was lucky to be able to work for a few months in the shop of the first DAHON dealer in Portugal, where I learnt essentials about the industry, and the brand itself. Then in September 2012, we opened our own shop in Lisbon.
2. What’s your mission statement?
Sustainable mobility for everyone.
3. Who do you sell bicycles to?
Families with or without kids, or animals. And also individuals looking to introduce the bicycle into their lifestyles. I don’t promote sport solutions (although any bike is sedentary-proof).
4. How do you go about matching a person to the right bike?
I always need to know their personal details such as size, weight, if the customer has kids or pets to carry among other things. It’s a tailor’s job.
5. Why would you recommend folding bikes to customers?
Compact bicycles are my core business (even if they aren’t foldable), they are efficient, manoeuvrable and safe to load stuff, kids or pets due to their low gravity characteristics. They also fit well in the elevator, stairs, and apartments, which are common problems in a city. And they are more practical to carry on a train, bus or in the car. Honestly I feel that the urban bike market is upside down. There should be more compact bikes, than big wheel bikes which are better for sport or touring.
6. What is your favorite part about dealing bicycles?
When I hand deliver the bike ready to the customer, that is the highlight.
7. Please tell us about your earliest cycling memory?
When I was carried by my father on his old school racing bike, in the 80s. There was no soft seat, just steel. There were no safe options for carrying kids, but those memories are unforgettable.
8. Where is your favorite place to cycle in the world and why?
I don’t have a solid opinion on this because I haven’t travelled much around the world yet. I can say that I have enjoyed more off-road paths, even with compact bikes. Not roads that are too rough, but unpaved/secondary roads are excellent for compact bikes to discover new lands and flee from the madness of cities. Add a train or bus ticket and you have everything you need.
9. What is your favorite DAHON bike and why?
This is the hardest question :)) as I’m a dealer I’ve tried all or almost all the DAHON models that have come out. I can say that I’m a bit obsessed with 16” wheels. In my personal collection I have a red 80’s Dahon III, two chromoly Piccolos, two Curves and of course the new Curl. I think the main reason is the perfect balance between size and functionality. But I recognize that for long distances 20″ or more is preferable. I have been using a Hemingway 20” a lot recently (also known as K-One and Horize in other regions), I love the geometry of this frame. Oh and a DAHON Dash mini velo (451 wheel).
10. What’s next on the horizon for your company?
I’m getting close to the 10th anniversary of my business, and I feel that my brand has gained its own identity. Probably because of a more traditional approach. I just want to keep improving and offering the best on the market regardless of the price. Even the most expensive bike can be cheaper than the cheapest car.
11. Anything else you would like to tell the DAHON community?
I have a big commitment and care towards DAHON. I was born the year after the company was created and I have created friendships with many fans around the world during the last few years of activity. Any DAHON user who comes to Portugal from anywhere in the world should know that they can get full support and parts by a specialized dealer that knows everything about v-clamps, vise grips, radius handleposts and so on.
Embracing the DAHON lifestyle: Diogo’s wife Val, Diogo exploring unfolded freedom from a great viewpoint and compact traveling in an elevator.
Behind the scenes at work: Employee Fernando “the DAHON master”, the famous trademark being admired and DAHON stock raring to be unfolded.
Thanks so much Diogo for sharing your story with us, we really appreciate all your hard work for DAHONERS in Portugal and beyond! Why not give bk lisboa a follow on their social channels: @bklisbon (Facebook, Instagram and Twitter).