Little Rock has enough bike shops as far as Frank Webber is concerned. In May, he plans to open Shift Modern Cyclery at 1101 W. Markham St., and though it will sell a few bikes and service all bikes, it will be a new animal for Little Rock — a place for cyclists to hang out downtown near the Arkansas River Trail. With a native beer and wine license, Shift will sell Arkansas beer and wine and snacks that patrons can enjoy on a 22-foot-long bar inside the 4,000-square-foot space. Outside, there’s another 2,500 square feet that Webber plans to convert, ideally by summer, into another area to eat and drink. He hopes to partner with food trucks, and Doe’s Eat Place is right across Ringo Street.
Webber has spent years in the bike industry. He started working at Chainwheel at age 13 and continued through college, after which he joined Orbea and stuck around for a decade, ultimately managing the facility. From there he started Hex Carbon Workshop, a carbon fiber repair business that he’s run from his home.
“I’m a bit of an environmentalist, and carbon fiber is nasty to manufacture,” Webber explained of his motivation for starting the speciality business. Fewer than 40% of his clients are based in Arkansas. He gets frames mailed to him from Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana and beyond.
At Shift, he’ll continue to make carbon repairs and provide general service. He also plans to offer pick-ups and deliveries to downtown customers. Building off his location near the River Trail, he’ll sell bike tools, sunscreen, snacks and anything else you might need before going out on a long ride. His bikes sales will be aimed at customers who want to come in and get fitted for a high-end bike, though he will have a handful of bikes on the floor. He’ll be the only Central Arkansas retailer of Allied Cycle Works, the carbon-fiber bike company that was founded in Little Rock but relocated to Rogers in 2019. He’ll also sell bikes from Orbea, Moots* and Cipollini.
*A previous version of this post incorrectly said Shift would be selling Moose Bicycles.