Last year, Ben Delaney wrote about the best bike shop in the world as a nod to George Orwell’s essay about his favourite pub, The Moon Under Water.
The shop stocked the best components and bikes, had a coffee shop and bar, signed ex-professionals’ jerseys adorned the walls, dedicated mechanics would treat each bike as their own and there was a sense of community that welcomed everyone from the occasional commuter to hard-core roadie.
However, as with The Moon Under Water, Ben’s perfect bike shop doesn’t exist. Former professional Andy Schleck, however, has a shop that very much does exist in his home of Luxembourg.
"Hey, isn't Schleck's shop near here?"
Stage 4 of the 2017 Tour de France began in Luxembourg and while the stage finish will be remembered for the Peter Sagan and Mark Cavendish incident, the start was a calm, sunny and fairly non-descript affair.
Following the start of the stage, Ben Delaney and I left Luxembourg to drive back to Dusseldorf and fly home, following a week of tech content gathering at the race. Driving through the glorious Luxembourg countryside — it truly is stunning — it occurred to me that former Tour de France winner Andy Schleck opened a bike shop in his retirement.
Hastily Googling Andy Schleck Bike Shop and entering the address into the Sat-Nav of our hire car, the shop was literally four minutes away and this chance detour took us to one of the most impressive bike shops we’ve ever been, perhaps the closest thing you can find to Ben’s description last year.
Perhaps, likely due to a Tour de France stage starting less than half an hour's drive away, the car park on the front of Andy Schleck Cycles was nearly empty.
Stepping into the immaculately clean shop, our eyes caught the various svelte carbon components, range-topping Trek and Cervélo bikes and oh, look, a yellow jersey.
The shop has everything from kids’ strider bikes, e-town bikes, hybrids, commuters and Tour de France spec’ed carbon race bikes.
From a components and clothing aspect, the same variety is available over the three floors of the store, which is linked by a glass gallery containing some of Schleck’s famous jerseys and bikes.
There's a cafe-bar is located on the ground floor with benches surrounding the gallery to enjoy a coffee and take in some of the sport’s recent history.
On the top floor, a bike fitting studio is located alongside Brooks saddles and its vast range of leather commuting accessories, while lining the walls are the etched glass trophies commemorating the various Tour de France and Giro d’Italia stage wins of Schleck’s career.
While Schleck was understandably enjoying the spectacle of the Tour de France in his native country, on most days he is in the shop to talk you through the products on sale and perhaps some stories from his short, but outstanding career.
Click or swipe through the gallery above to take a look inside Andy Schleck Cycles.