Nomad Cycle - Long Island City
Over the past few years, biking has enjoyed a tremendous rush in popularity here in New York City.
It's no longer something that people just do when they venture upstate for the odd weekend, here and there. That is, if they bike at all.
Getting out and about on a bicycle is fast becoming an important part of our lives. We are all looking to live a healthier lifestyle and reduce our carbon footprint as best we can. It's the "new normal" if you will!
With the nice, warm weather just around the corner, local residents, from Queens and Brooklyn to Manhattan and beyond, will be getting on their bikes and wheeling around town. Besides being an efficient and fun way to get to work or just get in a little exercise, biking gives you a real sense of freedom. It is the ultimate escape from the urban jungle as well as that snarled, slow-moving traffic and crowded subway trains that are becoming worse by the minute.
The man who these active and dynamic bikers should get to know is Damon Strub, the quietly charismatic owner and chief mechanic at Nomad Cycle.
Located on 35th Avenue and 37th Street in Astoria, Nomad Cycle is in the middle of a trendy neighborhood that is on the move, in more ways than one.
In close proximity to art galleries, bars, cafes and restaurants that feature a diverse array of ethnic cuisine, Nomad Cycle is just a few blocks from the Museum of the Moving Image and the historic Kaufman-Astoria Motion Picture Studios.
Really, what more could a bike enthusiast want? Get your old bike cleaned up or repaired and then head on out to explore the neighborhood.
Damon and his team at Nomad Cycle offer a series of services and amenities that range from caring and expert bike repair to an incredible selection of parts, tires, frames and saddles (seats), storage for your bike during the winter or if you are traveling, as well as hands-on workshops. You can even get your bike hand-washed. The city's soot and grime will disappear like magic, thanks to Nomad's thorough cleaning process. Your bike will be as shiny as it was when you first purchased it.
They also have a full line of new models for sale from biking luminaries such as Raleigh, Yuba, Surly, Marin Bikes and Eddy Merckx. If you're into bicycles, for business or pleasure, then Nomad Cycle is the place to be. It is no exaggeration to state that there is truly no place like Nomad Cycle in New York.
In addition to the quality of craftsmanship that you will find here, the main reason that Nomad Cycle is a destination bike shop is the founder, a gentleman in the truest sense of the word who lives and breathes bikes.
Determined to build a strong sense of community around Nomad Cycle and biking in general, Damon Strub is passionate about what he does. And this commitment shows in everything from the genuinely helpful and friendly way he greets customers to his attention to detail when building a custom bike or repairing an older model.
One of the most interesting people you'll ever want to meet, Damon holds a Masters of Architecture degree from M.I.T. Before doing a career 180 and opening up his own bike shop, Damon spent 30 years as an architect, including 15 years at the helm of his own firm, Nomad Architecture.
Over the past several decades, though, you could count on two hands the number of days when Damon hasn't been out on his bike. Biking is in his DNA. It's that simple.
Oh yes, in case you were wondering about the name, Nomad is Damon spelled backward!
A Georgia transplant who has lived in Long Island City for 17 years, Damon's seen, firsthand, the gains that biking has made in the city.
"At one time, when I first moved here, you would see only a few people out on bikes. It was mostly delivery guys and a handful of men and women riding as a fun workout. Now, when I bike to the shop, every morning, the lanes are filled with people commuting to work on their bicycles. It's a beautiful thing."
As a newcomer to New York, Damon found driving around the city to be extremely stressful. And he was concerned about the impact of car emissions on our environment.
"I'd always worked on motorcycles and then bikes as a hobby ever since I was a teenager. One day, I just decided to stop driving and use a bike to travel to my architecture firm. That was one of the best decisions I ever made. There is nothing like biking over a bridge at sunrise and seeing the panorama of the Manhattan skyline in front of you. It's absolutely breathtaking."
The typical Nomad Cycle customer is as diverse as New York. Customers range from millennials and young professionals to seniors who have rediscovered the joys of biking. Men and women from all income groups and backgrounds walk into our shop.
According to Damon, it doesn't matter if you are an experienced biker or you've never ridden before. Everyone is welcome at Nomad Cycle. We want to do our best to make bicycle riding a joyful experience. There's no need to be intimidated.
Nomad is a full-service shop and they welcome all repairs, no matter how big or small the job may be. From the competitive state-of-the-art road bikes with electronic shifting to vintage Raleighs, their staff is expert at making repairs to both contemporary and vintage components.
The atmosphere is very relaxed and welcoming. You will never feel rushed or like you are just an anonymous customer at this shop.
"At Nomad, we collaborate with our clients," explained Damon. "We will take our time and look your bike over, ask questions and get input from the customer. If you like, for a short-term repair, you can even hang out in the shop and watch a member of our team work on your bike."
For more complex and time-consuming repairs, clients will receive a firm estimate and date of completion. When doing business with Damon Strub, the word "professional" comes to mind.
A proud graduate of the United Bicycle Institute's Professional Repair and Shop operation course, Damon has implemented a series of management and quality control procedures that insure that you get the best repair possible. Each bike is checked out by a second eye and goes for a test ride before it leaves the shop with you.
Now you can also get a cup of coffee, tea or an espresso at Nomad's brand-new DIY mini-cafe. Some bikers will drop by and shoot the breeze with Damon and his staff, on everything from politics, art and pop culture too, of course, all things biking. In the middle of his spacious shop, Damon has set up a small library of sorts, complete with a few chairs, a table and a bookshelf that's filled with volumes about the history of bicycling. Paintings of world famous professional and Olympic bikers, including the legendary Eddie Merckx adorn the walls.
You love your bike and, when it comes to repairs of any kind, you like doing things yourself. At Nomad Cycle, that's no problem at all.They have workstations where you can set up your bike and work on it at your leisure. If you hit a bump in the road while doing things for yourself, Nomad's team can provide one on one instruction to walk you through the process. All for a very nominal fee.
"As part of our mission to foster community here, we offer a series of free bike-related events, classes and social gatherings several times a month," stated Damon.
"Recently, we held a presentation by an attorney who spoke about biking rules and regulations in the city that all bikers should know about. I received a great deal of positive feedback from people in the neighborhood about that class."
Free basic maintenance classes are offered on a regular basis. Topics include tire technology and how to repair a flat (we've all been there, right?), how to wrap handlebar tape and a pre-ride check-up and safety list.
Taught by Damon himself, these classes are limited to ten participants, so you can expect a lot of teacher-student interaction.
A very neat blend of traditional and trend-setting, Damon values customer feedback. He is always seeking to improve the services that he offers. As far as Damon is concerned, meeting a new challenge is what makes life worth living.
"One of the most beautiful things I've encountered is the fact that more families are riding together. It's a great way to spend some quality time with the ones you love and enjoy the outdoors. You can't beat that."
If you're a mom or dad, you know that kids tend to outgrow not only their clothes but their bikes very quickly. Nomad Cycle has set up a kid's bike exchange.
Here is how it works. Buy your children's bicycle from them and when your bundle of joy outgrows it, bring it back for 50% of its sale price towards your child's next new or pre-owned bike. All returned bikes are refurbished by the Nomad team and then put back up for sale. This is a win-win situation for parents on a budget.
Damon and his bike repair crew work well with kids and are very patient. Damon realizes that, when a child gets on his or her first bike and experiences all the excitement that riding brings, they will be converts for life.
Custom builds are yet another service that Nomad offers. Damon just loves to put his design and "architect's" hat back on to help you build, from the ground up, the bike of your dreams.
"We build bikes that are geared towards the client's specific tastes and needs," explained the owner. "We are all unique individuals and the bikes that we ride should reflect that. We are more than happy to help with any stage of the build, from choosing parts and sorting out the color scheme to putting it all together."
Nomad has a couple of services that will capture the fancy of the busiest New Yorkers. The convenience factor at Nomad is off the charts.
Not enough hours in the day to drop off your bike for a repair or spruce-up? No worries. Nomad will come to you. Just have your bicycle waiting at your apartment or office door (or better yet, out on the sidewalk) and a Nomad team member will pick up your bike. After the work is done, they will bring the bike back. No muss. No fuss.
And by the way, the Nomad guy or gal does not ride your bicycle back to the shop. They use the Nomad bike hauler, which has to be seen to be believed. It's a pretty cute contraption.
Should your bike encounter an issue while on the road, just give Nomad a call on your cell. Damon or a member of his team will bike over to you and do whatever they can to fix the problem. Damon has a special repair pack that he attaches to his bike. It contains all the tools of the trade that he will need to help you get going again.
In today's stress-filled world, biking provides a form of exercise and freedom that is so very hard to find, especially in a city like New York, where space and tranquility are at a premium.
Nomad Cycle is an oasis where peace of mind and top-of-the-line biking repairs are provided, along with a strong cup of espresso that will become your regular morning wake-up call.
While on the way to a long subway ride to work, you've watched your fellow Astoria, Long Island City and Sunnyside neighbors whizz by on their bikes, wearing a great big smile. You've thought about getting back on a bike and taking charge of your commute. We know that you have.
Now is the perfect time to make your move . Do so with confidence, knowing that the folks at Nomad cycle will be with you, every step of the way!
Location and Hours
36-58 37th Street
Astoria NY 11101
Monday - Closed
Tuesday-Friday 12 PM to 7 PM
Saturday 9 AM to 5 PM
Sunday 12 PM to 5 PM
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