Manifesto Bicycles used to be one of the crowd favorites for bike shops in Oakland. Emphasis is on used to be since it is no longer operational. It was in 2019 when the store closed, which is one of the many bike stores in East Bay to have shut down as a result of a decline in demand. Intense competition from online retailers was also one of the culprits for its eventual closure. It is one of the classic stories of how a brick and mortar store has suffered from defeat.
The shop opened in 2008 in 40th Street by Sam Cunningham and MacKay Gibbs. The main goal is to create an urban bike culture and a community that accepts riders of all levels. During its over one decade of operations, it sold new and rebuilt bicycles. They carried some of the most respected brands in the global market, with products appealing to all types of cyclists. From athletes to casual riders, the store has attracted bikers with their unique offerings.
Table of Contents
- 1 The Manifesto Movement
- 2 Products and Services
- 3 What Made Manifesto Bicycles Stand Out?
- 4 More Infos
The Manifesto Movement
During its years of operation, Manifesto believed in the power of bicycles, not just as a product but as a way of living. They considered it an extension of the rider. It is more than just a mode of transportation. Instead, they also promoted it as a way of self-expression.
More so, they also did their best to advocate the use of bikes as an eco-friendly and low-cost alternative to cars. On top of all of these, they made bike accessibility better for their customers. From offering low-produced models to having refurbished options, they engaged in different measures to increase the availability of city bikes to everyone.
Sadly, Manifesto’s story had to end. While it has been steadfast in the pursuit of its vision, the competition proved to be tough. With the market challenges that confronted the company, the closure was an inevitable and financially wise response.
Products and Services
Since its establishment, Manifesto Bicycles has committed to providing its customers with exceptional products and services, promising to outdo the competition. They operated with aiming to be part of a new cartel with the assertion that the more choices are present, the better it will be for everyone.
Aside from brand-new bikes, they also offered used bikes, which were perfect for people on a budget. They have refurbished vintage bikes that will make a great choice for any collector or enthusiast. Even if these bikes were used, they made sure that quality and performance are unmatched. They also sold accessories and apparel. Plus, they provided assembly services, even if the bike is bought from an online store. More so, bike repair and maintenance services were also offered. Interestingly, the bike shop also had handmade stuff.
One of the highlights in the almost ten years of Manifesto’s existence was the establishment of the 40th Street Parklet. This was built in partnership with Subrosa Coffee. The two businesses operated next to each other, and they found a way to maximize the use of available space between their stores. This green oasis utilized available parking spaces in front of the stores. The space featured sculptural logs, custom racks, reclaimed benches, and native plants, among other things. It may be small, but the designers were efficient to make the most of what was available. It quickly became a magnet for social activity, and in a way, helped Manifesto Bicycles reach more people to promote their products and services.
What Made Manifesto Bicycles Stand Out?
During the years that Manifesto was in operation, it made a solid reputation for its top-notch products and exemplary service. Below are some of the reasons why it grew to be one of the favorites in Oakland.
A Selection of Top-Notch Products
If there’s one reason why Manifesto Bicycles stood out during its years of operation, it would be the quality of the products they offered to their target market. They had bikes from some of the most popular manufacturers. Even in their second-hand bikes, they made sure that the quality is unrivaled. From design to functionality, their in-store collection of bikes aimed to satisfy even the needs of the most discerning users.
Providing Beyond Exceptional Customer Service
Aside from its impressive array of products offered in-store, Manifesto has also built a positive image for its customer service. The company went above and beyond in serving its patrons. Whether it is a new client looking for a bike or someone who needs maintenance work, the business has well-trained staff to provide exemplary service. Their goal is not just to meet but exceed expectations.
Unique Events for Bike Enthusiasts
One more thing that made Manifesto Bicycles an exceptional company is that it hosted events that gathered biking enthusiasts. This led to the creation of a social and active community. A good example of this project was the Bike Church, an irregular event held every Sunday. There was music, food, and laughter. Bikes are not required. The congregation was composed of about 30 people, including seasoned bikers. This event was short-lived, but it was one of the things that made Manifesto more popular when it was starting.
Recognized for its Efforts
Another reason why Manifesto Bicycles made a name for itself was the fact that it received several accolades during the time it was open. For instance, in 2014, it was recognized by Oakland Magazine as the Readers’ Choice for the Best Bike Shop. In the same year, it was also awarded as the Best Bike Shop in the East Bay Express Readers’ Poll Award. These acknowledgments helped the company build a name for itself despite being a humble shop in Oakland.
No Room for Discrimination
Manifesto Bicycles also made a name because of its inclusive community. It does not discriminate against its customers. Whether the customer is a pro or a newbie, the store treated everyone with the same respect and enthusiasm. They believed that every person is a part of a bigger movement, so they acknowledge every individual, regardless of biking experience or knowledge.
Here are some information we get from the site when it was active.
SALES & SERVICE
Manifesto specializes in city bikes. We sell single-speed, fixed, internally geared and, yes-bikes with traditional derailleurs. We focus on steel frames because of their lean aesthetics and due to the riding conditions here in our fair city.
Manifesto repairs all types of bikes. We stock parts and components for your modern road bike, your 1960′s vintage 3-speed and your 1990′s mountain bike. We take pride in charging fairly for labor and we won’t try to upsell you parts that you don’t need.
Manifesto works with a powdercoater and can help you select the perfect new color from our RAL color charts. Our powdercoater picks up frames weekly and our fine mechanics are happy to take care of the dis-assembly and re-assembly of your custom whip.
Manifesto: A public declaration of principles, policies, or intentions. Derived from the Italian ‘manifestere’; Latin meaning ‘make public.’
Manifesto is located in the beautiful city of Oakland. Our shop promotes customization, recycling, and the spread of urban bike culture.
Manifesto likes art, music, and skateboarding. Manifesto likes DIY. Manifesto likes small business and local products. We sell new and rebuilt bikes, apparel, accessories, and other random cool stuff. We like bikes in general but choose to focus on single speed and fixed gear bikes because of their simplicity and ease of use in urban settings. We like affordable bikes because we want to provide access to as many people as possible.
Manifesto does not discriminate, alienate, or in any way judge any bicyclists. All riders, new & old, experienced & beginner, occasional & everyday, are welcome in our shop. We believe every person riding a bike creates more power for the movement overall.
Manifesto believes in bicycles. As an extension of the rider, bicycles are a form of self-expression. There is a simple joy that comes with riding a bike and experiencing a city at street level. We believe bicycles are more important than ever because they are practical, low-cost, and non-polluting. And that the camaraderie shared by groups of cyclists in cities can be a powerful force for change.
We believe in bicycles as examples of design, engineering, and efficiency. We believe in making good bicycles possible for everyone who wants one.
Join the movement. We are Manifesto.
LOCATION & HOURS
421 40th Street
Oakland, CA 94609