If you are ever in Rotterdam one thing you should do is pop along and visit Joergen Trepp from Parallel Handbuilt, especially if your bike is in need of some TLC. Tucked away in old railway arches on Vijverhofstraat not 10 minutes cycle from the main station you’ll be welcomed with a warm smile, pop next door but one to Coppi for a coffee and cake and you’re more than welcome to sit on the sofa and chill out.
Originally from the USA but living in The Netherlands, Joergen has built up a solid reputation for building wheel, putting his pro mechanic skills to the test and building up some amazing bicycles.
Dotted around his small workshop are some very tasty parts, rims and more spokes then you could count. “I share this space with three other people and there is a communal area for those dropping in to use their laptops”. With the amount of people visting the workshop to have wheels built or pick up ones he had recently finished you can see that his work is in demand.
As I sit on the sofa eating my over night oats and drinking a much needed coffee we talk about how the world of cycle shops has changed. “These days you need to either be extremely specialist or sell a lot of brands cheap and fast. Look at Chain Reaction and the discounts they have over distributors. Brands like Hunt Wheels and Canyon selling direct cuts out the middle man until something goes wrong”. You can see that through his knowledge and years of trial and error Joergen has built up his know how and can fix most issues people have.
“I’ve been touring and bike-packing for years and one thing you need is a good set of wheels that will last, take the rough stuff. I use to build lots of dynamo wheels for commuters but theses days it tends to be people riding ultra-distance rides, bike-packing or gravel riding where you need quality and something you know will last, give you peace of mind”.
While he works on another set of wheels I chat away to another customer who has recently had a set of wheels rebuilt. “I never knew some much went into wheels, you see ones online and you think they have a good reputation but when you have an issue you cannot get them fixed so easily”.
I guess it comes back to supporting you local bike shop and finding someone who is able to built or help you with what you really need and not just sell you something to meet that months sales target I explain.
“Joergen has been great at building me two sets of wheels to replace the ones that broke”.
As I pack up to leave you cannot help but feel a sense of pride in his work and the fact he was willing to help out even though he was super busy is always a good indication in my book of a like minded cyclist.
If you are in Rotterdam or just cycling through, like I said drop by and say Hi. In the mean time if you feel like it go visit Parallel Handbuilt.