Ken Wallace opens Bisbee Bicycle Brothel. Photo by Russ Roca/PathLessPedaled.com
For more than seven years, a little store front in Bisbee has housed one of the most diverse collections of rare bicycle collections in the country
Each weekend Ken Wallace has opened the doors to his shop, the Bisbee Bicycle Brothel, to let others tour is vast collection of bikes, frames and parts.
Wallace has decided however to close the shop and focus in selling his collection online and at bike swaps across the west.
“I have just lost too much money,” Wallace said via phone yesterday. “My location on the gulch isn’t ideal. If you are not coming up to drink there is not much reason to come up here.”
It’s not just money that has Wallace shutting the shop’s doors. Wallace said he and his wife want to do some traveling and he would like to focus on his other businesses, though he’ll continue to sell his stuff online.
“I want to keep on finding stuff, selling some stuff and keeping some stuff, but from my garage,” he said.
It wasn’t an easy decision.
“It’s taken me a while to get to this point because I really do enjoy talking to people about the bikes and the history,” Wallace said.
It’s the bike people that have provided many of Wallace’s fondest memories.
“I really have enjoyed it,” Wallace said. “I met some wonderful people. I’ve generally found that bike people are pretty special types. For the first six and a half years I did not take credit cards. I’d say, ‘well take it and send me a check.’ In six and half years I maybe lost about $100, which tells you something about bike people.”
If you haven’t checked out the shop or want to take one last look, you’ve got a few more weeks before the shop starts to disappear.
Wallace said at the beginning of April he’ll attend several swaps and host one of his own the day before the GABA Bike Swap in Tucson.
Here’s the message on his website:
The Bisbee Bicycle Brothel will be closing its retail store and going virtual in April. We will be doing online sales and traveling to bike swaps/shows around the country. I have had a great time meeting fellow vintagistas in the shop and will miss it, but its time to move on, do some travel, and get back on the bike. I am having a sale and will be having a bike swap at the shop and the building next door on April 13 from 9AM-3PM. No fee. It’s the day before the Tucson Bike Swap so hope we get a lot of visitors. Bring your bike items and a table or blanket for display. No big vehicles of items since space (and parking) are limited. Thanks for your support over the last seven and a half years.
The Bisbee Bicycle Brothel is open on Saturdays from 10 AM-5 PM and Sundays 11 AM-5 PM or by appointment.
While I was visiting Bisbee last November, I went by this place. It was a Tuesday afternoon, and it was locked up tight. Although it looked like an interesting store, I wondered how it stayed in business.
If you love bicycles, especially classic ones, and you've never been here, I suggest getting down to Bisbee before it closes. This place is amazing. A room jam packed with classic bikes and racing memorabilia.
@MarthaRetallick It's not really as much of a business as much as it is a museum of sorts. I don't even think many of the bicycles were for sale. And the ones for sale would fit in a real niche market of the cycling world. Which, explains why it's not staying open much longer. You can't just pay rent with no incoming funds forever.