"Bicycles are more than just a means of transport"

Felix Schneider is a passionate cyclist and managing director of the Bikeschneiderei in Maria Enzersdorf - the region's first port of call for cycling assistance.

In the old halls of the Franciscan monastery, Felix Schneider and his team at the Bikeschneiderei restore old and new bicycles of all kinds. A conversation about craftsmanship, the joy of repairing and why cycling in the city is the future.

Dear Felix, instead of yarn and thread you find screws and tubes in your tailoring. What exactly happens in your workshop?

That's right, we're all about the bike! Whether children's or road bikes, mountain or gravel bikes as well as racing bikes and e-bikes - we take care of the concerns of all bicycles. We are a small but highly qualified team offering repair and service services - from simple inner tube changes and minor repairs to annual service and custom-made products. We actually do everything except sell bicycles.

So you are looking for new bikes in vain?

We preserve and restore, so we have already been able to save many bicycles from scrap metal. We believe that in many cases bicycles are disposed of too instead of finding creative and, above all, more environmentally friendly solutions. Of course, we also work on modern road bikes, but we don't want to lead our customers to the next bargain. That's why the Bikeschneiderei also offers bike workshops and technical courses in which we explain the basics to the participants so that they can maintain their bikes themselves.

Your concept doesn't sound like a classic bike shop.

We are not. Our company philosophy is certainly different from other bike shops, but this was also a completely conscious process. we wanted to act in the spirit of sustainability from the very beginning and continue to advance the culture of cycling. I was a passionate road cyclist myself for many years at a professional level, my staff enjoy pedalling just as much, our backgrounds flow directly into what we do at Bikeschneiderei - for us, bikes are more than just a means of transport!

They say that bicycles are the future of mobility.

For short distances in urban areas, definitely! There is no better or more environmentally friendly alternative, and hopefully no one needs to be convinced of the health aspect either. However, it is still the case that every tenth car journey is less than five kilometres - where does one get the idea of travelling such a distance by car?

Probably out of convenience or because you have to transport something?

Nowadays, there are also more sensible options than the car. Cargo bikes are a good example of this. In my eyes, this is a super development and we’re seeing more and more of them on the road. It's simply important that we get the next generation onto bikes at an early stage so that they don't even get the idea of driving.

What is the fascination of cycling?

Cycling is incredibly diverse. There are so many disciplines that there is something for everyone. The last big developments were the e-bike and the emergence of the gravel scene. Both were ridiculed at first, but in the meantime it is impossible to imagine the world of cycling without them. I believe that cycling still has a lot of potential for the future.

Is cycling also a form of artistic expression for you?

That would be going too far for me now, but it is definitely craftsmanship. Old racing bikes in particular have a lot of attention to detail. Hardly any model is the same as another. Nowadays, many road bikes look similar - the focus is simply more on the functional components. But I like to tinker with both old and new bikes, you always learn something new in both cases.

Can you tell us about your favourite routes or trails around the bike tailor shop?

There are countless possibilities from Maria Enzersdorf and Mödling. The only thing you won't find here are high alpine pass climbs, but apart from that there is hardly a better starting point. I like to ride my racing bike up to Sulz in the Vienna Woods or go for a spin through the Helenental. The best trails, on the other hand, can be found here on the Anninger - where everyone gets rolling. And if you're in the mood for a really good espresso after biking, the best place to stop by is the Bikeschneiderei!