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Morning Notes

by ARLnow.com December 9, 2011 at 8:36 am 3,663 13 Comments

Vote Set for Sign Changes — The Arlington County Board is scheduled to vote Saturday on a set of significant changes to the county sign ordinance.

Conte’s Now Freshbikes — Last month the Conte’s bike store in Ballston (3924 Wilson Blvd) quietly changed its name — and outdoor signage — to “Freshbikes.” We’re told the store, along with a Bethesda location, split from the Virginia Beach-based Conte’s franchise in order to free itself of the requirements that come along with the franchise agreement.

Red Top Collecting Toys for Tots — Red Top Cabs are serving as a collection point this holiday season for the Marine Corps’ annual Toys for Tots drive.

  • Garden City

    Freshbikes? I saw that the other day and thought, “What a silly name.” Does this mean I need to keep my bike refrigerated? Do the bikes have a “Best Used By” date?

    • JamesE

      All bikes are farm raised organic

  • R-B Resident

    When is ARLnow going to do a piece on the new Wilson Tavern? Or have they not offered a big enough kickback?

    • NoVapologist

      Is that place even open yet?

    • Sam

      I don’t understand why people type stuff like this. Are you trying to be snarky or funny? It comes off as incredibly petty.

      • Massa

        Why Freshbikes and not Wilson Tavern?

  • bobco85

    Did Freshbikes get new staff? If so, they have a chance at regaining my business. I stopped going to Conte’s because I had multiple bad visits where I was ignored (every time), was told they would not fix my older bike (“We do not work on old bikes”), and experienced generally bad customer service. It’s not as convenient, but I go to the Performance Bike in Bailey’s Crossroads because the customer service is of a far higher quality. (end of personal rant)

    • dcbrewer


      I have also had horrible experiences with the former Conte’s staff and refuse to patronize them any more. I now take my business to Revolution Cycles in Clarendon.

    • yequalsy

      I really like Papillon at Columbia Pike and Walter Reed. They definitely will not sneer at your old bike and won’t try to pressure you to buy stuff. It’s a real small shop — mainly manned by the owner, Bailey, a really good guy — but except during really high season their turn around is pretty fast.

      I can say some positive things about (groan) Freshbikes but your experience is FAR too common there. How Big Wheel bikes stays in business is beyond me. That place is criminal. I like the head mechanic at REI. Performance bikes and Revolution bikes are mostly fine.

    • zzzzz

      They actually started calling themselves Freshbikes over the summer. Don’t know why it took them so long to change the signs.

      They pretty clearly target the racing market. I can walk there from work, so I’ll stop in if I’m looking for something fairly generic like a new light or if I want to see if they have any good sales on clothes. Otherwise, I go to The Bike Lane or REI, or Spokes on Quaker Lane.

      I’m not familiar with Papillon, will have to check it out.

  • Haven’t seen this covered at ArlNow, but the Democratic candidates for Arlington County Board spoke Wednesday night at the Arlington County Democratic Committee meeting. Here’s video:


  • clt921

    Pappillon will fix your bike on the spot, if they can. There are not many places that will do that. If they don’t have it, they’ll get it.

    Plus, they have a nice “guard dog” you can pet while you wait.

  • MB

    Conte’s/Freshbikes serve their target demographic (i.e., people who want/ride high-end bikes) very very well. They’ve been very good to me, and if I know someone who fits that demo, I don’t hesitate to recommend without reservation. That said, I wish they’d do a better job of handling/deflecting those who don’t fit the demo. Doesn’t cost anything to point someone at Papillion or Revolution Cycles.

    (While I’ve got my preferences, I don’t have anything bad to say about any of the bike shops in Arlington. Except Big Wheel. Stay far far away. It’s a shame they’re still in business.)


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