Dominic and Judi LoPresti, owners of Spun Bicycles on Hamilton Avenue, are passionate cyclists who have devoted their lives to the art and science of bikes. Dominic is a former semi-pro, and Judi, a former bike messenger. They have always had a love for cycling and they even met in a bike shop, so it seemed to be destiny that they eventually opened their own store. Opening Spun back in 2013 was an easy decision, informed in part by the vibrancy of Northside’s cycling scene.
“We always saw a need for a shop in Northside because so many people ride bikes here,” Judi said.
The idea for Spun was spawned several years ago when Dominic worked at a bike shop. He restored bikes and, afterwards, would put a sticker on them that read “Spin Again.” That sparked the name, Spun Bicycles, because spun rhymes with fun, something they wholly embrace.
“We designed the place as a space for community and wanted it to be a place where people could hang out,” Judi said. “We wanted to make sure…that people could come and celebrate bicycle culture here.”
Bike culture might conjure images of pros at the Tour De France or the X Games BMX competition, but Spun strives to be approachable for all kinds of riders riding all kinds of bikes. As their website proudly declares, Spun’s mission is: “To get you riding and keep you riding, no matter your preference – from fixie, BMX, MTB, townie, or old cruiser. You ride it, and we will dig it.”
This friendly and unpretentious approach has led to great popularity and loyal customers, both Northsiders and riders from around the city. The shop itself is beautiful inside. If it isn’t the rows of bikes lined up on the wall, it’s the skateboard bench lined with perfectly crafted boards fused together. The bikes are beautiful as well, many of which are vintage bikes being brought back to life.
“There is a story behind each restoration that we do,” Judi said. One recent story involved a customer from Indian Hill who called up Spun with a special challenge: to restore an antique Huffy bike that had seen much better days. “When it came in,” Judi remembers, “it was a hunk of just rust—little particles were all over…The shavings from the fenders were all over the floor.” In short, it was a bike that other mechanics might have run from. Unsurprisingly, Spun Bicyles was up to the challenge, and “the ending result was a beautiful bike,” Judi said.
The LoPrestis’ determination to take on challenges and offer great customer service in a welcoming environment is evident in everything they do.
“Failure is not an option,” said Judi. “Each year we hope to move forward and continue to be successful.”
They also take pride in their vibrant social media presence, with a strong following of 2,695 people on Facebook and hundreds more on Instagram, as well as a bevy of positive Yelp and Google reviews. As one reviewer raves, “You can tell Dom and Judy’s passion is just to get people on bikes they love.”
Their daily efforts to get more people riding bikes fit in with larger trends on a local and national level. Biking is a more popular mode of transit than ever, with over 45 million adult cyclists nationally, according to the National Bicycle Dealers Association. Cycling is in the top five of the most popular outdoor activities and the City of Cincinnati has even begun to make some efforts to accommodate cyclists through focused city planning efforts and enhanced infrastructure.
In June of 2010, the Bicycle Transportation Plan was developed by the City Department of Transportation and Engineering. According to their website, this plan “lays out a comprehensive strategy for making bicycling an integral part of daily life in Cincinnati, so that persons of all ages and abilities utilize bicycles for all types of trips,” a mission much like that of Spun Bicycles. Over the next 15 years, the plan will lead to 445 additional miles of on- and off-street bike facilities such as bike lanes, road markings, and shared-use paths.
In 2025, biking in Cincinnati will be easier than ever and this next generation of riders will no doubt be turning to Dominic and Judi of Spun Bicycles to keep their bikes in top form. Seeing their friendly, down-to-earth approach and their lifetime of commitment to bikes, one gets the clear sense that Spun is in it for the long haul and they’ll be encouraging and inspiring local cyclists for decades to come.
By Jamie Gregory with Kamal Kimball