Women in Bike Shops Series: Judi Lopresti

I am the owner of Spun Bicycles in Cincinnati, Ohio. I co-own the shop with my husband Dominic. I am the brains behind the business and he is the heart and soul. We make a really good team. I am in charge of the ordering and receiving of inventory. I handle the back office stuff. Ordering, receiving, books, banking, etc. On top of that I am on the floor 6 days a week selling bikes and accessories with my own personal experiences. 

I contacted Judi after reading the article featuring her and Dominic in Bicycling Magazine-

What inspired you to be involved in the bicycle industry?
Bikes have been my main source of transportation since the late 80’s.  I love bicycles and bicycle culture and my passion for the industry helps with the success of our shop.

As a woman co-owning a bike shop, why do you feel it’s important to have women be involved?
Everyone should be able to ride a bike, white, black, poor, rich, female or male. My business is located in a neighborhood where 75% of the businesses are owned by women so it’s not all that weird.

What is your favorite part about co-owning a bike shop?
I have my own business with my husband and we get to work together to make decisions and I freaking love my job so much. We eat, drink and breathe Spun Bicycles day in and day out.

What would be the biggest challenge you face owning your own business?
Competition. DUH!

What do you feel are common misconceptions about women who work at bike shops?
I don’t feel there are misconceptions about women who work in bike shops. It’s 2015 for God’s sake!

Why should women not be apprehensive about seeking employment at bike shops?
If you love bikes, you should work in a bike shop. You can sell your own experience as a bicyclist no matter what your race/gender is.

What inspired you to start a women’s night? Why is it successful?
My buddy in Arizona was doing a women’s night at his shop and I decided it’d be a good idea to do one at my shop.
I love bringing women together who ride bikes – road, mountain, commuter, doesn’t matter. We all have one thing in common besides gender, we are bike dorks.

Tell us about your personal bike(s)!
Well. I have A LOT of bikes.
Surly Crosscheck – this is a custom bike my husband built for me last year. I had bought a set of super cool custom wheels from our old (female) mechanic – White Industry hubs laced up to pink Velocity rims. I had him pull the front end/componenets/groupo off my old Raleigh Cyclocross bike and build it up for commuting. This is my main source of transportation. I have Challenge Griffo tires on it for now but I have a couple other sets of tires for it as well – Scwalbe Marathons 700x40 and Bruce Gordon Rock n Road 700x43s. I am a bit of a tire dork.
Redline SSCX – this is my old race bike turned into a rain bike. It’s a great frame. The fork is a carbon Easton given to me by Cyclocross Magazine for an article I wrote for them. Currently I have carbon BMX cranks on it and set up to climb any hill in the city with a 42x16 ratio. I have a rear fender and I ride this bike if it is gonna rain.
Kona Explosif MTB – when trails are dry that is where I prefer to ride. I upgraded the wheels this year. My husband laced me up a set of Profile Elite hubs to Velocity Blunts. I love this bike so much it makes my heart hurt.
S&M Credence 20” Trail bike – my custom BMX trail bike built for pump tracks. Profile mini’s laced up to Odyssey Hazzard Lite rims, made in the USA, it’s a show bike, too good for me, but perfect for advertising.
Surly Pugsley – my snow bike, set up like a BMX bike with S&M riser bars, 1x9 with Profile cranks.
Voodoo 29’er MTB – currently waiting on new brakes, bb7’s, and Endless Love cog and sprocket. We pulled all the gears off this bike and decided to set it up as a single speed. It’s just kind of hanging around waiting for my husband to have enough time to do the work.
Raleigh Carbon Capri 3.0 road bike – I list this one last because I hardly ever ride road bikes anymore.
Fixed Gear - an old Motobecane frame from 1974ish, repainted by my husband. He converted it into a fixed gear back in 2008 and the wheels on this bike are the first pair he built for me about a year after we met.
Tandem - we bought an old cruiser in 2010 from the local bike co-op. Dominic repainted the frame all black w/ flames on the downtube and "LoPresti Express" in letters. He set it up with matching BMX bars and BMX stems. A really fun bike to ride when we find the time.
What do you feel deters women from getting involved with cycling?
Hmmm. All the women I know ride bikes of some sort.

What inspires you to encourage women to ride?
The freedom to go where ever I want. My experience in road, triathlon, MTB, racing, commuting, all of it helps me sell the sport to other women.

Tell us a random fact about yourself!
I was a corporate travel agent from 2001-2011. Hated every second of it.