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Meet Nathaniel Hoyt of Quad Bikes in Cambridge

Today we’d like to introduce you to Nathaniel Hoyt.

Nathaniel, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
The shop was started in 2003 by Harvard College alumni who were, at the time, living on campus working as aides to the housemasters of Cabot House. The founders saw a need to provide students living in “The Quad” – a cluster of dorms located a ways from the Yard – access to inexpensive bicycles and service to help with their commute between their dorms and the main campus. Since then, Quad Bikes has been a reliable source of good advice and quality service, as well as a place that interested students can learn the trade.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Quad Bikes has survived these many years thanks to the generosity of our hosts at Cabot House and the positive word-of-mouth of our customers. Our biggest hurdle is, perhaps, confronting misconceptions about bicycles and their place in the world. Although our society is beginning to recognize the seriousness of cycling as a positive force with enormous social utility, the market still significantly undervalues both the product and the service. A good bicycle mechanic is a highly trained person with years of experience under her belt, yet it is difficult to pay mechanics what their expertise is worth. Most of us do it year-in and year-out because of our passion for cycling as an end in itself, and as a means to a more healthy future. Because of the comparatively low wages, it is difficult to attract and retain competent staff – we are always working at or beyond our capacity!

Please tell us about Quad Bikes.
Quad Bikes is known, I believe, for its friendly and welcoming atmosphere. We often get customers who come to us after uncomfortable experiences at other bike shops, and appreciate that we take the time to discuss the options and don’t push them to buy products they may not need or want.

If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
I wouldn’t have done anything differently! Quad Bikes was founded under unique circumstances that forced a lot of choices. The founders did a great job of making the most of a small space and limited staff.


  • Tune-up: $60
  • Fix a flat: $10
  • Pump the tires and oil the chain: free!

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