In 1951, fed up with the sewing machine fixing rat race, Maurice Drake opened Drake’s Cycles. In those early years Maurice was selling mopeds as well as bikes. 1964 was a leap year that began on a Wednesday, it was also the year that John Drake (son of Maurice) took over the business. John battled with the mopeds for three years until 1967 when the heavenly smell of the humble 2 stroke engine drifted out of the shop for the final time. Drake’s Cycles was now bikes only.
The 1970’s brought many things, the 73 oil crisis and 79 energy crisis, the long hot summer in 76, the rise of the British punk scene and more importantly Graham Higgins to Drake’s Cycles. Graham sailed the good ship Drake as shop manager through peaks and troughs. He can still be seen around the shop up to 3 days per week (holidays permitting).
In 1979 John Drake believed things could not get any better, he became a very proud father to a strapping young lad. Little did John know that his joy was premature the very next year Drake’s Cycles hit the dizzy heights of Raleigh FIVE STAR status. The five star status spread like wild fire and soon Drake’s was one of the busiest shops in Leeds, selling everything from the iconic Burner to full on Raleigh Race bikes.
As the 1980’s progressed and kids began listening to hip hop as mum’s tried to out do each other with larger and larger shoulder pads, the cycling community began to imagine a much more dramatic lifestyle change, riding bikes up and down mountains rather than around them, this change in attitude sparked the Mountain bike boom! Due to the strength of the boom John and Graham decided they need a bigger shop to get a bigger slice of the pie, a swift move down the road to the current shop location was inevitable and in 1993 the move was made. The 1980’s wasn’t such as good year for those fans of Welding supplies travelling reps, Bob Harrison called it a day on his boyhood dream and joined the Drake’s Cycles team. Bob can also still be seen/heard around the shop 3 days a week.
Matthew (Drake) took the Captains hat from Graham and sailed the ship onwards, Graham had served his time at the helm but his new role as shop ambassador to the Canary Islands was demanding more and more time. In 2008 the joint 2nd tallest bmxer in the country (Nottingham’s Beanpole taking the title by 2”) stepped on board and a few years later the bmx bike took a back seat as the call of the motocross racing world was too strong to ignore, sadly (for the rest of the crew) he is still here. As the march through 2012 continues Drake’s is still one of the best shops in Leeds, stocking only the best bikes from Orange, Cannondale, Scott and GT aswell as the best parts and components from (among others) Hope, Renthal and Thompson and Fizik.
Drake’s Cycles remains a good choice for honest and reliable advice and service not only on all aspects of bikes and cycling. Anything motocross related, guitar playing, band forming, golf club swinging, airlines, holidays and all things relating to the "good old days" can also be discussed!