Mottainai Cycles is 'very Collingwood'. Somewhat obscure - though not so much as to be altogether inaccessible - its entrance is found by wandering 100m or so up a blue cobblestone alley. Once you pass the event posters glued to the wall‚ and the odds and ends that are discarded in the urban jungle‚ you'll find the shop's entrance.
The cobblestone alley leading to the entrance of Mottainai
Mottainai is what it is. And‚ to be clear‚ that means excellent. While the store may not as yet have a shiny front-facing storefront‚ as any cyclist will tell you: it's the parts that count. In this way‚ the shop has a absolute abundance of well-assembled bikes and parts on offer.
The interior of Mottainai with bike frames and workshop in view
While it need be noted the store sells a good number of bikes‚ what is especially good is that they also do restorations. While true that this is not necessarily unique among bike stores‚ a certain factor makes Mottainai rare: its location. Given the affinity for vintage and retro bikes - whether genuine or replicas - amongst the Fitzroy and wider inner-city community you can bet Mottainai has done restorations more than a few times.
In this way‚ the 'shop up the alley' has a great claim when it comes to deciding whether to restore your bike here or at one of the more widely known bike stores about the place.
While all up‚ a good repair can be done anywhere‚ if your vintage bike is a 'one-off' it's ideal to take it only once to get it right. In this way, Mottainai can perhaps be viewed as your 'one stop shop' when it comes to bike repair in Fitzroy.
Oh, and another thing, Mottainai is 'pro-photos'. Nice!