See what we do and meet the team
What is ABW?
Aberdeenshire Bicycle Works is a family-owned bike shop in Aboyne, Aberdeenshire, run by Richard and Alex Lawes. Our friend Gavin Robb started ABW in 2014 as a small bike repair, servicing and coaching company. When the Robb clan moved to Louisiana, they kindly offered us the brilliant logo and business idea in 2020.
Why did you start a bike shop in Aboyne?
As Firetrail Ltd, we used to organise sports events (Beast Race, Illuminator, KOM Sportive) and deliver bike maintenance courses. Covid-19 changed everyone’s life in 2020 and so we had to apply our talents differently, and fast!
As a Platinum+ Velotech bike maintenance technician and national trainer, Richard has trained over 250+ people to a vocational qualification in bike maintenance, among them several local bike shop staff. After being busy delivering servicing throughout lockdown, an opportunity to take a unit at the Aboyne Castle Business Centre came up at just the right time.
What’s so special about bikepacking?
Do you only know stuff about bikepacking?
No, we're into all sorts of biking! There are quiet roads through scenic landscapes, endless gravel adventures on estate roads and some of Scotland's best mountain biking close to Aboyne. Our staff occasionally take part in local enduro events and Richard has raced the Strathpuffer five times including solo in 2018, where he was 4th. We can sometimes be spotted on our road bikes – but only if the dog is still tired from a trail ride the day before!
Richard is a fully qualified MTB guide and British Cycling Coach. He has previously been a trainer for:
- Scottish Cycling – qualifying over 150 people to become Trail Cycle Leaders & Mountain Bike Leaders
- MOD – delivering coaching in Germany & UK to serving soldiers
- Glenmore Lodge – National Outdoor Centre
- MSR / Thermarest / Platypus – product trainer
What does ABW do for charity & community?
Some locals still remember a bike shop operating in Aboyne, but driving to another place to get your bike fixed has been the norm for cyclists in Aboyne for decades. Not anymore: ABW is an easy (and beautiful!) drive or walk from the village high street and we offer everything from shiny new bikes to repairs, suspension servicing and advice on anything to do with cycling, camping or bikepacking.
Want to ride your trusty bike but can’t fix it yourself? We are proud to be part of the Scotland Bike Repair Scheme, which allows us to carry out a limited number of free essential repairs up to the value of £50. It’s great to help people ride their bikes again!
On Thursdays after work we go for an informal shop ride that is open to everyone, meeting at the Aboyne Castle Business Centre car park at 1800hrs. Don’t feel you might not be fit or fast enough, we’ll tailor every shop ride to the audience – no cyclist left behind!
What’s up with all the German brands?
Nicolai, Lupine, Trickstuff, Tune, Bombtrack, Ortlieb – yes, there might be a bit of a pattern, and yes, it might be to do with the fact that Alex is German and grew up with bikes. We felt there was a gap in the market for high-quality German products that perform superbly AND have legendary durability. Sometimes these products cost more but our 10-year-old Lupine lights and 20-year-old Ortlieb panniers are testament to the fact good kit pays for itself.
What sort of bike repair courses do you offer?
Richard has been teaching outdoor skills courses for over 20 years and is still passionate about it. We deliver 2-day Velotech courses (widely recognised across the cycling industry) on bike repair & maintenance, which cover successive skills levels Bronze, Silver and Gold.
Horses for courses: many riders don't want a 2-day course focusing on workshop skills, so Richard developed a 1-day trail- or roadside repair course. This course is ideal for cyclists who are not interested in a vocational qualification but want to learn every hack and insider trick about dealing with a mechanical when out their bike. Biscuits included!