Alec MacDonald is the third generation of his family to run the renowned MacDonald Cycles in Rathgar, Dublin 6.
First opened by his grandfather Alexander on Bride Street in the Liberties, family-run MacDonald Cycles has traded since 1922 at various locations.
“We have been in business longer than any other bike store in Dublin city,” Alec told Dublin Gazette. “We are family owned and run by cyclists –for cyclists.
“Our first store opened on Bride Street in the Liberties; later the shop moved to Aungier Street and then to Wexford Street in the 1950s. In the early 1980s, we opened at Ballinteer Shopping Centre where I began my journey into the world of bikes.”
Alec brought many new ideas to the family business and also to Ireland, due in part
to his passion for bikes, motorcycles and the outdoors.
“I started out selling mountain bikes in Ireland back in the 1980s,” he explained. “We sold everything including the first BMX bikes, the first LED bike lights by Cateye, the first Mag wheels and Raleigh’s ‘rain-check brake blocks’.”
In 1993, MacDonald Cycles opened their current store on Orwell Road in Rathgar, continuing their 98-year unbroken record in serving their cycling customers.
Even during the Covid-19 restrictions, as providers of essential services, the Rathgar shop remained open, albeit observing government safety recommendations
“Naturally, we experienced an increase in bicycle sales but notably, a huge increase in the sale of e-bikes, i.e. electric bikes, which is now the biggest driver of our bike sales,” said Alec.
“We experienced an increase in general repairs and it was great to see the renewed interest in cycling. During the last week or two, things have calmed down a little, but it had been somewhat of a ‘frenzy’ in bicycle sales during the early stages of the pandemic spread.
E-bikes the future
“Sales of ebikes will grow, that is the future,” added Alec. “For city and urban dwellers, it’s a wonderful urban travel solution, especially given worldwide pollution and concerns about the environment.
“Better still, it’s hugely economical, and we offer two years free after-service with all e-bike sales. The cyclist has so many benefits – a cheaper form of transport, a healthier lifestyle while supporting a healthier environment – win, win, win.”
Phone 01 497 9636 www.macdonaldcycles.ie E: firstname.lastname@example.org