Hampton Cycles, on Melbourne’s south-east bay coast, has been around for over 50 years. It’s longevity in a Melbourne cycling market that is both a petri dish of culture and trends and a dog-eat-dog city of competition and ego is simply incredible.

This August, Hampton Cycles becomes Melbourne’s Black Sheep Authorised Dealer. We sat down with the store’s lovely Emma Mackie for a rapid Q&A to help us non-Melbourne folk understand the store, the city, and apparently what’s cool!




Black Sheep: Hampton Cycles is now over 50 years old, what’s the secret to staying ahead of the game and what’s changed?


Emma Mackie: Staying in tune with the cycling community, current trends, innovations, technology and always listening to what the rider wants! Throughout the years the growing interest of cycling in the wider community has definitely been a noticeable change.



BS: What are people riding around here?


EM: The owner of Hampton, Damien, has a passion for mountain biking but we are more known for our high end road bikes to everyday fitness commuters.



BS: Hampton Cycles is a Specialized Concept Store. Has this always been the case and how does that shape the direction of the shop?


EM: We have been heavily invested with Specialized Bicycles for 15 years; they are a great company to work with from a retailer to a rider aspect. Specialized are founded on performance and fuelled by innovation, the rider always comes first.


Having said that, the local market is obviously very discerning and want choice. We are very excited that in August we will be bringing Stinner Frameworks, a Santa Barbara based frame-builder, into the store.



Damien and Carolyn Jones - The Owners. Damien loves to ride mountain bikes and raced the Cape Epic in March this year, his bike of choice is the Specialized Epic. Carolyn is a keen road rider, frequently taking out women’s bunch rides. The Specialized Amira is her bike of choice. 


Tim - Store Manager, Tim loves to go out on long adventures, often makes up new routes on Strava and travels the roads less known. The Tarmac is Tim’s bike of choice.


Brooke - Master Mechanic, Brooke has been in the game for over 25 years so he has a lot of experience on the tools! Brooke’s bike of choice is a soon to be Stinner OSMPC.


Kim - Our Mechanic in training, Kim has always had a passion for working on bikes and has made a life-changing switch from the corporate world to the bike industry. Kim‘s bike of choice is a Roubaix.


Emma - Body Geometry Fit Specialist, Emma is an ex-pro rider and has recently come across from the team at Specialized Bicycles. Emma’s background is in marketing and communications, and will help us to better connect with our community and build the Hampton Cycles brand. Emma’s bike of choice is also a soon to be Stinner Gibraltar!


Michael - Body Geometry Fit Specialist, Michael will soon be completing his Physio degree, he will be able to put this to good use offering support to Emma in the fit area. Michael‘s bike of choice is an S-works Allez.


Julian - New to the team, Julian is getting to learn all about the bike industry with his strong customer service skills he is a handy addition on the floor. Julian is yet to be converted on to a bike!



BS: Apparently if you live in Melbourne and don’t ride cyclocross you aren’t a qualified cyclist?


EM: Cyclocross is becoming the newest, coolest and hip thing to do in Melbourne as a cyclist. If you want to have some serious fun racing a bike that attracts large crowds and beer drinking, at the same time, then cyclocross is for you! Dirty deeds puts on a great series over winter, the great thing is anyone can get involved on all levels.



BS: Between jumping tram tracks and beating the morning traffic, is cycling in Melbourne all it’s cracked up to be? And what’s the best ride in Victoria?


EM: You bet it is! Undoubtedly the Nongs!



BS: If you could do a bunch ride with group of people – dead or alive – who would you invite along?


EM: Eddy Merckx, Fausto Coppi, Jacques Anquetil, three legends!



BS: How has cycling influenced you as a person – professionally or personally?


EM: Well for me personally and professionally the bike has given me so much. I raced professionally for over 8 years, was lucky enough to represent my country, travelled the world and have made some great lifetime friends along the way. It was given me skills and experience that I have been able to transfer over into my professional life. I have and will always have a passion for cycling, there’s a beauty in it that is hard to explain. You just have to experience it yourself!