Frederick W Evans was editor of Cycling magazine when he opened his first bike shop in 1921 in Kennington Road, London. F.W Evans Cycles built up a strong reputation as a quality cycle shop.
It became particularly well known for building its own frames and bikes, earning an award from the Cyclists Touring Club (CTC) for ‘The greatest improvement in cycle design, construction or equipment during the year 1925. When Evans died during the war (knocked down by a milk float) his wife took over the business for several years, before selling it to Joe Smith in the 1950s. At the time, the shop sold a range of cycles and toys, but during the seventies Joseph handed the business on to his son, Gary Smith, who developed the shop into a specialist cycle retailer.
After more than 50 years of trading at Kennington Road, re-development of the site saw the store relocated to The Cut in Waterloo in 1977, where the shop continues to trade today.
By 2013 Gary had built up the business to where Evans Cycles was one of the most successful cycling businesses in the UK with 50 stores.
Gary sold the business to private equity firm EC1 in 2015.