Bike Union has good environment, enjoyable drinks


The Bike Union located on 18th and Dodge is a do-it-all one-stop-shop for bike nerds and coffee lovers alike. Although its hours barely permit because of Central’s schedule, the Bike Union is the perfect spot to grab a coffee and meet with friends or do some homework after school.  

The Bike Union, as the name suggests, offers bike purchasing and service as well as coffee and food. The shop offers a range of bike products, from biking wear and accessories to fully assembled bikes. The Bike Union primarily sells Marin bikes, also offering quality refurbished bikes as well as gently used parts.  

While there, I inquired about their bike service, where they referred me to The Bike Rack, located at 14510 Eagle Run Drive, which makes the two shops a 20-minute drive apart. This would be a large inconvenience for anyone who urgently needed bike service within the area.  

Overall, The Bike Union offers quality bikes, good parts and accessories, all for a reasonable price. The service detour takes away from the bike experience, but they were prepared and equipped with a solution to their presumed backlog.  

Secondly, I was pleasantly surprised by the excellence of the coffee I purchased. I sampled four drinks; a shot of espresso, an iced vanilla latte, the Turtle, and the dirty chai, the two latter drinks being a few of their specialties. 

The base shot of espresso had died by the time I drank it, but the smell it originally had was undeniably wonderful. The actual shot was quite bitter and earthy, which did not help my already soured view of plain espresso. On the whole, the shot had a good nose to it, but the taste did not live up to expectations. 

The iced vanilla latte was my favorite out of the four drinks I sampled. Many times, lattes with flavoring in them will be too sweet. The Bike Union found a perfect happy medium between the wonderful tones from the coffee and the sweetness of the vanilla syrup. The drink had a good consistency, was mixed well, and was also placed at a good price point, under $5.  

The Turtle is The Bike Union’s signature drink containing chocolate sauce, caramel syrup and hazelnut syrup. This drink is very sweet, which can be assumed from the three different flavorings put into it. While this drink is very sweet, it is still a quality drink. I found it too sweet to be a normal order, but for special occasions it would be enjoyable.  

Finally, the dirty chai was The Bike Union’s drink of the month. Their version of a dirty chai was made with oat milk, had a shot of espresso and had extra cinnamon dusted on top of the drink. The flavor of this drink was excellent. Masala chai is a spiced drink, which some people may find hard to palate, but I thought the oat milk helped to compliment it with its extra nuttiness. My one complaint about the drink was the taste of espresso was not prevalent enough in the drink. Otherwise, this drink was superb and I would certainly order it again. 

The drinks I ordered from the Bike Union were overwhelmingly good, but that is not all they had to offer. Inside the store, they offer pastries from Hardy Coffee. I tried the gluten free banana nut muffin, which I thought had amazing taste. As with most gluten free products, the muffin lacked much moisture and was a little dry and crumbly, but it ranked high compared to other gluten free muffins that I have ever had. 

The environment within the shop is perfect for the type of store it is trying to be. There is a multitude of different seating options, including tables with chairs, singular chairs and couches. The interesting circular shape of the building makes it look somewhat like a clam shell from the outside, but contributes to a somewhat cozy and warm atmosphere on the inside, even with the number of windows and amount of outside light that they allow in.  

In conclusion, the Bike Union is a must stop near Central. Their proximity allows it to just be a short walk away, although it is hard for students to visit on weekdays because of the hours (8 a.m. – 4 p.m.). The coffee drinks offered are excellent, the new and refurbished bike selection is extensive and the atmosphere within the store is one that any student would enjoy.