You can tell that cycling is the national sport of the northern half of Belgium. This store is about as big as a medium sized supermarket. I went during the sales: it was totally packed, like the H&M on rue Neuve on a Saturday afternoon.
So why go to this shop?
You go there for the choice. They have a huge selection of textiles (Assos, Pearl Izumi, Gore, Bio Racer, Castelli, all the way to the cheaper brands: you name, they got it), helmets, shoes, socks, gloves, underwear, sunglasses, a great selection of bikes and of accessories (wheels, cranks, tools, etc). It really blows your mind.
And you go there for the prices. Just as an example, I was so proud of the deal I got on a set of tires from Probikeshop.fr: Vittoria Rubino Pro for 19€! Well, they have them for 15€ at Van Eyck Sports. You basically have lower prices than on the internet, without having to pay shipping fees and with the possibility to see the goods (and try on the clothes).
But you clearly don’t go there for service. It is not so much that they are not nice (one actually smiled and said hi, and none of them bit me when I spoke french!), but they don’t really have the time to advise you, nor, for some of them, any real competences. You basically have to know what you are looking for. But it’s pretty much the same thing on the internet, no?
So if you need advice (and I think that as a noob, you often better get advice), go to another shop. But as far as I can tell, nothing beats Van Eyck Sports on price and choice.
Address: Gentsesteenweg 89 – 9300 Aalst (Tel: +32 (0)53 78 12 78)
Address 2: Waterstraat 31 – 2440 Geel (Tel: +32 (0)14 58 93 17)
Address 3: Meensesteenweg 168 – 8890 Dadizele (Tel: +32 (0)56/54 04 40)