I like the Q&A format, and I’m hearing that our readers do, too. My preferred method of Q is via email. I sent my questions to local bike shop and third-year-in-a-row Philly Bike Expo exhibitor Cycles BiKyle. Owner Kyle Schmeer, Shop Manager Alex Winoski and Head Mechanic Nolan Bixler joined together to make the replies a team effort. In addition to promoting their shop and their reputation as nationally known bike-fit pioneers, Cycles BiKyle will be sharing their booth space with reps from Bianchi USA, the iconic celeste green Italian brand.
PBE What (if anything) did you do before coming to Cycles BiKyle?
CBK Kyle Schmeer (Owner) opened the shop in 1982. As a racer and race mechanic, he always noticed cyclists on poorly fit bikes. It was not long before he developed his own fit check system which we still use today. Being one of the first master fitters, Kyle has over 11,000 fits under his belt, ranging from professional champions to commuters. Alex Winoski (Shop Manager) started at Cycles BiKyle 11 years ago. He was an avid BMXer as a teenager and Cycles BiKyle was actually his first job. Nolan Bixler (Head Mechanic) refinished furniture for a number of years before getting his first bicycle mechanic job. He’s been at Cycles BiKyle for 3 years.
PBE What (in your opinion) is the best thing about Philadelphia (related to cycling and/or operating a bike shop in the Philly area)?
CBK Philadelphia and its neighboring areas seems to become more and more bicycle friendly with every passing year. We have access to all sorts of bicycling environments (The center city urban experience, the Wiss and Belmont mtb experience, ample bike lanes for commuters, very scenic views within an hour from the city).
PBE With its long history on the cycling scene, what are some of the changes that Cycles BiKyle has noticed (or been a part of) over the years? CBK Ever since opening in 1982, Kyle has been focused on proper fit for all of our customers. Every bike we sell, from the entry level hybrid to the full blown race bike, goes through Kyle’s time tested fit process. BiKyle has seen, sold, and serviced most of the technological advances in cycling of the past 4 decades. From the introduction of clipless pedals, to the early stages of the modern carbon fiber frame, to the age of electronic shifting and disc brakes, our staff has the knowledge to help with whatever bicycle issues you may have.
PBE What’s your favorite part of your job?
CBK The best part of the job is seeing the smiles on peoples faces when they leave with their perfectly fitting bicycle! We here feel that fit is the most important part of the bicycle purchasing process. If you feel good on the bike, you are more likely to ride! Our service department also takes great pride in their work. Nothing is more satisfying than being able to help a rider chase down that annoying creak or hearing about that great race after a fresh tune up or overhaul!
PBE What’s your favorite ride/route?
CBK We have shop rides Tuesdays and Thursdays. We ride around the Bryn Mawr, Ardmore, Gladwyne, and Radnor areas. We like to throw some hills in the ride, but we are non-drop so we always regroup at the top. It’s more of a casual fun ride for people who haven’t rode in a group atmosphere or for those who don’t want the pressure of riding in a competitive paceline. However, we do like to go fast every now and again! Afterwards, we have a nice cool down beer behind the shop!