New manager for Cycle U, Reinout Schoolderman stands outside their new home at 3418 Harbor Ave. s.w. CLICK THE PHOTO ABOVE TO SEE MORE
SLIDESHOW- UPDATE: Cycle U will celebrate with a grand opening on Harbor Avenue June 30
Cycle University will hold their grand opening party this Saturday, June 30 at 6pm at the new West Seattle store, 3418 Harbor Ave SW.
In a Facebook post they said:
"Stop on in for some Free beer! (Schooner Exact...to be exact.) Come on by!"
You can see some of what the new store looks like inside on their Facebook page.
The store will have some major discounts in effect for the event good through July 6 including:
30% to 40% off 2010/2011 bikes
30% off nutrition
20% off parts and accessories
15% off 2012 bikes
Not to mention door prizes and giveaways.
Original post Feb 29
Cycle U, the biking, exercise and bike repair company that has been operating for the past two years in the West Seattle Triangle is moving to a new location at 3418 Harbor Ave. s.w. They will move in some time in April pending some negotiations.
Owner Craig Undem was meeting with the Western Neon today to talk about signage and gave the West Seattle Herald a look inside the space. The building, built in 1920 has three levels. Upstairs will be offices and employee break room. The main floor will be the primary sales floor for bikes and the repair center and downstairs the company's popular spinning classes will be conducted in a room with a high ceiling and a view of the West Seattle Bridge. It faces on an industrial area but there's even something of a deck outside.
The space is more than 5000 square feet in size.
The company, which began 8 years ago in the basement of Tom Smith's (of Tom's Automotive) aunt's house on Gatewood Hill, Undem explained. At the time he was working with bike racer Lance Armstrong's coach Chris Carmichael.
He was traveling to races all around the world, including the Tour de France.
Then he had a son and as he started his family realized it was time to transition to the next stage. "I wanted to create just a local teaching facility, kind of like the Olympic training center that anybody could go to and learn how to improve their cycling or get into racing or even teach kids how to ride. I wanted to share my passion. The first real location as a business was on Sand Point Way, in 2004 then in 2009 they expanded to the former Huling Bros. Chrysler location in the triangle.
The growth of the company has been remarkable. "We grew 25% in the last year, " Undem said, "in this economy and the neighborhood really embraced us right away. We have good mechanics and repair shop and a lot of people come just for that. Some people come for the coaching and we sell a ton of bikes too."
The bikes range in price from consigned children's bikes for under a $100 to one of the finest bikes in the world at over $9000. Undem explained that the rise in interest in commuting via bicycle and the need to customize a bike to an individual's taste has meant a lot of business for him. "A lot of people for fitness and money reasons are using the bike for utility purposes. A lot of our customers are 50 and 60 years old and they are looking to get back in shape again. They want to use the bike like a sports car and go ripping around town or sign up for these rides, going to California for a ride or elsewhere. So they come to us for a combination of the coaching, the spin classes and the bike. We also upgrade bikes with new wheels, handlebars and other stuff.
They also get sport enthusiasts who go "on more difficult rides like the Seattle to Portland (STP) ride or get into racing. We sell some real nice high end racing bikes.
They currently employ four people but they do hire seasonally, adding people during the summer.
Undem met with the people from Western Neon this week to plan a signature style sign that will be visible from the West Seattle Bridge, much as the existing Luna Park sign does now. "It won't be a garish sign," Undem said.
Now at age 50 he admits to still feeling the competitive urge for racing but with a business to run and plenty of people to coach he's got more than enough to keep he and his crew at Cycle U busy for the foreseeable future.
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