Bike shop opens first Illinois location in downtown Evanston

Jia You, City Editor

Wisconsin-based bicycle shop Wheel & Sprocket opened its first Illinois branch Wednesday in downtown Evanston.

Evanston Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl and Ald. Donald Wilson (4th) attended the opening ceremony at 1027 Davis St., which attracted about 30 people.

“I think you made the right decision,” Tisdahl said to owner Chris Kegel before cutting the ribbon.

Shortly after the ceremony, Jim Maiworm, the city’s streets and sanitation superintendent, presented the city’s plan to construct a protected bike lane on Davis Street in October. A similar project was implemented on Church Street last summer as part of a streetscape project aimed at improving bike access in the city.

Wilson said the bike shop fits into city initiatives to encourage bicycle riding, a process he described as “an evolution over time.”

“First of all it’s great to have a new business in Evanston,” Wilson said. “If you need work done, if you need a bike, whatever, it’s convenient.”

The new shop will replace the bike store Ten 27 Cycles, which closed in December. Former owner Chris Mailing, who is now a manager in the new store, said the place was expanded to feature a new fit studio for high-end bikes as well as a community repair station outside the shop. The new shop will continue a collaboration plan with the Northwestern Triathlon Club, offering a series of skill clinics to the club and the general public starting next month.

Kegel, a national cycling advocate who has met President Barack Obama and former President George W. Bush, said he was “super pleased” with the new store and expects the shop to cater to a variety of customers, from cycling enthusiasts to commuters and families.

— Jia You