CNN - Pedal perfect: Bikers shed spandex to inspire new riders

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Bylenga said she hopes eventually to add a coffee shop similar to Chicago's Heritage Bicycles General Store, where a counter sign proclaims, "People demand bikes and coffee." Visitors can order a pour-over coffee or browse helmets and rain capes in the back retail section while they wait for a bike tuneup. Custom vintage-style bikes are also made and sold onsite.

Owner Michael Salvatore said he prefers to stock unique and quality products such as fine leather saddles and handles and American-made cycling pants, for which customers pay a premium. Still, retail sales account for about 30% of the overall business, he said, with helmets the biggest sellers.

"We consider ourselves a lifestyle brand so we like to curate a collection of products that represents us and our customer," he said. "People want to look good when they're on a bike, and they cycle more when they feel like they don't have to dress especially for cycling."


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