Main Photo Credit: Jon Beyerle, On Camber Creative @on_camber_creative
Ready to go for a bike ride? Here at The Best of LKN, we love cycling. Mountain, road, recumbent, cruising, tandem, you name it! Well, maybe not recumbent, or tandem. My wife and I always laugh when we see a couple on a tandem bike – let’s just say it wouldn’t work for us.
But, mountain biking? Oh, yeah! Road cycling? Show me the nearest grand fondo! Cruising? Sure, I’ll be coffee-shop-hopping in downtown Davidson (and most likely a stop at Davidson Wine Co.)
There’s no shortage of beautiful places around Lake Norman to go for a ride. We’ll publish another article in the future with our picks for the best trails, greenways, and group rides around Lake Norman. For now, let’s review our favorite places in the Lake Norman area to go for bicycle sales, service, and advice…
Blood, Sweat, Gears
Blood, Sweat, Gears (or “BSG”) might be the most illustrious Lake Norman bicycle shop. Owner Keith Isenberg opened BSG after over 10-years of mountain bike racing, time-trialing, and wrenching on bicycles. He also competed on tandem bikes. Yep, that’s a thing, apparently.
BSG carries top end brands like Giant, Bianchi, and Orbea. Giant and Orbea offer both mountain and road models, while Bianchi is primarily a manufacturer of exquisite high-performance road bikes. You’ll also find smaller brands at the shop, and the team will be happy to help you with a special order.
Legit bike shops are run by folks who ride, and BSG is no exception. They are the official launching point for the Lincoln County Cyclists’ group rides. Meeting on Tuesday evenings and Saturday mornings, LCC rides include three groups – A, B, and C – that will accommodate riders from novice, out of shape middle-aged cyclists (like me), to type-A hammers that are too cool for yellow jerseys. (Pro tip: don’t wear a yellow jersey.)
One ride you won’t want to miss is the annual Robin’s Ride for Hope. This event gathers 150 cyclists together each year to honor Keith’s Mom and co-owner of BSG, Robin Isenberg. This is a very special event that raises money for the Foundation for Women’s Cancer. Local businesses should also note the sponsorship opportunities, and give this event consideration.
The hallmark of a great business is how they stand behind their products, and BSG is committed to supporting you throughout your cycling journey. They include the following services with the purchase of any new bicycle:
- Lifetime adjustments and inspections
- Free Premium Tune-Up and Inspection after 6-months
- Free bicycle fit (your body will thank you for this)
- 10% off any accessory you purchase with the bike
BSG is located in Stanley, NC, just off route 73. Where’s Stanley? I call it Denver, NC. Just jump on 73 in Huntersville and head West for a few miles.
BSG has also been recognized by the National Bicycle Dealers Association as one of “America’s Best Bike Shops.” Plus, their name, “Blood, Sweat, Gears” is one of the coolest names for a bike shop. Ever.
108 Killian Farm Road
Stanley, NC 28164
The Cycle Path
If you’ve ever travelled on North Main Street in Cornelius, you’ve more than likely noticed a lot of random mountain bike wheeling going on around Daniel San’s Sushi Restaurant. No, Daniel San’s isn’t the mountain bike version of Iron Thunder Saloon. What you’re seeing is the team at The Cycle Path bike shop next door testing new, or recently repaired bikes. Or, possibly customers test riding their next new bike. Either way, keep an eye out when pulling into the parking lot at Daniel San’s to grab a Little Red Corvette Roll.
The Cycle Path was founded in 2006 by Mark Sullivan, who did what we all wish we could do – he ditched the 9-to-5 and pursued his dream of owning and operating a bicycle shop. Over the years since, Mark has worked closely with the Town of Davidson to build and maintain the treasured bike trails at Fisher Farm Park. Mark also serves on the board of the Tarheel Trailblazers, and has helped them become one the most robust cycling clubs in the Southeast.
When it comes to selection of bikes, The Cycle Path has just about every category covered: road, mountain, bmx, commuter – you name it. As for brands, for most of the categories you can choose from Specialized, or… Specialized. Not much variety in brands, but that’s ok. Specialized is a premium high-performance bicycle manufacturer that’s been in the game for a long time. Besides, it’s more important to select the best bike shop to support you on your cycling journey, rather than focusing on the bike brand.
Speaking of support, you’ll find the team ready, willing, and able to perform any needed maintenance or repairs on your machine. Check out their tune-up packages to keep your bike operating at peak performance. They even offer a Wash & Lube service for less than 50-bucks. Bicycle detailing! How cool is that?
How about advocacy? The team says, “ We share a passion for cycling, and that passion thrives through local cycling advocacy.” With over 30 years of trail building experience, including such local gems as Lake Norman State Park, North Mecklenburg Park, and Fisher Farm Park, The Cycle Path team has had a hand in providing area cyclists with some world class trail riding opportunities.
The Cycle Path promises to provide a pleasant and efficient shopping experience for their customers, and their love for bicycling shows in everything that they do.
20900 N. Main Street
Cornelius, NC 28031
Spirited Cyclist Bike Shop – Davidson & Huntersville
Spirited Cyclist is part of a small chain of locally owned bike shops in the Charlotte area. They have two locations here in the Lake Norman area, Huntersville and Davidson. Other shops in the chain include the renowned Uptown Cycles in Charlotte, and First Flight Bicycles in Statesville.
Ownership is a bit of a mystery. According to the Spirited Cyclist website, the goal for the company is for employees to take over ownership. It is the company’s belief that employee ownership is the best path for the community and the growth of the sport. Well, tough to argue with that.
In both shops, you’ll find bikes by premier manufacturers such as Cannondale, Specialized, Santa Cruz, and Diamondback. Models in every category are available, such as road, mountain, hybrid, fitness, and commuter. Of course, e-bikes are also available just in case you’re not keen on always being the motor for your bike.
What about service? Spirited Cyclist has you covered with several levels of bike tuning options, including:
Safety Tune – A basic tune, great for maintaining your machine
Bronze Tune – An annual tune-up to get your bike ready for the next season
Silver Tune – This is their “it’s been a while” tune-up, for a somewhat neglected bicycle
If your bike has been unridden or stored for years, and you’re ready to start riding again, Spirited Cyclist also offers complete overhauls. These services disassemble the bike to the frame, and every component is serviced to ensure a safe and great performing return to the road (or trail).
Spirited Cyclist also organizes excellent group rides on Monday and Wednesday evenings, and Saturday mornings. One of the Monday rides culminates in a gathering at D9 Brewing for a post-ride beer. So, if you’re the type that could use some hoppy motivation, there you have it. On Thursday nights, you’ll find the team riding at the U.S. Whitewater Center. Make sure you have lights for that ride, and you can look forward to enjoying a few beers afterward.
Want to test ride a few new mountain bikes? Check out the Spirited Cyclist demo day events held at North Mecklenburg Park. These are free events where you can test ride several different models and get some advice from the staff. All you need for the demo events is a valid ID.
It’s safe to say that Spirited Cyclist has you covered for all things road and mountain bike. Stop by their shops in Davidson and Huntersville the next time you’re in the area!
610 Jetton Street, STE 110
Davidson, NC 28036
Spirited Cyclist – Huntersville
9905 Rose Commons Drive
Huntersville, NC 28078
Trek Bicycle Store
In the world of cycling, there is no brand more prolific than Trek Bikes. The company started back in 1976 in a small Wisconsin barn. Today, Trek is continuing their mission to make the world a better place for cycling by getting more people on bikes and building products that they love.
Here in the Lake Norman area, Trek is represented by Trek Bikes of Charlotte with a location in Mooresville. Their neighbor, Charlotte Running Company was our guest way back in episode 5 of the podcast. Click here to have a listen.
As you might expect, Trek manufactures bikes in every category of the sport, and the Trek Bike Store can put you on one. The categories include:
- Road Bikes
- Mountain Bikes
- Comfort Bikes
- Hybrid/Fitness Bikes
- Electric Assist Bikes
- Kids Bikes
- Cyclocross Bikes
- Triathlon Bikes
They also sell used bikes, and offer a bike trade-in program to save you the hassle of selling your own bike when you’re ready to move up. Did you know there’s a Blue Book for bikes? Of course there is! Can’t quite stroke a check for that $12,000 Trek “Emonda SLR 9 Disc eTap?” No worries, just finance it with a Trek credit card!
Over in the service department, you’ll find technicians that are professionally trained and certified to work on all bike makes and models – not just the ones they sell. They also provide a free tune-up and safety inspection for your new bike, so after the first few hundred miles, just bring it back to have everything adjusted and tightened up. Service walk-ins are always welcome, and estimates are free. Consider calling ahead though to save yourself some time.
The shop also offers Trek Precision Fit Services. Trek lauds this service as the best bike fitment service in the industry. The basic “Static Fit” is included with your new bike purchase. But, if you’re planning on spending long hours in the saddle or riding competitively, you may want to upgrade to the “Saddle Pressure Map Fit.” As the name implies, this service provides an analysis of the current saddle on the bike, as well as other saddles to determine the best shape saddle for you.
How about group rides? The Trek Bike Store offers several weekly rides throughout Charlotte and Lake Norman. Although, COVID-19 did put a temporary hold on these gatherings in 2020. Go ahead and call the shop nearest you for information on current rides. Riding is more fun with others, and the Trek Bike Store loves introducing cyclists to new riding buddies.
146 Mooresville Commons Way
Mooresville, NC 28117
Well, that rounds out our list of the best bike shops around Lake Norman! Ready to shed the COVID “20” (pounds, that is) and set out on your own Tour de Lake Norman? Any of the bike shops in this article will be a great place to start!