Wheelhouse Detroit Bike Shop is racing into its 8th season and will carry a new addition from right across the border. For 2015 the bike shop will add a new bike line from Canada, the Opus 8.
“We are proud to announce that we will be carrying Opus Bicycles, a Canadian-based company with a full line of urban bikes,” says owner Kelli Kavanaugh. “Opus is new not just to the Wheelhouse, but to the entire Southeast Michigan region.”
Opus 8 started 15 years ago in Canada with the goal to create a world-class bike for the family. Check out this video from Opus. As John Steinbeck said, ”People don’t take trips, trips take people …”
Forged by passionate cyclists, the company sought out, “creative, innovative, independent bike shops” when choosing a partner in the US, says Chris Dimmick, director of international sales for Opus.
“As unique a company as Opus is, we strive to work with bicycle shops that appreciate that they are the most important brand to their customers,” he says. “Wheelhouse Detroit fits that description perfectly, and we could not be happier to announce our partnership with the shop.”
Opus 8 will sit beside the store’s already established brands, like Kona Bicycle Company, Detroit Bikes, Brooklyn Bicycle Company, and Sun.
“The bikes that we stock are designed for the urban rider, with quality and price point being our most important considerations,” says Kavanaugh. “We are interested in brands that won’t break the bank but in which we are confident can, with proper maintenance, last a lifetime.”
Accessories for the bikes are available including bags from Chrome Industries.
“Chrome is another brand that we are thrilled to carry and that isn’t found anywhere else locally,” says Kavanaugh. “The bags are made in the US and are extremely well-made.”
Other product lines include Green Guru, Ironweed, Selle Royal, Jannd, Wald, Bern, Saris, Planet Bike, Continental, Michelin, Dimension, Giro and Bell.
Along with providing the necessary bikes and accessories, Wheelhouse Detroit will also take you along and show some great spots along the city.
“We have a roster of over a dozen unique tours, including Corktown, Eastern Market, Public Art, Belle Isle, Music Heritage, Architecture, Hamtramck, Auto Heritage and Urban Agriculture,” says Kavanaugh. “The tours are a great way for natives and visitors alike to get to know Detroit’s fascinating history as well as current developments.”
Among the places you can spy on the safety-trained, guide-led tours are Detroit’s Coffee Culture, Historic Churches and Cigars Then and Now. Supported by a sweeper, the tours are prepared to help with any mechanical problems that might arise, such as a flat tire.
Wheelhouse also has trained mechanics and a fleet of bikes for rent ready.
Since day one the plan for Wheelhouse Detroit Bike shop was “enabling residents and visitors to experience the Motor City on two wheels,” says Kavanaugh, a Detroit resident for more than 20 years.
She was inspired to open the bike shop due to her involvement in community development. That included helping establish the Southwest Detroit Greenlink and 17 miles of bike lanes in Corktown and Southwest Detroit as well as her experience coordinating the Tour de Troit, the state’s largest bike ride, since 2005. It’s coming up May 9.
“It’s great to see a blossoming bicycle culture in Detroit,” she says. “For me, it’s no trend: it’s smart transportation, it’s healthy, it’s fun, and I am just happy to be a part of the city’s robust, home-grown small business community.”
The reputation gained over the years has led to the ability to expand, which Kavanaugh is waiting to announce this spring.
“This is going to be a really exciting year for Wheelhouse and for Detroit,” she says. “We will be able to offer our customers an improved retail and service experience while expanding our rental and tour capacity.”
So stay tuned.
Two wheels seem like more than enough to support Detroit’s small business.