Freewheel Bike gains traction with growth

  • Article by: TODD NELSON , Special to the Star Tribune
  • Updated: April 25, 2011 - 7:08 AM

Owner Kevin Ishaug shifted the company into a higher gear, expanding to gain market share.

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oneeyedjacksApr. 25, 11 8:14 AM

censoring again, eh?

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cartoonconnApr. 25, 1110:10 AM

Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't Freewheel subsidized by the city, or at least the beneficiary of some charity cash?

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bob19Apr. 25, 1110:10 AM

The article notes, "at the shop's original location on the University of Minnesota's West Bank." If memory serves me correct, the original location was in south Minneapolis, near West River Parkway & 28th Street(maybe 26th) back in the late '70s. Or am I thinking of another shop? Can any other reader confirm this?

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paulskiApr. 25, 1110:40 AM

I've been a loyal customer for 12 years. Nice people, good product, excellent service. ya can't ask for more.

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Mister_EApr. 25, 1112:05 PM

Freewheel abutted the West Bank on 24th Street originally.

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oneeyedjacksApr. 25, 1112:08 PM

cartoonconn -- "...isn't Freewheel subsidized by the city...?" -- Freewheel has the contracts to service that green MN *Nice* Ride free bike program for the city. It kind of gives them a competitive edge.

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titobunditoApr. 25, 1112:24 PM

Wow, the Strib can't even publish a "local boy makes good" story without some anti-gubment type crying over tax dollars. The Nice Ride contract is a contract. It's up for bid. Anybody can bid for the work. That's free enterprise. And the Midtown location was a public/private partnership only as the city wanted to develop the land that was going wasted behind Allina Hospital. So it sought a federal grant to develop the project as part of non-car-related transportation. Now it has a business that's generating tax dollars.

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oneeyedjacksApr. 25, 1112:41 PM

I like biking, usually I'm out a couple of times a week in the summer. I don't like the city's push for a bicycle friendlness however. As we've seen in recent days there are some potential safety concerns the city council may not have been anticipated. As to MN Free Ride, this program costs the city about $20,000 per month to operate. This cost doesn't include the $6,000 per bike to set it up. This is a pure entitlement program, not an essential service.

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cguertinApr. 25, 11 2:57 PM

Great story about a great bike shop. A year ago I didn't even own a bike and now I bike 50-100 miles per week. I stop in the Midtown store nearly once a week (was there this morning) and the mechanics are friendlier than you can imagine. Ask them anything and they don't mind explaining it to you in basic terms. Free Wheel is a great resource for our community.

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DanW52Apr. 25, 11 8:49 PM

Managing and growing a bike business has got to beat accounting!

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