By Yasmeen Schuller
If you ever shopped at Iron Cycles in Albany Park, you probably met Steven Blum and Ben Fietz. Their friendly, helpful reputation is well-known in the cycling community and the neighborhood for bikes, bike repairs, and bike fit. After the Iron Cycles location on Montrose closed in December, 2013, Ben went on to support a professional race team as well as work for companies like SRAM and Niner, and Steven became the service manager at BFF Bikes.
Which brings us to some pretty great news for Albany Park - Ben and Steven recently returned to the neighborhood and opened Tailwind Cycles just a few doors down from the former Iron Cycles space. I bought my road bike from them five years ago and I have fond memories of stopping in to visit Steven and Ben on my commutes home.
Ben and Steven are taking a new approach to the neighborhood bike shop. Not only are they introducing affordable options to help people get on bikes with their new, around-town Reid Bikes (starting at $330), they are focusing on service. Their “agnostic” approach to service provides high-quality maintenance to all levels of bikes. They welcome everyone to bring everything, from vintage bikes to high-end and custom builds to their shop.
If you bought a bike online, they can put it together for you. As Steven notes, Tailwind doesn’t care what bike you have – they want to help make the bike safe and “provide great-quality work to help you stay on the road.”
Recently, Tailwind ran a “bike wash” special for everyone that raced in the Barry-Roubaix road race. Great timing with the race weekend’s rainy conditions leaving many bikes coated with crunchy mud and gravel. When you stop into the shop, check out their huge bike bath.
If you have a garage full of bikes that need tune-ups, their mobile service might be your best option. Similar to getting a haircut, you can use Tailwind's online booking system to choose a date, time, and type of service. They’ll come out to you Monday through Friday to service your bike(s) at your home. There’s an additional $45 mobile fee per trip added to the cost of the repair or maintenance. If you only have one bike that needs a tune-up, your best option will probably be a quick ride to the shop on Montrose but if you have a fleet of bikes that need some TLC, mobile maintenance might be the best way to go.
In addition to helping you maintain your bikes, they also provide bike fitting. Whether you are in the market for a new bike or want to dial-in your existing bike, they’ll measure you and adjust the bike with the correct set up to optimize your rides. Why have a bike fit? If you ride regularly, race bikes, or plan to tackle some long rides (century rides, bike camping trips, or brevets), a bike that fits can make those rides a comfortable and pleasant experience. If you regularly experience knee or back pain while riding, a bike fit appointment may uncover a solution.
What will the shop carry?
In addition to the Australian Reid Bikes, affordable around-town 7-speed step-through bikes equipped with racks, fenders, a kickstand and bell ($330-360), if you’d like a little more zip, Tailwind will also be carrying the Fairdale commuter ($850) and cyclocross ($1,199) bikes with SRAM Apex that come out of Austin, Texas.
They also offer fully-customizable Van Dessel bikes. They’ll have two demo bikes in the shop – WTF (steel) and ADD (aluminum with carbon fork). You can buy many options starting with a frame and fork to a complete build and Van Dessel offers multiple groupset options for Shimano and SRAM.
Down the road, Steven and Ben plan to carry mountain bikes as well. You can also always order Surly, Soma, and All-City from Tailwind, but they don’t plan to stock demo models at the store.
Tailwind Cycles also carries a smaller selection of highly recommended accessories including Abus locks and WTB (Wilderness Trail Designs) saddles. They carry WTB demo saddles so you can test the different models.
We’re happy to see Ben and Steven return to Albany Park with Tailwind Cycles. The neighborhood needs a good, local shop and they are just the guys to do it!
The Chainlink is working with Tailwind Cycles for a Wine & Workshop Series:
Wine & Workshop: Fix a Flat
Wine & Workshop: Shifting
Wine & Workshop: Basic Maintenance
3140 W Montrose
Hours: M-F 11am - 7pm, Saturday 10am - 5pm, Closed on Sundays
They're on Lawrence, not Montrose. SE corner of Lawrence & Spaulding, about a block or two east of the Brown Line terminal.
3259 W Lawrence Ave, Chicago, IL 60625
I worked with Steven for years, he's a real pro. This shop will do big things for this city.
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