Bike shop owners say more cyclists in Carson City

Rob Smith has owned and operated the Bike Smith in Carson City for 12 years. This summer, he said, has been the busiest yet for the shop that sells and repairs bicycles.

Although he had no hard numbers available, he estimated the business has increased about 20 percent during recent months.

"A lot more people are riding around town and commuting," he said. "We've been pushing and pushing forever for people to ride bikes, and now it's finally happening."

He said most customers are citing the rise in gas prices as their reason for cycling more.

Dan Turner, who's owned the Bicycle Authority in Carson City for 11 years, said he hasn't necessarily seen more business, but a new kind of customer. He's noted a shift from more serious riders to commuters.

"There are definitely more novice commuters walking into my door," he said. "They're looking for bags and racks and something to carry a laptop in."

A bicycle commuter himself, Turner said he is always willing to answer questions and give tips.

The principle advice he would give, he said, is to buy the right bike.

He said many people still are coming in asking for a mountain bike, when a commuter or street bike would be more appropriate.

"If someone wanted a bike to compete in the Tour de France, it wouldn't make much sense to buy a unicycle," he said. "Once they get the right bike, they're going to enjoy it more so they'll ride it more."

Denis Coyne has only had his shop, The Bike Habitat, open for a little more than a year.

It hasn't been enough time to notice an increase in business or certain trends, he said, but he is encouraged by the idea of people getting around more on two wheels.

"I have a lot of interest in people exploring the possibility of commuting to work," he said.

He added it is more than buying a bicycle. He said he will walk customers through the process of preparing for the commute by deciding what type of clothing to wear, how to carry a lunch and other items, and what accessories are needed.

He also plans to schedule workshops in the coming months to teach how to change a tire or dress for commuting. Call the store for details.

• Contact reporter Teri Vance at or 881-1272.

Getting help

All bike shop owners said they will answer questions and help customers with basic skills, such as changing a flat tire. Bikes can range from $200 to around $10,000.

Bike Smith

900 N. Carson St.


Bicycle Authority

1501 N. Carson St.


The Bike Habitat

911 Topsy Lane #238



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