Up North: Bike Shops See Business Boom with Repairs, Tune-Ups

Alicia Tipcke
Updated: April 22, 2020 10:54 PM

Located on 4th Street Ski Hut's busy shop sits in contrast with quiet store fronts. The Duluth business has been racing to keep with a steady flow of customers.

"Our service department has definitely been busy," said Ski Hut store manager David Neustel. "With kids staying home, families want to get out and ride together and enjoy the outdoors together."

Biking is one activity that has not been restricted by the coronavirus. The City of Duluth has supported people getting out by opening trails around town, like Seven Bridges Road. Some Northland families looking to utilize the space are turning to shops like Ski Hut to fix up old rides or purchase new ones.

"We were just out browsing for bikes," said Megan Newman of Duluth while at Ski Hut. "The weather has been awesome and I'm kind of going stir crazy at home."

On the hunt for a starter bike for her daughter and a trail bike for herself, Newman said the outing also gave her a chance to support a local business.

"I'm just trying to support my town as much as I can and we love Duluth a lot," Newman added.

Much of the work at Ski Hut is done downstairs in the repair shop. They offer tune-up packages as well as singular services for brakes, tires, suspension and more. Neustel suggests regularly assessing a bike to assure a safe ride and avoid costly fixes.

"Before every ride it's a good idea to check your tire pressure. Check to make sure all the bolts are tight and then just keeping up on maintenance helps avoid that big bill where we [have] to replace parts," said Neustel.

With dust or rust shaken off of their bikes, cyclists can take their tuned-up rides on scenic trips almost anywhere in the Northland.

"Everybody's been really good at practicing social distancing while they're at the parks and I'm just really happy that they're letting the outdoors still be open," said Newman. 

It's recommended to check the status of trails before heading out since some are closed due to the mud season.


Alicia Tipcke

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