The Freewheel Story
Since 1974, Freewheel Bike has been rated as one of the top bike shops in Minnesota. We aren’t the biggest or the loudest kids on the block but we really care about what we do. We take pride in knowing our customers are treated better here than in any other retail setting. The respect Freewheel Bike has earned from its customers and peers has helped us attract the most talented and knowledgeable people in the bike industry, and our core values are the reason those people continue to call Freewheel Bike their home.
In 1974 Freewheel Bike was founded by a small group of progressive bike nuts who were looking to challenge the norms of the 1970’s bike industry. With a loan of $600 dollars and an eagerness to change the world, this small group of cyclists started a movement. Paying a livable wage and creating a valuable resource for the dedicated cyclists of Minneapolis were at the heart of their mission. The Freewheel Bike Co-op was the first to offer a repair shop that was open to the public, and the first to see the value in offering repair classes. Teaching the newcomer how to spin the wrenches proved to be an excellent way to create new cycling fanatics. While the shop has evolved since those early days as a Co-op, that same spirit of community involvement lives on in the newest generation of Freewheelers.
Today Freewheel Bike’s community contributions still focus on bringing our level of cycling madness to those new to the world of bikes. Our involvement in launching the NiceRideMN bike share program, our support of a professional women’s cycling team at the Nature Valley Grand Prix, and our ever expanding class offerings are just a few of the ways we bring cycling to a fresh audience.
Much like 1974, Freewheel Bike’s business is still focused on challenging the norms of typical bike retail. We pay well above industry average, offer benefits not usually found in retail, and we still find motivation in bringing new products to the world. In the past few years one new product after another has churned out of Freewheel simply because we love finding new ways of making cyclists smile. In 2008 Freewheel Bike launched the Midtown Bike Center when only a couple places like it existed across the entire country. Now, thanks to its early success, more bike centers are opening every year. Our Freewheel Mobile Repair Squad has proven to be a fantastic incubator of ideas and helped us evolve other new products like online repair scheduling and the Gear Box vending machines. While we are proud of all of these innovations, we know the truly exciting ideas are the ones we’re just beginning to cook up.