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Offbeat  


ChainLine Cycle - Business Spotlight

by - Story: 60016


If you’re traveling along Ellis, just past the old train station on Clement, you might notice a little hole-in-the-wall bike shop: Kelowna’s new ChainLine Cycle at 1139 Ellis St. Since opening its doors in October 2009, owner and operator Darrin Caruso, along with his co-worker Phil Glerum, has been busy turning wrenches and helping out cyclists of all abilities with anything from commuter bikes and entry level cruisers, to full suspension mountain bikes or carbon fibre dream machines.

Caruso began his cycling in Kelowna during the 70’s when his parents came here each summer for holidays. In the early 1990’s he participated in the mountain bike scene and acquired his only claim to fame in 1996 when he placed 10th overall in the Mountain Bike BC Cup series, and 1st in the Okanagan series. Over the years he worked for a few local bike shops, but in 2009 he decided to open his own business.

In its first year, Caruso and Glerum have shown ChainLine to be a little bike shop with a lot of heart. It’s the only bike shop in the downtown area, and north-end locals have shown their appreciation by bringing the shop many tune ups and repairs, and purchasing several new bikes. Very involved in the local bike scene, it has sponsored and participated in a dozen local cycling events, ranging from the “Bike to Work Week” to the opening of the new mountain bike skills park. The ChainLine team attends local road bike races, group rides, and mountain bike events, and are regulars at the long standing Sunday Road Ride that rolls out every week from downtown, and the huge Tuesday evening mountain bike ride. The bottom line is... these guys just love bikes. They love bikes so much they both commute to work year round, despite any foul weather. As Darrin is quoted saying, “We’re a bike shop, not a car shop.”

ChainLine Cycle is the only bike shop in town dedicated to “29er”. Mountain bikes usually have 26 inch wheels, but with a 29 inch wheel, the bike is faster, rolls over bumps easier, and climbs hills like a mountain goat! ChainLine is the headquarters of the 29er revolution, selling bikes from companies such as Niner (devoted solely to this system), KHS, Everti and soon Brodie. It also carries commuter bikes, cruiser bikes, kids bikes, BMX bikes and bicycle parts and accessories.

A road bike brand that they exclusively carry is Focus bikes. Most of these bikes are handmade in Germany, and are used by a professional road cycling team in the Tour De France and many other races around the globe.

As a side venture, Caruso has started Kelowna’s only bicycle company, Caruso Bikes. Its first carbon fibre road bike model, the Veltri is named in honour of Caruso’s grandmother, which was her maiden name. In the 2010 season 23 of these bikes were sold. The new 2011 models are on route.

Whether you’re in the market for a new bike or want your high-end race bike tuned before the big event, or your old clunker revived after being in the garage a few years, this new business means business. Stop by and see for yourself.

Link: www.ChainLineCycle.com
Link: www.CarusoBikes.com


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