14 Jul 2015

Bright Futures and a Bittersweet Farewell

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We are about to release a product unlike anything we’ve ever sold in the past. I personally think it’s the greatest product ever to come through here.

We think it’s pretty innovative, but at the same time, you can’t reinvent the wheel. It took a long time to develop and has been shaped by some of the smartest and hardest working people I’ve ever met. If used properly, it can benefit an entire community. It has impacted more people than any bike we’ve ever sold.

This product has many parts, it is sometimes hard to operate, and it’s more expensive than anything else we’ve ever sold. But the benefits to the user are profound.

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We are preparing to sell North Central Cyclery itself.


We are looking for new owners to take NCC into the next chapter of its story.
We hope to find an individual or party who understands the culture we’ve striven to create over the last 11 years and carry on in our mission to build something bigger than the sum of its parts to benefit the community at large. We believe the core strengths of the current ownership have been sales growth, market exploration, and cultural development. The next era of NCC calls for other core strengths to maintain a healthy and thriving business in this community. NCC has become something beyond anything we’d ever imagined and we are incredibly proud of the community we’ve built here. NCC needs a new set of eyes, new hands, and a new heart for the next stage. We are excited for the bright futures ahead for everyone.

NCC has become a regional destination for cyclists of all kinds by creating a unique retail experience built on great service, a curated product selection, fun events, and peerless communication. We’ve partnered with brands that we can trust and developed phenomenal relationships with those vendors. We’ve exceeded the expectations of everyone, including ourselves, and built something wonderful. According to our customers and our suppliers, NCC has become a cornerstone for the local community and an industry leader in experiential niche retail.


It’s not an understatement that say that we have a national customer base, even though we don’t sell things over the internet. We have partnered with a unique array of vendors who are not found in every bike shop. We are among a very select number of dealers to stock and carry Moots and Jones bikes, and one of only a few places in the region to display a healthy selection of Salsa and Surly. We have also had a relationship with Trek bikes since the very beginning, so we can serve almost any rider walking in our door.

This is not a process we will take lightly, since there are so many important factors to consider. If you are interested in learning more, please email us at brightfutures@northcentralcyclery.com with your contact information to get started.

We are asking for serious inquiries only.

 —- Intermission—-

It is important for me (me = Tobie) to share at this same moment that my tenure at North Central Cyclery will be coming to an end this summer. Over the last couple years, and increasingly over the last six months, I have had a deep sense it was time for me to seek out the next endeavor for me and my family. I feel confident that I’m departing NCC at a time when our brand and position in the market are at its strongest.11227770_1102737293086438_928207431371223713_n

It has been my honor and privilege to serve North Central Cyclery for the last eleven years. I was hired without experience into a position that I did not deserve, and worked hard with my hands, head, and heart to meet and exceed the expectations set before me. I have had the liberty to define my own position as time went on and that liberty allowed me to grow as an individual in many ways atypical to our industry. For that I am deeply grateful. From the very beginning, it was my intent that NCC be set apart from the existing stereotype of bike shops by being kind, inclusive, clean, interesting and bright. Evidently, by the continued success and survival of the shop over some very challenging economic years, these were important and desirable elements to you as well.

Thank you.

Without question, the best part of the last decade has been the incredible relationships in and around the bike shop. I have worked alongside true friends, and I believe the current staff at NCC to be one of the strongest, most talented, most cohesive and beautiful crews we’ve ever had. I am also very proud of the number of customers I call friends. This community has been wonderful to me and my family as we’ve established ourselves here.

Among our vendors, I can genuinely say that I love some of those people and love doing business with them. I will certainly miss the excuses to call them and get called by them.

At this moment, there is no immediate next step for me in my career, but instead, I plan to spend time with my family, spend some time reflecting and resting, and accomplish a few personal goals. During that time, I will also be seeking out the next phase of my career and exploring new opportunities.

I will post up again before my last day, but it was important for me to be clear from the outset of our effort to sell the shop that we will be training in or raising up someone to take my place this summer. We are looking for applicants for all positions, so please let us know if you’re interested. I will be leading the effort to ensure the new leadership of NCC understands our history and values. In my work during the transition, I hope to make sure our service and value to you is uninterrupted as much as possible. We understand you have a choice when it comes to bikes and bike stuff, and we greatly appreciate every opportunity to serve you.

If you’re interested in staying in touch, my email is tobie@tobiedepauw.com.

I would like to invite you to ride with me for my last (official) Saturday ride with NCC on July 25th. We will meet behind NCC at 8am and ride ~30-40mi. All speeds and steeds are welcome. We’ll be sticking to roads and paths so almost any bike will do.

Espresso will be available before and after, courtesy of our friends from Rapha.

RSVP here.


Thank you.



06 Jul 2015

NCC Summer Hours

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Dontcha just hate Mondays?

Us, too.

So let’s skip them entirely.

Monday – Closed
Tuesday – 10-6
Wednesday – 10-8!
Thursday – 10-6
Friday – 10-6
Saturday – 10-4
Sunday – Closed

Jokes aside, we’re changing up the schedule for a few reasons.
DeKalb is a college town, and things slow down a bit around here in July.

The doldrums generally last until early August, when things quickly return to “normal”, (see also: crazy, busy, fun!). Closing Mondays is an efficient way for us to consolidate our staff and services for everyone’s benefit. If you’ve ever worked retail, you can empathize with how unbelievably wonderful it is to have two days off in a row.
Our staff will be here five days a week, bright-tailed and bushy-eyed, to serve you for the summer.

Be sure to note these special dates this month:

Biking with Beanzie – July 12th.

Thirdsday – July 16th (NCC closed).

During this time, too, we’re on the lookout for the new draft picks for Fall 2015 NCC staff.

If you or anyone you know would make a good fit here, click here to get the ball rolling. Seriously, by following these simple steps, you will exhibit the chutzpah we’re looking for. We’re hiring for a number of different positions, so definitely apply if you’re interested.

27 Jun 2015

Red, White and Booyah!

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The NCC crew is taking the Independence Day holiday weekend off.

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If you haven’t noticed, we’ve been running a much smaller, tighter, more talented and beautiful crew this year, so we’re giving the whole bunch some extra time off to spend time with family, go on adventures, take 100 naps, and sing the national anthem. Probably.

We will be closed Friday, July 3rd through Monday, July 6th. 

We will return to work on Tuesday, July 7th fully refreshed and ready to serve you no matter how sunburned we are.

Enjoy the holiday safely. Go for a good ride or two.

Happy Birthday, America.



28 Apr 2015

The Trek QR Recall Update: Trek wants to give you $20 and save your life. Isn’t that nice?

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It’s in the humble opinion of this small town bicycle retailer that this whole debacle around Trek recalling “almost a million bicycles” is a blessing in disguise. That’s probably not the case for Trek as a company, but for NCC and its affected customers, there’s something to be gained here.

When else, in the history of bikes, did you ever get $20 for visiting a store to fix what isn’t even broken?

And if you’re among the millions of Trek’s consumers not affected by the recall, now is a fine time to take a good look to make sure your quick-release is installed correctly.

If you’re unfamiliar with the recall, it was announced last week that Trek is recalling approximately 900,000 bikes. A small number of cases, one of which ended in serious injury, led Trek and the CPSC to issue a recall on bikes with disc brakes made between 2000 and 2015. The affected models feature a quick-release lever that can open past 180° and get caught in the disc if the QR is not installed properly. The details have been poorly reported by a number of media sources. We really think this article sums it up nicely.

To clarify:

The bikes are not defective.
The QR’s are not defective.
Your bike will not explode if it was made by Trek.
The bikes affected are safe if the QR is installed correctly.

Trek has been extremely proactive in equipping their dealers to be ready to take care of their customers. We have the replacement QR’s in stock and ready to go for you. So how to do you know if your bike is affected?

Is your bike a Trek?
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Does it have disc brakes?

Does your QR open past 180°?


If you answered “Yes” to all three questions… you WIN!

Your prizes include a free visit to the bike shop, a new-and-improved extra-safe quick-release, and $20 in-store credit towards any Bontrager product. Bring your whole bike in, please.

And if we haven’t seen you in a while, it will be good to catch up.

If you have any questions, please give us a call at 815.758.2403 or send an email to rideaway@northcentalcyclery.com.

28 Apr 2015

Giro New Road’s newest outpost.

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NCC is proud to announce a new partnership with Giro Sport Design.


Giro is one of the most ubiquitous brands in the cycling world, yet still remain iconic. For the last number of years, we have watched as they have successfully steered cycling style in new directions and married on-bike and off-bike fashion with their New Road line of apparel. Simply put, they won us over as customers. We wanted their stuff. And as we listened, we heard that you did, too.

Giro was looking for a new partner, too. They hadn’t found a good home for their New Road apparel in the region, yet. They wanted a shop that told a different story. They came for a coffee and here we are.


As we tried to figure out what of their enormous selection we would bring in, it became apparent to us that we loved the products in their line that offered solutions. Here’s a problem – cycling clothing tends to be pretty ugly. Solution – make it not ugly. We all want to look like a flashy hot dog when we go ride bikes, but frankly, I often feel like a technicolor bratwurst. Not everyone wants to be advertising. Giro New Road tells a different story. Better colors, great materials, smart features.


Here’s another problem – cyclists have to go potty. Solution? Make mens and women’s bib shorts that make it possible to use the restroom without completely disrobing. Revolutionary! (Seriously, the women’s Ride Halter Bib is the best cycling product since, like, forever).

One of the most exciting introductions with the Giro line is a few helmet options featuring M.I.P.S. technology. You can see some of these in the store now. Come in, grab one, and look inside. You’ll see an inner shell with what appears to be a handful of little buttons. Concussions are caused by the brain rotating within your skull. Upon impact, these buttons disengage and allow the inner shell to shift slightly – allowing your skull to rotate just enough to (ideally) match the velocity of your brain. If that sounds confusing, you should check out their site, because I’m just a guy who sells bikes.


We have brought in a number of Giro’s unique shoes and gloves as well. They are stunning and comfortable. Imagine a cycling shoe that is genuinely attractive and functional. Actually, you don’t have to imagine it, we have them in the store. The Rumble and Terraduro models stand apart. Giro’s Alpineduro is the first shoe to mesh the tech and style of legit hiking boots with the growing adventure cycling scene. Very cool.


We’ve already had a great response to the new stuff in the store. Please stop in soon and check it out.

Isn’t time for something new?