This year was the first year that I chose to partner with Rick Smith at Cycle Smiths in Louisville KY for all my cycling needs in triathlon. Rick’s shop has been at the new location on Shelbyville Road for just over a year. His location is ideal for almost any cyclist. He is close to the park for quick access to some nice roads and several ways to exit the park and get out of town quickly. The parks also offer trails for MTB. But more important than that is the experience you will have upon entering his store.
Rick Smith is the owner and Mark Renn is the full time mechanic at the shop. Rick started out as a mechanic and has the best wrench in all of Louisville. There has been several times that he took my equipment when it was needing a tune up or a repair and fixed it to where it felt like new. For example, I had some trouble with my Zipp 101 rear wheel this year. After putting over 20,000 miles on the wheel set over the last 3 years, it started making a grinding noise. Rick and Mark took it apart and pin pointed the problem, ordered the parts needed and replaced them in just a few days. Once I got back on my bike, the grinding noise stopped and the bike felt smooth again.
Rick also has taken my commuter bike and fixed the rear derailleur in the past after I crashed it. It wasn’t shifting good and was bent after crashing it. In just 5 minutes of putting it on the stand, the problem was resolved.
Rick and Mark also do a very good job at making everyone feel welcome and appreciated. As I have been in the store while other customers have been there, they both do a good job at answering questions and pointing them in the right direction without pushing them beyond their budget.
All that being said, I think the most important part about a bike store is not selling a product just to sell it to make some money. A bike store is there to make sure that you are getting the best fit for your needs. For example, Rick would never sell a bike or equipment that didn’t fit the athlete. I have been in several bike shops before moving to Louisville and have experienced what it’s like to spend several thousand dollars on a bike and come to find out it doesn’t fit very well. Rick will spend some time measuring various parts of your body geometry and flexibility before setting you up on a bike. I can honestly say that this year, after being fit by Rick, I am the most comfortable on my bike than I ever have been in the past. And, if someone isn’t comfortable on their bike, they can’t ride fast.
Be sure to check out Rick’s store, Cycle Smiths on Shelbyville road right next to Mellow Mushroom. The shop address is:
3928 Shelbyville Road. Louisville, KY 40207