A cyclist pedals furiously on a stationary bicycle that is hooked up to eight LED markers. An attached computer captures a 3-D view of his movements to calculate measurements (accurate down to the millimeter) that can be used to adjust the bike and make the rider more efficient, more comfortable, and less prone to injury.
The Retül system (available for $300, with lifetime adjustments) is only one of the features that make Trek Bicycle Store more than just another bike depot. The revamped shop, massive at 8,500 square feet, combines a retail space with a training center, Vision Quest Coaching. The store carries Trek road and mountain bikes, along with cycles from Gary Fisher and Pinarello.
Co-owned by Robbie Ventura and Jeff Wellek, the shop started with a trainer-athlete partnership. Ventura, 39, a professional cyclist for 11 years, formerly raced with Lance Armstrong on the U.S. Postal Service cycling team. He founded Vision Quest Coaching in 2000 to train riders and became a cycling coach to Wellek, 48, in 2005.
Because of Ventura and Armstrong’s friendship, the Trek store is the only distributor of the star cyclist’s line of clothing, Mellow Johnny’s, besides Armstrong’s store in Austin, Texas. Trek also carries bike accessories, from lights to jerseys to cycling shoes. Services include repairs, with pickup and delivery, and the option to customize bikes.
“The great thing about our store is that we are able to cater to the whole spectrum of cyclists,” Wellek says. Beginners benefit from the breadth of choices; serious athletes can take advantage of the training at Vision Quest. The combination of a gear store with an on-site training facility is unique and one that Ventura and Wellek hope will attract riders.
GO: WHERE 1925 Skokie Hwy., Highland Park; 847-433-8735, trekhp.com, visionquestcoaching.com EXCLUSIVES Only Midwest distributor of Lance Armstrong’s clothing line, Mellow Johnny’s EXTRAS Service center offers pickup and delivery within 25 miles of the shop; professional bike fit; a discount program for kids’ bikes—customers who buy a child’s bike at the store can trade it in within three years to receive a discount on a new bike
Photograph: Chris Lake