Retailer Profile

Wheat Ridge Cyclery

Colorado

In the summer of 1973, a salesman of industrial bearings named Eugene Kiefel began looking for a job change. While driving his rounds he’d narrowly avoided a couple collisions, and figured he’d better find something safer. He investigated several local opportunities, including go-kart sales and a Dairy Queen franchise, when he saw a classified ad in the Denver Post: Bike Shop For Sale.
Shop name?

Wheat Ridge Cyclery

Shop Bio

In the summer of 1973, a salesman of industrial bearings named Eugene Kiefel began looking for a job change. While driving his rounds he’d narrowly avoided a couple collisions, and figured he’d better find something safer. He investigated several local opportunities, including go-kart sales and a Dairy Queen franchise, when he saw a classified ad in the Denver Post: Bike Shop For Sale.

Having done some apprenticeship time with bicycles and motorcycles in his native Germany, he responded to the ad. In August, 1973, Eugene purchased the shop.
Starting with $4,800 and 750 square feet, Eugene built a bicycle empire. In 1973, the store staff included Eugene and, well ... Eugene. During the summers he expanded his staff with the addition of his three children, Ron, Erlinda and Leona.
Realizing that any local bike shop can provide the merchandise, Eugene knew that singularly exceptional customer service would differentiate him from his competition.
Within a few years business was increasing steadily and it truly became a family affair when Eugene’s wife Nora took on the dedicated position of clothing buyer, enhancing the scope and diversity of a category that has become a hallmark of WRC’s offerings.

Youngest sister Leona worked closely with her father in building the company in the 1980s, and later was a traveling sales representative for Trek Bicycles.
Leona’s husband, Gil McCormick, took over the duties of General Manager in the early 1990s, a position he held for 14 years during a time of great growth for the company.

Middle sister Erlinda is the family rocket scientist. She develops advanced aerospace technology as a propulsion engineer with Lockheed-Martin. She’s also a powerhouse on the bike and has competed in cycling at a high level, including the 1990 and 1991 UCI Mountain Bike World Championships.
The oldest of the children, Ron, left the shop to race bikes. After an impressive and successful run in juniors’ competition, he was selected to join the first American team to compete in the Grand Tours of Europe: Team 7-Eleven. This legendary squad laid the foundation for U.S professional cycling and led Ron on a cycling adventure that included becoming the first American to win a stage in the Giro d’Italia and a medal in the 1984 Olympics (team time trial, bronze.) He raced in and completed seven Tours de France, and was U.S. National Road Champion in 1983 and 1988.

Today Ron is President and General Manager of WRC. WRC operates out of a 30,000 sq. ft. facility that has grown around the original 750 sq. ft. spot, selling thousands of bicycles each year, and we still treat our customers with the same respect, honesty and value Eugene began with 39 years ago.

What year was the shop founded?

1973

 
Ron and Erlinda at the Wheat Ridge Grand Opening

Current Owners?

Kiefel Family (Eugene, Ron, Erlinda and Leona)

General Manager of Wheat Ridge

Ron Kiefel

Is your store on Facebook?

Yes www.facebook.com/WheatRidgeCyclery

How many locations does Wheat Ridge have?

One

How many people does Wheat Ridge employ?

Currently we’re at 64 staff members.

Wheat Ridge Cyclery staff photo: L - R Brian Bergeler, Darren Ray, Danielle Kehoe, Trish Jones, Evan Lee, Dave Morse, Gil McCormick (Rons brother-in-law), Andy Wardip, Nate Glore, Paul Sherwen, Phil Liggett, Pat Mayben, Stephanie Thorpe, Sean Mondragon, Cameron Jaques, Kathy Placchi, Kerry Nordstrom, Kedith Bounmark, Leona McCormick (Ron's Sister), Joe Morley, Sarah Rosenberg, James Kruse, Ron Kiefel

What bike brands do you sell?

Trek, Specialized, Yeti, Cervelo, Orbea, Santa Cruz, Seven

What attracted you to the bicycle industry?

Dad bought the bicycle shop when I was 13, I went out and explored the roads and mountains of Colorado. I have not stopped riding a bike since.

What sets your shop apart?

The right cool products for our customer, a highly trained and friendly staff

What's your specialty?

Taking care of our customer. Category wise, Road, MTB, Multisport, urban, family

What's hot right now?

Bicycles

Who is the longest serving member of your staff?

We have a few staffers with 25+ years here, but longest tenure is one of our buyers, Jim Burnett, who has been with us since 1978.

What are your aspirations for the future?

Strive to serve our customers through their preferred channel of connection and shopping.

What part of the business are you most proud of?

That the business has passed along to the 2nd generation, we continue to grow and thrive upon the foundations set by Eugene, and we’re seeing interest in the business from the 3rd generation.

Are you involved in Advocacy? If so, what organizations do you support?

Very much so. We work closely with IMBA, COMBA, Bicycle Colorado, Bikes Belong and the Colorado High School Cycling League.

Wht's the best thing about working in the bicycle industry?

It’s full of lots of cool people and product.

What clubs or teams do you sponsor?

Team Lanterne Rouge and Colorado Cycling Team Benefiting Livestrong

Do you have a favorite pro bike racer?

Eddy Merckx – I had a chance to ride with Eddy early in my pro career and following his wheel I could see why he won all those races just watching his incredible pedaling style.