Traverse City is a gorgeous small town about four hours northwest of our Detroit bicycle workshop. It’s also the largest producer of tart cherries in America, an important Michigan tourist destination, and (most relevant to the topic at hand) home to Einstein Cycles, one of the handful of shops in the country that stock Shinola bicycles. The shop’s owner, Jason Lowetz, is a Michigan native and accomplished professional cyclist who recently returned to the midwest after a long stint in Los Angeles.
We sat down with Lowetz to discuss the ins and outs of running a bicycle shop in Traverse City, get some tips for new cyclists, and to hear his thoughts on the Shinola bicycles in his store.
So how long have you been in business, and how is the bike business treating you?
We’ve been around for about two years now. It’s been a blast. Right from the get-go, people have been so supportive and have responded so well to our vibe and our attitude that the time has just flown by. It’s a town where the people that ride have such a passion for it, and that just reinforces our enthusiasm for what we do.
What made you decide to start a bicycle shop in Traverse City?
It’s really an amazing place to live and to ride bikes. We have great places to ride, from rolling hills through vineyards and orchards, some great mountain bike trails, and the TART trail through town that links it all together. We’ve also got world-class races and events that really help to support the cycling scene as a whole.
How did you settle on Einstein Cycles as the name?
I thought of it while riding my bicycle. I think Albert had a similar experience. His might have been more complicated.
Any tips for new cyclists, or people who are considering getting into cycling?
Just ride. That’s what it comes down to for people that are just starting out or ride 10,000 miles a year. Go out, explore, go fast, go slow. Do whatever gets you out of the door. And have fun.
Where do you see bicycling headed over the next few years?
I think people are going to see it as more than a hobby. They’re going to see it as lifestyle, something that they can do for a lot of reasons, or for no reason at all. Commuting is going to change a lot of things, too, and I really see high-quality, beautiful bicycles having a place in that. These bikes may be what brings certain people into really the sport and into the lifestyle.
Any thoughts on the Shinola bicycles you have in your shop?
We’ve been really impressed with the quality and elegance. It is clear that no shortcuts were taken with the design of these bicycles, and that appeals to people. That’s part of the visual appeal, too. Everything works. Everything goes together. The colors are great as well. They’re simple, but eye-catching. That dark orange Runwell has my name all over it.
To see The Runwell and The Bixby, click here.
Einstein Cycles is located at:
1990 N US Highway 31 N
Traverse City, MI 49690