EVANSTON, IL (BRAIN) — Wisconsin’s Wheel & Sprocket, the BRAIN Gold Star Retailer owned by Chris Kegel, is opening its first location in Illinois, taking over the space being vacated by Evanston’s Ten 27 Cycles, formerly Turin Bicycles.
The shop rebranded as Ten 27—named after its street address at 1027 Davis Street—in late spring of this year. Less than six months later, however, owner Chris Mailing announced he was closing and liquidating all inventory and fixtures.
Ten 27 is a separate business from Denver, Colorado’s Turin Bicycles, which sold the majority of its Evanston store to Mailing and licensed the Turin name to him eight years ago. Mailing took over sole ownership ahead of rebranding as Ten 27.
“Denver has been nothing but spectacular all this time. It’s been having nothing but good years, and we couldn’t be happier with how that’s been going,” said Turin minority owner Lee Katz, who opened the Evanston store in 1971 and co-owns the Denver store with majority owner Alan Fine. (Editor’s note: Check back at the BRAIN website later this week for news about Turin’s expansion plans.)
The liquidation at Ten 27 continues through the end of the year, and Wheel & Sprocket plans to open its new store in the space later in the winter. Several employees from Ten 27 will continue to work under the new ownership, with Mailing serving as store manager, said Kegel.
“We’re hoping to put together a really good team, and Chris already has a good one,” Kegel added. “We’re going to be moving in and updating a few things and modernizing a bit. But it’s a great space and a great neighborhood and we think it’s going to do very well.”
Although the space is on the small side for a Wheel & Sprocket location, Kegel predicts sales volume will be on par with that of his other stores. “I think we can do better than average per square foot,” he said.
He also foresees a smooth transformation from Ten 27 to Wheel & Sprocket. “[Mailing] already carries the same brands we carry, so it should be pretty seamless,” Kegel said. “That should help with training, too.”
Wisconsin’s largest bike retailer — with six stores and an online business employing more than 150 at the height of the season — Wheel & Sprocket will celebrate its 40th anniversary next year.