My Visit To The Hostel Shoppe

Discussion in 'Recumbent bicycles' started by Phil Wolfe, Jun 10, 2003.

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  1. Phil Wolfe

    Phil Wolfe Guest

    Monday seemed like a good day for a road trip so I jumped in the mini van and headed out to Stevens
    Point to ride some recumbents. I had a Volae tour on order and was hoping to ride one as well as a
    Volae Team. When I arrived out there after negotiating the construction the people there were
    extremely friendly and helpful. First I rode a Volae Team and was extremely impressed by the
    quality of the bike and the speeds I could maintain while riding it, the seat adjustment mechanism
    seemed to work excellent for those of you wondering about it. I was beginning to wonder if I should
    of ordered a Club or a Team instead. Then I rode the Volae Tour, the bike rode great and the
    components worked flawlessly but the ride seemed very similar to my Hybrid Haluzak and I was
    looking for something a bit different. Actually the bike was probably faster than my Haluzak but
    still to similar other than the steering. I was just about ready to order a Volae Club and I
    noticed that the clearance on the fork and rear wheel were very minimal so I asked about it. I was
    told the prototype had a little less clearance than the final version would have but even with the
    added clearance things would be quite tight for a tire with any kind of height or width. Just for
    grins I thought I would ride a Strada again and took one out for a spin. I had riden a Strada in
    the past and this was just as I expected it to be. The Volae Team was definately a faster bike, or
    so it seemed to me anyway but the Strada seemed a bit smoother to me, I think a may of been the
    wider tires or maybe the difference in wheelbase or even the seating position I couldn't nail it
    down. This got me to thinking about putting wider tires on the Volae's and realized that I wouldn't
    be able to do it with the Club Or Team. Understand that I am an old overweight recreational rider
    that occasionally rides a tour or a group ride at moderate speeds and I don't think I will be
    pulling any pacelines in my future so I began to lean toward purchasing a Strada but I did want a
    hardshell seat so I asked about it and they said it would be no problem to pull one off a Corsa for
    me. Now it was just about closing time and I did originally have a deposit on a Volae team but Rolf
    stated that it would not be a problem if I wanted to walk out with a Strada instead. So I told him
    if they could put it together for me I would take it home with me then. Just then I noticed one of
    the older orange colored Strada's and inquired about it. They stated that it was the last of last
    years model of the Strada's and it was on sale. I could not resist the savings so I had them
    install the hardshell seat on on it. Now it was after closing time and we were just finishing
    things up. I had no intention of buying a bike but here I was leaving with one, in fact I was
    leaving with a different bike than I intended all along. The people at the Hostel Shoppe are top
    notch and there selection of recumbents is incredible so if you are looking for a recumbent its
    well worth the trip out to Stevens Point. I am now the proud owner of a Strada but if I was ten
    years younger and in better shape I would have definately walked out with a Volae Club or maybe
    even a Team. Sincerely Philip Wolfe, a very satisfied Hostel Shoppe customer
     
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  2. Aharon

    Aharon Guest

    While we're on the subject of great bike shops... I just (200 miles ago)bought a Strada from Amlings
    Cycles in Niles, IL, a shop that I found on the net and visited because they were relatively close
    to where I live. What a gem of a store. The owner, Joe Reichert, is committed to recumbents and
    seems committed to satisfying his customers. I previously bought a Vision from Rapid Transit in
    CHicago, and they also are fabulous and deserve cudos for being early (and often, just like CHicago
    voting) in the recumbent biz. I would have bought from them again, but they didn't have the bike I
    wanted at the point I was hot to drop some serious cash. In any case, Amlings impressed me with 1)
    the fact that they were willing to sell at a very fair price for an orange (last year's) Strada, and
    MOST IMPORTANT... that the bike was set up far better than any bike I've purchased at an LBS in the
    past 25 years. The bike was meticulously assembled and tuned.

    Anyhow, hats off to Amlings, to Rapid Transit, and to every other bike shop with a commitment to
    recumbents and to customers.

    Phil Wolfe <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    > Monday seemed like a good day for a road trip so I jumped in the mini van and headed out to
    > Stevens Point to ride some recumbents. I had a Volae tour on order and was hoping to ride one as
    > well as a Volae Team. When I arrived out there after negotiating the construction the people there
    > were extremely friendly and helpful. First I rode a Volae Team and was extremely impressed by the
    > quality of the bike and the speeds I could maintain while riding it, the seat adjustment mechanism
    > seemed to work excellent for those of you wondering about it. I was beginning to wonder if I
    > should of ordered a Club or a Team instead. Then I rode the Volae Tour, the bike rode great and
    > the components worked flawlessly but the ride seemed very similar to my Hybrid Haluzak and I was
    > looking for something a bit different. Actually the bike was probably faster than my Haluzak but
    > still to similar other than the steering. I was just about ready to order a Volae Club and I
    > noticed that the clearance on the fork and rear wheel were very minimal so I asked about it. I was
    > told the prototype had a little less clearance than the final version would have but even with the
    > added clearance things would be quite tight for a tire with any kind of height or width. Just for
    > grins I thought I would ride a Strada again and took one out for a spin. I had riden a Strada in
    > the past and this was just as I expected it to be. The Volae Team was definately a faster bike, or
    > so it seemed to me anyway but the Strada seemed a bit smoother to me, I think a may of been the
    > wider tires or maybe the difference in wheelbase or even the seating position I couldn't nail it
    > down. This got me to thinking about putting wider tires on the Volae's and realized that I
    > wouldn't be able to do it with the Club Or Team. Understand that I am an old overweight
    > recreational rider that occasionally rides a tour or a group ride at moderate speeds and I don't
    > think I will be pulling any pacelines in my future so I began to lean toward purchasing a Strada
    > but I did want a hardshell seat so I asked about it and they said it would be no problem to pull
    > one off a Corsa for me. Now it was just about closing time and I did originally have a deposit on
    > a Volae team but Rolf stated that it would not be a problem if I wanted to walk out with a Strada
    > instead. So I told him if they could put it together for me I would take it home with me then.
    > Just then I noticed one of the older orange colored Strada's and inquired about it. They stated
    > that it was the last of last years model of the Strada's and it was on sale. I could not resist
    > the savings so I had them install the hardshell seat on on it. Now it was after closing time and
    > we were just finishing things up. I had no intention of buying a bike but here I was leaving with
    > one, in fact I was leaving with a different bike than I intended all along. The people at the
    > Hostel Shoppe are top notch and there selection of recumbents is incredible so if you are looking
    > for a recumbent its well worth the trip out to Stevens Point. I am now the proud owner of a Strada
    > but if I was ten years younger and in better shape I would have definately walked out with a Volae
    > Club or maybe even a Team. Sincerely Philip Wolfe, a very satisfied Hostel Shoppe customer
     
  3. Seth Jayson

    Seth Jayson Guest

    You are correct. We are very lucky in this area to have some great 'bent shops.

    Joe at Amlings is a great guy. He has a troop of folks willing to man his booth at bike shows for
    free, just because they like him and 'bents.

    Chris at Rapid Transit is also awesome. They got me started 'benting, and I carry their cards with
    me on my commute, and when people inquire about my bike, I give them one. (If I lived closer to
    Joe's store, I'd hand his out.)

    Hal out at the Bike Rack in St. Charles is also a great guy.

    And Rolf in Pointy Steve is beyond compare. I mean, he sent his prototype home with my wife just
    because he had so much fun watching her ride it. He's got so many darn bikes there, and Pointy Steve
    is such a nice place, that I consider bike shopping there a bit of a vacation...

    So we in Chicagoland should count our lucky stars. I wish I had enough cash to buy a bike a year
    from all of these shops... Hmmm, then maybe I'd have to get one of those Polish Carbon
    ground-sweepers too...
     
  4. > Joe at Amlings is a great guy. He has a troop of folks willing to man his booth at bike shows for
    > free, just because they like him and 'bents.

    Yep, I was one of 'em at Navy Pier this year. I agree, Joe is a good dealer that is committed to
    hosting a 'bent specialty shop. But I would be doing him a great diservice by saying otherwise; he's
    sponsoring me as well as the "Team Off" Velocity² guys for this year's North Brook 100.

    > So we in Chicagoland should count our lucky stars. I wish I had enough cash to buy a bike a year
    > from all of these shops... Hmmm, then maybe I'd have to get one of those Polish Carbon
    > ground-sweepers too...

    Polish Ground-Sweepers? Don't know what you're talking about. :-X

    -Keith
     
  5. Carl

    Carl Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] (Seth
    Jayson) wrote:

    > You are correct. We are very lucky in this area to have some great 'bent shops.
    >
    > Joe at Amlings is a great guy. He has a troop of folks willing to man his booth at bike shows for
    > free, just because they like him and 'bents.
    >
    > Chris at Rapid Transit is also awesome. They got me started 'benting, and I carry their cards with
    > me on my commute, and when people inquire about my bike, I give them one. (If I lived closer to
    > Joe's store, I'd hand his out.)
    >
    > Hal out at the Bike Rack in St. Charles is also a great guy.
    >
    > And Rolf in Pointy Steve is beyond compare. I mean, he sent his prototype home with my wife just
    > because he had so much fun watching her ride it. He's got so many darn bikes there, and Pointy
    > Steve is such a nice place, that I consider bike shopping there a bit of a vacation...
    >
    > So we in Chicagoland should count our lucky stars. I wish I had enough cash to buy a bike a year
    > from all of these shops... Hmmm, then maybe I'd have to get one of those Polish Carbon
    > ground-sweepers too...

    You left out Village CycleSport. Their branch in Arlington Heights (formerly Bike Pros) carries
    RANS, Vision, Lightning, and the Easy Racers/Sun EZ line. They also do a good job of taking care of
    their customers.

    -Carl
     
  6. I recently found out that the Bike Rack in St. Charles started carrying Greenspeeds this Spring.
    This is very good news to me, a Greenspeed owner. While the Hostel Shoppe is a great outfit, the
    Bike Rack in St. Charles is merely 15 minutes away.
     
  7. Seth Jayson

    Seth Jayson Guest

    You are lucky. I think, on most days, it would take me as long to drive out of the city to St.
    Charles as it would for me to get to Stephens Point!

    the Bike
    > Rack in St. Charles is merely 15 minutes away.
     
  8. Tom Sherman

    Tom Sherman Guest

    Windy City Rider wrote:
    > ...
    > > So we in Chicagoland should count our lucky stars. I wish I had enough cash to buy a bike a year
    > > from all of these shops... Hmmm, then maybe I'd have to get one of those Polish Carbon
    > > ground-sweepers too...
    >
    > Polish Ground-Sweepers? Don't know what you're talking about. :-X
    >
    > -Keith

    That is not what I heard! ;)

    Tom Sherman - Various HPV's Quad Cities USA (Illinois side)
     
  9. > You are lucky. I think, on most days, it would take me as long to drive out of the city to St.
    > Charles as it would for me to get to Stephens Point!

    Seth, St. Charles is about an hour and some change outside Chicago. Steven's Point OTOH is
    like 7 hours!

    The only thing I'll say about Village is that they aren't recumbent specialists. Amlings, Rapid
    Transit, and Bike Rack, and Hostel Shoppe dedicate at least half their floor to bents. Not to
    mention the owners and employees of these shops primarily ride bents themselves. Can't say that
    about the folks that own Village. I asked one salesman who was working the bent side of the shop
    last year which bent was his favorite and he said, "Gee, I never ride these things". When the
    salesman said that, I replied "Thank You", walked out the door, and took my fiance to Amlings to buy
    her 'bent.

    -Keith
     
  10. Mike S

    Mike S Guest

    > Seth, St. Charles is about an hour and some change outside Chicago. Steven's Point OTOH is like
    > 7 hours!
    >
    > The only thing I'll say about Village is that they aren't recumbent specialists. Amlings, Rapid
    > Transit, and Bike Rack, and Hostel Shoppe dedicate at least half their floor to bents. Not to
    > mention the owners and employees of these shops primarily ride bents themselves. Can't say that
    > about the folks that own Village. I asked one salesman who was working the bent side of the shop
    > last year which bent was his favorite and he said, "Gee, I never ride these things". When the
    > salesman said that, I replied "Thank You", walked out the door, and took my fiance to Amlings to
    > buy her 'bent.
    >
    > -Keith

    All the shops you mention are fine shops. I would offer one more. Wheel and Sprocket in Hales
    Corners (Milwaukee). I found Vision, RANS, Rotator, EZs. Easy Racers, Burley and a Trimuter trike.
    Found them to be very accomodating and knowledgable too. And, one hour from Chicago. Wish we had
    some of these shops in Missouri. Closest we come is Springfield, Ill.

    Mike S. St. Louis, Mo.
     
  11. Keith,

    Whadayamean 7 hours...must be taking several 30 minutg rest stops huh? The last time I drove back
    nonstop from the rally in 3 hours and a tick....and in a minivan with a 150 hp motor, nothing
    fancy.......

    Perhaps you should "draft" me next time around as it provides an excellent hole in the wind. Only
    problem is.......how are you at handling triple digit speeds?

    Ed - speed junkie but only when safe and sane - Gin

    Windy City Rider wrote:

    > > You are lucky. I think, on most days, it would take me as long to drive out of the city to St.
    > > Charles as it would for me to get to Stephens Point!
    >
    > Seth, St. Charles is about an hour and some change outside Chicago. Steven's Point OTOH is like
    > 7 hours!
    >
    > The only thing I'll say about Village is that they aren't recumbent specialists. Amlings, Rapid
    > Transit, and Bike Rack, and Hostel Shoppe dedicate at least half their floor to bents. Not to
    > mention the owners and employees of these shops primarily ride bents themselves. Can't say that
    > about the folks that own Village. I asked one salesman who was working the bent side of the shop
    > last year which bent was his favorite and he said, "Gee, I never ride these things". When the
    > salesman said that, I replied "Thank You", walked out the door, and took my fiance to Amlings to
    > buy her 'bent.
    >
    > -Keith
     
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