Sunlight streams into the windows of Tangletown's newest business, glinting off the rims, spokes, and gears of row upon row of new and used bikes.
It's a big change for the retail space on the corner of 48th and Grand, formerly the site of the slowly dying . It's been a welcome site for some in the neighborhood.
"The community's been so welcoming," said Charlie Siftar, one of Tangletown Bike Shop's three owners. "We've had joggers wave at us, and people sticking their heads in to say hi."
One month after their soft opening, that welcoming attitude was in evidence when Patch stopped by—during a fast mid-afternoon tour of the shop, around a half-dozen groups of customers came through the shop's glass door looking for repairs, spare tires, or just to ogle.
Siftar himself has been in the cycling business for about four years after quitting life as an engineer.
"I was a lifelong biker," he said. "I started building bikes in my garage while trying to figure out my next steps, then started consigning them to ReCycle. I had been looking at jobs similar to the one I had (quit), but decided 'That's enough.' This really is a labor of love for me."
From there, Siftar was brought on to help manage ReCycle's flagship location in Uptown, and when the Carlson Cycles space opened, up, he bought into the business and took up his new role as the main face of Tangletown Bike Shop.
Many of the bicycles currently for sale in Tangletown are refurbished 10-speeds, mountain bikes, and cruisers—ReCycle's chief stock in trade—but Siftar said the shop will be focusing on new bikes. As negotiations with manufacturers are still ongoing, Siftar wouldn't divulge any brand names beyond coyly noting that Fuji and Raleigh were historically Carlson's mainstays.
The shop is opening up across from , in the heart of Tangletown, but its corner lacks the mix of businesses that creates large amounts of foot traffic that a new business can leverage to introduce itself to the neighborhood. Siftar acknowledged the challenge, but said he thinks his shop is up to it.
"There's a lot of people who travel between the three different locations (of ReCycle-owned shops) on reference—if one doesn't have a part or a bike, the other will," he said. "We've also gotten a great reception from the neighborhood."
"The toughest part is getting the word out. We have a limited ad budget, so getting stories in the local papers is helpful," he added with a laugh.