It's flush times for bicycle shops in Little Rock. With the opening of the Big Dam Bridge in 2006, and an increase in bike commuters trying to avoid high gas prices, conditions for strong business are right, and Chainwheel has taken advantage.
According to co-owner Patrick Barron, the store is servicing more old bikes and selling more new ones to people trying to ease the burden of $4 fuel. Times readers must be helping to supply the business, because they've deemed it the shop to go to in Little Rock. But they aren't the only ones who think Chainwheel has a good thing going; the store was recently named one of the top 100 bike retailers in the nation by Bicycle Retailer and Industry News, a trade publication.
The store, which has been in its 9,000-square-foot space at 10300 Rodney Parham for 13 years, does more than sell bikes, though it has over 300 in stock. It has repair service that, in my personal experience, is quick and efficient. Staff is knowledgeable and willing to help. Chainwheel has also made itself a meeting hub for bike riders around town — it helps coordinate Central Arkansas Velo (CARVE), a local cycling club that conducts group rides.