Town Cycle: The place for rides, repair, advice and more

Town Cycle owner parlays lifelong love of bikes into multi-faceted business


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  • PHOTO BY JOE JANISHESKI Mike Hoek of Town Cycle has a passion for bikes that is evident in the way he runs his business, customers say.



By Ginny Privitar

Mike Hoek has always loved riding bikes. It's a love affair that has lasted 36 years, the last 32 of which he has spent as the owner of Town Cycle.

Hoek's passion is evident in the way he runs his business.

During and after college he worked in a bike shop, and then for a couple years he was an assistant manager of a drug chain store. He went back to bikes and bought a business in 1986; he's been at his current location since 1991.

Hoek previously worked for Rich Cohen at his bike shop, Richlyn and Cohen helped Hoek get started in the business.

At Town Cycle, Hoek said, "We offer everything from kids' bikes and BMX, road, mountain bikes and hybrids (a cross between a road and a mountain bike) ... even unicycles.

The shop features quality bicycles from Trek, Niner, Giant, Fit Bike Co., Eastern Bikes, Gary Fisher, Seven Cycles, Santa Cruz, Turner Bikes, Rocky Mountain, and assorted BMX bikes, along with any accessory you might need. Expert advice is always available.

And they'll custom build a bike for you. "Now there is every sliver and differentiation in bikes you can imagine," he said. They sell high-end suspension mountain bikes and all levels of road bike. Whether you're in the sport for competition, exercise or recreation, they can find you the right ride.

The shop does all kinds of repair and re-build work. "We do suspension re-builds, rear shocks, and trouble-shoot hydraulics and all the high-end work on bikes (which) these days has gotten complicated," he said. The sport has grown exponentially from the cruisers with flat handlebars and upright seats for riding on sidewalks, but they sell and service those, too.

"Most people ride bikes for fun and recreation. It's a large part of our business," Hoek said, adding that their repair bay is always busy.

As to finding the proper fit, it depends on a number of factors, including design. "You want a slight bend in the knee at the bottom of a power stroke. Too high and you'll feel it behind the knee; too low and you'll feel it at the kneecap," Hoek said.

Where to start if you're looking for a bike? "If they have an idea how they're going to use the bike, we can put them in the right direction," Hoek said.

When asked how he spends his free time, Hoek mused, "Free time?" But he does occasionally enjoy hiking and of course, riding. "I get out and ride whenever I can and take care of the basic chores of life." Hoek works 70 hours a week and his riding now is mostly confined to the weekends. "Maybe in the summer I can get an hour in the evening."

Hoek's wife, Anneke, is originally from the Netherlands. They met at a triathlon where he was racing and she was with a family for whom she worked as an au pair. Now Anneke does the clerical work for the shop. Their children, Pieter, 19, and Briana, 20, are both attending college in the Netherlands.

"I have a great group of friends because the shop has allowed me to meet a lot of the community," he said. It’s a still-small town where you get to know your neighbor – I like it up here."

Customer Bret Harmen posted on social media that Town Cycle's staff "they really know their stuff."

Their prices may "look higher than" big box stores, but, Harmen added "they also sell much better bikes that will last you a lot longer."

If you go:Town Cycle

Bike Sales, Parts, & Accessories

1468 Union Valley Rd.

West Milford, NJ

(973) 728-8878

Email: info@towncycle.com

Facebook: Town Cycle

Holiday hours:Starting Monday 11/27: daily from 10 a.m. - 8 p.m.

Saturdays: 9 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Sunday 12/10 and 12/17: 12 noon - 5 p.m. and on Sunday, 12/24 9 a.m. - 2 p.m.

Ed. Note: Hoek has worked on the MS tour every year, only missing one year. His shop sponsors the Team Town Cycle Club which grew out of people who met in the shop. They hold cycle cross and mountain bike races in West Milford. Hoek said they usually hold a kids' mountain bike race, but the weather was a factor this year.

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