The crew at Sycamore Cycles has been spearheading the cycling scene in western North Carolina for many years. From trail work to weekly group rides, the shop is synonymous with the word Pisgah. Ask anyone who has ever ridden here and they are sure to know of shop owner Wes Dickson.
Wes has been riding and racing mountain bikes in Pisgah since he was 15 years old, when his dad used to drag him around the woods on what Wes calls “adventure riding.”
“There was deep loamy soil back in the day, and I was pushing a 31-pound steel mountain bike with a rack on the back,” he said. “We were riding on trails where the signs didn’t have bike stickers on them. It was kind of like the wild, wild west.”
The shop has changed a bit since Wes opened it in downtown Brevard in 2000, using funds from a furniture loan (the bank wouldn’t loan the 23-year-old money to start a bike shop). Three years later, he moved his growing business to the intersection of U.S. 64, U.S. 276 and N.C. 280: it was right at the entrance to Pisgah National Forest, and close to the newly formed DuPont State Recreational Forest.
Today, Sycamore carries Yeti, Norco, Specialized and Salsa bicycles, as well as accessories, service and rentals. The Pisgah Forest location’s inventory is weighted toward mountain bikes due to its proximity to the forest, while their second location in Hendersonville stocks more road bikes. Wes said both shops are starting to sell more kids’ bikes, in part because DuPont Forest is so accessible for families. The trails in DuPont are tamer and not as intimidating as Pisgah.
“Families are coming in to the shops now, so we’re seeing more and more people coming in and buying bikes for their kids, and I see lots of uncles taking their nephews out,” said Wes.
To fill a niche market that Wes felt was lacking in both the cycling and food scenes, he partnered with Scott Unfried, owner of Flat Rock Village Bakery, to open Crank Coffee. The smoothie bar and coffee shop inside
Sycamore Cycles serves smoothies, pastries, tea and, of course, many variations of coffee.
Sycamore Cycles opens at the same time as the coffee bar, to help serve riders who want to hit the trails and roads early. During the week and on Saturday, both spaces open at 7:30 a.m., and 9 a.m. on Sundays. Crank has indoor and outdoor seating.
Sycamore Cycles has recently expanded into the space beside where the shop has been located for years to make more room for all those shiny new mountain bikes.
For more information, call Sycamore Cycles at (828) 877-5790 or visit www.sycamorecycles.com.