Skip to main content

Neil Wechsler in front the the Montlake Bicycle Shop many years ago holding a large adjustable wrench and wearing a vintage leather bicycle helmet.

Neil Wechsler- Founder

I learned about the bicycle business in Urbana, Illinois. I was Paul Nicholson’s first employee at his small bike shop in the 1970’s. It was not a very conventional business. 

You could say Paul’s Bike Shop was a throwback to a pre-corporate style of retail store, and at the same time he was definitely way ahead of his time. With just two of us working, and with both of us in graduate school, there were only so many customers that we could help each day. Therefore Paul established a rule: we were not to sell more than four bikes per week. Over twenty five years before bike fitting became the buzz word in bike stores nationwide, Paul wanted to make sure we had time to properly set up each Motobecane, Mercian and Austro-Daimler 10 speed that we sold. He insisted that the bike fit each customer to give them the most comfortable and efficient ride.

In 1980 my wife, Mary, and I left Illinois and went on a bicycle camping trip from Scotland to Sicily, and then moved to Seattle to look for a spot to open our new bicycle store. Like Paul I started the store as small as could be, with no employees. Over the years Montlake Bicycle Shop has gradually grown to become a medium size store with an outstanding staff and a full spectrum of products and services. The equipment that we sell has changed enormously since the ’70s, but the way my staff and I do business is not much different from how Paul and I operated. We do the very best job we can to see that each customer’s bike suits their needs functionally, works properly and fits comfortably. More than anything we try to help you enjoy bike riding as much as we always have.