MEQUON, WI (BRAIN) — With a focus on bike fit and high-end road — and inspired by a legendary “Cannibal” of the pro peloton — retailer and bicycle studio BelgianWerkx opened for business Monday outside of Milwaukee.
BelgianWerkx is owned by Bill Koehler, a self-described “stock broker by trade, masters racer by passion,” and run by manager Nicholas Moroder. The pair got to know each other at Local Motion Outfitters, where manager Moroder wrenched on Koehler’s bikes.
When they met over a beer one day to discuss possibly going into business, “I quickly realized he’s got the most amazing bike mind I’ve ever come across, and he needed to have his own shop,” Koehler said of Moroder.
They moved into a 1,600-square-foot storefront three blocks away from a major cycling route. The space had been stripped down to the studs. “Starting from a clean slate was really nice. All my bikes are hanging on the wall like you would hang them in your garage, so it’s easy to see them and touch them, rather than being way up on a rack,” Moroder said.
Baby blue and the black, gold and red of the Belgian flag, as well as BelgianWerkx’s chain-link logo, are woven throughout the shop, whose centerpiece may be the 200-square-foot Retül fit studio at the back. “It’s all glassed in so you can see what’s going on inside, but you’re not going to get interrupted,” said Moroder, a certified Retül fitter.
He plans to have 20 to 25 bikes — from Cannondale, Focus, Ridley and Seven — on the sales floor at any time. And cyclocross will be well represented at BelgianWerkx. “ ’Cross bikes are usually an afterthought in most stores, but we’re going to stock a lot of it here,” Moroder said.
P&A brands include Lazer, Uvex, Bell and Giro, but apparel will not be a top priority, according to Moroder. “We just don’t have the space for it here. We’re kind of bike-centric. In order to do clothing right you’ve got to carry a lot,” he said.