CHICAGO, IL (BRAIN)—After a year away from the Chicagoland area, Turin Bicycles is back in the Windy City with a new store that will emphasize its own branded bikes, clothing and accessories.
Turin, which also has a Denver store, soft-opened the 2,200-square-foot Chicago location in mid-March with a mix of bikes from Opus, Wilier, Alchemy, Shinola and Focus—“Limited models, but nice niche-y stuff,” co-owner Alan Fine said—and one floor sample of Turin’s first new branded bike: the Rooster fixie.
BRAIN caught up with Fine a couple days after he and partner Lee Katz had returned from visiting factories in Taiwan and China to check on final samples of bikes and clothing to be sold at the Chicago shop. Fine expected to have the first container of Roosters for sale by the end of April.
He described the $600 steel bike as an “up-spec” fixed gear with nicer wheels, crankset and cockpit components than found on the garden-variety budget fixie.
“We don’t want to be bottom feeders here. Anyone can make a bike that’s cheaper than anyone else’s,” Fine said.
Next up will be a selection of three or four randonneur/cyclocross and 3-speed bikes produced by different builders for different price points. The higher-end bikes will have Columbus tubing and internal cable routing, Fine noted.
For Turin’s own clothing, “initially we’ll have a fairly limited offering: shorts, bibs and variety of jerseys,” Fine said. He and Katz have source chamois from a top-quality Italian supplier, and all of Turin’s clothing is being made at a Chinese manufacturer that produces for several high-end brands, Fine added.
For now, they’ve brought in apparel from Castelli, Capo and Giro’s New Road line, “but the emphasis in the long run is that we’ll be on our own branded stuff,” Fine said.