The Indiana Schwinn Shop, 36 S. Fifth St., is changing hands but staying in the family.
Bob Reininger first opened the store in April,1984. He owned and operated it for 18 years, then sold it. He was away from it for five years.
“I got it back eventually and I’ve had it ever since,” he said.
Over the years, Bob has found that the focus of his shop has shifted somewhat.
“It used to be a very children-oriented business,” he said. “Kids’ bikes were the main focus with adult bikes in second place; now it’s adult bikes with kids’ bikes in second place. Kids seem to like computers more these days. Not many of them ride any more.”
The shift, he said, might be due in part to the system of trails that we have around the area.
“The Rails-to-Trails program has really helped business,” he said. “The trails give people places to ride without having to worry about traffic.”
In addition to the trails, lots of adults are now biking and focusing on fitness, Bob said.
“There’s a lot of non-typical riders who want to get into riding. There’s a lot of new kinds of bikes out so more people are getting into it that aren’t hardcore cyclists.”
Business is still doing great, but ownership of the business is now switching to Bob’s son, Matt, who started working in the shop 12 or 13 years ago after an injury made him unable to work as a concrete mason laborer. He worked there for several months, liked it and has decided to take over to keep the business in the family.
“We’re going to keep things business as usual for the time being,” Matt said. “At least during the transition we’re going to keep things the same. It’ll just be a breath of fresh air for the shop.”
Matt said he hopes to eventually bring in some new and different inventory.
“We always have a lot of great entry-level bikes, but there’s a lot of great high-end mountain bikes out there. And gravel biking is getting more popular since people want to stay off the roads and out of traffic, so we might look into more of that.”
Even with the change in ownership, both men said they hope to keep providing the Indiana community with great service and stock.
“We want to keep promoting cycling,” said Matt. “We want to get kids on bikes and give back as much as we can.”
Bob echoed the sentiment. “Our customers have always been so supportive for us. We’ve seen a lot of other bike shops come and go, so we must be doing something right.”
While the business is switching hands, Bob said he still plans on being around. “‘Retirement’ is a tricky word,” he said. “I’ll still be helping out. I have too much fun being here.”