Breakaway Bikes grew out of a friendship between Glenn Krotick, a spinning instructor, and Joe Wentzell, a graduate of Temple University’s exercise-science master’s program. The earliest incarnation of the shop revolved around Joe’s science-based training program, which today exists in the form of RPM classes. Here, participants pedal their own bikes as a human coach and a CompuTrainer team up to help them target different training zones based on power and heart rate, ideal for those training to outrun a herd of buffalo. While fine-tuning their RPM concept, the dynamic duo delved into the racing scene. Joe, a former Division I defensive tackle, lost more than 100 pounds as he went from novice cycler to Cat 2 elite racer. Glenn applied his biking skills to triathlons, becoming the Mid-Atlantic Masters Champ for international distance in 2007. As they honed their athletic skills, they began to offer performance-enhancing services such as biometric evaluations and custom bike fittings, many of which use Retul technologies and Fit Kit methods. Throughout the years, Joe and Glenn’s inventory of bikes and accessories has grown as well. Today, their shop brims with bikes by manufacturers such as Trek, Scott, Cervélo, and Felt, plus cycling apparel, helmets, tires, and a host of accessories, from child seats to taillights. In the showroom, attentive staffers match shoppers with bikes that match their body type, riding style, and spinning bow-tie collection. Visitors can also score out-of-production parts for vintage bikes in the repair shop, where friendly technicians tend to bearings, brakes, and chains.
A place to buy your next two-wheeled transport or to get your existing one repaired, Fairmount Bicycles’ new and refurbished stock leans heavily toward commuter bikes that are perfect for Philly’s increasingly cyclist-friendly streets. Yet there’s still plenty of room in the store’s small space to fit several kinds of long-distance touring bicycles, road bikes and kids’ models as well. The young, hip, knowledgeable staff members are happy to engage customers in extended conversations and offer suggestions about accessories, from seats, locks and reflectors to sturdy cyclist’s messenger bags. The shop even rents bikes by the hour or the day, including a Surly Big Dummy with a rack and bag ready to be loaded with groceries, laundry or whatever you need to haul via pedal power from one place to another.
With 15,000 square feet of floor space between its two locations, Human Zoom houses a vast selection of bikes from Trek, Cannondale, and Santa Cruz, as well as snowboards from Gnu, Roxy, and Arbor. They also stock a variety of accessories and parts such as gloves, shoes, pedals, and wheels. In the repair shop, mechanics fix broken bike spokes, adjust derailleurs, and install new handlebars so riders will have a place to put their hands while biking. The staff also performs 90-minute bike-fitting sessions, during which they interview clients and perform adjustments to optimize their ride’s performance.
Fairmount Running Company's stockpile of shoes, apparel, and accessories outfits athletes in gear designed by some of the industry's top names, including New Balance, Brooks, Nike, and Asics. As the changing seasons present a variety of weather-related challenges, from winter's ankle-deep snow to summer's torrents of falling air conditioners, the shop keeps its shelves and racks loaded with all the equipment for runners to remain in top shape. The store also offers minimalist shoes from such brands as Vibram, Brooks Pure Line, and New Balance, and more casual shoes from Asics. Seven days a week, visitors can browse the arsenal while the staff of seasoned runners dispenses advice. In addition to an expansive selection of merchandise, Fairmount Running Company spearheads a weekly running club open to any level of athletes, whether they're training for a marathon or trying to go from lying on the couch to running a 5K during commercial breaks. Group runs depart from the storefront every Wednesday at 6:45 p.m.