• About A Place: Heritage Bicycles

    Chicago's Heritage Bicycles is so much more than just a bike shop: it's both a pit stop and a destination for people seeking out custom-made bikes, tune-ups and services, a fresh brew of coffee, or just a quaint community haven. They're also helping in the push to make manufacturing local again, being the first completely Chicago-made bike since Schwinn left the Windy City four decades ago. 

    With the Tour de France happening we wanted to learn more about Heritage and biking culture in general, so we popped in to chat with founder Michael Salvatore to find out what exactly makes biking and drinking coffee go hand-in-hand. 
    Photos by Anna Zajac

    Can you give us more of a background on yourself and how Heritage came to be?
    Heritage was fueled by the passion for American manufacturing, the desire to make products “like they used to”. We wanted to pick-up where Schwinn left off in Chicago. The coffee aspect was included to create a community and buzz around the traditional bike shop.

    What makes cycling and coffee go hand in hand?
    Morning commutes with one hand on the bike the other on the coffee mug, I realized these two things really do go hand in hand. On a bike, you are the engine, engines need fuel.

    And what personal experiences made you so interested in the two?
    We could have opened a traditional style bike shop, or a boutique retail shop to showcase our Chicago made bikes, but that’s been done before. We wanted to break the mold and what better thing to get people in the doors and excited about what you are creating other than a coffee shop. The cafe brings regulars in from near and far, creates an energy and traffic that cannot be replicated by any other retail environment.

    What aspects of a bicycle should people consider before shopping for the perfect model?
    "Does this bike make me feel good?" It's that easy. You should enjoy the ride. If you are comfortable and confident, you will have fun. Raise the fun factor.

    What are some of the must-ride routes throughout Chicago?
    The Lakefront Path is some of the best riding in Chicago—safe and scenic. The new 606 Trail is an amazing reclamation of old elevated train tracks turned public park that wind through the city with great views.

    What is the perfect pre-ride food fuel to go with the coffee?
    I like to load up on a breakfast sandwich with a cup of coffee. I’ll  take a muffin in my bag for a mid-ride snack.

    How do you take your coffee?
    I drink mostly black coffee and cold brew but my favorite is our nitro infused stout coffee.

    What's your perfect summer day in the Windy City?
    Waking up with my family and biking to the beach with my son. 

    Any plans to watch Tour de France?
    We will be screening the Tour on our patio throughout the month and are hosting a watch-party for the final stages at Soho House Chicago. The Tour is an exciting month of ups and downs. It puts professional cycling in the spotlight and the sport gains new fans.

    What does the near future hold for Heritage?
    The near future offers up new locations, new bike models, and constantly pushing the limits of what a bike-shop and coffee-shop can be.

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