Dean Cromwell has been an entrepreneur since his 20’s, and started out selling hot dogs at the park across from the courthouse in downtown Billings. Shortly thereafter, he opened the Chalet Market on 24th St., and in 2012, bought The Spoke Shop from the Downs family.
Since then, The Spoke Shop has become a hub of lively bicycle-loving activity, selling Specialized, Trek, Surly, Electra amd Santa Cruz bikes along with great bike gear, clothing and shoes; hosting trail, road and mountain bike rides; and providing do-it-yourself mechanic classes and winter spin classes.
The Spoke Shop became a $5,000 corporate member of Billings TrailNet last year when owners Dean and Callie Cromwell decided to help Billings TrailNet’s efforts in advocating for more dedicated funding for trails.
“I believe in the work you are doing toward the trail system in Billings,” says Dean. “It is so beneficial to our community,” he continues.
Dean’s vision for the trail system is for anyone in Billings to be able to safely commute to school or work on a bike.
“I believe in the vision of the Marathon Loop and an awesomely connected trail system like they have in Denver,” he says.
The Spoke Shop is committed to promoting bicycling for everyone, and welcomes all levels of cyclists: from those who are just learning to pro racers.
E-bikes have become one of The Spoke Shop’s specialties, as they can help introduce bicycling and the joy of the sport to people who may otherwise avoid it. While e-bikes are not used like a motorcycle, where the rider sits passively, these bikes simply provide power from the motor to help a rider pedal more easily, like a small push during the ride. And… smiling is definitely part of the experience!
The Spoke Shop has five full-time, certified mechanics they send to training annually to stay current with the latest bike technology.
“Everyone that works at the Spoke shop is extremely passionate about cycling,” says Dean. And it shows.