Meet Your Merchant: Get your bike in tune at Gravity Shop
August 20, 2012
TAHOE CITY, Calif. andamp;#8212; Mike Miller knows a lot about mountain bikes. From basic tune-ups to constructing a completely custom bike, Miller and Gravity Shop is the place to take your trail, downhill or cruiser bike in North Tahoe. Miller, whoandamp;#8217;s been working on bikes since he was 16, opened Gravity Shop, a mountain bike specific shop in Tahoe City, in 2008. Recalling his childhood in upstate New York, Miller said he started out working on road bikes, when he worked at a sporting goods store. Under his boss, Paul Nolan, Miller learned the basics of bike education, quickly mastering all parts of a bike.After moving to Tahoe in 2000, Miller worked for several different shops before deciding to open his own.andamp;#8220;I decided to be in control of my own situation,andamp;#8221; Miller said of opening his store.Gravity Shop specializes in mountain and cruiser bikes, and provides fully custom bikes, cruiser bikes, accessories, clothes and tune-ups. One of Millerandamp;#8217;s specialties is working on suspensions, as well as hand lacing wheels. Millerandamp;#8217;s job is completely hands-on, as he works on the bikes himself.andamp;#8220;The frames come in from France. You can change virtually anything. Every last little part (you can) pick and choose, right down to the color,andamp;#8221; Miller said.Generally, bikes take anywhere from three to six hours to completely assemble, depending on what the customer wants and if parts are in stock, Miller explainedWhile Miller has the ability to assemble completely custom bikes, he also has a selection of factory made bikes in stock. The bikes Miller offers can range in price from $1,000 to $6,000; however, for those looking to just get around town, he also offers cruiser bikes as well. New this year, the cruiser bikes come in a variety of colors, and are all completely assembled and ready to be ridden.andamp;#8220;Itandamp;#8217;s definitely added something new to the shop with the cruisers,andamp;#8221; he said.Also new this year, the Gravity Shop has a race team. The grassroots team of seven riders has been traveling to Northstar to compete in their summer race series, as well as riding around Tahoe, practicing together. The team practices three days a week, and races on Sundays.andamp;#8220;The race team has definitely been successful,andamp;#8221; Miller said. andamp;#8220;The progression of riders and team support has been cool to watch. Itandamp;#8217;s about me helping the team have fun.andamp;#8221;While Miller is averaging 60 hours a week in the shop these days, he still finds time to get out on the trails. He noted the Tahoe Rim Trail on the North Shore is his favorite for trail riding, while Northstar Californiaandamp;#8217;s bike park is the best for downhill.During the winter months, Gravity Shop transforms into a hybrid bike/ski shop. Miller still has bikes, parts and accessories in stock, but also has a selection of skis and snowboards as well. Miller, who grew up skating and snowboarding, wanted to keep his shop open year round.andamp;#8220;We were still open last winter,andamp;#8221; Miller said, despite it being a low snowfall year. andamp;#8220;We still have a bike inventory during the winter as well.andamp;#8221; Miller continued, adding that some bikers riding year-round, and need to be able to get their biked worked on during the summer and winter.Gravity Shop is now offering a special end of summer sale as well. Whether youandamp;#8217;re looking to get into mountain biking, or need a tune-up, stop by before Labor Day to take advantage of the deals now.