Exeter Cycles opened in 1988 and has been serving cyclists and the broader community for over 30 years. Todd Wagner is the second owner of the shop, taking over in 2017 from John Gromek, a local cycling legend who started the shop. SABR Board Member Annie Poubeau visited Exeter Cycles a few weeks ago and chatted with Todd…
SABR: Who’s your staff and what are their specialty?
Todd: We have 3 full-time employees and 2 part-time employees. Jonathan Meuse, Lee Wassilie, and Ryan Burnham are full-time. Doug Hatfield and Lauren Breza are part-time. Jonathan, Lee, Ryan, and Doug are experienced, professional mechanics who handle everything from basic to high-end repairs, wheel builds, and custom component selection. Lauren focuses on sales. We all are dedicated cyclists with a wide range of riding and racing experience. Everyone here also enjoys sharing our experiences and expertise with our customers and friends to help them achieve their cycling goals and adventures.
SABR: Do you offer special programs (rides, clinics etc), in normal times? And/or covid times.
Todd: Yes, we typically run many special programs and events throughout the year. These events include weekly, seasonal shop rides (road, gravel, and mountain), cycling and tech clinics, and demo events for bikes and cycling equipment, such as smart trainers. In 2020, due to the Covid-19 health crisis, we suspended in-person group events and activities. We hope to get these events back up and running again in 2021! Check out the Exeter Cycles Facebook page or give the shop a call to see what’s on the calendar.
SABR: What brands do you carry?
Todd: Our primary bicycle brands are Specialized, Cannondale, GT, and Borealis. We also have access to several other brands such as Surly, All-City, and Sun Bicycles. We carry equipment, apparel, and accessories from the industry’s leading brands, such as Castelli, Camelbak, Continental, Niterider, Maxxis, Shimano, Thule, Untapped, Wahoo, 45NRTH, and more. If we don’t have something in the shop, we can usually order it – just ask!
SABR: What are the bikes/accessories you are most excited to carry this holiday season?
Todd: The Covid health crisis has created limited bike availability, so just having ANY new bike arrive right now is super exciting. The gravel scene is fun to watch – it’s rapidly growing with a ton of grassroots events, and there’s a lot of innovation going into the bikes. Gravel bikes like the Specialized Diverge and Cannondale Topstone are at the front of the field. We’re also big fans of Shimano’s new 12-speed mountain bike technology (ok, we are tech geeks). For indoor winter riding, we are stoked about the new, updated Wahoo Kickr smart trainer, which works with a cycling simulator program (like Zwift) to create an authentic and motivating ride experience. We’ve also got new Exeter Cycles kit and t-shirts, which make great gifts.
SABR: How has the pandemic changed the store? How is it reflected in your clientele?
Todd: I would say that the pandemic hasn’t changed what we do, but it certainly changed how we do it (at least in the short-term). We still offer the same great products and service. We have, of course, implemented new shop procedures and creative solutions to promote safe interactions while meeting the needs of our customers. We’ve also seen a huge increase in cycling activities and interest as a result of the pandemic. For example, many of our existing clients are now working from home and that’s freed up time for more riding. We’re seeing them ride more often, and longer. In addition, the pandemic is bringing many new riders to cycling and our shop. We welcome the opportunity to support new and returning cyclists and hope that many will stay with cycling long term.
SABR: Any thoughts you’d like to share with SABR members?
Todd: We look forward to working with and supporting SABR to continue to benefit our local and regional cycling community. Exeter Cycles also supports many local cycling programs and teams that cover basic riding skills through competitive cycling. We sponsor and/or support the University of New Hampshire cycling team; the Phillips Exeter Academy cycling team; the Seacoast Velo Kids program (including Seacoast Velo Racing); and the new Hampton Youth Association (HYA) Biking program.
–A huge thank you to Todd for his time, and for donating a prize to our holiday contest!