Given the inexpensive prices of goods produced overseas, you’d be hard pressed to find many bikes manufactured in the United States. The Chief bicycle from Heritage General Store is an exception.
While the quality of the bike is second-to-none, I’ve come to appreciate it for its story. For one, it’s assembled in my hometown: Chicago. Furthermore, the shop itself that sells the bike brands itself as a “General Store” rather than a bicycle store. Heritage is equal parts coffee shop, local bike shop, and clothing shop. The unique blend of product lines provides a unique, authentic aesthetic to the place. When you make a purchase, you’re solidifying your relationship with an establishment you want to see succeed. It’s almost as if you’re making a donation to an institution–the bike is only a byproduct of a greater exchange.
I’m confident that no other bike shop in the country has managed to create a similar relationship with its customers.