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Broken Spoke Bike Studio ‘riding’ into Suamico next spring

New store off Lineville Road will be shop’s fourth storefront

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November 29, 2023

NORTHEAST WISCONSIN – From humble beginnings fixing bicycles out of his garage to three – almost four – storefronts in Northeast Wisconsin, Broken Spokes Owner George Kapitz knows a thing or two about running a business.

With current locations in Green Bay, Ledgeview and Manitowoc, Kapitz recently announced Broken Spoke will move into the Howard-Suamico area next March – opening its fourth location off Lineville Road.

The new location comes on the heels of Suamico Bike Company’s opening in Suamico’s Vickery Village last fall.

“As long as there aren’t too many bike shops near one another, the way I look at it is, more shops give customers more options,” he said. “More people biking is a good thing. When you see more bike shops in an area, that means the bike culture is good.”

One of Broken Spoke’s storefronts (115 Pine St. Suite 101 located in downtown Green Bay) sits directly across the Fox River from Pete’s Garage (142 N. Broadway), which has been in business since 2015.

“We’ve had a shop at this location since 2016,” Kapitz said. “It’s a good example of how bike shops close to one another can both thrive – as long as the area can support it. There used to be five bike shops in the Two Rivers/Manitowoc area for 40,000 people, and as far as I know, they were all doing well.”

The new store
Situated off Interstate 41 at 1580 Lineville Road – the road separating Howard and Suamico – near Ahnapee Brewery and 888 Cheese & Company, Kapitz said Broken Spokes’ newest location will open next spring as the snow melts and temperatures rise – one of the most popular times for folks to think about their two-wheel adventures.

The Suamico Broken Spoke will be off Lineville Road close to Ahnapee Brewery and 888 Cheese & Company. Submitted photo

“I didn’t take finding a location lightly,” he said. “I wanted to serve both Howard and Suamico and what better location for that than Lineville Road?”

At first, Kapitz said he wanted to be on the busy part of Lineville located further west.

“But the more I thought about it, that was too busy,” he said. “Busy is good for a franchise (restaurant), but we need room for customers to take bikes for a test ride, a place to leave for group rides, etc. Instead of people needing to snake to the busy part of Lineville, this is right off 41.”

Kapitz said the idea behind the Suamico location “has been in the works for quite some time.”

“The downtown (Green Bay) location is a destination shop where people come for higher-end bikes and maintenance,” he said. “The Ledgeview and Manitowoc shops are more family bike shops. The Suamico location will be like Ledgeview and Manitowoc.”

If it wasn’t for the popularity of e-bikes, Kapitz said opening the Suamico location “probably wouldn’t happen.”

“The popularity of e-bikes has exploded,” he said. “In Ledgeview, e-bikes account for about 60% of our business. When e-bikes first came out, the stigma was they were for lazy people – that’s not true. I’ve seen many people – especially Baby Boomers – get back into cycling because of e-bikes. Maybe Boomers can’t pedal a bike much on their own, but with an e-bike, they can.”

Kapitz said 98% of e-bikes are pedal-assist and don’t have a throttle.

“(Pedal-assist) is like somebody coming up behind you and giving you a gentle push,” he said. “You have to pedal to get the assistance. Even with younger kids, if it gets them outside, that’s a good thing.”

Kapitz said the Suamico shop will be 3,500 square feet.

“We’ll get in there soon and start the work,” he said. “It will have a lot of e-bikes and recreational bikes. We plan to open March 1. We have a lot of good employees, too. That’s another reason we can open in Suamico.”

How it all began
Kapitz said working at several bike shops starting in the early 2000s helped him build a good customer base before “taking a leap of faith” and opening his own shop.

“I had been working in bike shops for about eight years,” he said. “I began working on bikes out of my garage with a few bikes and $500 – I didn’t take out any loans. It was a humble beginning. I was in my early 20s and working paycheck to paycheck – I had a family and a mortgage and took a leap of faith to try the bike thing on my own.”

With cold weather approaching, fat bike sales at area bike shops should increase. Submitted Photo

Kapitz said his “big break” came when he started rummaging for old bikes.

“I’d go to rummage sales, barn finds, etc. and find old vintage bikes – that’s also when social media was gaining traction,” he said. “I’d take whatever I found and post it. It was a nostalgic feeling for many people to see the bikes they used to ride (when they were younger). I’d fix them up and resell them.”

Kapitz said after about three months working out of his garage, Broken Spokes’ first storefront opened on Washington Street in Manitowoc in the summer of 2010.

During the early days of the Broken Spoke brand, Kapitz said they also had a Two Rivers location.

“Things took off – I got some bike lines and sold new and used bikes,” he said. “We started selling fat bikes in 2011 in Manitowoc and became known as the custom fat bike shop in Northeast Wisconsin. We had a lot of customers who traveled from the Green Bay area.”

With so many customers coming from Green Bay, Kapitz said that gave him the idea to look at a storefront in Titletown.

“We opened another location in 2014 in downtown Green Bay next to Safe Haven Pet Sanctuary on North Broadway,” he said. “Two years later, we moved into our current location on Pine Street with the Fox River as a backdrop.”

By the time 2016 rolled around, Kapitz said much of the focus was on the Green Bay store, and the decision was made to close the Manitowoc location.

“I think we were spread too thin,” he said. “At that time, we decided to close the Manitowoc store and scale back. At one point, we had three storefronts (Green Bay, Manitowoc and Two Rivers), but looking back, I think it was too early to do that. Now, moving into new places isn’t as much of a gamble because we are more established.”

Another opportunity, Kapitz said, led to Broken Spoke moving back into Manitowoc in 2020.

“A specialized bike shop closed in Manitowoc, and then as the COVID-19 pandemic started, the bicycle industry was booming,” he said. “We had some inventory, so we moved back to Manitowoc into a small shop. I gave it two years to see if we could make it work. Three years later, we’re still in Manitowoc, but at a new location downtown (834 S. 8th St.) in a 3,500-square-foot building. That store has been doing well.”

With the Green Bay and Manitowoc stores on a solid foundation, a third storefront in Ledgeview at 2200 Dickinson Road Unit 21 opened in August 2021.

With continued momentum, Kapitz said now was the best time to venture into Suamico.

For more information on Broken Spoke Bike Studio, visit or find it on Facebook.

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