In 1971, Bill Miller opened the bicycle shop -- named after his son -- on Main Street in Nazareth. Although not a cyclist himself, Miller recognized the business’s potential: interest in bicycles began to climb at the turn of the decade, and just two years after Curt's Cyclery opened, the 1973 oil crisis tripled the demand.
Forty years later, the shop is now at 182 Bath Pike (Route 248) -- less than one mile from its original location -- and is still owned by the Miller family.
“Some of those bikes that were sold by my dad back then [are] still brought in for service and tune-ups,” said Curt Miller, Bill's son and the shop's current owner.
Curt has worked in his father's store since the age of 9.
Today, Curt and his wife, Dee, run the store together, and their eldest son, Matt, is a professional rider for Giant.
Under the care of Curt and Dee, the store carries every type of bicycle imaginable, from brightly painted children’s bikes to rugged road bikes to racing bikes with carbon-fiber frames. The sales floor is packed with about 80 bikes, and there's even more tucked away in storage.
Despite the options, Comfort Bikes are the popular seller at Curt's Cyclery. The comfort comes courtesy of the high, adjustable handlebars, which ease tension on the wrists, a padded seat and shock absorbers. These bikes are specially designed for leisurely rides, according to Curt.
“We’re like the comfort kings here,” he joked. “We sell a lot of Comfort Bikes.”
According to Curt, Comfort Bikes are popular among folks between the ages of 35 and 65. Parents choose the model because it allows them to keep up with their children, and the higher seat allows them to keep a close eye on the adventurous child who likes to speed ahead of the pack.
The young-at-heart riders, added Curt, enjoy Comfort Bikes because they’re able to sit upright instead of hunched over.
All of the bikes that arrive at Curt’s Cyclery come disassembled, which means the bikes must be assembled, tuned and tested by one of the store’s mechanics.
Mike Dragovich, who has worked at Curt’s Cyclery for just over six years, broke down the tune-up process:
“We cover the whole [bike], [right] down to trimming the wheels, adjusting the gears, tuning the drive-train… and making sure the bikes are safe,” Dragovich said.
Curt added that the store's "service entails anything from fixing a flat, to replacing sprockets or re-greasing bearings. We’ll do everything except paint or weld.”
Potential buyers are allowed to take a bike for a test ride before they make a final decision, and the shop offers free cycling advice.
And before you leave with your new Comfort Bike or rugged road bike, Curt's Cyclery has all of the biking accessories a rider could want or need.
The store offers the normal bike fare -- helmets, reflectors, air pumps, protective pads, gloves and bike racks -- but that's not all. A few unique extras are also available for purchase, like rear tail lights, custom tires and computers that store ride data.
One of the most popular accessories for avid cyclists, according to Curt, is a special GPS. The system is used for basic navigation, but also allows cyclists to download mapped rides to a website that shares the routes and trails with other riders.
Outside of the store, the owners and staff at Curt's Cyclery have integrated themselves into the community.
The Second Annual Curt’s Cyclery Century -- C³ for short -- was held June 11.
About 65 riders braved early-morning thunder and sprinkles of rain to take on a 10-mile route that began and ended at the shop. For each lap a rider completed, the cycle shop donated $1 to the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life.
Cyclists could do as many laps as they'd like, as quickly or as slowly as they'd like, and they could bike for up to 10 laps, which equals 100 miles -- "a century" in the bike industry.
Curt’s Cyclery is at 182 Bath Pike (Route 248), just down the road from . The store is open Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, 10am to 6 pm; Thursday, 10 am to 7 pm, and Saturday, 9 am to 3 pm. The store is closed Sunday and Monday.