A big Thank You to the readers of the Wausau Daily Herald who voted us Wausau’s favorite Outdoor Shop.
We’ve worked hard to earn your trust since 1949, and we remain committed to making our founders proud of our community involvement, customer service, product selection, and shopping environment in downtown Wausau, Wisconsin and online.
Some call us a “Ski Shop”, others a “Bike Shop”, and there are a few who still say “Sporting Goods.” We’re all that and a whole lot more. And it’s a blast changing our product mix to suit our region’s ever changing tastes along with the demand for our expert product selection and service online. So stay tuned!
“We would like to thank our mothers, our fathers, the big guy upstairs and all of those who didn’t believe that a little shop in northern Wisconsin could hold it’s own next to the big shops in the big cities for so long. It made us try harder to believe in ourselves. We’re going to Disney World!” – The Sheps Crew
The Wausau area just got a little bike friendlier with the recent introduction of a community-wide system of 622 bicycle route signs. Finally! Perhaps you’re thinking that a bike could replace some of the miles you log in a car each day. So do you need any special gear to make commuting a genuine part of your routine? There are a few pieces of equipment that are absolute necessities. And a few more to up the convenience and comfort factor.
Bike – Obviously. While there are some seriously cool commuter-specific bikes available it doesn’t really matter what kind of bike you have as long as you’re comfortable. You want to ride a titanium frame racer? Great! A dual-suspension downhill mountain bike? Good for you. A beach cruiser? Cool! As long as you are comfortable riding the bike, ride what you want. Just make sure the bike fits you well, is comfortable and in good working order. If shopping for a new bike makes sense, proceed with caution with regard to department store bikes. Some brands you will find at department stores use lower level components which are not easily exchanged or upgraded. Other brands, however, can be upgraded with new parts and easily customized to make your commute comfy and efficient.
Find a reputable bike shop (preferably locally owned and operated by someone who rides where you do) and speak to someone who can explain the benefits of different bicycles.
Helmet – This is a non-negotiable item. Consider this a very inexpensive insurance policy against head injuries. A helmet is not a magic wand that will keep you from sustaining any injuries, but it can protect you from potentially serious injury that will ruin your day, commute, and possibly much more. Shepherd & Schaller’s adult helmets start at only $35. The investment is worth the price.
Lights – Lights are a must in twilight hours, not to mention in the dark. Unless you are able to commute both directions in daylight, and the weather is never dark or stormy where you live, you need lights. You should have a good bright white light for the front, and at least one red light in the back (preferably one that can be set to flash to be better noticed). Some commuters swear by two lights up front; one bright fixed beam and one flashing LED. The flashing lights are supposed to draw a driver’s attention to the fact that you exist. Some communities, including Wausau, WI, even require lights between dawn and dusk, or longer.
Basic Repair Tools – A patch kit, spare tube, tire irons and an air pump (make sure it’s appropriate for the valves on your particular tubes – Presta or Schroeder ). Having these things with you, and knowing how to use them, will allow you to get yourself going again quickly after a breakdown. Forget them, and you may find yourself hoofing it.
Something to carry your stuff – Backpack, messenger bag, rack and panniers, basket on the front or back of the bike, trailer. Really, it doesn’t matter. There are many, many options out there.
Many backpacks, panniers and messenger bags are made to be truly waterproof, which could be important as well as convenient. Be aware that how you carry your gear may affect your balance and the overall ride. If you can test options out with your typical load it will help you decide how to best carry your things.
Lock – Unless you have a place that provides secure storage for your bike, you’ll want a good lock. Cable locks and light chains come in different weights and will make a thief’s task difficult. Invest in a heavy-duty (and heavy) U-lock such as those made by Kryptonite if your bike is especially attractive to thieves to further reduce risk.
Special clothing – You can ride in your work clothes. In fact, if it’s a short ride, it may be preferable. If you have a longer ride, bike specific clothing will add comfort and performance, and doesn’t always fit like a glove or glow in the dark (although reflective features are a really good idea, if only on your shoes.) Padded bike shorts are often the first thing commuters add to their shopping bag.
Rain Gear – Something to keep you dry from the outside, and preferably something that vents well to keep you dry on the inside as well. Most rain jackets and pants roll-up or stuff into a self-pocket for storage that doesn’t take up much room. Again, reflective hits on rain gear make you visible to motorists.
Fenders – These are great to keep the road muck off your clothing in the rain. If you choose to commute in your street clothes these may move into the necessity category if you hope to avoid going into that business meeting or classroom with a stripe of mud up your back.
Water bottle or “hydration system” – A ride of just a few blocks probably won’t require this, but it’s always good to have something to satisfy your thirst as you ride. For longer commutes, it will become more of a necessity.
Bell – Or a horn. It’s not only polite to let pedestrians and other riders know you’re coming up behind them, your bell can improve your safety.
With so many resources at your fingertips, bike commuting may be the easiest new habit you adopt. If you have more commuting questions or concerns, commutebybike.com is your next stop.
Shepherd & Schaller’s professional bike shop specializes in customization and will install your bike new accessories for free. (those you buy from us) Plus, meet with Pete for fit adjustments and one-on-one advise to plan your commute in all the weather that Wisconsin offers.
Our family-owned shop is a place full of nostalgia and pride and we’re here to serve you. With our team of outdoor enthusiasts we personally select the equipment, clothes and shoes we offer. The coolest gear, engineered to perform and inspire. And we understand your hard-earned money and valuable time matter. We get it.
Leaders of the most respected outdoor brands from around the world are our friends. Their brands are transparent. Committed to the environment and fair trade. These relationships help us to know the ins and outs of the outdoor industry like no one else you might shop with.
We feel fortunate to have 70+ years experience to guide us as we serve you, personally.
Do you have a high school, college or other graduate on your shopping list this Spring? How about a new Bike for the road to their new adventure?
Buy a Bike at Shep’s sale price and get *$25 in free bike accessories, a FREE 30-day Check up and FREE 1-year Tune-up! Road bikes, Mountain Bikes, Comfort and BMX bikes are all included. Of course we’ll install the computer, basket, rack, lights or other gear you select for free.
Want more than $25 in accessories? We’ll give you 20% off the additional items you select (beyond the $25 items).
Choose from our extensive selection of locks, computers, lights, baskets, pumps, saddles, bags, fenders, helmets and much, much more. Shep’s is Wausau’s bike shop, and we think graduation is worth celebrating. You’ve earned it!
Is your graduate off to new locals? We can pack and ship your new bike too. Just ask.
Bring your graduation announcement or invitation to qualify for this special offer and we’ll help you choose the perfect bike for your graduate.
Offer ends June 30, 2014
*$25 free bike accessories must be selected from in-stock inventory and will be calculated at retail price. Does not include special-order items. Sorry, children’s bicycles are not included.
And hey, be sure your younger graduates are ready for the season too. Have them attend Bicycle Wausau Rodeo & Safety Day, Saturday, May 10, 2014 at the Marathon County Public Library