A brief history
|Roberts Cycle started out (across the street from its current location) as a Nickelodeon theater in the early twenties. Fanny May Candies began in this theater when the girl who sold tickets made candy in the basement to sell to the to the customers. The mosaic tile on the floor in the front of the shop was part of the lobby and some of the original molding can still be seen on the ceiling and walls.|
|The first bike shop at this location was started by a man called John Engstrom. The shop was called North Shore Cycle and was started in the early thirties. It was one of the first bicycle shops on the north side of the city. The bicycles he sold were coaster brake and hi-wheelers.||
|In 1955, Bernard and Estelle Garber purchased the shop which at the time dealt in both bicycles and hobbies although there were only half a dozen bicycles in the shop. They gradually built up the shop and renamed it Roberts Cycle after one of their sons. One half of the shop was used for hobbies and bicycles while the other was a combination hat and dress shop. In the mid sixties, Mr. Garber took over the hat shop and expanded the business to include chemicals and chemistry equipment. He was one of the first people in the city to sell 10-speed bicycles. Some of the brands he carried were Fiorelli, Frejus, Coppi, Legnano and Masi.|
|In the late sixties, Richard Bonomo was working for Arkys cycle on Glenwood. In 1970, he started working for Mr. Garber who was expanding his selection of bicycles to include Raleigh, Peugeot, Gitane and eight to ten other brands. He also built up his selection of frames to include Jack Taylor, Bob Jackson, Fiorelli, Masi, Cinelli and several others.|
|Kris Petersen started working for Mr. Garber in 1972 which was the beginning of the bike boom. In 1979, Mr. Garber sold the shop to Mr. Bonomo and Mr. Petersen. At that time, Roberts Cycle carried Peugeot, Raleigh, Gitane, Sekai and Beacon Bicycles. There was also a complete selection of touring and racing frames and equipment which included such names as Holdsworth, Colnago, Eddy Merckx, Romic, Alan, Campagnolo, Gippieme, Stronglite and many others.|
|During that same year, the shop began a program of touring equipment rental. In the first few months that included bags and basic equipment and expanded to include camping gear such as tents, stoves, food stuffs, etc. The shop also carried a selection of racing and touring clothing such as jerseys, shorts, and rain gear.|
|Roberts Cycle expanded to include a
department dealing in electronic repairs and called it Delta Audio. Repairs covered both
home entertainment equipment such as TVs and stereos as well as commercial equipment such
as amps, PAs, and sound equipment. David Kramer was the head technician and he, Mr.
Petersen and Mr. Bonomo were all educated at DeVry.
Mr. Kramer has since moved on and is now married with two children.
|In June of 1986, Roberts Cycle moved
across to the west side of Clark Street to the present location of 7054 North Clark
Street. In 1988, we began offering to new customers three year warranties, three free
tune-ups and free ninety day adjustments with each new bicycle purchase.
In 2005 we began offering 6-month unlimited adjustments and lifetime adjustments on on a new bike purchase.
(with sales receipt present at time of service)
|Starting in 1998 and to the present time,
Roberts Cycle carries a complete line of bicycles from Raleigh USA,
Diamondback (and later Gary Fisher), GT-Dyno which include BMX and free style bikes. We carry a full line of parts and
We service all makes and models, old or new including three speed and coaster brake bikes. We also provide custom wheel building, frame straightening, fork replacements, thread tapping and frame facing. Kris, the Service Department Manager, has over thirty-five years experience building, repairing, modifying and customizing bicycles to our clients needs. It has been our experience, that it is a rare occurrence indeed if a bicycle cannot be repaired and restored to good working order.
In the future, we will continue to grow and offer our services to the bicycling public. We welcome your interest.
To find out more about Rogers Park at the Rogers Park/West Ridge Historical Society Click Here