A downtown bike shop that specializes in track bikes will shut down at the end of this month.
The Track Shack will close out its final lap on Oct. 24. Founder Curtis Wallach, who opened the store in 2008, put part of the blame on Denver’s cutthroat real estate market.
“I’m closing because rent was raised, as is happening all around Denver,” said Wallach, 32. “But I’ve also got a new daughter who is seven months old, and working retail is a bummer.”
Wallach claims that his landlord, Dikeou Realty, cranked up his monthly rent payments on the 400-square-foot space at 1338 Tremont Place by 45 percent.
Dikeou did not respond to several calls seeking comment.
The Track Shack deals primarily in sales and service of track bikes, a type of fixed-gear racing bicycle with a particularly rigid frame, thin tires and no brakes that became popular in the 19th century. The bikes are designed to race around a velodrome: a circular track with steep sides.
About 60 percent of the Track Shack’s revenue comes from sales, with the remaining 40 percent from service calls, Wallach said.
The store also organizes bike races around the Front Range and will hold its final “Track Shack Attack” fixed-gear bike race on Oct. 17 and 18.
Wallach, a Denver native who went to Kennedy High School and began working in the cycling industry in his teens, said that the rent hike is a symptom of Denver’s growing population.
“The tech industry boom, legal marijuana – people are finding that Denver’s a good city to live in and they’re making it a bad one,” he said. “It’s too expensive to work in retail for the same reason: It’s $1,200 a month for a tiny one-bedroom apartment in Capitol Hill.”
The Track Shack’s closing will mark the end of Wallach’s tour in the bike industry, which began when he started working in his father’s bike shop, Green Tree Cyclery, at 1529 Pearl St. at age 13.
Wallach also worked as a bike courier and founded his own company, Cheetah Couriers, in 2006.
The Track Shack isn’t the only Denver bike shop to shut down this year. Salvagetti Bicycle Workshop closed last month after an 11-year run.