Employee buys 10-year-old West Highland bike shop

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Steve Pribyl stands inside SloHi bike earlier this week. (Maia Luem/BusinessDen)

SloHi Bike and Coffee Co. is riding down a new trail as a former manager takes ownership of the company, which has trimmed its presence from two stores to one.

Steve Pribyl bought the bike shop at 4434 W. 29th Ave. and its conjoined coffee shop in May for $500,000, which included all the inventory like bikes and accessories. He worked at the shop for five years before former owners asked if he was interested in buying the business. 

“It was a bit of a surprise and not something I was planning on at the time,” Pribyl said. “It took me a few weeks to get my head wrapped around it.”

SloHi was founded in 2013 and owned and operated by Adam Williams. Pribyl said John Cianci, Jeff Kipp and Shawn Cullingford were partners in the business. 

Pribyl said he didn’t know why the previous owners wanted to sell. Cianci and Williams did not respond to requests for comment. Kipp and Cullingford couldn’t be reached. 

After opening the original store at the edge of Sloan’s Lake and West Highland — hence “SloHi” — the former owners bought the coffee shop next door in 2016. In 2018, SloHi opened a second shop in City Park at 3217 E. Colfax Ave. That location closed in March, Pribyl said.

Pribyl said he’s leasing SloHi’s space on 29th from Cianci, who bought the building in 2007 for $800,000, according to city records. 

Before SloHi, Pribyl was in the engineering field, but said he wanted a change of pace. 

“I started working at the bike shop because it was enjoyable, a little more relaxed and I had a little bit more freedom,” Pribyl said. 

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SloHi Bike is back to just one location, at 4434 W. 29th Ave. on the edge of West Highland and Sloan’s Lake. (Maia Luem/BusinessDen)

Pribyl said the former owners approached him in January about buying the shop and, after much deliberation, he decided to go for it.

“The employees and customers I have are fantastic. It just makes it enjoyable to work for this, which is why I was interested in taking over the business in the first place,” he said. 

SloHi sells a variety of bikes and gear, but Pribyl said its niche is electric commuter and cargo bikes, made more popular by Denver’s e-bike rebate program.  

Pribyl is a first-time business owner and said he doesn’t have any major plans for the shop as of now, just minor improvements. 

“I’m very passionate about biking and I’ve had a lot of fun working at the shop,” Pribyl said. “The things I thought were great I can keep and the things I thought we could improve, just slowly working to improve those over time.”

SloHi’s former space in City Park, meanwhile, is now home to Z Cycle Shop, which also operates in Cap Hill.

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Z Cycle’s name is written on a piece of masking tape that covers signage for the former tenant in City Park. (Maia Luem/BusinessDen)

Shop owner Dmitri Rumschlag said Z Cycle opened the second location in July. The building has housed a bike shop nearly continuously since 1934, with Collins’ Bicycles accounting for the bulk of that time. Rumschlag said he nabbed the space after building owner Christin Collins mentioned to a mutual friend she wanted to keep it a bike shop. 

Rumschlag said the City Park location is called Z Cycle Shop at Collins, as “an ode” to its predecessor.


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