The Spoke Wrench started as a service-oriented shop. This meant if you brought in a broken bike, we would work together in selecting repair parts to get you up and pedaling again, and nothing more. I didn’t have many things to sell that you didn’t know you needed to have, so it was a very low pressure environment. The shop has grown a lot since then (including adding a full inventory of things you didn’t know you needed) but my philosophy remains the same. You bring in a bike with a problem, I will work with you to fix it, not try and sell you a new one.
Being a small repair shop, you get the benefit of talking directly to the person who will be servicing your bike. I try to be well appointed on common repair items to keep turnaround quick, and to stay knowledgable on newer componentry and procedures.
The Spoke Wrench is also community driven. I stay engaged with the needs of the town, constantly evolving to meet the demands and challenges of what it takes to help everyone stay rolling.
The Spoke Wrench was created from a passion for bicycles, not necessarily cycling. I have worn many hats throughout my working career, and my employment at a bike shop in my early twenties always stood out as one of the more challenging and rewarding experiences I’ve had. Challenging due to the nature of the industry: constantly evolving technologies and materials, amazing new designs and geometries, endless new problems to solve. Rewarding because of the people: the vast variety of cyclists I got to meet… people from all walks of life, and everyone had a story, whether it was a tough commute today, or they were 1000 miles into their journey across the country.
I moved to Montana in 2008 and took a hiatus from cycling due to the many other recreational opportunities the Rocky Mountains have to offer. After being here a few years and thinking about what makes me truly happy, I realized how much I missed being around bikes. I decided to try a micro repair shop out of our garage to test the market. With a handful of tools bought from Amazon and a stack of photocopied fliers, I put myself out there. To my surprise, there were more cyclists than I originally imagined in Red Lodge, and this gave me promise. I stayed busy the rest of the summer and ultimately found a space for a shop.
I have rediscovered my passion for cycling since then, mainly focusing on the mountain bike and gravel disciplines. I feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to start this small repair shop in an amazing community. I try to give back as much as possible because without the local support, I wouldn’t be doing this today.
Andy Baranovic, Owner