The Smith family should know. Since opening the doors to the popular ski and outdoor retail store in 1994, their roots didn't initially stem from the winter activity they cater to.
"We originally started as a bicycle business in Michigan and it's been real tough these past years," Smith said. "I've seen Kris (Gray) around town for about 10 years, but I was just formally introduced to him this fall. He has really made a name for himself the past few years as a custom mountain bike builder, and a great opportunity presented itself which we couldn't pass up. When it comes to expectations for Kris and his crew, they have already been met and it's only been a week."
What started as a casual conversation between passionate outdoor activists, has turned into a partnership that is already sparking up interest on Main Street - literally.
Much like a batch of home brew being concocted in a garage, Lucid Cycles, was founded in 2009 by Kris "Gravy" Gray out of his home studio and repair shop, where he works on road or mountain bikes.
This summer, the custom bike frame builder is moving out of the "garage" and forming an alliance with the third generation family-owned ski shop located at 693 Main Street. This union and location, they say, helps differentiate Lucid Cycles from other bike shops in the Park City area with its unique combination of full service sales and repair aligned with custom frame building under one roof.
"The last five years I have been growing the Lucid name from the ground up and things are coming together," Gray said. "This winter I approached Ryan (Smith) about setting up shop in an area of the store that was collecting dust and we worked out a sublease."
Through the windows of the new bike shop, people meandering the sidewalks of Main Street can see Gray and his two-man crew with their torches and wrenches at the corner of Main and 7th hard at work on their passion. The dedication to the trade performed by the team has been witnessed by main street patrons for the past week since the new bike shop opened for business May 1. The same dedication Park City locals put into their skills while using his equipment, Grey added.
According to Gray, with all of the heart and soul that go into creating each frame, it is the overall craftsmanship and brazing technique that separates Lucid Cycles from other frame-building manufacturers.
Through the careful fitting process, fabricating and joining tubes with brass and silver, Gray transforms American-made steel tubing into a single piece of functional art - resulting in Lucid's signature lightweight custom bicycle frame.
"Full suspension bike manufacturers have taken over the industry, making it hard for custom builders like us to keep up," Gray said. "Ryan (Smith) has given us a great opportunity to give locals the complete custom build experience and let them get involved in the building process. This is the only way to get a bike that fits you properly, making a world of difference in the way you ride."
The new joint venture got off to a good start, according to Bill O'Sullivan, Bahnhof Sport manager.
"One of our regular customers came in the first day Kris and his guys were open. Without even knowing these guys were here when he walked in, he bought a custom frame. This is exactly what we were aiming to happen," O'Sullivan said. "Business is great during the winter, but the foot traffic Kris will hopefully create this summer, will be good for the both of us."
In addition to creating custom frames, Lucid Cycles is a full-service repair with available bicycle pick-up/drop-off service operating daily from 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. They also host a small fleet of rental cruiser bicycles. To learn more about the custom design process, visit www.lucidcycles.com .