Douglas Benton

Co-owner, Wheels 4 Tomorrow, Alcoa

Douglas Benton, Co-owner, Wheels 4 Tomorrow, Alcoa

Douglas Benton, Co-owner, Wheels 4 Tomorrow, Alcoa

You opened a high-tech bike shop with your wife Trysh nine weeks ago—how’s it going?

Our bike for rent service has been terrible. We wish we could get more people off the couch and onto our bikes. But people love the chainless technology—I’ve sold nine chainless and eight battery-assisted or battery-powered bikes since we opened, and that’s blowing me away.

What exactly is a chainless bike?

Okay, a 21- or 24-speed bike has a thing called a derailer that changes the chain from one sprocket to another. These go out of adjustment very frequently, maybe once or twice a year.

But your bikes don’t have chains?

Correct. They have a shaft drive like a BMW motorcycle. And they don’t require any follow-up maintenance.

But you don’t get as many gears?

They have seven gears that span the range—that’s 90 percent of the range of a 24 speed bicycle.

Do people mostly ride them around town?

They take them in the mountains, too.

What do you mean by “battery assisted?”

Battery assisted is a bicycle you have to pedal for it to help you. So it doesn’t help going downhill, but it pulls you up the hill. We’ve also sold some battery-powered three-wheel trikes with big baskets on the back to little old ladies who say they’ll ride to Wal-Mart and do their shopping. For those, you can hold your feet up in the air, twist the throttle and go about 18 miles an hour.

Are you constantly recharging batteries?

You can go about 30-35 miles on one charge of the battery.

Can you ride the battery-powered bikes in the mountains?

No, just around town.

Do you still ride a traditional bike?

Oh no, never again. I’m selling my Trek—practically giving it away—for $100. I’m all chainless now.

Corrected: Price of bike

© 2008 MetroPulse. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Comments » 8

dbenton writes:

We just sold the 10th chainless bike today!!!

By the way, you CAN ride the battery-powered bike in the mountains...

Also...I paid $350 for my Trek...and I'm selling it for $100...

Lastly...the bike shops don't like this technology...because after you buy the bike...they never see you again...especially for a $50 derailleur adjustment.

dbenton writes:

By the way...our phone # is 984.0006...our address is 215 Aluminum Ave, Alcoa(the only bike shop on the Blount County Greenway)...and our site is www.wheels4tomorrow.com.

dbenton writes:

And...yesterday we just sold our 11th chainless bike!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

h20k9 writes:

Hey pal,

I thought your bicycle shop was called Wheels 4 Tomorrow? Elsewhere in the online Metro Pulse article it states it as Wheels 2 Tomorrow. Which is correct?

h20k9 writes:

As a matter of fact, Mr. Benton, the caption under your picture reads "Douglas Benton, Co-owner, Wheels 2 Tomorrow, Alcoa"

dbenton writes:

It should be "4". Our site is www.wheels4tomorrow.com.

dbenton writes:

And we just sold our 13th chainless!!!!

We are getting 4 - 150cc scooters in today...all w/ 13" tires and windshields...

cturczyn writes:

The caption is now corrected -- apologies for the typo and any confusion it
might have caused.

I must note that at this point, the comments on this story are turning into spam.
If any further messages about what's for sale or what's been sold at the store
are added, I will close out the comments section on the story.

Coury, ed.

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