Shop Profile ~ Milltown Cycles Expose

Ben. Bike. Minnesota.

Our old friend Soupboy cooked this up for us…

 Milltown Cycles Expose:

by Hugh Jwang, Phd., Womens’ Studies, University of Bangkok, Samut Prakan Campus

Truth be told, I am a prolific bike whore. Not, as in never, necessarily in the sense that I’m fit, ride a ton, or sport sweetly ironic facial hair ever just so, but I do truly love all facets and derivatives of cycling regardless of medium or tooling deployed. Personalities, culture, history, beefs, etc.… I shower in the goodness.

6’4” author on Ben’s 36” wheeled Yardsworth Ti SS traveling approximately 207mph under his own power (uphill, downwind, and Olympic legal; authentic shit eating grin).

As an aging Minnecrapplepuss native, I’ve been afforded the opportunity to have a wide variety of cycling-related opinions and genres wash over me…generally with the gentle touch of a wide-open fire hose – single-speed this, 29er that, fat bike on yo mama, so on and so forth. Being home to the now nearly ubiquitous “Q” and its uber-popular brands Surly and Salsa, not to mention the world’s largest Specialized dealer (bravo SLP employees, te amo), the Twin Shiddies can, probably to the shock and awe of the balance of the nation, stake a dominating flag on cycling’s style-culture-progression map. Oh yeah doubters, there are also many awesome custom builders here too. Suck it. I digress.

This shop profile involves Milltown Cycles, it’s owner Ben Witt, his right hand man/gimp Curt Ness, and his cast of well-informed, albeit quasi-seasonal, ne’erdowells. I first met Ben many years ago when purchasing my first custom 29er, the Badger Dorothy – a fillet-brazed, 29er SS, baby blue sexpot – to replace my v1.0 Baby Poo Green Karate Monkey. I sold it a year later to get a Ventana 29er SS…like I said, I’m a two-wheeled slattern I is.

I’ve never *not* known Ben to be a prolific chubby-chaser…perpetually concocting his next grande wheeled love-machine.

Having been reared in bucolic Northfield, MN, Ben cut his teeth working at the LBS.  At twenty-nothing, he decided to hang his own shingle and took over an established shop in Faribault, MN, a few minutes south. Where the hell is Faribault, MN?  Well, it’s about 45 minutes due south of the Twin Cities off I35 and it possesses one gem of a bike shop.

Ben. Bike. Minnesota.

Need a $300 bike path cruiser? They got it. Need somebody to change your flat with a smile sans pretense, thinly veiled judgment, or uncomfortably-tight-to-everyone-else jeans? They got it. Need a super hot fat bike? Well, you’re in luck, they really, really, really got those.

Honestly, I’ve grown sick of Ben kicking mucho culo on a rigid fat bike on dirt – SS, geared, Rohloff’d – it is both annoying and humiliating. If I could catch him I would smite him. MORCCAMBA, or elsewhere he’s made a point to demonstrate that fatties work and often prevail on a variety of canvases. His crew only dishes out more of the same – they know and love the fatness.

Ben’s personal, custom Salsa Mukluk Blaq Ops

Plenty of shops sell fat bikes nowadays but few go out of their way to push the boundaries of wheel obesity. Milltown Cycles has been there since the beginning and is worth a call when you’re considering your fat ride.  They sell plenty of OE fatties, but they really shine when putting together a custom build involving big wheels, intricate geometries/clearances, and personalized fit.

Make the road trip, hungry. The burritos verdes from the local purveyor of crushingly authentic Mexigastrohorror are well worth the price of admission!  Time it right and grab a shop ride with the crew.

Disclaimer: The author is a personal friend of Ben’s but *only* likes him like a little brother – i.e. convenient to punch and steal his food.

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Just an old cat that rides bikes, herds pixels, ropes gnomes and sometimes writes stories. I love a good story.