A visit to Backyard Bikes (La Grange, WI)

P1000847-5Anyone that’s been to the mountain bike trails of the Southern Kettle Moraine State Forest in SE Wisconsin has at the very least driven by Backyard Bikes or they might  have even stopped, next door, at the LaGrange General Store for one of their delicious homemade sandwiches. The Bettinger family has been slinging snacks and bikes there before I started riding mountain bikes at Kettle in 1986, and they’ve been a perennial supporter of trail advocacy and fundraising events for the Southern Kettle MTB trails. photo 2The bike shop part of the family business is the vanguard of, a father and son tandem, Mike & Andy. I met Andy a couple of years back at the Wisconsin State Fat-Bike Championships at the Alpine Valley Ski Area. That was Andy’s first experience with fat-bikes and it was ‘Love at first Ride’! Last year ByB ran their first Fat-Bike Race, called the Winter Color Fest and became a 9:Zero:7 dealer… and this year…This year, they have Trek, Schlick, Borealis & 9:Zero:7 in the mix, as I found out last Friday, when Bethany & I stopped in on our way out of Dodge.

One of my brothers from the Chicago chapter of the bike black ribbon society and incidentally, one hell of a bike wrench, Gnorme, had mentioned to me that he had seen a robin’s egg blue Trek Farley over at ByB, so I called over there and made arrangements to drop in and shoot some pictures. When I walked into the cozy little showroom, at ByB, both Mike and Andy were there, surrounded by a collection of high-end fatness, that would give any fat-bike lover a chubby! I came to shoot Chris Farley, but I stayed to shoot much more, as you can see from the gallery below.


I didn’t weigh the Farley, but set up this way with the XX1 drive train, it felt very light.


Take a look at this line up! 9:Zero:7 – Trek Farley – Borealis Yampa – Shlick Tatanka

click any of the galery photos to enlarge


Are you an blogger, with photo skillz that has a Local Bike Shop, who rocks the fat like nobody’s business? Maybe you could make an appointment to visit them and send us a news report from the wild frontier of fat-bicycle retailand. My email address is

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6 Responses to A visit to Backyard Bikes (La Grange, WI)

  1. SirFatty October 24, 2013 at 3:46 pm #

    Looks like an awesome place to spend some time! Fat Bikes are the future of Mt. Biking IMHO!

  2. Chris D October 24, 2013 at 4:40 pm #

    LOVE me some BYB and a turkey sandwich from The General!

  3. Surly Shawn October 25, 2013 at 7:03 am #

    I’ve been here. We used to hit this place up on our many visits to Kettle. Awesome little store, good food, nice little selection of beer… 😀

    • Jeff October 25, 2013 at 7:19 am #

      I recommend this store to all of my friends from beginners to advanced riders for the trails and the roads in the area. If you love Colorado, but can’t find it here, The LaGrange General Store will take you there and BYB is equally awesome.

  4. Blatz October 25, 2013 at 12:22 pm #

    The Sandwitch Honeys are glorious

  5. Jens October 29, 2013 at 7:12 pm #

    Great piece! ByB is a sacred shrine of bikes, sammies and beer.

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