Wheel & Sprocket’s Company Timeline
Our history and our passion go hand in hand.
We've been in business since 1973, making life better by selling bicycles.
1973–1988 - Phase I
1973 - Frank Tamel opened a small bike shop in a Hales Corner store with 1800 square feet. (Chris Kegel Starts as a mechanic 30 days after Frank opens the store).
1974 - Chris Kegel becomes store manager & W&S adds Ski Equipment to its stock. Frank holds down a second job to help ease the financial burden of the shop.
1976 - W&S incorporates & Store Moves to Forest Home Avenue.
1979 - Chris became a partner with Frank Tamel
1981 - W&S moves its Hales Corners location expanding to a 7500 square foot area.
1983 - W&S is selected as a member of Raleigh’s President’s Council.
1985 - Brookfield location opens, becoming the 2nd W&S store.
1986 - Tamel’s Bicycle World is bought out by W&S. The 3rd W&S location, South Milwaukee, is born.
1988 - Glendale location is opened, becoming the 4th W&S store.
1989–2012 - Phase II
1989 - Chris Kegel buys out Frank Tamel and the headquarters move to Glendale. W&S is the #1 Trek Dealer in the country. W&S is the #2 Giant Dealer in the country
1994 - Brookfield moved into the new current location.
1996 - Delafield location opened - becoming the 5th location. Hales Corners moved into an expansive new location (13,000 sq. ft of sales/service space).
1999 - Oshkosh location opened - becoming the 6th location. South Milwaukee closed for the winter with no specific plans for a new location at this time. And Chris made his last payment to Frank Tamel (100% ownership)
2001 - Appleton Location Opened. Wheel & Sprocket is voted the #1 Advocate of the Year (a.k.a. The Brainy Award) - Awarded by the National Bicycle Dealers’ Associate, The Bicycle Retailer & Industry News, and Interbike.
2002 - Wheel & Sprocket is voted the #1 Bicycle Retailer in the Country! - Nat’l Bicycle Dealer Assoc. & Interbike
2003 - Wheel & Sprocket is voted the #1 Bicycle Retailer in the Country! - Nat’l Bicycle Dealer Assoc. & Interbike
2004 - Wheel & Sprocket is awarded the Trek Legend’s Honor (Trek’s Hall of Fame Award).
2010 - International Mountain Bike Association (IMBA)-Platinum Retailer honor
2011 - Bicycling Magazine’s Top 100 Bike Shop in America. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s Top 100 Workplace award. League of American Bicyclist (LAB) Bicycle Friendly Gold Award.
2012 - Gold Level Top 100 Retailer in America (annually for over ten years)-NBDA/INTERBIKE honor.
2013–Future - Phase III
2013 - Evanston, IL location opens- Wheel & Sprocket’s first venture outside of Wisconsin. Brookfield expanded into the entire mini-shopping mall. Fox Point expanded with an upstairs fitting room and main floor bathrooms.
2014 - Wheel & Sprocket launches indoor cycling “Training Hub” program company wide
2015 - Wheel & Sprocket launches outdoor fat bike race series “Hugh Jass Fat Bike Series”
2016 - Wheel & Sprocket awarded National Bike Challenge Workplace Winner. Wheel & Sprocket ranks #3 out of 100 by Bicycling Magazine Best Bike Shop. Wheel & Sprocket launches first annual Chris’ Slow Roll to honor the work and dedication of owner Chris Kegel.
2017 - Chris Kegel passes away at 64 years old. Ownership changes hands to Chris Kegel’s son Noel Kegel and daughter Amelia Kegel; Oak Park, IL Location Opened, Wheel & Sprocket purchases Beeline Franchise in Chicago to offer mobile repair.
2018 - Wheel & Sprocket Middleton, Wisconsin opens
2019 - Wheel & Sprocket Franklin (formally Hales Corners) opens at the Ballpark Commons near Whitnall Park.
2020 - Wheel & Sprocket Bay View, Wisconsin store, Joy Ride Cafe, headquarters, and community center with partners Wisconsin Bike Fed, Chris Kegel Foundation, and Rails-to-Trails Route-of-the-Badger opens
2021 - Wheel & Sprocket opens third Chicagoland location in Park Ridge Illinois, Joy Ride Cafe in Fox Point store opens
2022 - Wheel & Sprocket opens second Madison-area location in Fitchburg
2023 - Wheel & Sprocket turns 50!
Bike Rides & Organizations W&S Has Supported From The Start
UPAF Ride for the Arts, Ride Across Wisconsin, Trek 100, Tour of America’s Dairyland Race Series, Scenic Shore 150, Tour de Cure, Ride on the Wild Side, Fall Color Mountain Bike Fest, Chequamegon, MS 150 Best Dam Ride, Ride of Silence, JDRF Ride Program, WORS Race Series, River Valley Ride, Ripon Tri, Cowalunga, Race the Lake, Brewer’s Foundation Hitting 4 the Cycle, Ride to the Barns, Wisconsin Women’s Century, Fat Tire Tour of Milwaukee, Krankin for Kids, Bike to the Beat, Bike the Drive, Midwest Tandem Rally