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Posted on Tue, May 29, 2012 : 2:58 p.m.

Bike shop signs deal to expand into downtown Ann Arbor storefront

By Lizzy Alfs


Transition Rack is moving to the space at 217 S. Fourth Ave. in downtown Ann Arbor.

Lizzy Alfs |

Transition Rack, a small bike shop located underneath Afternoon Delight in downtown Ann Arbor, plans to double in size in a move to South Fourth Avenue this week.

The bike shop is taking over the 1,040-square-foot retail space at 217 S. Fourth Ave., which was slated to be a Belgian waffle specialty restaurant before the deal fell through earlier this month.

The space, which was most recently occupied by A2 O'Hair salon, is better suited for a bike shop, said building owner Michael Yi. The deal with The Wafel Shop fell through because it was going to require expensive electrical work to run the restaurant.

Transition Rack opened in January in a small basement-level space on East Liberty Street. It sells bikes and accessories, makes repairs and organizes group rides.

Owner Will Jurkowski said the move to South Fourth Avenue gives him increased visibility and the room he needs to expand.

“We will have a dedicated bigger showroom space, a fitting area, changing room and bathroom,” he said. “I’ll have an office, we’ll have a bigger mechanic area and we can broaden our product offerings.”

Jurkowski’s store has a focus on triathlon and road cycling — something he’s personally interested in and he thought was lacking in the downtown Ann Arbor area.

“We thought there was a need for a bike shop that was more focused on triathlons and multi-sport bikes in the area,” he said. “We also wanted to have some brands that were rare and not common to the area, and we have a bit more of the high-end (products) available.”

But most importantly, he said, he wants to ensure his shop is "welcoming and friendly" to anyone interested in the sport.

"We are all passionate about cycling and triathlons and being active," he said. "All of us had help from more experienced and more knowledgeable people when we were getting into the sport. As a result, we really want to pass that along to everyone else who is potentially interested."

Jurkowski hopes to move into the new space this week, and said his new extended hours will be posted at the shop.

Lizzy Alfs is a business reporter for Reach her at 734-623-2584 or email her at Follow her on Twitter at


Geoff CUlbertson

Wed, May 30, 2012 : 11:54 a.m.

Great shop and I am glad Will is moving to a better location. This is my bike shop of choice and the best in Ann Arbor for high end bikes..

Brian Genisio

Wed, May 30, 2012 : 10:41 a.m.

Very cool! The bikes he sells are gorgeous. I have had two occasions where my commuter bike (not really the type of bike he deals with) needed repairs in order for me to get home. He got me fixed up on the spot both times. Great service. Nice guy. Good luck!

cornelius McDougenschniefferburgenstein jr. 3 esq.

Wed, May 30, 2012 : 2:45 a.m.

i wish theese commenters would stop alleged waffling.welcome+good luck,i will visit your new locale.


Wed, May 30, 2012 : 2:20 a.m.

Love it. Great idea and well needed downtown, especially in that space.. I can't wait to learn about the bike trips. May you have great success.

J Shaker

Wed, May 30, 2012 : 1:47 a.m.

sounds great. good luck and i'm looking forward to checking out your new store.

General Rodriguez

Wed, May 30, 2012 : 1:32 a.m.

Not only is Will very knowledgable about all things bicycle, I've also heard that he is impossibly handsome and gives great hugs.

Soft Paw

Wed, May 30, 2012 : 1:04 a.m.

Kind of surprising to me. The last bike store I recall near there was Multigear on Ann back in the 80s. Campus Bike & Toy on William left after the 90s. High rent and tight downtown parking is a lot to overcome.


Tue, May 29, 2012 : 11:43 p.m.

They should add a waffle maker for those who wanted a waffle...


Tue, May 29, 2012 : 10:44 p.m.

Would have liked to see a waffle shop.

West of Main

Tue, May 29, 2012 : 10:26 p.m.

I wanted waffles. :(


Tue, May 29, 2012 : 8:29 p.m.

All praise to the higher powers for making sure that the hideously-underserved high-end bike market will get some attention in Ann Arbor.

Linda Peck

Tue, May 29, 2012 : 8:14 p.m.

Sounds like a good move! I did not know there was a bike shop downtown.


Wed, May 30, 2012 : 1:10 a.m.

I wouldn't call the Bike Shop at Maynard and William a serious bike shop. They rent/sell crummy bikes and make crummy repairs that take longer than they should. That said, it is one of the few shops in the immediate campus area so they get more business than they deserve. That shop is a bit like White's Market on William. They have survived for years with tired offerings and service. Now that they are getting competition from CVS and babo they are struggling.

Linda Peck

Wed, May 30, 2012 : 12:15 a.m.

To reply to Go Navy, I rarely go to that corner and don't consider it downtown actually. The reason I don't go to that area of town very often is that it has trash all over the place. I used to do business on State Street in the 1970s and during that era I watched this part of town become less enjoyable and less clean. Sorry if this offends you.


Tue, May 29, 2012 : 10:46 p.m.

So you're not aware of the gigantic bike shop on Maynard & William? The guy takes great pains to put all his bikes out everyday for people. How much time do you spend in the city?