Wamsley Cycles is a step off the trail. We pulled our old bikes up onto the deck and entered the hallway in the lower level of Seneca Center. This is the place to try Treks. We had ridden them years ago at Bike Chicago on Navy Pier and had fallen in love with the Navigator, Trek’s "mountain comfort" model. This style is exactly what one needs for long, upright rides on West Virginia’s trails. Without trying it, we eliminated the Navigator 100, the $299 model, because it didn’t have front suspension, only seat suspension. The #200 model has both and is $40 more. Out on Caperton Trail, it rode
well, and I couldn’t find any complaint but the seat--it wasn’t gel! The salesman said gel isn’t used much anymore, because it isn’t durable. "Durable" is secondary to comfort for
this mid-life guy, so I would need to buy a different seat, which would make the Trek more than I want to spend. In short, I didn’t buy here, but I will remember the laidback, friendly attention, return to Wamsley for supplies, and recommend them to my friends for rentals ($10/2 hrs., $25/day, $50/weekend).
Besides Trek, their other featured brand is Specialized, a little less expensive, and in addition to bikes, they have fitness equipment, treadmills, steppers, and exercise cycles. The owner, Chip Wamsley, is an expert framebuilder who learned his trade from Jack Taylor in England, one of the world’s best, so this shop caters to expert riders with
personal specifications for parts and frames. It’s the place to "talk shop," to get repairs, and to get special needs addressed. They also have shoes, gloves, racks, and much more jam-packed into the store. The salesman’s stats were wasted on us, since we cared only about comfort, but peak performance proponents must stop at Wamsley.
Everyone visiting Morgantown must stop at Seneca Center, the historic glassworks
building that houses the bike shop, so Wamsley Cycle can be combined with an afternoon
of antiques and boutique shopping, Visitor Info gathering, and lunch, all in the same
building. Wamsley has a website.
, West Virginia
August 12, 2003
From journal Back to the Waterfront