Penn Cycle closes abruptly after 61 years in business

But another local bike shop, Freewheel Bike, will take over its locations.
Publish date:

Penn Cycle, a staple small business in the Twin Cities since 1957, is no more.

On Sunday, the business posted a letter to its Facebook followers announcing the decision to step away - and noting all of its locations would be closed starting Tuesday, March 19.

Penn Cycle was started by Elmer J. Sorensen about 62 years ago, according to the company's history. It's been owned and operated by the family since, with Pat Sorensen selling bikes there for the past 52 years. There are six locations throughout the Twin Cities.

  • Bloomington at 3916 West Old Shakopee Road.
  • Minnetonka at 10750 Cedar Bend.
  • Minneapolis at 710 West Lake Street.
  • Eagan at 2290 Cliff Road.
  • Woodbury at 6415 Lake Road Terrace. 
  • Richfield at 6824 Penn Avenue South. 

On Monday, the business held a goodbye event called "The Last Lock" for Pat Sorensen.

While the name "Penn Cycle" will no longer hang above the doors, each of its stores will live on in spirit.

"After a great deal of consideration," Penn Cycle's letter says, "we’ve decided that the time has come to take a new and exciting step."

Another longtime local bike shop is taking over.

Meet Freewheel Bike

Penn Cycle is essentially being absorbed by Freewheel Bike, a local business founded in the Twin Cities in 1974 by a small group of cyclists. Since then it has grown to four locations (two in Minneapolis, one in each of Roseville and Eden Prairie).

That figure will more than double once the Penn Cycle transition is complete.

Penn Cycle, the Business Journal reports, had been facing some financial troubles, including some rent issues between Pat Sorensen and two siblings.

"We're so proud to be able to build on what Pat and the Penn Cycle crew have created over six decades of sharing their love for riding," Freewheel said in a Facebook post.

The company touts its community focus, including paying employees a "livable wage" above the industry average.

All Penn Cycle locations will remain closed until March 22, at which point they'll reopen under the new Freewheel Bike moniker. And if you happen to have any Penn Cycle gift cards or in-store credit, Freewheel will give you until April 3 to use it.

"We’re confident Freewheel Bike will immediately become a central support network for all cyclists in our community," Penn Cycle's letter says. "While there may be some changes, we hope you find them as exciting as we do and know we are leaving you in good hands."

Come Friday, you'll be able to find out for yourself.

Next Up

minnesota state fair

Planning for the 2021 Minnesota State Fair is underway

The fair suffered huge financial losses due to COVID-19, but organizers are moving forward with planning "different scenarios" for this summer.

Screen Shot 2021-01-15 at 2.16.44 PM

Heather Brown named as new WCCO 'This Morning' anchor

She will be joining Jason DeRusha on the CBS affiliate's Morning Show.

DPS John Harrington

DPS Commissioner: No credible threats to state Capitol, but ready if something arises

Local and state law enforcement officials have a plan in case a threat arises.

snow, slush (submitted photo, ok to use)

Here are snow totals from Thursday-Friday winter storm

It's a slushy mess in the metro, but snow did pile up in southern counties.

tim walz

Walz fury after report that government's COVID vaccine reserve is nonexistent

The Washington Post reported Friday that the Trump Administration has shipped out all the vaccines it has already, with none in reserve.

closed sign

What's open and closed in Minnesota on MLK Day 2021?

Local government offices will generally be closed on Monday.

BMTN 900x450 (8)

Company that falsely promised student loan forgiveness banned from MN

It's also been ordered to repay $11,499 in fees taken from Minnesotans.

covid-19, coronavirus

Here is Minnesota's COVID update for January 15

Hospitalizations are the lowest in Minnesota since October 25.


Osterholm: B117 COVID strain could become major issue in 6-8 weeks

The B117 variant is believed to be more easily transmitted.

General Mills

General Mills halts donations to Republicans who voted to block Biden win

Two Minnesota representatives voted against certification of results in Arizona and Pennsylvania.


Smashburger among newbies coming to Southdale

The Denver-based burger chain will open its ninth Twin Cities location in the mall's newly designed dining pavilion later this year, the Edina Patch reports. The Business Journal notes Smashburger already has locations in Eagan, Eden Prairie, Golden Valley, Plymouth, Roseville, St. Anthony, St. Paul and Woodbury.


Acclaimed Minneapolis bakery closes up shop

Salty Tart shut down its Minneapolis location on short notice.


Popular trail in Mpls. Chain of Lakes closing for years

The path is tucked between Cedar Lake and Lake of the Isles.

President of Eden Prairie TV shopping network quits abruptly

Anne Martin-Vachon had only held the role for five months.


These are the top high schools in Minnesota

According to U.S. News and World Report's annual list.

The most dangerous Minnesota cities for pedestrians and bikers

The numbers are a reflection of a five-year span from 2012-2016.

Report: Gymboree prepares for bankruptcy, set to close most stores

The children's clothing chain has 7 stores in Minnesota.