(Editor's note: Taylor Merk-Wynne is a co-worker at Mathieu's Cycle & Fitness Store in Farmingdale, Maine, where he sells and services bicycles and fitness equipment.)
Name: Taylor Merk-Wynne
Do you remember your first bike?
I remember my first mountain bike. It was a Trek 6500 red. It was a Christmas present in high school. I rode all around central Maine for a couple of years until I decided that I wanted to race and needed a better bike. The Trek was replaced by a Specialized FSR.
Rim versus disc brakes? And why?
They each have their own benefits and drawbacks. I like rim brakes for their cost, weight, simplicity and aerodynamics. Disc brakes outperform rim brakes in every objective and subjective metric. They offer better power and the ability to control that power more easily for novice and expert riders alike. Disc brakes provide a more satisfying and faster riding experience, but at a cost.
In your opinion, why should people consider purchasing a bicycle from an independent shop such as Mathieu's Cycle as opposed to a big-box store?
It is more economical in the long run. Shop bikes last longer and retain more value.
Do you have a favorite place to ride?
No, I like variety. Road, gravel, singletrack. Challenging singletrack and long exploratory road rides are the best.
What is the future of e-bikes? Do you think their popularity will grow?
Hard to say. I think as battery technology improves and cost comes down their popularity will only increase. I'm most interested to see where e-mountain bike racing goes.
Speaking as a mechanic, what is your top tip for cyclists and caring for their bikes?
Make working on your bike easy. Set up a dedicated work stand, where you can clean and lubricate your chain often and without hassle. This makes routine maintenance more likely to occur.
You are the proud owner of our resident shop dog. Please tell us about her.
Her name is Didja, and she is a seven-year-old retired racing greyhound. The sweetest greeter you will ever meet.