Best Bike Shop Spotlight: Bike Haus in Scottsdale

Bike Haus in Scottsdale, AZ
Photo: Jim Merithew/

So it’s a little before 6 a.m. and I am pulling into the parking lot of Bicycle Haus in Scottsdale.

The Arizona heat has already started its upwardly projection. It won’t be long before you will be able to bake cookies on the dashboard of your car.

It’s going to be in the neighborhood of 116 degrees today and thus an early morning group ride is organizing in the shop. A small, but dedicated group of riders, hoping to get some miles in before the neighborhood starts to feel like the surface of the sun.

The collection of riders in stylin’ shop kit is only outdone by the whips being ridden.

John Benson, Bike Haus shop employee, is aboard a brand new sunset orange Santa Cruz Stigmata with some of the biggest, most beautiful tires I have ever seen on a road group ride. And there are Pinarellos and Colnagos and S-Works Tarmacs.

Bike Haus in Scottsdale, AZ
Photo: Jim Merithew/

Also amongst the riders is Bike Haus shop owner Kale Keltz. Kale is an unassuming, witty, sharp-tongued gentlemen who, from what I witnessed and has been confirmed by multiple sources, can rail a bike with grace, speed and power.

The morning ride is pretty civilized, except a brief bike path sprint shootout, which is both a little bit nuts and a little bit fun. Like a scene from Bullet, but on bikes. Almost 30 miles later the morning ride ends up back where it started.

A shop where they serve freshly pulled espresso shots in Assos cups.

A shop which could easily be a set for a Hollywood movie.

Bike Haus is that shop.

Bike Haus in Scottsdale, AZ
Photo: Jim Merithew/

The shop with all the cool kit and all the high flute bikes and all the cool t-shirts and all the cool shop employees and all the cool customers and all the cool everything. The sock collection alone sends me into a shopping overload.

It is the shop you always wished you lived down the street from, so you could roll in and ogle the new two-wheeled goodness.

And you wish, every morning, you could join the staff for a pre-work ride and have them pull you an espresso afterwards, while you stand around bullshitting about your exploits.

And you wish you could bring a friend in from out-of-town and have your shop mechanic pull out an F8 from the collection for him to ride.

And you want to sit on the bar stools and jabber about disc brakes—or bourbon.

The owner of Bike Haus, Kale Keltz, in Scottsdale, AZ. Photo: Jim Merithew/
The owner of Bike Haus, Kale Keltz, in Scottsdale, AZ. Photo: Jim Merithew/

Kale has built the shop. And he’s done it in Ol’ Town Scottsdale. The shop of your dreams. Filled with all the toys and all the coolness you always dreamed about.

And we wanted to find out what makes him tick, so we subjected him to our rapid-fire questions and this is what he had to say.

Stemware up or down: Up

Boxers or briefs: Briefs

Which is your favorite movie: Shawshank

Which is the one job in the world that you would love to do: I’m doing it. But what I’d love to do is probably something in the automotive industry.

Where do you see yourself in five years time: Still at the shop hoping working a little less, having weekends off.

What is your spirit animal: I don’t go to Sedona enough to know that.

If you won the lottery, how would you spend your millions: I wouldn’t change much. I would have a nicer car and a nicer house, but I’d still be doing what I’m doing right now.

Toilet paper, under or over: Under. I like it to come up from underneath. Someone keeps changing it in the damn bathroom. And someone is folding the toilet paper in a little fancy V. Who the hell is doing that? We don’t have time for that.

Are you a morning person or a night person: I would say both. I am probably morning person than night. I can listen John Denver anytime though. Morning or night.

What is your favorite cocktail: Spritz. Or Moscow Mule.

What three words would a close friend use to describe you: I don’t know. OCD. Meticulous. Observant. Frank.

Would you like to climb a mountain or trek across a desert: Climb a mountain.

If people were thrown into jail for bad habits, what would you be thrown in jail for: Speeding. I don’t really do anything else I would be thrown in jail for.

What would be your chosen superpower: I think flying, but if I could fly I wouldn’t need to drive, so I don’t know.

If you were a stalker, would you be really good at it: Yes.

What is your favorite food: Ice cream. Chocolate.

What is your idea of the perfect vacation: Riding my bike somewhere in the mountains.

What is the one thing that annoys you above all else: I’m very clean, so I don’t like disorder.

If you were an automobile, what kind of automobile would you be: Something German.