"The bicycler retailer industry seems to be showing growth that equals population growth," said Schwinn, whose company makes upscale specialty bikes.
A lot of that comes because more cities have come to realize how much good bike facilities -- bike lanes and multi-use paths -- enhance life for residents, he said.
Still, just because more people are riding road bikes and commuting to work doesn't necessarily lead to a similar increase in fans, especially casual ones, watching cycling on TV.
It will probably take success of another American star.
When asked who might be the U.S. guy to watch in the Tour de France this year, each person interviewed pointed to Tejay van Garderen, a 24-year-old who was fifth in last year's race and won the event's best young rider award.
He may not have the back story of Armstrong or the Texan's strong personality, but he's very likeable.
"Tejay is really low key," Flax said. "There's not a lot of strutting and ego coming out of him. He's someone people feel like they can believe in."
He and Taylor Phinney, another promising young rider, are members of the BMC team, which features 2011 Tour winner Cadel Evans. Flax thinks van Garderen has a chance to finish in the top three, even though he'll be supporting Evans' chances.
Hincapie, who puts on a series of spring races and owns a development team of young riders, believes the sport as a whole is in good shape.
"Cycling has gone through some drama for sure, but racing is as popular as ever," he said. "People still love racing their bikes."
And he said more people than ever were attending cycling events, at least as he sees the crowds.
Those people almost become addicted to a sport where the beauty of the course belies the intense demands on riders, Hincapie said.
"The people that are in it, they are not going to go away," he said.