The Next Generation of Bike Retailers

Background Reading

Summary

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Industry Influencers 35 Years and Under

BRAIN’s first U35 edition focuses on the future of our industry — retailers, designers, engineers, editors and entrepreneurs who are blazing new paths. Those who want to share the U35 feature on social media (or with their Moms) can view the 15-page digital edition online. There are also some special video features on some of the recipients on BRAIN’s YouTube channel.

The full list of the featured U35s is below.

The March 15 BRAIN also includes coverage of QBP’s FrostBike event, a look at the new ownership at 3T, and a report on the industry’s push for consistent national e-bike legislation.

The issue also includes our regular features like Through the Grapevine, Mad Dog Unleashed, State of Retail and more.

Bicycle Retailer & Industry News is published 18 times a year. Visit our subscription page for more information.

BRAIN’s U35 list:

  • Adam Abramowicz, 30, founder and creative leader, KindHuman Bicycles
  • Evan Barnebey, 35, director of operations, Advanced Sports International
  • Andrew Bernstein, 30, marketing manager, Bicycling magazine
  • Brandon Blakely, 27, suspension engineer, Cane Creek Cycling Components
  • Derrick Boatwright, 33, director of e-commerce and digital strategy, Hawley Lambert
  • Karl Burkat, 32, CEO and sales director, PinkBike.com
  • Curtis Christensen, 35, owner, Auburn Bike Company; brand manager, Fat Chance Bicycles
  • Cait Dooley, 27, pavement product manager, GT Bikes
  • Mehdi Farsi, 30, co-owner, State Bicycle Co.
  • Reza Farsi, 28, co-owner, State Bicycle Co.
  • Eric Ferguson, 29, co-owner, State Bicycle Co.
  • Michael Fishman, 26, co-founder, Pure Fix Cycles
  • Alberto Fonte, 34, brand director, Fizik
  • Caley Fretz, 26, associate editor, Velo,
  • Karl Hall, 30, wheel design engineer, SRAM
  • Boyd Johnson, 35, owner and founder, Boyd Cycling
  • Brady Kappius, 27, president, Kappius Components, founder, Broken Carbon
  • Noel Kegel, 33, chief financial officer, Wheel & Sprocke
  • Jim Kersten, 30, president, Chicago Area Bicycle Dealers Association; owner, Edgebrook Cycle & Sport
  • Morten Kristiansen, 35, general manager, Guru Sports
  • Luke Kuschmeader, 33, president, Küat Racks
  • Scott Lampe, 27, operations manager, Niner Bikes
  • Alfonso Lopez, 32, founder, Velopez
  • Ian MacGregor, 31, CEO and co-founder, Skratch Labs
  • Alix Magner, 34, national sales manager, Quality Bicycle Products
  • Nick Martin, 35, president and founder, The Pro’s Closet
  • Chris McLaren, 35, managing director, BMC USA
  • Simon McNair, 33, sales director, Highway Two
  • Adam Miller, 23, co-founder and former co-owner, The Fat Bike Co. (parent of Borealis Bikes and Turnagain Fat Bike Components)
  • Jason Moeschler, 35, global OEM sales manager, WTB
  • William Mulyadi, 34, owner and CEO, Virtue Bike
  • Kazia Pennino, 27, owner, Epicenter Cycling
  • Kaitlyn Phillips, 29, director of marketing, Advanced Sports International
  • Jason Quade, 32, founder, Abbey Bike Tools
  • Brian Michael Riley, 27, founder, SureStop
  • Tracie Roberson, 32, president/co-owner, Rudy Rack
  • Jordan Schau, 26, co-founder, Pure Fix Cycles
  • Austin Stoffers, 26, co-founder, Pure Fix Cycles
  • Scott Strysick, 35, director of product creation for Blackburn and Bell accessories, BRG Sports
  • Katie Thompson, 29, industrial design manager, Quality Bicycle Products
  • Shawn Wilson, 27, owner, Epicenter Cycling

TakeAways

Looking down this list and realizing that I know a few of the names, it makes me wonder what sorts of opportunities (in terms of gaining expertise) these young people could provide to places like Bikes-n-Roses?

Look at it this way. Bicycle retailing needs to be a supportive community. It needs to (as a matter of self-preservation) encourage the growth of cycling. That in turn means that as the wheels and tires and frames of bikes wear out (and can no longer be repaired by Bikes-n-Roses) people need to know that sound reliable and trustworthy nearby shops can help them get new stuff.

From where I stand that means that local businesses need to understand their niche and find sister businesses that need their help and can send them business. It is in the best interest of retailers to have service shops be sustainable. Not every person who wants a tune-up can ride very far away to get their service.

And besides who knows how many of your future mechanics may come from the ranks of those trained at Bikes-n-Roses? So you give the startups a leg up by teaching them how to plumb the depths of the business world itself and in turn they send business your way when it comes to buying new stuff.

In fact it might just be worthwhile to have a place like Bikes-n-Roses be a satellite sales location for certain items. Perhaps you have some slow selling items that normally go into your half-price bin. Why not let a fledging shop help you sell them?

Education Is Key

The way you ‘fix the problem of poverty‘ is simple:

Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.

Maimonides

Sometimes we all need to get off our ‘victim high-horses‘ long enough to listen to the ground beneath us. That thundering we hear could be new business opportunities or someone else taking business away.

There is no doubt in my mind that someone out there right this moment is dreaming up a very likely alternative to the standard bicycle. Like the blacksmiths of the 19th century some survived by understanding the reality of the automobile and others did not.

1909_Harley-Davidson_V-Twin_Left-Rear

1909_Harley-Davidson_V-Twin_Left-Rear

Some carriage makers made the transition to the automobile. After all Harley-Davidson’s first bikes were literally souped up bicycles. Some people could see the possibilities some could not.

But somewhere in a garage or a university lab someone is building the replacement of the HPV that we call the bicycle. It will perhaps still be driven by pedals but perhaps they will not longer be truly necessary.

And if the power supply is either imbedded in the front or rear hub of the wheels or fitted around the bottom bracket in a very small package that is indistinguishable from an ordinary bike, it does not matter.

If it is cheap enough and reliable people who need it will buy it. And whether you like it or not such a vehicle is capable of putting slightly less expensive bicycles into extinction. It just depends.

After all the first cars did not seem a match for the more reliable and cheaper to operate horse drawn buggy, but we all know how that turned out.