Friday, June 1, 2012

Expounding On Expansion: The Local Shop Scene

Almost all aspects of cycling are growing in Central Arkansas. OK, we don't have a track, but we do have a growing community of road riders and racers, bike polo players, commuters, multiple-child-baby-pullers, mountain bikers, cyclocross racers, scavenger hunters, retro-tweed riders and every kind of recreational riders. This diverse bunch helps to provide a market for a variety of very good bike shops. I heard many locals riders wonder whether the market could support another shop when Mat and Regina Seelinger opened Spokes in January 2011. After all, we already had Chainwheel, Arkansas Cycling and Fitness, The Community Bicyclist, Riders Ready, J& P, and Competitive Cyclist   offering a wide range of bikes, accessories, clothing and service; but the market has grown and Competitive Cyclist was bought and moved to Utah, taking a big number of  rider friends with them but losing what was left of of its local feel. In the meantime, Spokes has prospered with products like Niner, Orbea, and the popular Cervelo lines and two other shops, Chainwheel and the Sherwood AC&F Location, found that they needed more room to serve their customers. Both shops have added square footage; AC&F by adding on to their existing building and Chainwheel by consolidating their leased spaces at their existing Rodney Parham location.

 The Chainwheel

 The Chainwheel now has an expansive feel to it. Merchandise is attractively displayed and easy to find.

 The Chainwheel expansion has given the folks there an opportunity to display more bikes in an attractive open environment.

 The departure of Competitive Cyclist from the local market allowed Chainwheel to pick up Pinarello, the ultimate Euro line for many bike aficionados. Pat Baron reported that the move had been a good one, with steady demand for the high-end, high performance, and very sexy brand.


 Still have a few bucks left over after buying the Pinarello or just want to upgrade your current ride with some functional bling? Bump things up one more notch with some Zip wheels

 The expanded service area had bikes lined up and the guys were getting the work out!

Arkansas Cycling and Fitness- Sherwood.

Arkansas Cycling and Fitness now has more room for inventory in Sherwood. This location has always had a strong following in the mountain bike community.
In addition the Specialized and other lines, AC&F in Sherwood has retained the Trek and Trek/Gary Fisher lines.

The lovely and charming Tracey Villano is helping this customer (and JBar reader!) with the purchase of a sweet new wheelset.

 The new service area at Arkansas Cycling is clean and well-lighted.

The growth of cycling in Central Arkansas is reflected in the expansion of these two shops and the continued success of the many others. I will plead guilty to having done some mail-order business over the years, and will still snatch a bargain for some commodity item that I keep in my personal stock. Over the years, I've learned that more and more I find it to be in my best interest to shop local due to competitive pricing, broad inventories, and great service; not to mention the fact that it's always fun to go to the bike shop!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

the jbar reader looks like HDN. I been wondering what he was up to these days.