Q. Where Should I Shop Now?
A. Our industry is evolving set against the back drop of a continued weak U.S. economy. While most local U.S. bicycle specialty stores will survive and a few are thriving the true high-end road and triathlon retailers can only survive if they are near one of the largest U.S. cities and they have a strong mail-order component to augment sales.
This does not mean the local bike shop is dying. It means the local bike retailer will have to learn new methods to co-exist with the major internet and mail order retailers. Their relationship is key.
In Dearborn we recommend Jack’s Bicycles. Jack’s has been in business since 1935 making it one of the oldest surviving businesses in Dearborn, Michigan. Jack’s has an excellent service facility with qualified mechanics. You can reach Jack’s at (313) 561-2560 and their website at: http://www.jacksbikes.com/index.html
Just south of Dearborn we highly recommend Roll Models in Allen Park. Roll Models is on Park Street in down town Allen Park behind the Allen Park Movie Theater. Chris and his crew at Roll Models are experienced off-road, BMX and road cyclists. You can reach them at (313) 382 1990.
Fraser Bicycles in Fraser, Michigan on Utica Road is an excellent local triathlon and road specialty retailer. They are the only qualified triathlon bike fitters remaining in the southeast Michigan area. Ron Schmid, store manager, has been in the industry since 1989 and is acclaimed around the U.S. for running a fine store owned by former GM Quality Control man Paul Rodgers. Their chief bike fitter, Tony Venticinque, is an experienced and talented triathlete as well as having a formal education and Master’s Degree in Exercise Physiology. Tony V. is a certified fitter from F.I.S.T. and Specialized Bicycles’ elite fitting school. Fraser Bicycles supports a strong local triathlon team and several local charities. They also have an excellent indoor training facility using 16 Computrainer indoor trainers and the insights of certified coach Tony V. Local athletes are lucky to have Fraser Bicycles as a resource in the Detroit metro area.
The largest (and best) on-line retailer of triathlon equipment with a strong emphasis on local responsibility is TriSports.com in Tucson, Arizona. TriSports.com is a big business with small business values.
TriSports.com has an established record of excellent customer service to triathlon consumers on every continent (including Antarctica!) and a proven track record of local-level athlete and event sponsorship that benefits every triathlete in the U.S. and even abroad.
Additionally, TriSports.com has initiated environmentally friendly operating methodologies that lead the bicycle retail industry including paying employees to ride their bikes to work, aggressive recycling and energy conservation practices and other pro-active and far reaching environmental initiatives.
Even if you are loyal to your local retailer and your events you can feel good about shopping with TriSports.com as they have proven themselves to be a responsible member of the national- and local- multisport community.
Even before we closed our store we recommended TriSports.com as an outstanding resource in the multisport community. We recommend them as the best source for multi-sport information and equipment on a local, national and international level.
TriSports.com is also a strong destination retailer for athletes training in Tucson, Arizona during the off-season winter months. The two major U.S. Triathlon publications, Triathlete and Inside Triathlon have featured Tucson, Arizona as the best place to train during the winter in the United States. Because of TriSports.com’s location in Tucson, Arizona many athletes have made winter training trips to Tucson and combined their training with the opportunity to obtain new equipment, get fitted by certified and experienced TriSports.com fitters who have fitted top professional triathletes. Customers can then spend time on the incredible roads around Tucson getting acclimated to their new equipment before their local race season begins. For experienced and especially entry level athletes this is a proven methodology for getting a head start on the optimal equipment and learning how to use it correctly before the race season starts.