VANCOUVER, British Columbia (BRAIN)—Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC) has launched its own line of bicycles.
The move reflects the co-op’s ongoing efforts to respond to its members’ needs and signals another step by the outdoor retailer to encourage Canadians to make cycling an integral part of their lives.
“Bicycles have a timeless appeal that we believe MEC bikes will honor and reinforce,” said CEO David Labistour. “Quality, value and performance are hallmarks of MEC-brand products, and these same traits define MEC bikes. We are confident that our members will be very satisfied with MEC bikes.”
With 11 styles in four categories—mountain, road, specialty and urban—MEC-brand bikes will appeal to all manner of riders. Each style is available in a unisex frame; three are also available in frames that are specifically designed for women.
The MEC bike line consists of two hardtail mountain bikes, three road bikes and five urban styles. A folding specialty bike rounds out the line, which will also see a kids’ bike introduced in early 2010.
MEC bikes were designed in-house by seasoned Canadian bicycle designer, MEC product manager Tim McDermott. The line has a strong urban focus that aims to provide bike commuters and other city cyclists with a great riding experience, ease of use and low maintenance.
“The MEC bike line is geared to what our customers want,” McDermott said. “A majority of MEC members stated a preference for urban bikes, and we worked hard to push the bounds of what urban bikes can be.”
The Shadowlands model illustrates the urban focus. Featuring a lightweight aluminum frame, 27 gear options and hydraulic disk brakes, the Shadowlands makes ascending and descending even steep city streets easy. The bold, bright finish and graphic illustrations hope to set it apart from other bikes.
MEC’s entry into bike sales and repairs is a logical extension of the outdoor retailer’s 38-year history of supporting its members’ pursuit of self-propelled outdoor recreation. It is also part of the co-op’s long-term goal to get more Canadians, and youth especially, active in outdoor recreation.
“Our objective is to see more Canadians riding bikes—any bikes—and we welcome opportunities to work with the cycling industry and community partners to make that happen,” Labistour said.
MEC’s community grants program has provided more than $450,000 to date in support of cycling advocacy and infrastructure projects across Canada.
MEC bikes are presently being sold at select Mountain Equipment Co-op stores, in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and Winnipeg as well as the co-op’s new Longueuil, QC store. MEC’s Burlington, Ontario and Montreal (Marche Central) stores will also be selling bikes, beginning in February 2010.
Each of these stores has a full-service repair shop staffed with at least one certified bike mechanic. The in-store bike shops and a rigorous cycling training program for MEC store employees are fundamental elements in supporting members’ purchases of MEC bikes.
Detailed product information—including a complete list of specifications, dynamic comparison charts and high-resolution images—for all MEC bikes is available by clicking on link.