TUCSON, AZ (BRAIN)—ProBike Tucson has had to overcome its share of obstacles on the way to opening its doors this month. An earlier lease deal fell apart, and it took partners Chris Gould and Karl Schindler the better part of a year to find their final location.
Then their contractor build-out got delayed by a month—Gould and Schindler are still waiting on a cabinet and countertop to enclose the service area and serve as an espresso bar. Other small touches are yet to be completed.
While some rough edges remain, the sleekly designed shop’s potential is already evident. “We wanted to be a bike shop but not be all cluttered. The stores we try to model ourselves on are Bicycle Haus in Scottsdale and Contender in Salt Lake City. We want to emulate what those guys are doing. Keep it real clean,” said Gould.
The centerpiece of this clean look is the wall of 10 illuminated white boxes displaying everything from $1,500 road rigs to $5,000-plus race bikes. The design was inspired by a trip Schindler made to Barcelona, where he saw similar display boxes at the Spanish city’s Pavé bike shop.
ProBike opened Nov. 11. It is the exclusive Tucson dealer for BMC, Ridley and Pinarello and also carries Focus, Scott and Orbea. The shop deals in road, tri and commuter; for mountain, it’s strictly 29ers.
“In southern Arizona, it’s so flat here that 26-inch bikes have just died. So no matter how much you want to sell them, it just isn’t an option anymore,” Gould said. BMC and Scott fill ProBike’s big-wheel niche for now, though Gould is also talking to Yeti.
A Cat 3 road racer, Gould brings 20 years of industry experience to ProBike, having been a shop manager as well as a sales rep for such companies as BMC and Jamis. He has also worked for bicycle touring company Backroads in Berkeley, California, and for Orbea in Little Rock, Arkansas. Schindler is an avid mountain biker and masters racer. Tim Carolan, a Cat 1 road racer, manages ProBike and performs its bike fittings.
Photo: Illuminated bike boxes and other bicycles on display at ProBike Tucson