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Roll: Bicycle Company launches online custom bike program

Published August 9, 2016

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Retailer Stuart Hunter, owner of four Roll: Bicycle Company locations, is making the move to online retail with his new custom bike program. The bike model is called the 1:Bike, and was recently launched on Kickstarter. With two weeks left in the crowdfunding campaign, Hunter said the project is more than 70 percent funded.

Hunter, who opened the first Roll: Bicycle Company store in Columbus, Ohio, in 2005, said that selling a custom bike model online is an idea he has kicked around for a decade.

“It’s always been on the back burner, but the past couple of years we’ve gotten serious about it,” he said. “It’s a way to create a unique customer experience by delivering people a bike personalized to order, however and whenever they want it.”

The bikes, which will start at $700, will be made to order and sold online and in his brick-and-mortar locations. Customers will choose the style (sport, city or adventure), one of six frame colors, one of two cockpit colors and optional accessories. In order to ensure a proper fit, customers will also provide three body measurements.

“We like to say the bike will be sourced globally and built locally,” he said. “We will build the frames to order here in Columbus within 48 hours of the customer placing the order online. It’s not for everyone, but we know there’s a customer out there that we’re not reaching — that person who isn’t comfortable going into a bike shop.”

Hunter said he will operate the bike business separately from his retail shops in Columbus and Chicago, and that Roll would retain its current bicycle lines, including Giant, Felt, Electra, Santa Cruz and Cervélo.

“It’s complementary to our lines rather than competitive,” he said. “I think people are ready for this model, and we’ve had a lot of positive reaction from our suppliers who see it as a way to reach a new customer.”

The Kickstarter campaign runs until Aug. 21.

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