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DC-area retail chain Freshbikes shuts down

Published January 30, 2018

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (BRAIN) — Freshbikes, a Washington, D.C.-area retail chain, announced Monday that it was shutting down.

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"For the past 11 years, it has been our honor and our pleasure to serve you. Effective immediately, due to circumstances outside of our control, Freshbikes is closing permanently," the retailer announced on its website Monday. It made a similar announcement on its Facebook page.

According to the website, Spokes Etc, a five-store chain in Northern Virginia, has agreed to handle existing and future warranty claims by Freshbikes customers for most brands, while VeloConcepts, a bike fitting studio in Culpepper, Virginia, will handle Cervélo warranties for Freshbikes customers outside the DC Beltway.

Freshbikes at one point had as many as three locations. When it closed, it apparently had two: one in Arlington, Virginia, and one in Bethesda, Maryland. A location in Fairfax County closed last year, according to local news reports.

Freshbikes owner Scott McAhren replied to an email that BRAIN sent this week, saying that he would check with his lawyer before speaking to the press. As of Thursday, Feb. 1, McAhren hasn't got back in touch.

Spokes Etc. owner Jim Strang said McAhren contacted him recently and said he had been unable to return all his repair bikes to their owners before closing and asked Spokes Etc. to take the bikes until they can be picked up.

"We were more than happy to help of course," Strang said. He said Freshbikes brought about 30 bikes to his Alexandria store on Monday.

Strang said he didn't know specifics of why Freshbikes closed, but said the business was likely the victim of the downturn in high-end road bike sales in recent years. Freshbikes specialized in the high-end road market.

"They did an incredible job, but when you are focused on a narrow niche you have to be very wary of changes in the market," Strang said.

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