You are here

What’s either driving or holding back your shop?

Published February 12, 2020

SCHAUMBURG, Ill. (BRAIN) — Chicago is both the middle stop and the birthplace of CABDA's West-Midwest-East three-show tour.

The Chicago Area Bicycle Dealers Association started a nonprofit regional trade show in the mid-'70s, which has morphed into the industry's dominant trade event series. 

We talked to retailers about their opportunities and concerns as the 2020 season approaches. 

The show ends Thursday.




Jeff Milbauer. Photo: Ray KeenerJeff Milbauer

Valley Bike and Ski

Apple Valley, Minn.

Two things are holding us back. One, the margins in the industry make it very difficult to be profitable. Bike margins have gotten too low. Second, it's difficult to find quality employees that can do the job for us. If we had stronger margins, we could hire better people.



Sam Joslin. Photo: Ray KeenerSam Joslin

Bushwhacker LTD

Peoria, Ill.

Our new store location is driving business for us. There's a paved bike trail right next to it, which   is great for sending people out on test rides. Plus we're doing great with neighborhood and urban bikes like the Specialized Roll; they're super-easy to sell.

 Kim Mayes

H.E.H. Human Electric Hybrids

Ypsilanti, Mich.

Kim Mayes and James Summers. Photo: Ray KeenerInfrastructure issues in Ann Arbor are keeping families from buying cargo bikes and commuting with their kids. It's getting better, but people still don't feel safe.

James Summers

H.E.H. Human Electric Hybrids

Ypsilanti, Mich.

What's driving e-bike sales is price points are beginning to come down. Now people can come in at a price point where they feel comfortable.


Laura Harris. Photo: Ray KeenerLaura Harris

Cross Country Cycle

Holland, Mich.

What's driving our business right now is customer service, personability, community and having exceptional expertise. What's holding us back is that the entry price just to get into the sport is going higher and higher. It's intimidating to people. They run away from us and go to the internet.



Lance Cadenhead. Photo: Ray KeenerLance Cadenhead

Roberts Cycle Company


Competition is hurting us. Trying to deal with the onslaught of internet sales and big-box stores. What's working for us to push back is our personal service. We give people the attention they want that they can't get from a website. We're also doing a lot to get more kids involved.



Steve Lindenau. Photo: Ray KeenerSteve Lindenau

Crazy Lenny's Electric Bikes

Madison, Wis.

People are becoming more e-curious. They're seeing e-bikes on the news, in the paper, and it's generating a lot of store visits. Challenges would be helping people to understand that this is a legitimate form of exercise and transportation for just about everybody.

Jeff Milbauer of Valley Bike and Ski.
Topics associated with this article: CABDA

Join the Conversation