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Specialized buys BikeSource locations in three states

Published November 15, 2021

MORGAN HILL, Calif. (BRAIN) — Specialized Bicycle Components announced Monday it has acquired the BikeSource retail chain, which has stores in Colorado, Ohio, and North Carolina. 

The company said the stores will retain the BikeSource name and current employees. Founder Marc Eisenberg said he will continue with the company.

Eisenberg, who founded the first BikeSource in 1985 in Columbus, Ohio, said as the industry emerges from the pandemic-driven sales surge, he could see the writing on the wall.

"While bicycle retail, like all other retail, has been steadily evolving, COVID really accelerated things," he said. "Ultimately, I see the current bicycle retail model as one that has been failing for quite some time, but within a disciplined business, was sustainable. After getting over the euphoria of success we had during the pandemic, I realized two things: First was that we were at the top of our game and that is always the best time to get out. Secondly, I realized that the model is broken and that the 'new normal' would be far more challenging if not perilous. We need to have better resources at all levels which are not affordable for small independent operators."

BikeSource has had a long relationship with Specialized and Eisenberg said the decision to sell to the company was easy.

"I have had other opportunities to sell the company to other bike chains or to the rich hobbyists wanting a slice of the bike shop dream, but none made sense for me, my employees, or my customers. I see where the industry is going and Specialized is going to have a big dog in the fight," he said.

Eisenberg expanded from the Ohio location to add stores in the Denver, Charlotte, and Kansas City area. He sold two locations near Kansas City to Erik's Bike Shop in 2016. Currently BikeSource has four locations in the Denver area, one store in Columbus and one in Charlotte.

"I also see 'scaling' as the key to success in the bicycle business," he said. "We need to have better resources at all levels which are not affordable for small independent operators." 

Specialized has added several new locations recently, while Trek continues to buy up stores at an even faster rate. Last month, for example, Trek acquired the BikeBarn chain, with eight locations in the Houston, Texas, area. Over the summer Trek also acquired Big Ring Cycles in Golden, Colorado, and Golden Bear Bikes in Broomfield, Colorado. 

Pon Holdings, the parent of Cervélo, Santa Cruz, and other bike brands, also recently acquired the Mike's Bikes chain in California's Bay Area. 

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