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Specialized plans Bentonville Experience Center, buys Fayetteville store

Published June 10, 2022

BENTONVILLE, Ark. (BRAIN) — Specialized plans to open its third Experience Center in the U.S. this fall, in this bike-hub city; the company also has acquired a store in nearby Fayetteville called The Bike Route.

Specialized currently has Experience Center locations in Boulder, Colorado, and Santa Cruz, California. The centers offer bike demos and rentals but don’t sell bikes. 

Bentonville has been building out miles of bike trails in recent years thanks to the efforts of the Walton family, the owners of Bentonville-based Walmart. Bentonville also has hosted many major cycling events, including an IMBA World Summit and this fall's PeopleForBikes Bicycle Leadership Conference. 

The Bentonville Specialized Experience Center will be located in a new six-story building downtown called Ledger, which features external bike ramps allowing riders to pedal all the way to the top floor. 

The ramps won’t be necessary to reach the Experience Center, however. According to, a local business news site, Specialized has leased 4,200 square feet on the first floor. Specialized is the second confirmed tenant for the new building. 

The Ledger has other bike-friendly amenities, including secure bike storage, e-bike charging stations, showers for bike commuters and a lounge with lockers, water bottle stations, and changing rooms. 

A press release from the Ledger’s developer said the center will open in October and will offer “access to high-performance bikes, gear, and dedicated staff so cyclists can have the best experience in one of the top riding destinations in the world.”

Specialized’s manager of retail services Jennifer Gibbons is quoted in the press release describing the location. “We’ve designed the Bentonville space as a comfortable place to connect before and after your time on the trails. Take a bike out for an incredible ride, then come back and relax with friends, study the map wall to plan your next adventure, or hang out and chat with our local experts. You can even take a post-ride shower and enjoy a coffee,” Gibbons said. 

Sam Benedict, the company’s mountain bike category leader, is also quoted in the release.

“While cycling is what attracted us to Bentonville, it’s the welcoming, passionate people that made us believe we had to be there permanently,” Benedict said.  “The trail network is unlike anything I’ve seen before while the community cares deeply about intertwining riding with art, music, education, food, and dynamic outdoor life that holds its arms wide open to all people.

“We are honored to support and join that community. Ledger and its team are truly first-class and creating an overall professional and welcoming environment that aligns with our beliefs in pedaling the planet forward. We can’t wait to welcome everyone.

Meanwhile, an employee at The Bike Route confirmed to BRAIN that Specialized has acquired the store, which opened in 2010. reported the sale this week, citing local sources. The store currently carries Specialized and Yeti bikes. 

The Ledger building features external bike ramps up to the sixth floor.

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