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Western Bikeworks absorbs Athletes Lounge to expand into triathlon market

Posted by on October 10th, 2016 at 10:27 am

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Six weeks after closing its doors for good, Portland’s only triathlon shop has found new life in an unexpected place: Another bike shop.

Early Saturday morning Western Bikeworks announced an agreement with Athletes Lounge. Western Bikeworks has locations in northwest Portland and Tigard and is one of the city’s largest bike shops. In addition to their two retail locations Western Bikeworks does a robust online business as one of four e-commerce bike brands owned by Portland-based Velotech Inc (they also run Cyclocross.com, UrbanCyclist.com and BikeTiresDirect.com).

According to a statement, Athletes Lounge owner Gary Wallesen and an undisclosed number of his former staff will now be employed by Western Bikeworks in order to, “expand the areas of expertise” into trisports. Wallesen has also been hired to spearhead a new e-commerce site at AthletesLounge.com in the coming months.

Here’s more from Western’s statement:

“In our effort to help people have great experiences on a bike, we are constantly re-evaluating our existing expertise and community involvement,” said Western Bikeworks General Manager Colin Ross. “This addition allows us to better serve triathletes by tapping into the wealth of knowledge that Gary and his crew bring along. We look forward to further expanding our growing customer base and community investment.”

“I am very excited to be part of the Western Bikeworks team of professionals. The addition of triathlon will be great news for the large and active multi-sport community,” added Gary Wallesen, former owner of Athletes Lounge.

Western Bikeworks will incorporate Wallesen’s expertise and extensive experience in this community to provide an excellent selection of both triathlon-specific bikes and swim products. He will also work closely with the existing management team, and 3 Dots Design, on a remodel of our flagship Portland store to provide a world-class shopping experience for multi-sport athletes, and anyone else who wants to have the best experience possible riding a bike.

As we reported in August Wallesen decided to close his shop due to a lack of business. He also blamed online shopping and local shops who offer deep discounts as part of what made it hard to turn a profit.

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— Jonathan Maus, (503) 706-8804 – jonathan@bikeportland.org

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9 Comments
  • Ted Timmons (Contributor) October 10, 2016 at 10:33 am

    Smart move. Though ironically Wallesen was blaming WBW’s pricing.

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  • Adam H.
    Adam H. October 10, 2016 at 10:38 am

    Well, that’s good news for people who are into triathloning.

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    • mran1984 October 10, 2016 at 11:05 am

      Well, that’s good news for people who still have a job too.

      Recommended Thumb up 26

  • canuck October 10, 2016 at 12:17 pm

    You can’t be that niche a retailer without a large web presence. Velotech’s expertise in this area will certainly make Athletes Lounge a national brand.

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    • Adam H.
      Adam H. October 10, 2016 at 12:20 pm

      They’d better change their logo first. I’m sensing an Amazon lawsuit…

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      • J_R October 10, 2016 at 6:22 pm

        So now you’re a trademark attorney?

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  • pea October 11, 2016 at 8:29 pm

    i’m really glad to hear Athlete’s Lounge isn’t totally gone! looking forward to this partnership… hope it works well for all.

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  • Fred Berggeist October 13, 2016 at 1:08 pm

    I think it’s hilarious that Gary all but named Velotech as the reason Athlete’s Lounge was closing in the first place. Then, they saved his butt by buying all of his inventory and brand. Really awesome. Also, glad Velotech laid off 20% of their workforce so that they could buy more underperforming brands. How’s Golfclubs.com working out for Lou Doctor? oh that’s right, terribly.

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