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Bike Gallery owner sells all six Portland stores to Trek Bicycle Corp

Posted by on January 26th, 2021 at 10:23 am

The owner of six Bike Gallery retail store locations in the Portland region has decided to sell the business to Trek Bicycle Corp.

Mike Olson bought the Bike Gallery chain from founder and owner Jay Graves in 2012. Olson announced the news in an email to employees Monday. A source shared the email with BikePortland. Below is an excerpt:

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“I was not looking to sell the stores, I believe it’s the best time ever to be in the bike business… I am excited to see what Trek can do with the company we built over the last 18 years. Although I know this is the right decision. It is made with mixed emotions… I know that this team, combined with tricks forward thinking plan and vast resources will be even better able to accomplish our mission of making people’s lives better with bikes… Let the new adventures begin.”

According to Olson all current Bike Gallery employees will be offered a job in the newly-branded stores.

In addition to the six Bike Gallery stores, Olson also owns a chain of six stores (five in San Diego, one in New Mexico) under the Trek Bicycle Superstore banner and Nytro, a triathlon-specific store in San Diego. All of them will be sold to Trek as part of this deal. Olson purchased the Trek stores in 2003 and has become the top Trek bicycle dealer in the country.

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This move comes at a time of upheaval in the bike retail business. A major bike boom from the Covid-19 pandemic and federal stimulus grants have given independent bike dealers the ability to pay off debts and re-assess their business plans. Bike Gallery received $714,738 from the Paycheck Protection Program.

The bike boom has also infused the larger players with heaps of cash from sales and investors. Trek is the biggest player in the retail market and is on a bit of spending spree of late. In December Trek made headlines for buying another major independently-owned, multi-store chain in Texas.

It remains to be seen what these changes will mean for Bike Gallery customers. Bike Gallery has always been a major Trek dealer, so expect even more bikes and products from Trek and Trek-owned brands like Electra and Bontrager.

In the announcement to employees yesterday, Olson said, “Times change and we need to change with them. I believe Trek has a great model to adapt to our changing times. They have a plan to get more people on bikes, create a great place for people to work and to make the world a better place.”

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org
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NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. BikePortland is an inclusive company with no tolerance for discrimination or harassment including expressions of racism, sexism, homophobia, or xenophobia. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Also, if you comment frequently, please consider holding your thoughts so that others can step forward. Thank you — Jonathan

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Kittens
Subscriber
Kittens

That’s too bad but probably not the end of the world. Bought my bike here many years ago and still my first call when service is in order. I can’t believe how much consolidation there has been in the bike market. I am surprised some giant venture capital backed startup hasn’t entered the direct-to-consumer model with no physical stores. I’d guess that’s coming.

Tad
Guest

The last time I was in there for service, I was asking about when I should consider my next purchase given the state of bicycle inventory in the world. They said that the 6 Bike Gallery stores were back-ordered to Trek by 10,000 bikes. And it was an even 10,000 because the real number was upwards of 12,000+ but Trek put a limit at 10,000 bikes.

So, I wonder if they just decided they’d simplify their supply chain & inventory issues.

Justin
Guest
Justin

I’m glad there’s a typo that called Trek “tricks” in the email.

Alain L.
Guest
Alain L.

I’ve not purchased a bike (or much else) from a BG store since the 90s, when Bridgestone was kicking around the US and BG was the local retailer. Maybe more recently I bought something from BG online, but there seems plenty of other options, locally and nationally. Obviously, BG caters to a particular market, just not one I have much contact with anymore. A number of people in town spent time working there. I know Mike Sylvester used to work there. And my old mechanic did as well. Curious what this means for the BG employees, other than some/all being ‘kept on’?

joan
Subscriber

This is particularly disappointing given Trek’s program to supply police departments with bicycles, which cops have used in brutal ways against protesters. I won’t be shopping at Bike Gallery anymore. At least one other manufacturer, Fuji, cancelled their contracts with police departments last summer. Trek has not. There’s some suggestion they’ve retaliated against their unpaid women advocates who raised concerns.

I don’t want Trek owning stores in our town, and I certainly won’t be shopping at Bike Gallery anymore. Trek has blood on their hands.

CDaniel
Guest
CDaniel

Bummer to hear because I like variety. Bought a high end Orbea from them over 10yrs ago and found out they dropped the brand several years later. In my recent visits I’ve noticed more and more Trek and Trek-branded gear. When talking to the staff they basically said Trek was what kept them afloat.

Matthew in PDX
Guest
Matthew in PDX

Meh. I bought my Trek bike from them five years ago and have had most of the servicing done there as well – there is a store near my work so it’s convenient to get the servicing done there. I guess it’s now a branded dealership, like a Mazda, Ford, Toyota dealership. I suspect we’ll see Giant, Cannondale and Specialized dealerships soon – they’re all built in Taiwan, possibly at the same factory (at least according to one former BG employee I spoke to).

RICHARD M
Guest
RICHARD M

Was Kelly Aicher still a part owner of the Bike Gallery? If so, where does he wind up with this sale?

GlowBoy
Guest
GlowBoy

Too bad, but I agree probably not a big deal. I have loyalty to BG, as they did lots of work for me before I learned to do things myself. And when I built my first bike on my own (a Surly) I bought it through BG.

Frank Selker
Guest
Frank Selker

Hats off to Olson – I think his team improved the shop significantly.

Hard to picture a mega-owner improving it, but I’ll be hoping.

Michael Mann
Guest
Michael Mann

I don’t go into BG much. When I do, pretty much all I see is Trek and Bontrager so I assumed they were already a Trek Superstore. Given the ownership history since Jay Graves sold it, it certainly appears that despite his comments to the contrary, Mike Olson was intentionally positioning himself to sell the company to Trek.

I bought my first mountain bike, an 87 Trek 850, from Bike Gallery. And my Lemond Poprad in 2007. But after what Trek did to Greg Lemond and his Trek-sponsored brand when he wouldn’t heed their request to shut up about accusing their golden boy Lance Armstrong of doping, I’ve been sour on Trek and Trek stores ever since. History vindicated Lemond, but I haven’t heard that Trek ever apologized.

John
Guest
John

Just want to say Congrats to Mike Olson! Even though the bike industry has seen a significant amount of growth, I don’t think we as an industry have seen just how bad the supply chain is going to get. Lack of raw materials is going to get much worse, and many suppliers have not prepared for this. To all consumers, just be patient, product is coming, but the delays we’re seeing is like nothing we’ve ever encountered in my 30 years in this industry. To all Bike Gallery and Trek San Diego employees, give yourselves all a pat on the back, and a job well done! I know Mike is super proud of the team/family he’s built over the years, and couldn’t be happier with his staff, which also tells me that this couldn’t have been an easy decision for Mike to make.

Lastly to the person commenting about Trek having blood on their hands, no company is perfect! Let’s all try and be better human beings, and ditch the hate! Put that energy into saying something positive, it’s not hard, I promise, and you’ll feel better about yourself!

Sincerely, to all staff of BG, and Trek San Diego, I wish the best for all of you!

Fourknees
Guest
Fourknees

I figured they were already were a private label Trek Store.
I always had good service there in downtown and Beaverton.
If the people there are still good they will do fine, but Portland can be unaccepting toward National names/brands.

Johnny Bye Carter
Subscriber
Johnny Bye Carter

Trek doesn’t make a bike I would buy. I only buy belt drive bikes.

Century Rider
Guest
Century Rider

I always frequented the service department at the Hollywood location for many years due to their mechanics’ knowledge and professionalism. After this announcement about the Trek buy out, I believe I will be taking my service needs to my local neighborhood bike shop, Abraham Fixes Bikes.

ZP
Guest
ZP

Hopefully they’ll still support CycleOregon.