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

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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Kittens
Kittens
1 year ago

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.

Ben G
Ben G
1 year ago
Reply to  Kittens

A direct to consumer brand with no retail like… Canyon?

Alex
Alex
1 year ago
Reply to  Kittens

There are so many direct-to-consumer brands out there now. Where to even start…

Tad
1 year ago

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
Justin
1 year ago

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

Alain L.
Alain L.
1 year ago

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
1 year ago

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.

SolarEclipse
SolarEclipse
1 year ago
Reply to  joan

Cancel culture at it’s finest.
Too bad I didn’t need a new bike as I’d likely go buy a Trek right now.

Alex
Alex
1 year ago
Reply to  SolarEclipse

So are you saying you agree with Kaepernick’s right to take a knee or are you with the right-wing people cancelling him?

Phil M
Phil M
1 year ago
Reply to  SolarEclipse

I’m going to burn my old Trek carbon frame in protest. It’s snowing a little after all.

Middle of the Road Guy
Middle of the Road Guy
1 year ago
Reply to  joan

They probably use Microsoft products and/or Intel chips. Giving up computers, too?

a
a
1 year ago

***Comment deleted because it served no purpose other than to be mean to someone – JM***

Christian Samuel
Christian Samuel
1 year ago
Reply to  a

Jonathan,
Aren’t you going to redact a’s comment? Seems mean. 🙂

Alex
Alex
1 year ago

It’s funny because Intel and MS have fallen off. They wouldn’t be near my first choice for computing these days. In fact, Apple (maybe you have heard of them), are going to start using their own chips and have given up on Intel.

Would love to see cops go the way of MS and Intel – present, but more of a choice to go with other options and less artificially influential in the market.

Phil M
Phil M
1 year ago
Reply to  Alex

The M1 powered Macs are proving to be pretty good performers too.

Todd
Todd
1 year ago
Reply to  Phil M

Apple just sold its largest purchase order ever to police departments across the US. Apple is completely in bed with law enforcement.

Alex
Alex
1 year ago
Reply to  Todd

Of course they are, I am sure they are essentially forced into compliance where they are not willing to tread. I just found it funny that someone was trying to claim that not using MS and/or intel chips is giving up on computers. There are many alternatives and they aren’t even leading in the space.

Maybe move to linux and ARM? Anyway, there are options besides “giving up on computers” and bending to the will of large corps.

Before someone jumps in and says it isn’t a viable solution for a lot of people because of how difficult it is, my 73 year old mother started using linux a few years back and prefers it over the windows/apple computers she had used in the past.

Christian Samuel
Christian Samuel
1 year ago
Reply to  joan

***Portion of comment deleted by moderator because it was mean and a direct insult. — JM**. I probably won’t be going to BG either because I like smaller operations but to say they have “blood on their hands” is silliness.

Police are unfortunately needed as we live in a world of imperfect people. You might want to check the new Portland nonprofit
https://www.facetofacepdx.org/
which is attempting to foster improved relationships between the police and community members.

Dan Cooper
Dan Cooper
1 year ago
Reply to  joan

Ummm. I’d rather have cops on bikes than in cars?

mran1984
1 year ago
Reply to  joan

Good luck in the future. There is no safe space and nobody will protect you from other humans. Those social workers better start adding skills. Blood? Insane! Trek will not miss your business at all.

Frank Selker
Frank Selker
1 year ago
Reply to  joan

I respect and share concerns about police, but it’s not like the police won’t be able to buy bikes from someone nor would we be better off if they couldn’t buy bikes. It’s a police and police union issue, not a bike issue. Fuji has been in bankruptcy, by the way.

Jack Botkin
Jack Botkin
1 year ago
Reply to  joan

Yeah, I’m never gonna buy another Trek. this sucks.

Bill Q
Bill Q
1 year ago
Reply to  joan

Joan, Bike Gallery has always sold Trek, so the fact that you won’t shop there now just means you were never a customer. If you were, you likely we not a good one judging by your “judgment”.

CDaniel
CDaniel
1 year ago

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.

Seth Alford
Seth Alford
1 year ago
Reply to  CDaniel

My thoughts too. But in my case it was a CoMotion Americano. I guess I’ll have to see what happens and whether they’ll still sell or service non-Trek bikes.

Matthew in PDX
Matthew in PDX
1 year ago

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).

Chris I
Chris I
1 year ago
Reply to  Matthew in PDX

I use the Hollywood store because I can walk there. It always felt like it was owned by Trek anyway. I don’t see much changing here.

GlowBoy
GlowBoy
1 year ago
Reply to  Matthew in PDX

More like a Tesla dealership. Auto dealers are generally not corporate owned, under federal law intended to prevent vertical monopolies.

RICHARD M
RICHARD M
1 year ago

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

Kelly Aicher
Kelly Aicher
1 year ago
Reply to  RICHARD M

Hello Richard, I sold my stake in the business recently, so I was not involved in this transaction.
-Kelly

William Nickelby
William Nickelby
1 year ago
Reply to  Kelly Aicher

Kelly… this is Bill from Bob’s back in the early 90’s. Just heard about this change and saw your response. Just wanted to say hello.

GlowBoy
GlowBoy
1 year ago

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
Frank Selker
1 year ago

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
Michael Mann
1 year ago

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
John
1 year ago

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!

Margaret
Margaret
26 days ago
Reply to  John

You ditch the hate AND your toxic positivity.

Trek was the negative one. They are the ones who fired their employees for speaking out.

Tell Trek to “ditch the hate” and stop intimidating/ firing people just for talking .

I worked at Trek and my male colleagues constantly made fun of or sexualized female customers. Of course women noticed and complained about it. When I notified management I got in trouble because I was not being positive.

Your insistence that everyone be positive prevents people from becoming better human beings because they ignore all the negative things they contribute to.

Your insistence on positivity leads to lots of negative situations

Fourknees
Fourknees
1 year ago

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
Johnny Bye Carter
1 year ago

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

djkenny
djkenny
1 year ago

I own a Trek Lync 5 Belt Drive, it is an excellent bike.

Century Rider
Century Rider
1 year ago

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
ZP
1 year ago

Hopefully they’ll still support CycleOregon.

Phil
1 year ago

I’m happy for Mike Olson, and Kelly Aicher, but to me this is a sad story. Trek seems to be becoming the Amazon of bikes. Buying up established bike shops, kicking all other brands out, and converting everything to Trek. I shopped here a lot in the past, but likely won’t be returning unless I just have to.