Velofix | BCBusiness
Velofix Mobile Premium Pro Bike Shop.
With an Olympian now on board, Velofix goes for gold in one of North America's fastest-growing sports
Four-time Olympian and Olympic Gold Medal Triathlete Simon Whitfield has announced his strategic partnership and investment in Velofix, B.C.’s first premium, self-contained, mobile professional bike shop.
“Velofix is an innovative and exciting change for the bike industry,” Whitfield said in a press statement.
Whitfield joins Velofix co-founders Boris Martin (World Cup cyclist, three-time Canadian national track champion and certified pro bike mechanic through Colorado’s Barnett Bicycle Institute), Chris Guillemet (marathon runner and Ironman) and Davide Xausa (former Olympic and World Cup soccer player).
Velofix services a growing need in the emerging North American cycling market, says Martin. Often referred to as “the new golf,” the sport/activity’s predicted growth projection is enormous, and the issue with traditional bricks-and-mortar shops, he says, is that when a bike goes in for a service it “disappears down a rabbit hole” for a while.
“Whether you pay $3,000 or $12,000 for your bike, it’s your baby. With Velofix the experience stays intimate. You can stay in the shop with us, can read a magazine or have a coffee and use the wireless to do work, or you can just watch and learn,” Martin says.
Cycling's growth is a trend seen across the country. Last year, Cycling Canada told the Globe and Mail that its number of licensed riders—10,000 competitive and 24,000 recreational—has been growing at about 10 per cent annually. The Bicycle Trade Association of Canada said that sales by independent retailers jumped 21 per cent from 2009 to 2010, climbing to $250 million.
With a workshop that’s 2.3 metres tall and almost 5 metres long, the Velofix red and black custom Mercedes Sprinter van is hard to miss when it pulls up, surprisingly silently, outside offices and homes. Corporate bookings—from Lululemon and HootSuite to engineering offices, recently—come with a lunch-and-learn and Q&A sessions. Booking is done through a proprietary, fully integrated online booking system that allows customers to lock in their service time from any mobile device.
There is no call-out fee or gas charge, and service pricing is in line with any traditional shop. Velofix’s hours, however, are more flexible than traditional shops.
“I had three customers serviced by 9:30 this morning—half an hour before most service shops even opened,” says Martin, adding that the mobile shop’s onsite service success is in the “high 90s percentile.”