Bicycle Dealers Group Makes Room for Mobile Repair Shops
The National Bicycle Dealers Association is launching a new membership arm that aims to leverage the growing interest in mobile-only operators: repair teams that don’t have a physical store but do have a growing amount of interest.
A rising interest in mobile bike repair services is leading a major association focused on the space to make room for them with a new member tier.
The National Bicycle Dealers Association announced this week that it would extend its membership to mobile-only operators, a growing sector in the industry that didn’t fit within the traditional definition of the association, in part because they often work without brick and mortar.
The interest in the space has already led mobile operators to organize themselves previously, to the point where they attempted to form a trade group earlier this year after finding success with a fledgling Facebook group. Ultimately, though, the members of the group decided to work with an existing association, the Professional Bicycle Mechanics Association.
NBDA, meanwhile, is ready to make room for the sector, which is driving much startup interest at the moment. In comments to Bicycle Retailer, NBDA Chair Brandee Lepak made it clear that the mobile businesses offer something new.
“The NBDA works to represent the best in bicycle retail, and including the best in mobile operators is a natural extension of that goal,” Lepak told the outlet. “Although mobile operators have a lower overhead than many of our traditional brick-and-mortar storefront operators, they also have a larger footprint, which can translate well to underserved retail markets such as rural communities.”
Per the publication, the association will offer the companies membership for $125 per mobile shop, along with $50 for each additional mobile vehicle. (That compares with $195 annually for retailers with a physical store.) The mobile businesses will receive access to NBDA’s private community, as well as discounts on courses from the Barnett Bicycle Institute, an educational facility operated by the association.
The inside of a van operated by VeloFix, a franchised mobile bike shop. (via VeloFix's Facebook page)