As Circuit approaches its 10 year anniversary, we’re reminded how gratifying it's been to have the shop. Getting different groups of riders together from all over New England, and witnessing kids who used to come in with their parents become adults and dedicated riders, are the reason we keep smiling every day.
We’re incredibly grateful that our customers support our family, and we will never cease to be amazed by that fact! We have a unique BMX community here that appreciates and supports one another.
Some people think that bike shops are an unnecessary middleman that only add to the cost of the product. I won't bore readers with the details of shop profit metrics, but I'll tell you that the small profit that is made is earned and goes back into the business. Think about how many BMX shops there are in the country and how long they last--there's a reason! Those who are out there doing it are doing it for the love of BMX.
We opened the shop as a way for us to focus on our passion: BMX. That's why we've always been exclusively a BMX shop. It is a reflection of our lives. What we stock are products from our friends’ companies whose riders we ride with, and our customers are largely people we ride with or see at the race track. When we advocate for public skateparks or to save the trails, it is because we ride those spots and we genuinely care about fostering the BMX community in our area.
There's been a lot of talk this month about bike companies selling direct to the consumer. I'm happy to hear some companies and riders stepping up to address the issue. Kudos to Mike Hinkens for writing this article posted on the FBM website.
Selling direct to the customer undermines the role of bike shops. It says to shop owners and employees: we don't need your expertise to chose the right product, we don't need your expertise in assembly, and screw everything else that bike shops do because I'm perfectly happy with the internet as my source of everything. It inspired me to create this list of why BMX bike shops are an asset to a riding community.
What Bike Shops Do
- Bicycle advocacy: advocate for a new park, or the upkeep of park, new riding spots, etc. Be a liaison between cities and riders.
- Repairs and maintenance: the internet will not fix your bike!
- Expert knowledge: where to find the rare part you need, when the frame you’ve been waiting for will be released, which component is compatible with your set-up, help with sizing, warranties.
- Support for companies who care: shops support American brands, American-made products and rider-owned brands by stocking those products and offering feedback to those companies.
- Curated selection: they do the work of shopping around and testing for you.
- Social scene: shops are a meet-up spot before or after sessions.
- Connect: a shop is a melting pot of riders of different disciplines. Riders who might normally not see each other make connections at a shop.
- Cultural Exchange: shops host parties, music shows, art shows, dvd releases and sell zines.