Shop Reopens with New expanded service department, Same Great Bikes to Demo or Buy
By Lou Melini
In February of this year, Park City Bike Demos was sold to Rob DeMartini. You may have heard the name before, as Rob is the CEO of USA Cycling, the national governing body for the sport of cycling in the United States. Former owner Andre Shoumatoff is still involved in the business and this interview is with Andre.
Cycling West: Andre, I know that Park City Bike Demos (PCBD) is a little different than other bike shops. Tell the readers a little about the business model.
Andre Shoumatoff: Park City Bike Demos is a full-fledged bike shop, complete with accessories and service department, but we didn’t start that way. We originally started with two vans that were modified into rolling bike shops! That was about 5 years ago and back then we were having a blast mostly squatting in parking lots. Travelers would find us online, usually based around Park City’s unbelievable mountain and road riding, and find it to be a pleasant surprise to be able to try or buy a truly special bicycle made from some of the smaller precision bicycle manufacturers with cutting edge technology.
Not too much has changed other than today more than 90% of our customers choose to come to the store. About half of our customers are still tourists who often fly to Park City for vacation specifically because of our bikes. About a quarter come up from the Wasatch Front and we carry that with pride. And the rest are locals. We still pay homage to our roots via our logo-a delivery truck!
Our business model is different in that all of our bikes are demos and they are for sale all the time. Average usage before the bike sells is usually only 5 to 9 rental days, so if you’re in the market for a bike, it’s sort of like getting a killer deal on a car with 1500 miles on it. Because they sell so quickly, the demo bikes are always fresh and fairly new so they’re never beat up. It’s pretty much a win-win for everyone.
C.W.: Can you briefly describe how to demo a bike from your inventory?
A.S: Rentals are booked online, which you can do from your phone at Parkcitybikedemos.com. We have also been dabbling in some subscription-based rentals for people who don’t want to ever own a bike, but always be able to use something nice. Because we have this customer-centric approach, we thrive on making sure our customers have a good time, first and foremost.
C.W.: Why would I want to rent a bike?
A.S.: There are just so many variations now with precision bikes that the only way to really know what you should buy next is to try it first. Likewise, each bike has its own personality, separate from specs, wheel size, brakes, etc. Mountain bikes are our core business but we also sell cruisers, e-bikes, e-mountain bikes, gravel bikes, and our demo road bikes include the Argon 18 Gallum Pro (what Astana rides) with Ultegra Di2 shifting.
For those in the market to buy, rental credits accrue up to $600 (which is usually about 6 rental days for a top-tier bike) and is good for up to 6 months, and it’s transferable to a buddy if you decide to buy a bike elsewhere. If you don’t buy a bike, no big deal. Most people who are looking to buy a bike will demo just 2 or 3 days. We really make it a point to try to listen to what our customers want and get them on the right bike, the first time.
We’re also really focused on the demo experience, whereas most other shops make most of their profits in service and accessories.
Because you can rent up to 6 days, and swap out bikes as you see fit, our model lets people try at their own pace on their terms, take their time, and usually get a better deal as the bike is slightly used.
C.W.: If someone lived in Salt Lake County, what would you say to him or her to convince that person to come to PCBD?
A.S.: Most of us live in SLC and commute up ourselves – it’s only 25 minutes or so. Once it gets hot, the weather in Park City is great. I’m not sure that everyone knows that Park City has the biggest and highest rated trail system, according to IMBA. Everything is right out of our door within as little as a couple hundred yards. The road riding is also epic as there are gorgeous paved paths that circle the city for recreational riders, including one 15 feet from our door.
C.W.: Can customers come to the shop for service on their bikes just like any retail bike shop or is your service shop strictly for the rentals and bikes you sell?
A.S.: Yes, we have a full service shop for anyone that needs work done on his or her bike. We have online booking for service, so you’ll know exactly when your bike will be worked on and when it will be done. The current backlog is only 1 day. Our shop manager has over 15 years of shop experience and he and his staff do a great job.
C.W.: What bikes are you currently carrying that one may rent? Can one swap out a suspension fork to try out?
A.S.: We are the top dealer in Utah for Devinci and Argon 18 and previously the top dealer of Felt bikes. We just picked up Ibis and have a massive inventory of all of their bikes. We have an extensive set of Trust forks that are either on Ibis Ripley 29ers, or we’ll install it on your bike for a demo day at only $49. We test ride nearly every bike we carry before we buy them and put tons of thought into our buying, as if we were purchasing each bike ourselves as a customer.
C.W.: Andre, it was great to meet you at the grand opening of Park City Bike Demos. Will there be other events?
A.S.: Great to meet you too! Yes, we love events and are expecting a fun and busy summer. This year’s lineup isn’t 100% but our shop is now the national headquarters for Summit Bike Club, which is a national ranked developmental MTB race program.
First, we’re expecting at least one party during Tour of Utah as we’ve done in the past usually with a pro team. We’re also expecting to have several speaking events with local non-profits. And finally we also have daily shuttles up to the Crest trail with Fox N Rox shuttles and plan to do a bunch of group rides and/or taco nights around this. Stay tuned to Cycling West, or check our website or Facebook for more info.
C.W.: Andre, Remind me of your address, phone number and hours of operation.
A.S.: Don’t forget we deliver as well! The information is on the website Parkcitybikedemos.com
Park City Bike Demos
1500 Kearns Blvd
Park City UT 84060
(855) 432-BIKE (toll free)
(435) 659-3991 (local)
Open 9 AM-6 PM; 7 days a week, with longer hours in the summer or delivery by appointment.
C.W.: Thanks Andre. Once the valley dries out a little I am looking forward to taking the bus up to Park City to rent a bike.