Mountain Bikes Are Too Hot to Stock in Tahoe Truckee Ski Shop Finds Bike Sales Success

Mountain biking has taken off in the Tahoe region.

Start Haus exterior
The Start Haus has never seen bike sales like this summer.
© 2020 Jim Schaffner


Truckee, Calif.  (NCC News) – The biking business is seeing major growth this summer as COVID-19 has pushed people outdoors, according to a report by the AP. One ski shop in Truckee, Calif., Start Haus, has benefited greatly from the biking popularity, but now there are no bikes to sell.

After shutting down due to COVID-19, Jim Schaffner, owner of Start Haus, said he slowly brought his employees back as the Tahoe summer crowds flooded in.

“Some of the guys were gone for five weeks, and in some cases, some people we have not brought back,” said Schaffner.

Schaffner said that his business was able to survive the months of zero business from the small business loans they applied for. Those loans allowed him to put in new protocols and set his shop up for a successful summer.

“The SBA loan helped us kind of bridge, our way out of the ski business, you know, which in the spring, you still have bills that are due, and bring in some of the bike inventory that we didn’t have yet,” said Schaffner.

But nothing could prepare Start Haus for the demand they would have in mountain bike sales.

“We sold 246 bikes in a time period we normally would have sold between let’s say, April 1 and October 1,” said Schaffner.

While the spike in business has been great in many aspects for the local shop, they are now unable to re supply their bikes. This is because most bikes are made in China, where the Coronavirus has caused serious delays.

“Even if a frame builder could produce frames,” explained Schaffner. “They couldn’t get the parts to complete the bikes because the effect of COVID in China shut a lot of the factories down for almost a 60-day period.”

Start Haus is relying on repair sales to keep business open. However, that does not generate nearly as much as a new bike sale would.

Now with the summer season ending, the shop is planning to pour more effort into ski sales.

“Our shelves have never been this thick in July,” said Schaffner. “If you walked in the shop right now and saw the ski wall, it’s huge.”

While the upcoming ski season remains questionable, there are plenty of new skis to go around.

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