505 Cycles is new incarnation of older store
FARMINGTON — There’s a new bicycle store on East Main Street — well, sort-of. 505 Cycles, previously known as Cottonwood Cycles, has opened at a new location.
Like its predecessor, the store offers a full inventory of bicycles, including those for kids and toddlers, BMX, race, street and mountain bikes, as well as “fat” bikes used for riding in sand and snow. A full array of bicycle accessories including seats, pumps, bike racks are on offer, and with two certified mechanics on location, 505 Cycles offers full-service bike repair.
And a full line of Innova brand golf discs are on display for those who play the increasingly popular sport of disc golfing.
Owner Mike Wulfert said “pedaling” bicycles was never one of his life’s goals, but that he just sort-of stumbled on the opportunity.
“I went in (to Cottonwood Cycles) to get my bike fixed, and came out owning a business,” said Wulfert, who purchased the store along with his wife, Michelle and opened it on Sept. 1. The couple are not newcomers to business ownership, but this particular type of business is definitely a fresh experience for them.
“The business side is easy for me because for years I owned a car lot,” said Wulfert. “The challenge has been learning about bikes. But I have three great employees who I depend on for a lot of that (expertise).”
Wulfert said the building Cottonwood Cycles used to be in had already been sold at the time he purchased the business, so he relocated the store to a building at 4301 E. Main, almost directly across the street.
“Mattress Outlet was there, but they have now moved into the former Cottonwood Cycles building, so we basically just switched buildings,” he said.
In addition to the new location, the couple decided to re-name the business to give it a fresh start, and have also chosen to take some innovative steps in the way the store does business. In addition to new bike sales, 505 Cycles also offers bike rentals, trade-ins and layaway options. The store also buys and sells used bikes — options that were not offered by the previous store.
“We wanted to hold on to the current customer base, but also wanted to attract new customers, so we’re trying some new things,” said Wulfert.
Starting in the spring, the store will be organizing group bike rides and bike races, but Wulfert has already incorporated some new ideas to draw in customers, such as his “Wreck of the Summer” event, which was a competition involving bike riders sending in videos of their (mostly jump-related) bike wrecks for a chance to win $100.
“We also want to educate people about bike safety,” said Wulfert. “A lot of people don’t wear helmets, and that’s so dangerous.”
Mike Barnhart was the Service Manager for Cottonwood Cycles for the past several years and is now helping manage the new store.
“(Wulfert) told me, ‘I’ll buy the store if you’ll come help me so I did,” Barnhart said.
Barnhart said the bike business usually slows down significantly in October after the Road Apple Rally, but he hasn't seen this trend at the new location.
“(It was) the busiest October we’ve seen in a long time,” said Barnhart. “We’re doing a lot of sales, and a lot of repairs.”
In addition to the unseasonably warm weather helping with sales, Barnhart speculates that the new location might be more conducive to bike browsers, and the large selection of bicycles displayed outside under the front porch might also be a draw.
“I think it also just looks like a brand new bike shop, so people want to come in and see what’s here,” he said.
Wulfert said that although he’s having to scramble to get up to speed on the bike industry, he and his family have enjoyed the process of exploring this new business frontier.
“We’ve just had so much fun doing this, we’re enjoying getting to know the customers, and our kids are having fun. And that’s why this store was purchased, solely for the fun of it,” he said.
Leigh Black Irvin is the business editor for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4621.