BEAVERTON, OR (BRAIN) Jan 23, 06:55 MT — To serve the surging triathlon market, Portland, Oregon-area chain Bike Gallery has converted the upper floor of its Beaverton location into a separate store, Epic Tri Shop. A grand opening is set for this Wednesday evening.
“Triathlon has been growing in Portland for sure. There’s been a real plethora of events the past three or four years,” including the launch of half-Ironman and Olympic-distance races, Epic manager Gordie Cumming said. “We’ve seen a lot of growth in the number of people participating.”
The 1,000-square-foot store-within-a-store has its own register, a modern, boutique atmosphere and custom racks made by a local fabricator, said Cumming, who competes in Ironman and half-Ironman events, XTERRAs and other tris.
The shop will continue with Bike Gallery’s full complement of Trek tri bikes and has also added Felt’s tri line. Products and accessories include such brands as Garmin, Zipp, Blueseventy and Zoot Sports wetsuits, K Swiss running gear and XLAB hydration.
“We’re going to carry everything you need for triathlon, from the swimming to the running—and for the training too,” said Cumming.
Epic will have its own dedicated mechanic separate from Bike Gallery’s service team to accelerate service for triathletes during the busy summer season, helping to ensure they don’t miss training or weekend events. “We’re trying to speed the turnaround for people who really compete in triathlon on a regular basis, so they don’t have to be without their bike and have downtime,” Cumming said.
Fit service will continue on Bike Gallery’s lower floor, but the store’s fitter will receive tri-specific training at Fit Institute Slowtwitch (FIST).
Epic is also launching a club that will include clinics on running, riding and, once weather warms up, open-water swimming. Members will also get a training plan and advice from the store’s staff, a valuable benefit especially for entry-level athletes.
“When you join the club you get some coaching to get you off on the right foot to help you enjoy triathlon from the very beginning instead of going through that stumbling learning curve,” said Cumming, who had a similar club at a tri specialty store he previously owned in Corvalis.