Opposites attract. That saying that may ring true for some successful relationships but not in the case of Stuart Hunter and Clark Butcher. Hunter, the founder of roll: Bicycle Company and Butcher, the founder of Victory Bicycle Studio are committed to the same idea of what it means to be a bicycle rider. Both have had life changing experiences through riding bikes that they have dedicated much of their professional lives to bringing those life changing experiences to others. Both are entirely committed to finding the perfect bike for each of their customers and perfectly fitting the bike individually to each customer. Both are innovators in the bicycle retail industry and setting the bar for other bicycle retailers. The partnership between Victory and roll: is just beginning, Victory started selling roll:’s bike at the beginning of June. Following is a conversation between Stuart and Clark on the partnership so far.
Stuart: Tell us a little bit about Victory Bicycle Studio, and your vision?
Clark: Since we opened in 2010, Victory Bicycle Studio has grown from a part-time project for its me, to being recognized as a national leader in bicycle retail. We talk about an uncompromising commitment to service and attention to detail that have become the Victory standard. Our success has been achieved in my mind, through assembling a team of individuals that uniquely combine experience and passion for all things cycling.
Stuart: If you had to describe Victory Bicycle Studio and its mission to someone who’d never visited the store and met you, what would you say?
Clark: I want to get you hooked. I want you to have the same addiction to this sport as me. By slowing the process down and ensuring proper fit and comfort on the bike, I can remove most all discrepancies on the front-end. We are 100% committed to finding the right bike for each individual person that walks through our door.
Stuart: Victory Bicycle Studio jumped on board as our very first Partner, tell us why?
Clark: I saw the bikes live and instantly became connected. The simplicity, the style, and the quality. SRAM 1X components are easy to service, reliable, and easy for the rider to use and understand. The upright fit and focus on comfort is spot-on. You combine that practicality, and give it a retro Porsche paint job, and it’s simply awesome. When it’s something you personally dig, it's easy to sell.
Stuart: What’s the reaction been from customers to the roll: bikes?
Clark: Customers absolutely love the look. It’s not a geriatric looking hybrid, and it's not a "cool kid" fixie. It's somewhere in between. Its hip, it’s modern, and it’s current. What we also see is great communication, bikes that are easy to build, and ship fast. This combination makes for such a great experience for people.
Stuart: Describe the biking community and facilities of Memphis?
Clark: The community has really grown. When I began cycling at the age of 9 years old, a big group ride had 25-30 riders, and that was on a perfect weather spring day. Now, there are likely 3-4 group rides each day throughout the week with as many as 50 riders. The city is constantly adding bike lanes, implementing bike share programs, better signage, etc. Memphis is definitely not leading the way, but is absolutely doing a great job to keep up and improve its "bicycle friendliness." I am personally proud to say I am a Memphis cyclist.
Stuart: What’s your own connection to riding bikes?
Clark: I have always loved endurance sports, from my first half marathon when I was 11 to my first triathlon at 14. Through triathlons I found cycling was my forte and began road racing. After high school I was racing full time and fell in love with the world of elite bicycle racing. I went on to study exercise science at Fort Lewis College and then back to racing. I still race professionally today. I love working with all types of people who share a love of bicycling with me.
You can see the complete line of roll: Bikes at Victory. Note that customers that live in TN now also have the option to shop online at rollbicycles.com and select Victory as a pick up location in the checkout, and pick up their bikes at the Victory Studio, fully assembled and ready to go.