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Pedego Seattle is closing August 31

Photo of Mike Nelson in a bike shop with text: End of Season Sale. 30% off entire store.
From Pedego Seattle via Instagram.

Folks, support your local bike shops. These are rough times for a lot of them, and competition from online direct-to-customer companies is not slowing down. Sure, you might be able to save some bucks buying online, but that website won’t be there to help you fix it on your way to work or wherever. Supporting your local bike shop is supporting vital bike infrastructure. The experts behind the workbench stocked with all the right tools, they can’t be replaced by any online service.

The locally-owned Pedego Seattle electric bike shop in Ballard will close August 31, the company announced Monday. In a statement, the company said owner Mike Nelson “attributed the store’s closing to personal hardship as well as economic factors driving the ebike industry toward a commodity model, where high-touch white-glove service and the best warranty in the industry matter less than low prices.” Nelson’s first shop opened in Redmond in 2017, and he opened the Ballard location the next year. The Redmond shop was shuttered in 2022. Seattle Bike Blog wishes Nelson and all the Pedego staff the best. The shop’s sale is already on, so head down to their location on Market Street near 26th Ave NW to say goodbye and pick up some deals.

Mainstream bike shops were slow to pick up on the e-bike trend, though they are catching up. But them being slow created lots of space for non-traditional bike sales models, including direct-to-customer discount companies that undercut competitors in part by bypassing the standard retail markup at a local shop. The problem is that bikes require maintenance, and those local shops are lifelines for bike owners. Shops aren’t grifting when they earn money on a sale, they are funding their essential work. And a shop’s warranty, including their warranty on service, is absolutely worth any extra cost in my opinion.

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While I am not familiar with the intricacies of running a Pedego business specifically, bike shops across the nation are facing tough times right now. The bike boom during the early years of the pandemic emptied out entire sales floors and distribution warehouses. But current economic hardships, such as rising inflation (or perhaps greedflation), have reduced people’s spending on non-essentials. I know, I know, a bicycle is essential, but apparently not everyone sees them that way. The trend is also global, not limited to just Seattle or even the United States.

The good news for some of you reading this is that there is a very good chance you can find a great deal on a bike right now. After a few years of difficult shortages, many shops and distributors built up inventory just as demand started to wane. So now may be a great time to buy that bike or spring for that upgrade you’ve been eyeing but put off because it was too hard to find or because prices were too high. Swing by your local bike shops and see what’s there and what’s on sale.

We are very lucky in Seattle to have so many great bike shops, but don’t take them for granted.

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16 responses to “Pedego Seattle is closing August 31”

  1. Daigoro Toyama

    Ride Bicycles on Roosevelt is my go-to bike shop (or “LBS”). It is a small shop but has excellent staff who provide quality service for reasonable fees. One thing that makes Ride Bicycles stand out is that they lets me bring my own parts. They will gladly install them and just charge me labour. No questions asked. That said, depending on what you need, they often sell things as cheap as online retailers, or sometime even cheaper, so I buy parts from them as much as I can, too. Win-win.

  2. E

    Damn- that’s unfortunate! Great people and a perfect location. Thank you for contribution Mike!

    I will mention that the price delta between retail and online is more than a few bucks. The average at G&O Cyclery for instance is probably 3x that of Pedego and 5x some of the DTC brands. As domestic brands like Specialized mature though we’ll hopefully see a nice sweetspot develop.

    Pedego was also my #1 place for ebike rentals. The only other place I know of that does ebike rentals is Electric & Folding Bikes Northwest which rented me a pretty rickety ride with a spotty battery. Granted they were cool about giving us a big discount but would still love another option (or maybe they’ve updated their rental fleet). Any recommendations?

    1. Dirt McGirt

      Seattle Electric Bike in Green Lake, Bothell and Bellingham has daily and half day rentals right now.

    2. Dre

      Electric & Folding Bikes Northwest is great! We have rented bikes from DJ and purchased from him. He has an all new fleet and some great deals on Orbeas.

    3. Dre

      They do have new rental bikes available now :)

  3. Dan

    Anybody have a recommendation for a good shop that does e-bike maintenance in north seattle? Our local shop Free Range Cycles only works on non-ebikes. Anything north of the cut would be useful to know about!

    1. Kevin B.

      JRA Bikes on 85th and 11th has been my go-to with my electric bike for years. They may charge a premium “heavy” or “e-bike” charge on service, but it’s always worth it for me. I put 6K a year on mine commuting and more and they always do a great job of keeping it safe and tuned.

    2. Anne

      I always loved mendbicycles in NE (corner of NE 75th street and 35th AVE NE). They do also electric bikes. Even replaced a motor once for me. Caveat as probably with most shops: depending on your brand they will have knowledge about it or not.

      Moved to Beacon Hill and haven’t found a new local shop yet.

    3. Daigoro Toyama

      G&O Family Cyclery is our LBS for the Tern HSD my wife and I share. They may only work on certai brands, such as Tern and Riese & Müller, but it’s worth asking if you have an e-bike from other brands.

      1. Dan

        Thanks for these suggestions! My hope is to get a riese & muller load 60 in a year or two and then go to G&O in the future, but right now I just have a budget Lectric bike. I’ll ask if they will do repairs for it!

    4. Big Jim

      Seattle Electric Bike in Green Lake!

  4. Tim

    DTC isn’t the only thing killing local retail, here is School of Bike owner giving another reason earlier this year: https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/in-seattle-the-cops-keep-leaving-while-the-backup-never-comes/
    Note he announced a closing sale last week.

    Meanwhile, Good Weather just expanded:

    1. Jason H Plintz

      This is probably 1/100th of the reason local bike shops close.

      Blaming ALL the problems in Seattle on crime and poverty is getting exhausting.

      Biggest reasons shops are closing right now:

      1.) total glut of inventory since once mask mandates went away and bars opened up, a large amount of those “new covid-cyclists” stopped riding altogether and went back to crossfit

      2.) lack of demand (see above or just look at what’s happened to Peloton the exercise bike company)

      3.) terrible margins and companies forcing product down dealers throats

      4.) bike companies that for decades were only sold through brick and mortar stores throwing said brick and mortars under the bus by offering a “direct to consumer” or “click and collect” purchase method, which helps further erode the chance of ever building a meaningful relationship between bike shop/rider and perpetuates the “I don’t need a bike shop” mentality

      5.) ever-increasing commercial rents and landlords who care more about making money than having a long-term renter who they can build a relationship with

      6.) bike shops that weren’t able to adapt to handling e-bikes (whether it’s servicing the good ones out there or realizing that the ones that are fire hazards are time toilets and turning them away)

  5. Big Jim

    Pedego sells brightly colored rad power bikes for way too much. I’m kinda surprised they lasted that long with that business model.

    Hub motors and high margins are the kiss of death in this town.

  6. Dre

    Electric & Folding Bikes Northwest is great! We have rented bikes from DJ and purchased from him. He has an all new fleet and some great deals on Orbeas.

  7. Andrew

    The reporter forgot to mention that Pedego Bike shop was cleaned out by organized thieves in a early morning caper this summer.

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