Freewheel Bike gains traction with growth

Monday, April 25, 2011

Peddling more than just bicycles, Freewheel Bike owner Kevin Ishaug is working to build Twin Cities ridership while expanding his bike shops' retail reach.

Professor Lorman Lundsten, chair of the marketing department at the University of St. Thomas' Opus College of Business, said Ishaug appears to be violating conventional marketing wisdom when he says Freewheel will thrive by bringing new people into bicycling.

"The saying in advertising is 'target the likely prospect, the people that use your product, not the people who don't,'" Lundsten said.

In practice, however, Ishaug is "doing the right stuff," by providing a high level of service and amenities such as the showers available at the Midtown Bike Center aimed at devoted bikers.

"He says he's going after the people who are hard to get, but he's actually going after the people who bike now, helping them have a better time at it, which would be what we would recommend," Lundsten said.

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Originally published: 04/25/2011, Star Tribune