A big development in the Canadian bike industry. Will it be a game-changer? MEC began offering repairs and servicing earlier this year. Now they will begin selling their own line of bikes. Add a comment and tell us your thoughts. Official MEC release below.
Official Release from MEC
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Outdoor retailer brings MEC bikes to co-op members
MEC bikes defined by ‘quality, value and performance’
Vancouver – Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC) today unveiled its inaugural line of bicycles, online at www.mec.ca/bikes. The move reflects the co-op’s ongoing efforts to respond to its members’ needs and signals another step by the outdoor retailer to encourage Canadians to make cycling an integral part of their lives.
“Bicycles have a timeless appeal that we believe MEC bikes will honour and reinforce,” said CEO David Labistour. “Quality, value and performance are hallmarks of MEC-brand products, and these same traits define MEC bikes. We are confident that our members will be very satisfied with MEC bikes.”
With eleven styles in four categories – mountain, road, specialty and urban – MEC-brand bikes will appeal to all manner of riders. Each style is available in a unisex frame; three are also available in frames that are specifically designed for women.
The MEC bike line consists of two hard-tail mountain bikes, three road bikes and five urban styles. A folding specialty bike rounds out the line, which will also see a kids’ bike introduced in early 2010.
MEC bikes were designed in-house by seasoned Canadian bicycle designer, MEC product manager Tim McDermott. The line has a strong urban focus that aims to provide bike commuters and other city cyclists with a great riding experience, ease of use and low maintenance.
“The MEC bike line is geared to what our customers want,” said McDermott. “A majority of MEC members stated a preference for urban bikes, and we worked hard to push the bounds of what urban bikes can be.”
The Shadowlands model illustrates the urban focus. Featuring a lightweight aluminum frame, 27 gear options and hydraulic disk brakes, the Shadowlands makes ascending and descending even steep city streets easy. The bold, bright finish and unique graphic illustrations sets it apart from other bikes.
MEC’s entry into bike sales and repairs is a logical extension of the outdoor retailer’s 38-year history of supporting its members’ pursuit of self-propelled outdoor recreation. It is also part of the co-op’s long-term goal to get more Canadians, and youth especially, active in outdoor recreation.
“Our objective is to see more Canadians riding bikes – any bikes – and we welcome opportunities to work with the cycling industry and community partners to make that happen,” said CEO Labistour.
MEC’s community grants program has provided more than $450,000 to date in support of cycling advocacy and infrastructure projects across Canada.
MEC bikes are presently being sold at select Mountain Equipment Co-op stores, in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and Winnipeg as well as the co-op’s new Longueuil, QC store. MEC’s Burlington, ON and Montreal (Marche Central) stores will also be selling bikes, beginning in February 2010.
Each of these stores has a full-service repair shop staffed with at least one certified bike mechanic. The in-store bike shops and a rigorous cycling training program for MEC store employees are fundamental elements in supporting members’ purchases of MEC bikes.
MEC’s reputation for making products that last is evident in the quality parts that were chosen to complement name-brand components. MEC bikes are equipped with parts that should limit maintenance to only normal wear and tear.
Detailed product information – including a complete list of specifications, dynamic comparison charts and high-resolution images – for all MEC bikes is available at www.mec.ca/bikes.
Mountain Equipment Co-op (MEC) is Canada’s leading retailer of outdoor clothing, gear and services for self-propelled activities like hiking, cycling and snowsports. Established in 1971, MEC operates 13 destination stores in central locations across Canada. MEC has more than 3 million members throughout Canada and around the world. Widely recognized for its commitment to sustainability, MEC is a member of One Percent for The Planet and supports various community-based outdoor and environmental initiatives through its grants program. Anyone can join MEC and become part-owner in the Co-op, by purchasing a $5 lifetime individual membership. Members are entitled to buy gear and to vote on how MEC is governed. More information about MEC is available at www.mec.ca.