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Courtesy of the Pro’s Closet.

The Pro’s Closet Is Redefining How We Value Pre-Owned Bikes

The company's new certified pre-owned program makes the bike-buying experience approachable and reliable for riders of all experience levels.

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The Centennial State is consistently ranked as one of the top bike-friendly states in the country, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that it’s also home to one of the biking industry’s most innovative companies. For 13 years, the Pro’s Closet has been a leading retailer of pre-owned bikes and cycling gear. In fact, it’s the largest pre-owned bike store in the world.

CEO and founder Nick Martin—a former professional mountain biker, vanlifer, and self-proclaimed minimalist—launched the Pro’s Closet in 2006 as a way to sell unused gear he received from sponsors. But the venture quickly expanded, as Martin started helping managers on professional biking circuits—first mountain biking and then road cycling—sell outdated gear.

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“The idea was to really tap into the philosophy that everything around us has value, and you can extend the lifecycle of things that already exist,” says Martin.

Since its humble beginnings, the Boulder-based company has grown to include more than 60 staffers. In 2018 alone, the Pro’s Closet sold more than 3,000 bikes, while continuing to promote the value of pre-owned bikes and biking gear. And just last month, the Pro’s Closet launched its certified pre-owned program—a customer service-based program that aims to make the bike-buying experience approachable and reliable for riders of all experience levels.

“We’re seeing this opportunity to legitimize the secondhand space and de-risk both the buying and selling process for biking,” Martin says.

At its core, the program borrows methods utilized in the used car industry. Each certified pre-owned bike has received a 141-point inspection by the Pro’s Closet pros and is sold with a 30-day, no-questions-asked return policy. Once purchased, the bike is shipped nearly completely assembled (anywhere within the U.S.). Customers can then track the depreciation and current buyback value of the bike over an 18 month-long period through their personal account on the Pro’s Closet website. During this time, the company offers a guaranteed buyback promise most often used for trade-ins and trade-ups.

The intent of the program is to sell dependable bikes, eliminate dubious Craigslist sales and purchases, and give riders the opportunity to upgrade their wheels along with changing bike technology. For novice riders, the Pro’s Closet allows them to dip their toe into the sport of biking with less financial risk.

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The Pro’s Closet has clearly tapped into an emerging market: Since launching the program, the company has sold more than 100 certified pre-owned bikes. At any given time, riders can find around 100 CPO bikes in the company’s total inventory, which typically tallies around 300 bikes. And the inventory is ever-changing—the Pro’s Closet sells through roughly 20 percent of their total inventory each week.

Bikes in the CPO program range from $1,000 to $7,000, with the average cost per bike falling in the $2,000 to $3,000 range. While gravel bikes (bikes designed to tackle a variety of terrain) are among the most popular bikes, the company’s CPO program also offers mountain bikes and road bikes from various brands. The company also provides access to “Ride Guides” or customer service and biking specialists that help consumers near and far pick out the perfect set of wheels.

Whether you’re looking for your first set of wheels or are ready for an upgrade, the Pro’s Closet makes it easy to buy secondhand without the risk—and with all the reward.

For more information on the certified pre-owned program, visit theproscloset.com.

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