Throughout Marin county, businesses, organizations and individuals continue to recognize the key role that a person on a bicycle can play in improving our community. As a small “thank-you” for their enthusiasm for MCBC efforts, we will be highlighting a variety of key sponsors that play an integral role in supporting the MCBC Experience…
The New Wheel is unique among bicycle retailers in their commitment to ‘elevating the experience of choosing to cycle’ for their customers. What does this mean? Co-founders and partners Brett Thurber and Karen Wiener have long been passionate about the Bay Area and became concerned about the increasing traffic congestion and its effect on people here. Their solution to minimizing cars and increasing the health of the Bay Area is a common solution in Europe, but only now beginning to take hold in the US: electric bicycles.
The array of products you will find at The New Wheel today are silent, sophisticated, incredibly easy to ride and profoundly intuitive. Moreover, they are wildly efficient – some models will assist you for 100 miles or more on a single battery charge.
How does your business benefit from bicyclists?
Our business is designed to empower all cyclists, but in particular, folks looking to ride more and drive less. Electric bikes are wildly efficient and incredibly fun. While e-bikes have a long history of being shunned from recreational cycling circles, they are a welcome relief when it comes to reducing car congestion, eliminating pollution, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, improving quality of life, setting an example for future generations, the list goes on and on…
Cyclists are our passion and our core customer base. Service is our secret sauce, and we aim to empower cyclists to feel comfortable, confident, inspired and alive.
What should MCBC members know about your business?
Brett Thurber and Karen Wiener, co-founders of The New Wheel, did not come to the bike industry by way of a passion for bikes. Instead, they became passionate about bikes in their search for how to make a difference for people in the Bay Area. Brett grew up in San Francisco and Karen has a rich and interesting family history in Marin county. Brett and Karen met at UC Berkeley and joined forces after graduating to start The New Wheel.
Are there any specific MCBC projects or programs which particularly resonate for you and your organization?
The second location of The New Wheel at Larkspur Landing, opening June 2016, lies at the nexus of a major transportation renaissance for Marin County – the hub of the SMART train, countless bike trails, a new bike bridge, and the Larkspur Ferry terminal. The New Wheel sees their special brand of bicycle sales and service as yet another way to ease urban congestion and improve the quality of life in their home.
Which of MCBC’s strategic goals or long-term vision ideals are most important to you?
When it comes to cycling as transportation, The New Wheel realizes that we can’t do it alone. That’s why we support advocacy organizations like the Marin County Bike Coalition to help advocate for infrastructure, change policy, educate and inspire cyclists, and provide a community for all kinds of bike riders.
What is the most exciting aspect of your operation that you want people to know about?
The New Wheel business model has be compared to an automobile dealership of the 21st century, but their approach is uniquely crafted around the bike and the bike rider. Their array of services include guided test rides that ensure every curious consumer has ‘the ride of their life’ on their first ride.
Sales personnel at The New Wheel are part skiing instructor, part electric bike encyclopedia, and all about the customer experience. Think Genius bar, but for bikes. When a customer decides to purchase, The New Wheel offers 6 months of complimentary service and offers extended service packages that are affordable and incredibly easy to use. Service packages include routine tune ups, free flat fixes and even free roadside assistance, just like your car.
Are there any last words or final thoughts which you would like to share?
Marin mountain bike legend Gary Fisher calls Brett and Karen ‘pioneers’ in the e-bike world in this video announcing our new Larkspur shop.
Thanks again, New Wheel! We look forward to the grand opening of your Larkspur location!
Look for more profiles of supporting businesses and companies that are a key part of the MCBC Experience and sponsor our efforts to advance the common good of cycling for a better Marin.
Editor’s Note: These interviews represent the words and opinions of the featured sponsor. As such, the views expressed in this profile do not necessarily reflect the opinions or policies of the Marin County Bicycle Coalition.