Dealer Profile: Meet Joe Bike

Late in the summer of 2008, we got a phone call from Joe Doebele in Portland. At the time we had just launched the Mundo v1 and had no accessories available. Joe’s vision was to offer quality cargo bikes at affordable prices to his community. Since that time, Yuba Bicycles and Joe Bike have been growing together, selling hundreds of Mundo Utility Bikes in Portland, Oregon. Now, at the start of 2012, Yuba offers two different Mundo models including an electric-assist version and over fifteen accessories. Joe Bike has grown too; this month, they will be tripling their floor space to accommodate the growth in the cargo bike market.

We caught up with Joe Doebele to find out what is the secret sauce behind the Joe Bike success.

Yuba Bikes: How many years have you been in business now?

Joe Doebele: A little over 3 years.

YB: I hear that you will be expanding in 2012, why is that?

JD: Cargo bikes are big. Our shop was small. It’s on probably the best shopping street in Portland, but it was only 600 sq ft and a lot of people could walk right past it without noticing. We needed more space for bikes, but we also wanted more space to hold events and classes, to host fundraisers, and most of all to give our employees and customers a little breathing room. Our staff were literally climbing under and over and around each other and the bikes. Whenever there were more than a few customers in the shop at once, none of them could really move.

YB: What is your most successful line?

JD: Yuba. Yuba was the first bike we sold, back in the fall of 2008, and we stuck with it, promoted it a lot, took it wherever we went. Now word of mouth has taken over. We’re the biggest Yuba dealer in the world. At schools, parents drop their kids off by bike, and it can be a Bakfiets, Big Dummy, XtraCycle, Mundo, Madsen, or whatever. There are a lot of impromptu test rides at schools. By the time people come into the store to buy one, they’ve already made up their mind. They already know the bike and how it rides and what the accessories are. So, starting a few months ago, people would just walk in and say they wanted a Mundo and didn’t need to test ride it. This means that the beginning is the hard part. Getting the bike in front of people is the hard part. It gets easier the more people see the bike in use in their own environment. It also helps that Yuba keeps improving the bike and has accessories that work well.

YB: What are the Mundo buyers like?

JD: Overwhelmingly, they’re young families. When we first started selling Mundos, we thought of it mostly for cargo, and in fact most people used it for that. But then parents took over. It’s mostly for transporting kids and their stuff, and groceries. Also surprising to us is that it’s the moms more than the dads who ride the Mundo, but that’s been true of all the cargo bikes we’ve sold.

YB: What is the average sales ticket?

JD: $1600.

YB: Selling that many Mundos, what is the secret to closing sales?

JD: Our ethos doesn’t include the concept of “closing” a sale. We don’t use sales people and we don’t give commissions or bonuses. All of our staff are mechanics, and all of our mechanics know and love the Mundo, even though they’re not the simplest bikes to assemble. Most own one; one owns three (a V1, a V2, and a V3). Instead of “selling”, they just tell it like it is, suggest that people try as many cargo bikes as they can, and answer people’s questions. And, as I said above, increasingly people know the bike beforehand from other parents at school, so they just come in and buy one.

YB: What would you tell bike dealers to do to achieve your success with the Mundo?

JD: If cargo bikes are still new in your town, it’s probably essential to create some awareness and momentum by working with schools and showing up at events like farmer’s markets, maybe creating your own events, and of course using the internet in conjunction before and after. Shops that focus on road or mountain bikes tend to have a harder time selling cargo bikes. Shops that make a commitment to this kind of bike and really get to know them will do better. But in any case it’s probably safe to say you can’t just stock the bikes and expect them to move. You have to become a bit of an activist.

Joe Doebele is the owner of Joe Bike in Portland joe-bike.com

Old Town Chicago’s Newest Yuba Dealer

J.C. Lind Bike Co.

You gotta admire a dealer who orders a truckload of Mundos when the weatherman says 17 degrees and snow!  Jon at J.C. Lind Bike Co. knows cargo bikes and now he has Mundos in stock.  Welcome, J.C. Lind! Jon says: “We are super excited to be carrying the amazing Yuba Mundo cargo bikes at J.C. Lind Bike Co.  We were the first shop in Chicago to focus almost exclusively on cargo bikes and the Yuba Mundo with its incredible versatility and affordability is the perfect fit for what we are all about. ”

Jon Lind

At J.C. Lind Bike Co. we strive to satisfy our customers with high-quality bicycles that are designed to enhance their riders’ lifestyles.  We are especially passionate about promoting a healthy, fun and unique urban transportation alternative to the automobile.  Come by our shop in Old Town-Chicago to see firsthand what makes our bikes the perfect union of form and function.

Chicago was once called the “bicycle-building capital of America“. By 1900, the Arnold, Schwinn and Company had relocated from Germany and set up shop in Chicago where there were 54 bicycle clubs with more than 10,000 members.  Chicago had thirty factories turning out thousands of bikes every day — over a million units per year.  Two-third’s of the country’s bicycles and accessories were made in the Chicago area at that time.   Mayor Richard Daley greatly added to Chicago’s bike routes in the early 70’s.  Yuba Bicycles, located in Marin county, the new center for bicycle makers,  has an affinity for Chicago as being a mecca for using bikes for everyday transport and we look forward to helping to keep that tradition alive in Chicago.

The Bicycle Works in Marin County Selling More Electric Mundos

The Bicycle Works is Marin County’s first non-profit bicycle co-op.  Directors Jelani Bertoni and Spokey Godfrey, have launched this project in San Anselmo to inspire people to live more active, sustainable lives.  This amazing do-it-yourself bicycle workshop offers the community a place for people to get bicycle knowledge and skills so that everyone can use a bike for their everyday transportation.  They have a passion for getting people out of their cars and on their bikes.  Part of that passion is their realization that many more people will get out of their cars if they can have an electric-assist bike.  The Bicycle Works is a laboratory for electric bike testing and development.  If you stop by their shop in San Anselmo they would be happy to show you their electric Mundo.  Come see what an electric Mundo can do for you!

Wheelhouse in Santa Barbara carries Yuba Mundos

New Mundos at the Wheelhouse in Santa Barbara
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Wheelhouse Bicycles in Santa Barbara, CA, is a really cool shop in the warm Santa Barbara sun.  they are really into utility and cargo bikes (that’s all they sell) and have lots of room to demonstrate bikes in a neat indoor/outdoor shop at 528 Anacapa Street.  They know how to sell bike that are fun and practical.  If you’re looking for a bike for your daily commute, grocery runs, cross-campus jaunt or small business deliveries these are the guys. Life’s a journey. Enjoy your ride.  Call the Wheelhouse at (805) 845-6547 or visit them at  www.wheelhousebikes.com or find them on the Yuba Dealer Map.

Catch the Mundo Wave at The Spokesman in Santa Cruz, CA

Ask for Tim at the Spokesman

If you feel like catchin’ the surf down in Santa Cruz, you could be cruizin the boardwalk on a new Mundo from our new dealer — the Spokesman located in downtown Santa Cruz at 231 Carthcart Street. Stop in and say hi to Tim.  Call: (831) 423-5683 or click www.spokesmanbicycles.com  or find them on our Yuba Dealer Map

The West Coast’s Largest Bicycle Retailer carries Yuba Bicycles

Mundo delivery at Mike's Bikes SausalitoYuba Bicycles is happy to welcome Mike’s Bikes as our most recent and largest Yuba dealer.  Mike’s Bikes is the largest independent bicycle dealer on the west coast. They have eight stores in Northern California; San Francisco, Sausalito, San Rafael, Berkeley, Palo Alto, Sacramento, Los Gatos and Petaluma.  Having Yuba Mundos in their stores shows that Mike’s Bikes is on the front edge of bicycling trends and that utility bikes that allow people to use their bicycles for more than just transportation have really hit the mainstream. Welcome Mike’s Bikes!

Mundo Cargo Bike Now Available in Tucson

Ordinary Bike Shop by plebeian regime.
photo: plebian regime

Hey there Arizona cyclists, the new 2010 Mundo V3 is now available at Tucson’s Ordinary Bike Shop. Stop by for a test ride and find out for yourself why the Mundo is the hottest cargo bike on the market. Help support Tucson’s No. 1 bike shop and lower your auto expenses by picking up a Mundo. Ordinary Bike Shop also has accessories including the 85-liter Go-Getter panniers that allow you to pick up a week’s worth of grocieries without having to drive your car to the supermarket.

Mundo Cargo Bikes Now Available at Breaking Away Bicycle Shop in Marin County

The Mundo is a sexy cargo carrier. Go to holiday parties in style.
The Mundo is a sexy cargo carrier. Go to holiday parties in style.

Great news Marin cyclists: Breaking Away Bicycles in downtown Ross has joined forces with Yuba Bicycles to sell the Mundo. Breaking Away is the first Marin County bike shop to carry this pickup truck bike. If you live in Marin, stop by Breaking Away and take the Mundo for a test ride. Marin is the birthplace of mountain biking. Let’s make it a hotbed for cargo biking. Breaking Away Bicycles is located at 7 Ross Common. They can be reached at (415) 461-2959. For more information about the Mundo visit www.yubabikes.com

Roaring Mouse Cycles is San Francisco’s first Yuba dealer

In front of Roaring MouseLast week we visited Chris and Roaring Mouse in the Inner Sunset district of San Francisco.

Chris the owner loved the Mundo and decided to carry the Yuba line in his store.

He came to Sausalito on Monday to pick-up his bikes. Stop by to check out the new 2010 Mundo V3, now stock with 21 speed grip shifters.

Good luck little mouse!

Roaring Mouse is located at 1352 Irving St. at 15th Ave, near the San Francisco Botanical Gardens. They can be reached at (415) 753.6272