It all started when Sara and Matt decided to pull the trigger and move from Horseshoe Valley, Ontario to Squamish in the spring of 2016. The couple was always looking for a relocation to the self-proclaimed mountain biking capital of Canada (Sorry Rossland) and the timing just worked out this time. The family, with their two small children made the trek across the country leaving family, friends and great memories back in Ontario with a fresh perspective on how they wanted to raise their family - on bikes, in the mountains.
Having run a successful mountain bike coaching company previously, the couple opened RideHub in Squamish as a Coaching and Guiding outfit, leveraging their experience to hit the ground running and making waves in the process. As one of the few Provincially Licensed & Tenured operators in the Sea to Sky Corridor, RideHub provides exciting and incredible mountain bike adventures throughout North Vancouver, Squamish and Whistler.
How RideHub.Shop Came To Be
A number of years ago, the couple noticed that there really wasn't a "Canadian" bike parts distributor with the same notoriety and capacity as the big players in the UK or US. There were however UK businesses operating from the UK, but with Canada in the name to give the sense of a Canadian presence. Given how popular cycling was in Canada, it seemed strange that no one had really invested the time, or energy to build a competitive online marketplace to support the bustling industry. Unfortunately, there were so many other projects in the hopper that there was no time to invest into solving this problem. It was around this time Sara and Matt decided to build "The Biggest Little Bike Shop". Nestled in a 20ft Cargo trailer, their first venture into Service and Retail was now in flight. On weekends, they would drive the trailer to the local trailhead and set up shop in the first licensed mobile retail shop in Squamish. The trailer was a hit, and was also completely off-grid running on pure solar power, powered in-part by the efforts and support of Schneider Electric, Canadian Energy, Xantrex and Discover Battery.
In 2020, right before COVID-19 was clamping down on the world, Sara and Matt took a lease on a physical space (without wheels) and put together their first Brick and Mortar shop, combining a top-notch Cafe with a Bike Rental, Retail and Service shop known as the RideHub Cafe. After planting the ground work in the retail space, plans were put in motion to build out the online arm of the business. Having a background in technology, Matt built out what is now RideHub.Shop, a Canadian specific e-commerce platform with tight integration to warehousing and distribution centres for some of the best and biggest brands in the bike industry.
Most bike shops get into e-commerce by taking their existing in-store inventory and publishing it through whatever platform their POS system provides. What this leaves consumers with is an often poorly designed and implemented platform that is hard to navigate and generally ugly on the eye holes. They also rely on their staff who are usually experts at bike stuff, to become experts at e-commerce and logistics stuff, which is no bueno. Matt decided to start from the e-commerce platform first, and work his way backwards trying to automate as much as possible so it kept the cost of doing business low so these savings could be passed on to the consumer and so the system didn't need a lot of human intervention to get things out the door. This way, the bike folks could focus on just that - bikes and taking care of customers.
This is what makes RideHub.Shop unique to all the other online bike part shops in Canada. The shop has warehousing in British Columbia and Quebec, covering both halves of the country. The entire logistics operation from the products you browse, the warehouse inventory and all they way through to order processing is automated wherever possible (with the one exception being customer service). We took a technology first approach, so we can bring you all the benefits of the big players, but from a small, family run shop that supports the local community, trail advocacy organizations and a handful of passionate, awesome staff.