The Bike Source Kansas City location in Overland Park has some of the most experienced bicycle pros in the Midwest. In particular one Bike Source pro Hunter Wright has a vast array of technical knowledge as well as years of experience riding BMX professionally. Just Google his name and BMX. You will be quick to see Hunter has been stretching the limits of the sport for years. In this segment Hunter fills us in how he went from being a Bike Source sponsored youth BMX racer to managing his own store. He also fills us in on Bike Source and some of their 2014 stock bicycles.
Ben: Hello. This is Ben Hartman of Blogger Local Kansas City. We’re meeting up with Hunter Wright out at Bike Source at 135th and Quivira in Overland Park. I’ve known Hunter for a long time and he’s one of the most knowledgeable experts in town on all things bike. Hunter, if you could just tell us a bit about how long you’ve been working at Bike Source.
Hunter: I am Hunter Wright. I’ve been working at Bike Source since February of 2000. I got my first job here. I kind of just stuck around and now they’ve got me in charge of the place.
Ben: What got you into the job at Bike Source? Did you have a interest bikes already, or was it just a job?
Hunter: Yeah. I previously raced a BMX for Bike Source. Stuck around the shop, hanging out with the employees then. Eventually, when I was old enough, got offered a position selling bikes and doing minor repairs. This has spawned from that.
Ben: Is Bike Source just in the Kansas City area, or is it expanded farther?
Hunter: Bike Source is all over the country, from North Carolina to Denver. We got some stores in Ohio as well. There’s two locations, since we opened our second in Kansas City. The second one we opened in 2011, I believe.
Ben: You’ve been working at Bike Source for at least a decade, here. What are some of the trends that have taken place since you started? What are some of the big changes in bikes? The technology, the way people use them?
Hunter: As far as the bicycling industry, I believe that over the last 10 years, the professionalism has increased quite a bit.
Ben: Is that because bit more money at stake in the industry than decades before?
Hunter: There’s certainly a lot of money. The bikes certainly get real expensive, especially in road bikes and mountain bikes. You’ll be looking at 10, 15, $20,000 bicycle pretty easily. The services offered, whether it’s mechanics or fitting services, have improved drastically, primarily with the knowledge and testing that has been derived through Specialized and their research that they’ve done for their own bikes. It’s spread out throughout everything, whether it’s clothing, equipment, road bikes, mountain bikes, BMX bikes, they all have increased in quality.
Ben: I’ve noticed you guys have almost exclusively Specialized bikes here. What you’re saying is that the developments made by the Specialized Bicycle company themselves have advanced the industry as a whole?
Hunter: I would say so, yeah. They’d seem to be, every year, on the front line of the most innovative products that are coming out. Just to mention one is their electric bike, the Specialized Turbo S. That is a competitive geometry, aluminum frame, performance bicycle with an electric assisted motor. It’ll take you up to 35 miles an hour. It has really just taken cycling in a whole new direction with performance, electric bike.
Ben: You could probably take that on the bike path or navigate some urban landscapes, I assume.
Hunter: Yeah. It would be excellent for roads and any paved surface, for the most part. You can keep up with your elite road bikers, coasting along more or less.
Ben: What are some of the services that Bike Source offers?
Hunter: Bike Source will offer some of the best mechanics in the Kansas City area by far, if you’re looking to get anything tuned up or adjusted. They’ll also going to offer professional bike fitting services that certainly are something that is a newer amenity to cyclists these days. It can benefit anybody that’s on their bike, whether it’s just one or two times a week or every day. It will increase their performance, it will increase their comfort, and it will minimize their risk for injury.
Ben: Do you guys recommend bringing your kids in to get them fitted for a helmet?
Hunter: Yeah. You could, definitely. The helmets that Specialized makes and you can find a Bike Source are going to certainly be very adjustable, very comfortable for most people. Extremely easy to adjust. They’re really going to hold the helmet on the child or adult’s head in the right position, which is really the key to the helmet working properly and protecting your head. Bringing your kid in, your significant other in, whoever, the best way to get the best knowledge on what you’re looking for or what you need is definitely come by the store.
Ben: Christmas isn’t too close, but we’re already seeing some displays set up around town to encourage Christmas shoppers. Do you have any recommendations for parents for a bike on their kids?
Hunter: Specialized, they’re going to make a bike for every person out there, whether they are two years old or 100 years old or need something aggressive and competitive or need something laid back and casual. Anything that you’re looking for, Specialized will make a bike suitable for that type of riding.
For the kids, and Christmas coming up, the 2014 P. Series BMX line is looking awesome. For 2014, they have a new model that they’re offering, a 16 inch P. Series bike. A great option to get your young kids into the BMX. They also have a model called the P. Grom, which is just slightly bigger than that. A 20 inch with a short top tube. Another great option for a younger ripper on the come up.
Ben: For people that know you in your private life, you’re still riding BMX and you’re still doing competitions and traveling. What are you doing with the Free State BMX demos?
Hunter: Free State BMX is a company I founded and still own. We’ve been doing shows since 2008 around the country. A lot of them are local, but we’ll travel as far as anybody wants to bring us. It basically is a professional BMX demonstration, just to entertain any event and get people psyched up and motivated on pushing the limits of what they’re passionate about. We love to come out and entertain kids, get them psyched on BMX and riding their bike, and being safe about it at the same time.
Ben: Just a positive experience for anyone that comes to check it out.
Hunter: Absolutely, yeah. To check out any photos, videos, or any other information on Free State BMX, you could check us out on our website.
Ben: This is Blogger Local Kansas City with Hunter Wright at Bike Source. Definitely a guy who, whether he’s in the shop working or out at the skate park, he just lives for bike riding. We’ll check back in with him soon and hopefully do a story on Free State BMX. Hunter, thanks again for joining us and introducing us to Bike Source.
Hunter: Yeah. Thank you, Ben.
(09/09/13 Weather Kansas City – 94 degrees and sunny)