Erik Saltvold has only had two jobs in his life: delivering newspapers by bike and working on bikes.
He originally began repairing bicycles in his backyard in 1977 and he eventually graduated to a storefront.
Before he knew it, his business had multiplied and he eventually grew it outside his native Minnesota with storefronts stretching from Illinois to Kansas to – now, Scottsdale.
“I just really enjoy being around cycling and so as we continued to reinvest in the business and to grow it organically,” Saltvold said. “A lot of people from Midwest markets spend part of their year down there so we felt that there was a large customer base that provided opportunities to ride the bikes in the Phoenix area.
“We figured this would be a good move for us to expand our reach.”
Saltvold had been looking at Scottsdale for years but it wasn’t until around December 2021 that he decided to kick the tires on expanding his business westward by acquiring the space of a former mattress store located on Scottsdale Road near Thunderbird Road.
“We looked at a number of locations throughout Scottsdale but our preference was to be on Scottsdale road and we wanted to be in an area with the best visibility to the market,” Saltvold said.
“We selected a location that was central, easy for people to get to and had an area to ride right in front of the store. The store felt like a good spot for us.”
With his spot secured, Saltvold recruited a former employee of his, Andrew Stinson, to serve as the general manager of his newest store.
“It’s an exciting job and I did enjoy working with Erik’s and working directly with people,” Stinson said.
With Stinson on board, Erik’s Electric Bikes opened in Scottsdale on July 2 and has already made a mark with clients looking to pick up a new ride.
In stock at Erik’s Electric Bikes are bikes for casual riding, mountain trekking and distance riding from manufacturers Aventon and Specialized bikes that can reach speeds of up to 28 miles per hour.
“We carry bikes that conform to the industry standards in terms of maximum speed but they work like any mountain bike so it only goes as fast as you pedal but with an assist. It’s like somebody riding along,” Saltvold said.
The bikes require the same amount of maintenance as any other bike would but it also have a removable battery customers can charge in their homes.
“Maintenance is pretty much the same as any other bike where you have to check the chain and have it checked up once a year,” Stinson said. “Each bike will come with a charger specific to that model of bike and most will even allow you to remove the batteries so you can park the bike in the garage and take the battery indoors where it’s not 150 degrees Fahrenheit.”
Once customers have purchased a new ride, Stinson has a few spots around the city that he recommends for a cruise.
“The canal path is a fantastic, awesome ride. I also like to do mountain biking and I'm a big fan of McDowell Mountain because it's a faster, smoother trail,” Stinson said. “But if you are still a little adventurous and if you like to do road riding, I also like to ride around the McDowell area just because you get these long open roads that offer good hill climbing.”
With a store stocked full of bikes to serve all needs, Stinson is eager to watch the rubber hit the road and see customers shed a childlike grin as they speed off on a new bicycle
“I hope the experience is what usually happens when they come back and they’re just all smiles,” he said.
Info: 602-422-8430 or Eriksbikeshop.com