Hello from Salt Lake City, Utah

Blue Monkey

New Member
Hey everyone! This is Duane Schaffer, owner of Blue Monkey Bicycles in SLC, Utah. Four years ago I started looking into electric transportation options and there was nothing available locally. My wife, Tonya, suggested I think about opening a store and since I like a challenge, we did some research and dove right in. It took just 6 months from idea to opening our doors. We became the first Pedego dealer in Utah and have since brought on other brands such as Easy Motion, Felt Electric and Haibike. Pedegos remain a huge part of our business as we love the bikes and the stellar company behind them.

I ran the store by myself the first season with a little help from my family on the weekends. Mikey joined us for the second season. You may have seen him narrating one of our many videos. We pride ourselves on excellent customer service and going above and beyond to find the perfect electric bike for our customer’s needs. We like to experiment with all electric bikes but only carry the brands that meet our high standards in the store. Here we are, nearly four years later and we're going strong and changing people's lives.

Oh, and our name? Well, my wife likes stuffed monkeys and while we were trying out names for the store, a blue stuffed monkey that she had picked up in the clearance aisle at Target a few months prior -Five Buck Chuck- was staring at us. Blue Monkey Bicycles seemed like a natural name and it has proven very memorable.

We look forward to joining in the discussion here and helping where we can. Big thanks to @Court and @Ann M. for setting up and maintaining such a great meeting place. See you in the threads!

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George S.

Well-Known Member
I was looking at the population demographics of Utah. I live in Cedar City. If you take the whole metro area up there where the Monkey is, it seems to be 2.5 million, which leaves just a rather small population, mostly south of SLC. So you have a nice population base to serve.

There was an ebike store in St. George, but it closed. I assume they lacked the population density to make it work, but St. George is not small, by any means. On the ebike I bought in St. George there was one service issue, not a defect, and I concluded 50 miles was pretty far from the dealer for drop-off-and-return-another-day type service. (You are 250 miles.)

I've built three bikes, have thousands of miles on them. They are simple and don't break down, at least so far. I have multiple batteries. I think this is what people in rural areas should do. Build simple bikes, know enough to swap parts, have some backup parts or bikes or batteries.

We hear a lot, on this forum, about advanced bikes from Europe. Some of it is interesting, much of it seems pretentious. But living where I do I wouldn't buy a BMW or any car with a distant dealer. The same holds true for an ebike. So a lot of ebikes are for dense urban, often wealthy, areas. It's too bad but daily life is a procession of things that are 'too bad'. There's a problem and I found a solution that works for me.

I'm just saying how I roll on some of the ebikes you sell. I don't know if there is a business plan or anything else that addresses this, or might address it. In a sense, why pay for services that are too far away to have any real value? Do you ever think about the Southern half of the state? (Or Wyoming.)
 

Blue Monkey

New Member
Hi George! Thanks for your comment. We were surprised to see the shop close as well. We thought St. George and surrounding areas was a great spot for an ebike store with their trails and mild winter.

I think you've done the right thing by being self sufficient with your ebike. Ebikes are getting more and more sophisticated and that's not necessarily a good thing. I lean toward simple, especially with customers that are far away from me. Pedegos are our favorite brand to ship because they are simple enough for us to talk a customer through repairs. When a customer does drive from a distant location, we will work with their schedule and have them go to lunch or run errands in town while we service their bikes to save on car trips.

At the moment, we don't have any plans for store expansion but we are investing in our web presence, planning more videos and extending phone service to help our distant customers as if they were locals. We feel that is a more efficient plan than brick and mortar expansion. We like to treat distant customers as if we've met in person.