Based in Santa Fe, NM, Bicycle Technologies International (BTI) is a wholesale distributor of cutting-edge bicycle products sourced from around the world, supplying both retailers and the bicycle industry. BTI has recently been awarded an RDC Technology and Manufacturing (TEAM) no-interest loan to purchase a wheel-building machine that will help the company increase the supply for pre-built wheels on demand. The machine will allow BTI to increase the volume of pre-built wheels that they can then send to some of the 5000 shops to which they supply parts, tools, bike accessories, apparel and protection. Wheels are one of the most commonly replaced and upgraded parts of a bike.
BTI, with more than 50 employees, supplies bike shops more than 20,000 unique products from 300 brands that are manufactured in the US, and imported from Europe, Asia, and Africa. BTI was co-founded in Ashland, Oregon by Preston Martin and Andrew Wright 27 years ago and relocated to Santa Fe in 1995. The move was made because Santa Fe was an attractive destination and the co-founders believed it was a place where the biking community had a chance to grow and thrive, where bikes can be ridden from the street to the trails, and where there was a good future for cycling.
BTI was closed for a week at the beginning of the pandemic until Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham deemed bicycle shops and bicycle repair shops essential.
“Every facet of what the bike means to people has become clear right now,” said co-founder Preston Martin. “Many people use their bikes as their only means of transportation, meaning bicycle repair and parts are certainly essential for them,” he said.
During this time, there has been a big change in transportation methods in urban areas during the pandemic. Previously people who relied on buses, taxis, Uber and Lift are now suddenly seeing bikes as a really good choice for transport. Additionally, Martin mentioned that people who can’t go to the gym are using bikes as a form of exercise, and bikes provide an important outlet for families looking to get outside.
In June, BTI experienced their best day of sales in their 27-year history. The company is happy to be able to provide its essential service in such a turbulent time.
“We’ve never felt that we had more value in the supply chain than we do right now,“ said Martin.