Randy Archer, who was a semi-pro road bike racer of 15 years, got his start as a business owner back in 2013 by posting used bikes on Craigslist. Today, with the help of his wife and seven children, Archer’s Bikes has grown into a local staple with four locations across Arizona. 

What makes Archer’s Bikes truly unique is its family-first mindset. Nearly all seven of Archer’s children have been involved in the business at some point. His daughter, Jess Archer, is co-owner with her father, chief operating officer and currently runs the new Tempe location at Culdesac. 

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Culdesac is the first carless real estate development in Arizona, designed for walkability. With their increased awareness of alternative transportation, Culdesac needed a bike shop on-site for any residents in need of a tune up or upgrade. That’s where Archer’s Bikes, a familiar face in the Valley, came in. 

This new Tempe location, unlike their other stores, is much smaller. Therefore, the inventory they keep stocked reflects the needs and wants of the surrounding carless community. 

“Our fit with Culdesac is building the value of commuting car-free,” said Jess Archer in an interview. “We have bikes or e-bikes for rent, or you can test ride any bike on the floor before buying. We are here to build a community that sees freedom of not owning a car by offering bike service and knowledge.” 

With a growing number of Phoenix citizens turning to e-bikes as an alternative to driving cars, bike shops are one of the primary ways to get the word out about electric options. 

Letric E-bikes, just one of the electric bike distributors sold at Archer’s Bikes, is trying to provide Phoenix citizens with a new mode of urban transportation. Scott Ayers, a business developer for Lectric, said local shop partnerships are essential in e-bike success. 

“With Lectric being a direct-to-consumer company, partnering with local shops is vital,” said Ayers in an email interview. “They can be extremely impactful, because they allow consumers to get a feel for our bikes and what it may be like to ride them. We are starting to see more and more shops accepting e-bikes.” 

For beginning cyclists, bike shops can seem daunting. Some new riders fear that they will be looked down on for not being up-to-date on popular models or understanding the features that make each bike unique. At Archer’s Bikes, every store is staffed with an owner with years of experience. Their team is prepared to fix anything, ranging from Huffy bikes from Walmart to wheelchairs. 

“Being able to offer such a wide range of support means no one will be stranded,” said Jess Archer. “We don’t judge anyone for not knowing much about bikes. It’s overwhelming to walk into a fancy bike shop and not know what to ask.” 

In a growing world of cycling and bike accessibility, local bike shops like Archer’s Bikes still function as a home-base for the community. Sara Anderson, a member of Bike to Work Phoenix, said local spots like Archer’s Bikes are crucial in making cycling accessible. 

“In cycling, there is a pretty high barrier to entry,” said Anderson. “You’re riding on a machine that is complex, and understanding it is a process. Bike shops are the center point to a lot of those important conversations.”