Business Beat: Buying your first mountain bike

Dan Nelson, the new owner of Flowt Bikes & Skis, gives some advice on buying your first mountain bike

Dan Nelson purchased Flowt from its original owner Brendan MacIntosh last summer.

At Flowt Bikes and Skis, a bike enthusiast can find what they’re looking for.

“We just wanted to have a really welcoming feel, whether you’re an experienced biker or you’ve never had a bike before and are just looking for something to cruise around town in,” says new owner Dan Nelson.

Nelson bought Flowt in June 2015 from the store’s founder Brendan McIntosh. He has been in the bike business for more than 20 years, and has lived in a several communities across Canada, from Edmonton to Victoria, before moving to Revelstoke five years ago.

“It’s an amazing place to ride,” he enthuses. “I’ve been riding mountain bikes since 1992. Lots of places have good trails, but Revelstoke has varying terrain to offer and I’ve never seen a bike trail system grow so quickly. The Revelstoke bike community has more passion than anywhere I’ve seen. It helps makes Revelstoke such a gem.”

Nelson feels it’s important to not be intimidated by the seasoned riders who live and play in Revelstoke. “You can learn to mountain bike at any time, any age,” he says. As such, he has a few tips for those getting into mountain biking and looking to purchase their first bike.

First, Nelson emphasizes the importance of getting a bike that fits. “The most expensive bike in the world wont give you the best experience it it’s too big or too small,” he says.

Second, consider getting full suspension. “There are some great hard tails out there and they are cheaper, but the advantage of a full suspension is that it makes the ride more fun,” he says. “It shortens the learning curve and if you have more fun while you’re learning, you’re more likely to stick with the sport.”

Third, think about buying something you can grow into. “I don’t mean size,” Nelson laughs. What he does mean is quality.

“While you don’t have to break the bank getting something really high end, if you can afford to, get something that still has a decent level of performance,” he says. “Then, as your skills develop over the next year or two, you don’t have to upgrade your bike right away.”

Another piece of advice: If you don’t know whether you prefer cross country of downhill, consider purchasing an all mountain bike.

“Ten years ago, people had multiple bikes depending on what terrain you wanted to ride,” Nelson says. “Now, the technology has blurred the distinction between different kinds of bikes. Now you can purchase a bike that can handle most terrain, something light enough to do cross country but sturdy enough to go down Boulder as well.”

Last of all, don’t stress about being able to afford all the bells and whistles. “You can buy a whole lot of accessories that can improve your ride but they aren’t really necessary. What you really need is a bike, helmet, water carrier and a kit with a spare tube, pump and tool. And maybe a pair of bike shorts,” Nelson says.

If you have children who are getting into biking, check out Flowt’s buy-back program. When a child grows out of a bike purchased at Flowt within one year, Flowt will buy the bike back at half of its original cost. Flowt also sells the used bikes which, Nelson points out, are often outgrown before they are out used and are in excellent condition.

With a bike scene as vibrant and accessible as Revelstoke’s and both Flowt and Skookum (and another store about to open) able to help you out with a selection of great bikes, there is, as Nelson says, no better time to get into the bike scene.


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The city has launched a community well-being survey. (Submitted)
City launches community well-being survey

Everyone residing in Revelstoke aged 12 and over is invited to complete it

NDP candidate Nicole Cherlet on the campaign trail in Revelstoke. (Liam Harrap- Revelstoke Review)
BC VOTES: Q&A with BC NDP candidate Nicole Cherlet

Cherlet talks highways, housing, childcare and the environment

A health-care worker prepares to swab a man at a walk-in COVID-19 test clinic in Montreal North, Sunday, May 10, 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes)
Interior Health records 21 new COVID-19 cases over the weekend

Thirty-six cases remain active; two people are in the hospital, one of whom is in intensive care

Columbia River-Revelstoke Green Party candidate Samson Boyer. (Contributed)
BC VOTES: Q&A with BC Green Party candidate Samson Boyer

Boyer talks highways, housing, childcare and the environment

The Revelstoke Ski Club’s annual Ski Swap has been cancelled this year. (Marissa Tiel/ Revelstoke Review)
Revelstoke ski club fundraisers moving online

Snowflake Wine Fest and the ski swap have been cancelled

FILE – Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry answers questions during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. sees record-breaking daily COVID infections with 499 new cases over weekend

Two people, both in the Lower Mainland, died due to the virus over the weekend

Vernon Fire Rescue Services and Vernon-North Okanagan RCMP were called to a report of an electrical fire at the emergency response centre operated by Turning Points Collaborative Society on 37th Street Sunday, Oct. 18, just before 5:30 p.m. The fire displaced shelter residents who have been set up with services at the Vernon Recreation Complex. (Roger Knox - Morning Star)
Vernon shelter residents find refuge in hotels, motels, recreation complex after fire

Electrical fire at Turning Points Collaborative Society’s emergency response centre on 37th Street

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
Kelowna man charged after allegedly stealing senior’s car

Elderly woman’s car was stolen while she was shopping

Salmon Arm RCMP say residents have been receiving calls from fraudster claiming to be with Publishers Clearing House. (File photo)
Salmon Arm RCMP warn of Publishers Clearing House telephone scam

Police say scammer requests fee to claim sweepstakes prizes

Osoyoos Fire Department responded to reports of a vehicle engulfed in flames Sunday (Oct. 18) evening at a Lambert Court residence. (Osoyoos Fire Department)
Osoyoos Fire Department knock down car fire near home

Blaze was ‘really close’ to becoming a structure fire

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Colin James put on a great show at the Comox Valley Exhibition Grounds as part of the 2019 Vancouver Island MusicFest. But his Okanagan tour for 2020 has been postponed until 2021. (Photo by Terry Farrell)
COVID-19 cancels more Okanagan concerts

The Contenders and Colin James postponed until 2021

A passer-by walks past a COVID-19 testing clinic in Montreal, Friday, Oct. 16, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Canada ‘yet to see’ deaths due to recent COVID surge as cases hit 200,000

Much of the increase in case numbers can be attributed to Ontario and Quebec

Most Read