At Stan’s NoTubes, we appreciate the importance of great bike shops to our cycling community. One of our favorite local shops is Arizona Cyclist in Tucson. We chatted with General Manager Ryan Tiffin to learn more about the shop, which opened in 2005.
Stan’s No Tubes: What makes your shop stand out?
Arizona Cyclist: We focus on high-end road cyclists and mountain bikers by having a selection of high-end, quality brands. When you come into our shop, you’ll see bikes that have been featured, tested and reviewed in magazines. You can see and test ride your dream bike - we’ll have it in stock. We’re a real bike shop that’s locally owned; there is no sterile, corporate environment. We also have the experience to outfit your bikes to be tubeless in an efficient manner. We’re constantly setting up bikes tubeless so we can set you up with what will work for our area. SNT: Why have you chosen to sell Stan’s wheels and products?
AC: In general in Arizona, it’s the only way to keep rolling. We find that Stan’s specifically and tubeless technology in general has completely changed the way that we ride around here. We went from getting a flat every day to getting a flat every six months, or sometimes never! We order sealant in quantities of 500 because tubeless is such a big market to us. We were early adopters of and are believers in Stan’s products. Every mountain bike that goes out of our shop is set up tubeless. SNT: What about road tubeless?
AC: We see road tubeless as a growing market. The road part of the cycling industry seemed like it was initially scared to make products for tubeless, maybe because some people had negative experiences at first and thus are more reluctant to adopt tubeless. However, lighter weight carbon, tubeless compatible clincher wheels have invigorated the market. Seeing the tubular go away because of the rise of road tubeless is great because tubulars are an expensive way to go in Arizona! SNT: In your experience, what helps people convert to road tubeless?
AC: The biggest thing is getting people to understand what it means to ride tubeless on the road. For example, getting thorn punctures eliminated is a BIG deal. Then if you do still get a flat on the road, it’s usually catastrophic - like a razor blade cuts your tire and sealant goes everywhere. However, if your flat doesn’t seal, you can just put a tube in it to get home. Product education is helpful in converting people - they can learn from their local shop. If they have a good experience in road tubeless in their first couple of rides, they don’t go back. We like Stan’s road wheels and rims because they are awesome in terms of mounting them up. The rest of the industry hasn’t quite caught up. SNT: How long have you been selling Stan’s wheels and products?
AC: Since we opened in 2005.
SNT: What Stan’s wheels are most popular in your area and why?
AC: Mountain bike wheels like the Crest, Arch and Flow. They are high value products that have been good for us. Whether our customers ride downhill or cross country, they consistently have great experiences with Stan’s wheels. They are a reliable go-to product for our customers who have had issues with other products. There are no cracked rims, and wheels stay true. Stan’s products are strong in general. We’ve had customers finally get a flat after lots of riding with no flats. They’ll come in and we’ll pull the tire off and see 20 tube-killing thorns. It looks like a medieval torture device inside the tire because there are so many thorns. Then they really see how well their tubeless setup has worked. SNT: What other stories have you heard?
AC: We had one customer who wrapped duct tape around his tire after he got a flat. Then he rode it for the next four days because his sealant worked so well!
SNT: What industry trends are you seeing, especially among your customers?
AC: We’re seeing a lot of demand for 29er high volume, but fast rolling tires. Like 29 x 2.6 or 29 x 2.8 on 30-35mm wide rims. It’s sort of a mid-plus tire size that’s relevant in our area. It’s the best of both worlds in that it rolls well and is cushy.