It’s not uncommon for Gustavo Amado to spend hours at a customer’s home.
As the co-owner of the Tucson franchise of Velofix — a mobile bike repair van — Amado brings basic bike shop services to customers’ front doors.
“It’s the way times are changing, the consumer is changing,” said Amado.
Amado and co-owner Derek Jackson launched their Velofix franchise in December and have been busy ever since.
While Amado works as the bike repair guy in Tucson, Jackson works remotely from his home in Washington to ensure the back-end and technical aspects of the business are running smoothly.
For over 20 years, Amado has been involved in the cycling community and has built his customer base through the people he is already connected with.
Sitting at the dining room table of one of his longtime friends and Velofix customer, Amado chats with Maria Nasif and her son before heading out to fix one of the family road bikes.
Nasif and her family enjoy riding their bikes recreationally as a way to stay active.
Nasif said the convenience of Velofix is beneficial to her family because it removes the hassle of taking time off work or time away from family to take her bike to a shop.
“I don’t experience this kind of personal service in any other industry,” Nasif said.
The majority of Velofix clients are based in the Catalina Foothills. Residents in this area are more inclined to use a mobile service like Velofix because they are already using meal delivery and transportation services like Uber, Amado said.
Before Velofix made it’s Tucson-debut, there was Dennis Kruse’s Tucson Mobile Bike Repair, which has mostly catered to customers in RV resorts since 2015.
Kruse first began visiting the resorts once or twice a week while working at Ajo Bikes.
A couple months later, Kruse left Ajo Bikes and opened up Tucson Mobile Bike Repair and now visits seven RV resorts across Tucson. Two of the resorts he visits are Voyager and Rincon West— among the largest in town.
A lot of residents in the resorts tend to be seniors who don’t always have the capability or transportation needed to get their bike into a brick and mortar shop, Kruse said.
Kruse fixes various types of bikes and scooters, which can be especially difficult to transport due to their size and weight.
“It’s much easier for them to wheel it up here and get it fixed and then wheel on their way,” Kruse said.
Tucson Mobile Bike Repair offers services ranging from tune-ups to bike assemblies. Though RV resorts are Kruse’s major customers, he also serves customers on an individual basis for a $15 service fee.
“I’m willing to drive an hour to meet my clients,” Kruse said.
That level of convenience is highly sought after, according to Amado, who often finds himself stretched thin on a regular basis.
As a result, three months after launching their business, Amado and Jackson are hoping to expand into Phoenix and Scottsdale where they already have a customer base.
Velofix offers basic bike services as simple as a standard service — a safety check — and as complex as an overhaul, which involves taking a bike apart to examine and clean every piece.
The latter has been the most popular service for customers, Amado said.
The cost of mobile services is equivalent to service costs in brick-and-mortar bike shops, but with the added convenience of door-to-door service, Amado said.
Jackson likes the opportunity Velofix has provided to get involved in the Tucson community, even if it is remotely. He hopes to move out to Tucson eventually to further his involvement.
Velofix serves cyclists of all ages and with different levels of cycling experience. Amado believes cycling is a lifestyle that can change lives.
“From the pro elite rider to an 80-year-old man who just wants to keep moving,” Amado said.