Over The Edge Sports in Sedona is succeeding with a bike shop model that fits the lifestyle and landscape of Sedona, Arizona.
Over The Edge Backdrop
Sedona, Arizona is quickly becoming the cycling industry’s hub of the US. This year alone, no less than six product launches are happening in Sedona, and magazines are starting to set up camp there in the off-season to ride and test bikes.
Aside from being incredibly photogenic, Sedona features trails that are exciting to riders and challenging to equipment. One five mile loop here is like a full ride anywhere else, so it’s easy to evaluate and improve gear.
Plus trail access is opening up. Local groups and bike shops are becoming very active in their advocacy and about 10 trails are being adopted or legalized in the last two years alone. The future is indeed bright for this stunning oasis.
We visited a new local shop called Over The Edge sports and talked to an old friend Troy Rarick who started the Over The Edge brand and helped start the Sedona shop. He explains the OTE, Sedona shop concept as follows:
“It’s all based on my experience in Fruita CO. Its not like I was a genius who implemented some “well laid plan” that I learned college and funded with grant money. No; more of a story of a passion driven success amidst much “trail” & error. It’s that history, those lessons and solutions that I want to share with other locations that can bring people to an experience of Cycling awesome.
My role starts with community involvement. For example, I am off to Australia now where I will speak to MTB folks and govt. folks in 3 states, and help my Melrose store do a Fat Tyre Festival in June.
Once a new location emerges and the people to make it happen. I help with planning, startup and overall strategy. My history both from Fruita and ongoing involvement in MTB trails allows me to offer quite an assist in a business that is wrought with challenge. Our stores are profitable and people love us and my owners are living awesome life: thats a sustainable plan.
All in all; what is OTE? Its a group of awesome shops in awesome places sharing life experience with our friends. Its the coolest business ever and I’m proud to be a part of it. “ – Troy Rarick
Over The Edge Mike Raney and Jason First
We then talked and rode with Jason First, Co-Owner of the Over the Edge Shop with Mike Raney. We did a little Q&A session with them to gain insight.
Mtbr: Tell us about your background and Mike Raney’s background.
Jason: We both have very similar backgrounds in that we raced XC at a high level and then worked in the industry before starting this venture. I worked for Crankbrothers for the past 7 years, doing sports marketing and dealer marketing. Mike worked for Bicycle Technologies International, where he was the US brand manager for Commencal Bicycles. We first met and became friends at some Norba National races.
Mtbr: What was the original vision for the shop and what lured you out to start a venture in Sedona?
Jason: First and foremost, we love riding, its a passion and a lifestyle. That’s really what lured us out to Sedona, having hundreds of miles of amazing singletrack out your front door and great year round weather. The vision for the shop is simply to share that passion for the riding here, we have some of the most unique trails in the world and we’d love to help people experience it.
Video: Jason can ride btw as he climbed the whole tech section of Templeton, finsishing with this switchback
Mtbr: What is working at the shop now? What has worked as expected? What has surprised you?
Jason: What has been working? Having a super positive environment, great customer service, and tons of trail info and recommended ride loops. It’s all about being positive. We also strive to have top notch rental bikes and stocking the right product – whether it’s a cool jersey, the right tires, or an emergency derailleur hanger to save your last ride. What has surprised me is how many people come to Sedona without any mountain bike experience and want to give it a try. It’s really cool to see the interest in our sport growing.
Mtbr: How were you able to get so many brands? What are people digging? What wheel sizes?
Jason: We’re definitely stoked with the bike brands we’ve been able to get and offer for demo: Trek, Niner, Yeti, Rocky Mountain, Cannondale. 29″ is the most popular go-to wheel size, it’s actually pretty surprising how many people haven’t yet tried a 29er. I think with how 29ers continue to develop and progress, they really ride well in every situation and they’ve been great for Sedona. We also got the Rocky Mountain Altitude 27.5 and it’s proving to be a great bike, super versatile.
Over The Edge Jason on Pump Track
Mtbr: Why are there so many industry camps in Sedona now?
Jason: It’s been really great to have so much industry coming through town. Sedona is special in that we have hundreds of miles of great singletrack, unique landscapes, challenging terrain, and it’s all very easily accessible from town. It’s an ideal setup for industry camps, you don’t need to drive outside of town, drive off-road, arrange shuttles…… the logistics are really simple once you get here. It really reflects our growth as an mtb destination.
Mtbr: What’s the future for OTE Sports?
Jason: The future for OTE Sports is simply to keep the awesome going, its a passionate group of people with the same goals of sharing the ultimate mtb experience. You can expect to have a good time and killer rides wherever OTE is at!
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