Factory Tour: Jenson USA Visit and Interview

Company Spotlight

Mtbr visited Jenson USA at their new headquarters in Riverside, CA to meet the folks behind one of the leaders in online bike retail. What makes these guys different from the rest? How did they grow from one employee to 64 now with a massive warehouse.

What we found was a good crew of folks with great guidance and leadership. They’ve been hiring a lot folks with different active backgrounds who ride bikes in different disciplines to form a well-rounded team that loves where they work.

They have ping-pong tournaments, bike commute incentives, video and photo content shoots that keep the teamwork and energy high on this very busy company. One of the key factors when they moved into this new building is it is right beside an awesome trail system called Sycamore Canyon. This trail system in the middle of an industrial area is a real gem with great singletrack and tons of rock features.

Sycamore Canyon is not only good for the morale of the employees but it also provides a great venue for product testing and evaluation. Jenson USA is a company of cyclists who want to use products, evaluate them and select the best to sell to their customers. They also want to provide content with photos and videos to help their customer decide if it’s the best product for them. One thing Mtbr has learned in our many visits to bike companies is that if your buidling is close to a trail and you have a fun atmosphere, you attract the best bike talent in the industry.

Video: Sycamore Canyon video by SouthOCMtbRider

One thing we learned about Jenson USA is their commitment to their clients and to customer service. I brought up a ridiculous case to Marketing Manager Justin Christopher and asked, “What if a customer buys a rack from you, drives his bike into a garage, ruins the rack and tries to return the rack to you?” Justin says, “If he is a good customer and has not done this before, we’ll let him do it.” That’s an extreme case of course but it gives us an idea of the lengths Jenson USA is willing to go to ensure their customers are happy.

So we went for a ride at Big Bear and got to know the crew. We learned of their many projects to improve technology and build content on their website for key items. And we learned of the many ways they are giving back to the bike community. Check our interview with Justin Christopher on the next page and learn more.

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About the author: Francis Cebedo

The founder of mtbr and roadbikereview, Francis Cebedo believes that every cyclist has a lot to teach and a lot to learn. "Our websites are communal hubs for sharing cycling experiences, trading adventure stories, and passing along product information and opinions." Francis' favorite bike is the last bike he rode, whether it's a dirt jumper, singlespeed, trail bike, lugged commuter or ultralight carbon road steed. Indeed, Francis loves cycling in all its forms and is happiest when infecting others with that same passion. Francis also believes that IPA will save America.

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  • Loll says:

    In the world of online ordering, Jensonusa seems to be strategically holding back any sale offers. Where as some of their competitors have weekly 10% off, 15 % off…etc, Jensonusa has been really tight in this category. I think there was a 25 dollars off if you spend $$$$$$$ coupon a while back.

    Although I have personally gave up waiting on a few occasions and purchased the same item else where, I think this is an integrity / or way of doing business that doesn’t make Jensonusa look like a cheap liquidation warehouse.

    As a consumer, I wish they did have more sales that can be applied to broader merchandise. But from a business stand point, I really respect them for not giving in to the mass. The same kind of respect that I give for companies that manufacture in the USA vs oversea for a higher profit margin.

    • Rob says:

      Jensons standard prices are always as good or better on average than anyone out there. That and the standing free shipping on any $50+ order, plus their amazing customer service, huge stock, no BS and fast shipping….they are best in class, bar none. They don’t need gimmicks or “bargain blowouts”. They are just good all the time.

  • Mike Billgren says:

    These guys rock – great customer service and fast shipping too

  • Marc says:

    @ Loll – they have price matching. What more do you want?

  • Brent says:

    A month ago I placed my first and last order with JensonUSA. The product page of the item I wanted said it shipped in about 5 days. I wanted it for a trip I was taking in 2 weeks, so I got on their live chat to make sure it would ship in about 5 days. I was assured that it would. I place the order and 9 days later I get an email saying it would ship in the middle of September. I replied to that email expressing my concern and asking what happened and why did it take so long to tell me this. 21 days later NO REPLY. I just called to cancel the order.

  • MissedThePoint says:

    Where’s that pic with the green picnic tables? Snow Summit/Big Bear’s restaurant at the top of the main lift?

    • Francis Cebedo says:

      >>Where’s that pic with the green picnic tables? Snow Summit/Big Bear’s restaurant at the top of the main lift?
      Yes, indeed. We went to Snow Summit to ride and that’s the restaurant on top of the main lift. Chicken Kabob was awesome, along with the view.

  • MissedThePoint says:

    Loll, I believe competitors that do that are just offering savings to you by cutting their margins, in order to get people to shop them. They buy things at standard distributor prices. Big stores, like Backcountry, have distributors competing with each other to get the big store to buy from them. JensonUSA seems to be the type that actually finds the deals out there and passes on the savings to customers and keeping their margin decently high enough to actually pay for its massive prime location its *64* employees who work to give customers added value, detailed in this article. Their best deals seem to come in the form of new old stock. I think they buy old stock at discounted prices, like THE full face helmets, Shimano OEM build kits, Easton 28.6 bars and stems, and bike/frame sales here and there like Fuji and Jamis bikes right now and the few Intense frames that were going for $1200 or so a while back.

    Anyone with a little cash and the ability to research (google) can get a business permit to buy from distributors. Heck, QBP even makes it easy to sell everything they do at mark-up, without even stocking anything. Just take orders, buy from QBP, then mail it out. Order from JensonUSA, and you likely can have the item shipped same day if ordered by 4PM PST. These online start-ups have minimal overhead with no location to pay rent and utilities on… they can prob use their own home address or an “executive” business address, which are businesses that give other businesses a seemingly “proper business address”, which accept and hold packages, and have meeting rooms and all available.

    • Missed the Accuracy says:

      A Google search does not get you access to a distributor. Please do not spread false information.

      From QBP’s website application:
      – Pictures of your commercial/retail location including: storefront with signage, retail bicycle department and a shop/service area or warehouse for manufacturing
      – Certificate of Liability Insurance with QBP listed as the holder
      -A current phone bill or yellow page ad with your company name (verifiable by directory assistance)
      – Web/Mail order/Mobile repair accounts must have a physical retail location that allows the business to serve its customers face-to-face during regular retail hours

  • Loll says:

    @Marc, all i m saying is that it is nice for jensonusa to stick to their business model, but on rare occasions, feel free to offer a true sale 10% off or 15% off any item, instead of a save 25 dollars when you spend a very large sum that makes the 25 dollar no substantial.

  • Icey101 says:

    I have ordered two bikes and half dozen or so orders from Jensonusa…and never a issue. I shop around a bunch, and use other vendors for sure…but these guys are on the top of my list of shops to buy from.

  • Jason S says:

    I’ve purchased alot from Jenson and always seem to be very competetive with most things. There are cheaper online wharehouses out there but I always know that Jenson will stand behind thier products and customer service has alaways been a 10/10 for me.

  • thiago7 says:

    They have good deals. Their customer service is great when they want to sell gear
    but they let me down badly when I needed them for a warranty. Never got a response on the emails and voice messages… They never got back to me and that caused me a big headache dealing with a LBS to take care of cracked rear triangle.

  • Luis says:

    Great !! They’re now in Riverside, Ca.

  • Tony Dobson says:

    I recently bought an Ibis Mojo HDR frame as well as some components from Jensonusa.
    I have to say, It was an extremely pleasurable experience dealing with the great people there… They came through big time and helped me get the bike of my dreams.
    I can’t go into detail, but they treated me very well indeed… I will never forget that and wouldn’t hesitate to shop with them for many years to come.
    I’d also like to give a shout out to Lee Baldwin, the fellow who helped me so much with my Mojo frame purchase ,a really great guy..

  • Dale Burton says:

    I used to buy from Jenson USA, but now I buy from the two major stores in the UK.

    Last year I bought a set of Mavic Crossmax ST wheels from Jenson. When I went to fit them there was a part missing. They tried to locate it but were unsuccessful. I returned the wheels and they ended up crediting back the money and I bought a set of the same wheels, but the 2013 version. The rear wheel lasted from Feb to Jul and I had to send the rear one back. I received the new wheel last week and the free hub sounds like shit. I shall be fitting it today in place of my Easton Heavens.

    I live in Calgary, Canada. With the cost of two postage fees I could have saved all the aggravation and bought locally, or better still, from the UK. Jensen say free shipping, well, you’d think that would include Canada and Mexico, but it doesn’t. Buying from the UK the prices are better and it’s free shipping, and they credit you back on warranties.

    I spend a lot of money on cycling and it’s Jenson’s lost. I have asked for the latest warranty amount to be repaid but my emails and calls have just been ignored. I am aware that they do not cover warranty postage, but come on, this is the second time so my dollars will be converted to sterling for the foreseeable future. After reading the analogy perhaps Mr. Justin Christopher will read this and make a former customer happy…

    • J. Dumas says:

      Exactly. As a Canadian citizen, JensonsUSA is NOT the store I buy form. They use USPS Intl and the shipping fees are outrageaous. I.E. 2 tires and wheels can easily amount to 200$ of shipping fee. Deal breaker for sure.
      I buy online from the UK now.

  • J.KORNMAN says:

    I typically dont post on these things but just had to add my two cents.
    Jensons are my go to online bike parts retailer. I have ordered many things over the years and everything has turned up at my doorstep typically 4 or 5 days after ordering (Im in Canada). I built up my dream AM bike and basically every part bar the frame was purchased through them. for personal reasons I had to box the bike up for a year after building it. once I had the bike out a rides down the line my Avid Code brakes failed. I contacted them and even though the 1 year Avid warranty had expired (the brakes were really only two rides new to me though) They accepted the return and replace both brakes with brand new in the box 2012 Codes….
    That right there was far above and beyond what i was expecting and they now have one very loyal customer who recommends them to all of my mates.
    Good on you Jensons, kepp up the good work.

  • Dale Burton says:

    Chain Reaction and Wiggle are the places to buy from on line…in my opinion.

    Blue Sky sometimes has rocking deals, but the cost to get it here may off set the discounts, and you occasionally get hit with the tax.

    Riding mountain bikes is expensive so getting the right deal is almost a necessity, unless you’re rolling in cash.

    The UK companies also go beyond to please and I could give a few examples, but in all honesty, it comes down to personal preference.

    All the messing around and the extra costs associated to getting these wheels from a place a lot closer than the UK has left me jaded. Also, the price for some components is unbelievably great from the UK. So, whilst our dollar is strong why not capitalise…

  • Paul says:

    A long time loyal customer, because these guys are good. They used to have bad phone customer service guy in their main office, but I think they fixed it. Compared to most online outlets, Jensen is the best in almost every way. Their price match works. Delivery timely, and Return no problem. Their Corona store is also outstanding, with excellent service by Luis. There is no reason to go anywhere else.

  • Joe says:

    I’m lucky I live in So. Cal, I get my orders next day. I have ordered a few things online and even drive out once in awhile.

    Recently I bought a groupset for a new MTB build form them, somehow the wrong rear derailleur shipped. They upgraded me to a better one for my trouble when I contacted them. I am a satisfied customer for sure.

  • zeroplanetz says:

    I called there customer support one time about some pedals. Asked if they could price match. First the guy seemed to hold back a laugh when I said it was just one product, and two after being told they could match the price I was told they could not and the person was kinda rude upon hanging up. I dunno maybe it was a bad day for that person but I’ll probably continue to look elsewhere

  • Russ Karaus says:

    great prices, good selection and fast service. Been using these guys for several years. Met some of the crew at their booth at Outerbike,Moab and they were a blast.

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