Why Buy Local

First Flight Bicycles is an advocate for all things cycling. Without places to ride, and events to ride in, you and your new bike won't reach its full potential.  Big box stores, and unfortunately many local shops, do little to nothing to support cycling.

First Flight Bicycles has also taken a lead role in building and maintaining local trails.  We have been instrumental in the creation of the Itusi Trail system at Lake Norman State Park and have written grants resulting in over $45,000 to purchase trail building equipment. Over the past decade, we have also helped build and maintain the Signal Hill Mountain Bike Trails in Statesville. Currently, we are working with the city to improve the city greenways and hopefully build another trail system adjacent to the greenway.  

For the casual rider, we have a series of weekly rides with the emphasis on fun and learning. If you are more competitive, we have been long time sponsors of the Crossroads Criterium in downtown Statesville as well as the summer and winter mountain bike series. This year, we have also added support for the Cyclo-Cross series. Since 2000, the Crossroads/Cackalacky Festival has been our flagship event. It brings some of the "founding fathers" of mountain biking together for a weekend of riding and story telling! 

Our staff is always involved with local and national groups. Wes Davidson traveled to Washington DC, with IMBA, to lobby Congress to improve funding for cycling projects. He currently serves on the Iredell County Recreation Advisory Committee as the Chairman and is a Past Master at Snow Creek Lodge 571 A.F.& A.M. Jeff Archer is currently on the Lake Norman State Park Advisory Committee, Downtown Statesville Development Corp. Board of Directors, Carolina Thread Trail-Iredell County advisory board and active in Cub Scout Pack 171/Boy Scout Troop 171 (including Cubmaster for 2 years). Representatives from the shop regularly attend Parks and Recreation and Council meetings to represent cyclists.

Remember, when you purchase a bike you are also purchasing the shop and the folks that work there. Before you buy, ask them what they have done to give you more opportunities and places to ride.  

Why Buy at a Bike Shop?

Price is NOT the big difference between bike shops and big-box or toy stores! People mistakenly think bike shops only sell expensive
bicycles to enthusiasts and racers! The truth is most bike shop customers are casual, recreational riders. They’ve discovered that
ill-fitting, uncomfortable, “toy store” bikes don’t get ridden and don’t last! What does make a difference is where you buy your bike!



Train their people to match your kind of riding to all your different bicycle choices.

Carefully, proportionally, fit your bike to you. This is vital to your safety, comfort, and fun. Quality bikes are built in many sizes to fit you OR a growing rider more safely and longer.

Provide you honest information, have more types of bikes for different types of riding, and let you to test ride your choices.

Quality bicycles are repairable, worth repairing, and are built with better, more durable parts less prone to malfunction or need for repair.

Bike shops have expert, trained technicians to build and repair bicycles.

Correct, safe bicycle assembly by a bike shop takes an average of an hour or more per bicycle and is free!

All New Bikes need re-adjustment of gears, brakes, spokes, bearings, etc. after an initial 15 to 30 hours of use to operate properly and last. Bike shop warranties cover free adjustments, parts, and labor if problems occur.

Properly assembled and maintained bikes last and last and last.

Bike shops teach correct operation, safe use, and care, and adjust your bike to you. One bicycle that fits, lasts longer and through many riders' use (and still has a re-sale value!) Costs less.

You BI-cycle for years on bike shop bikes.

Their clerks are trained to stock shelves! Bikes are “one size fits all!” NO frame size selection or choice. (That’s like Nike making only size 6 shoes to fit everybody’s feet.) Ridiculous!!!

Have few bike-type choices, no test rides, but might offer a choice of colors!

Big-box and toy store bikes often use un-fixable, off-brand, odd-ball parts, and are often not worth repairing

Big-box and toy stores have none!

Big-box and toy stores “throw together” 6 to 10 bikes an hour, and most charge extra for assembly! (A bike shop would charge up to $100 to re-build such a bike.)

Expect bike adjustments to cost an extra $25 to $60 and Big-box and toy stores don’t do them! Don’t overlook this “hidden expense! And, they can only give you another bike-in-a-box when they sell you a “lemon!”

Big-box and toy store bikes often malfunction, need costly repairs, and don’t last!

Clerks spend little or no time with you, and you get what you pay for! Their bikes fall apart, are sometimes not-fixable, are often disposable, and their frequent repair or replacement costs you more!!!

You RE-cycle big-box and toy store bikes! 





Why Buy Local?

Keeps money in our community: Significantly more money re-circulates locally when purchases are made at locally owned, rather than nationally owned businesses. This multiplier is due in part to locally owned businesses purchasing more often from other local businesses and service providers. Purchasing local helps grow other businesses as well as the local tax base. A 2004 study shows that locally-owned businesses generate a premium in enhanced economic impact—For every $100 spent at a locally owned business, $45 goes back into the community and our tax base. For every $100 spent at a chain store, only $14 comes back.

Support community groups: Non-profit organizations receive an average 250% more support from smaller locally-owned business owners than they do from large businesses. 

Keeps our community unique: Where we shop, where we eat and have fun—all of it makes our community home. Our one-of-a-kind businesses are an integral part of the distinctive character of this place. Our tourism businesses also benefit. "When people go on vacation they generally seek out destinations that offer them the sense of being someplace, not just anyplace." ~ Richard Moe, President, National Historic Preservation Trust

Reduce environmental impact: Locally owned businesses can make more local purchases requiring less transportation and generally set up shop in town or city centers as opposed to developing on the fringe. This generally means contributing less to sprawl, congestion, habitat loss and pollution.

Create more good jobs: Small local businesses are the largest employer nationally and in our community, provide the most jobs to residents.

Get better service: Local businesses hire people with a better understanding of the products they are selling and take more time to get to know customers. We are not selling bicycles one day and Ping-Pong tables the next.

Invest in community: Local businesses are owned by people who live in this community, are less likely to leave, and are more invested in the community’s future.

Put your taxes to good use: Local businesses in town centers require comparatively little infrastructure investment and make more efficient use of public services as compared to nationally owned stores entering the community.

Buy what you want, not what someone wants you to buy: A marketplace of tens of thousands of small businesses is the best way to ensure innovation and low prices over the long-term. A multitude of small businesses, each selecting products based not on a national sales plan but on their own interests and the needs of their local customers, guarantees a much broader range of product choices.

Encourage local prosperity: A growing body of economic research shows that in an increasingly homogenized world, entrepreneurs and skilled workers are more likely to invest and settle in communities that preserve their one-of-a-kind businesses and distinctive character.