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September 22, 2021
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BYU-Idaho students start bicycle repair business

Two Brigham Young University-Idaho students who love fixing bikes, have started their own bike repair company called Spoke Boys.

After seeing the need for bike repair, Matt Madero and Brandon Running (“Too bad it wasn’t ‘Biking’”) opened up for business in Rexburg in February 2018.

“We were fixing a lot of bikes for free, and then we decided to try and get paid for it,” Madero said.

Shortly afterward, Spoke Boys was born.

The men ride (in cars) throughout the Upper Valley from Island Park to Idaho Falls where they meet customers needing bike repairs.

“Ashton is huge for us. We do a lot in Rigby,” Madero said.

Customers refer them to others needing bike repairs, thus generating even more business, said the men.

“We’re on Facebook and Instagram. They hear about us through Google or word of mouth,” Running said.

Repair jobs take anywhere from a few minutes to few days depending on what needs to be fixed, they say.

“Some are as short as two minutes to as long as four days,” Madero said.

The men work to get the bike back to the owner within 24 hours, they say.

“We like having the turnover that day or the next day,” Running said. “If we have to order parts, it will take a day or two. Eighty percent of our bikes are done the same day.”

Bike repair charges vary. To fix a bike tube, the Spoke Boys charge $10. For a basic bike tune-up, they charge $25.

The men say they keep costs down because they don’t have a brick-and-mortar shop. Instead they rely on their cars to take them wherever the customers are.

“We don’t have an actual storefront right now,” Running said. “It makes it cheaper. We just go to the people or we meet them somewhere in the middle.”

Running and Madero work year-round and even in the winter as residents continue riding their bikes through all the snow.

“You’ll even see us riding our bikes,” Running said.

The Spoke Boys say their busiest time of the year is from April through October. During that time, they work on 30 to 35 bikes a month. The tourist season runs about the same time, and the men have often gone to Island Park to repair bikes. They’ve noticed that there is a great need for bike repairs in the northern part of the Upper Valley for tourists because there are no bicycle repair shops located there. They once helped repair a bike for a man biking from Southern California.

Spoke Boys work from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

“We’re just kind of on call all the time,” Running said.

The men said they both wanted to have their own business and like the idea of being their own bosses. Both learned to repair bikes from friends, family and YouTube videos prior to moving to Rexburg.

“I just enjoy fixing things in general,” Running said. “Especially when it’s not me breaking my own stuff. It’s a lot more enjoyable. I like fixing things. I like the challenge of it and trying to figure out how to best fix things.”

“Now we have the proper tools to do so,” Madero said.

The men met while serving Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints missions in California. They later met up at BYU-Idaho and decided to start their biking business.

Running is majoring in mechanical engineering, and he hopes to work for a bicycle company. Madero hopes to become a real estate investor so that he can buy properties and later rent them out.

In the meantime, the men say their company is helping to pay their way through college.

Madero hails from New York and says that he was the only Latter-day Saint in his high school, but that it wasn’t an issue. Running is originally from Virginia and reports that just he and two other church members attended his school.

“We were all in the same grade. It was great,” he said.

As for Spoke Boys, Running and Madero say the business has proven both financially and personally rewarding. They plan to continue for the foreseeable future.

For more information on Spoke Boys, call 208-820-1615 or visit Spoke Boys Bike Repair on Facebook.

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