International cycling company coming to Harrisonburg
HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - An international cycling company is coming to the Friendly City. Lauf Cycling is an Iceland-based company that will open its U.S. Distribution Center and Headquarters in Harrisonburg.
Lauf was founded in 2011 and specializes in the manufacturing of made-to-order, high-end gravel and mixed terrain bikes.
“It’s a great young company that we were seeing they were on a very fast growth trajectory, so we wanted to grow with them. Having an international company here and having this be their U.S. headquarters was very enticing to us and they’re just great people to work with,” said Brian Shull, Harrisonburg’s Economic Development Director.
Lauf’s U.S. Operations Director Timothy Rugg, a former professional cyclist, lived in Harrisonburg briefly in 2012 and said the city is the perfect location for the company.
“Harrisonburg has so many programs and opportunities around the city for biking already, so to be able to put our brand image with the Blue Ridge Mountains the Shenandoah Valley, and what’s already happening here is a good opportunity for us to make an impact on the community here which we couldn’t do with some of the bigger cities,” said Rugg.
The growing biking community in Harrisonburg and the Valley was one of the biggest reasons why Lauf chose the Friendly City for its U.S. headquarters.
“We have a great place to ride and we have a great community here that we can ride with, so we can share in our development and growth with the local community here, and hopefully that can get us involved in more projects that are constantly underway here as well,” said Rugg.
Because Lauf addresses a different part of the cycling industry the city says it will not be competing with other local bike shops in the area.
“They will just be selling bikes so they’re not selling the other equipment, the helmets, and the shoes and all that. They ought to have a great relationship with the other bike companies in the area and they sell direct to consumers so somebody will get online anywhere in the U.S. order their bike and it will be shipped to their door,” said Shull.
“We’re just going to be focusing on the distribution side of things with the brand here, so we’ll be doing some light assembly and logistics of shipping and receiving, but we don’t expect to be doing services that would be competing with the local bike shops that are already here,” said Rugg.
Lauf hopes to ship 300 bikes a month from Harrisonburg by the end of the year. The company ships bikes around the world but says about 80% of its market is in the U.S.
Lauf will be building out its warehouse at a shell building at 156 E. Washington Street and hopes to have that up and running within a year. In the meantime, it will operate out of a shared space with Brothers Craft Brewing.
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