Glenwood cyclist becomes sole North American distributor for KTM bikes
Post Independent Sports Editor
GLENWOOD SPRINGS — Brian Boettcher has gone from riding a top-of-the-line bicycle competitively to being a big part of their distribution not only in the area, but across North America.
Boettcher has been named the sole North American distributor for KTM Bicycles, a brand based out of Austria and used by national teams in international competitions. After riding them during a seven-year racing career that ended in 1993, ongoing negotiations since 2010 resulted in him becoming the first distributor of the brand in the Western Hemisphere.
“Bringing this into the area is like telling people I’ve got the only Porsche dealership in America,” Boettcher said.
Bike shops around the region have gotten word of Boettcher’s new gig, and each has been trying frantically to get the bikes in their shops. An owner of a local bike shop in Glenwood even drove by and yelled a sales pitch out the window of his truck while Boettcher was displaying his product at the Hotel Colorado.
The deal to distribute the bicycles was finalized in January. Negotiations with KTM to distribute the bikes, Boettcher said, had been ongoing since 2010.
KTM, a brand name that is also well known for motorcycles, began producing bikes around Europe. Since then, they’ve been used in such races as the Tour de Italy and the Tour de Spain along with multiple European mountain bike circuits. Some of the bicycles typically weigh as little as 14 pounds — lighter than the 15.1-pound minimum set by certain racing organizations — and frames are made either from carbon fiber or titanium. Professionals who have ridden KTM road bikes have reached speeds of 100 mph on steep downhill slopes, according to Boettcher.
Aside from the price tag of close to $10,000 for some of the models, Boettcher, 42, said there could be plenty of economic impact to the area. KTM, he said, typically gives back to the community it’s a part of and in the past has even helped maintain riding trails — road and off-road.
“We’d like to do not so much of a ‘bike shop,’ but more of a showroom here,” Boettcher said. “If there’s that showroom here, people from all over the U.S. will be able to come here and see the product, see it coming in and see it leaving.”
As a distributor for the brand, Boettcher said his goal is to initially set the bikes up in one shop in Glenwood Springs, Aspen, Grand Junction and Vail, and would like have three shops in Denver. He’s traveled to Utah in recent weeks to talk to a few bike shops there, and he’s received calls of interest from shops in Chicago, Pennsylvania and British Columbia, Canada.
“There’s a really high demand, and we have really limited quantities for certain things,” Boettcher said. “The shops that do get picked have to be super service-oriented. KTM’s thing in Europe is service, service, service, and if there’s a problem, it’ll be fixed right away.”
Basically, the bike shops have to give their sales pitch to Boettcher, who raced on mountain bike, road bike and indoor track circuits until an injury ended his racing career at age 23. Now part of his job will be shuttling bikes to those select shops when they’re flown in to Denver International Airport.
“And I’ll be doing the assembly, and making all the phone calls, and I’ll be getting yelled at every once in a while,” Boettcher said. “That’s OK, though. It’s worth it.”
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