Women in Bike Shops Spotlight: Ashley Reefer, Flat Tire Co.

BikePGH’s WMNBikePGH program aims to support women and nonbinary people in Pittsburgh who ride bikes or are interested in riding. Women and nonbinary involvement in the bike industry is important to creating a welcoming and inclusive bicycle community in what has been a male-dominated space.

Meet Ashley Reefer, Owner of Flat Tire Co. in Greensburg, PA

We chatted with the owner of Flat Tire Co. and asked her a few questions about owning a bike shop, her favorite places to cycle, and bike maintenance tips that she could offer!

What made you decide to open up a bike shop?

The community of great people and support I have thanks to cycling really drove me to open the shop in Greensburg. I possessed experience in small business, found some awesome mentors, and had befriended the best mechanics. It seemed like a recipe for success in an area lacking a destination shop. Plus, who wants a “real job.” We needed a place to ride bikes from, hang out, and have beers at.

What sets your shop apart from others?

I’m not quite sure what other bike shops are like, but I can tell you we have built a family here. Our employees, race team, and regulars are hanging out well after hours enjoying each others company. I hope that people can tell we are a unit of passionate people about bicycles when they stop by.

What kind of bikes and accessories do you focus on selling?

The best kind for you. The focus is on selecting a bicycle from our brands that will fit our customers goals and budget. We will never be too busy to provide advice; everyone deserves to make an educated buying decision.  The accessories we help to pick out are specific to your cycling goals. Bikepackers are going to need different items than criterium racers. We have something for everyone and possess the ability to get anything you could need.

What qualities do you bring to your bike shop?

Lead by example. Respect your employees. We are a team on the shop floor just like we are out at a local mountain bike race. I am excited to be here, learn about our products, get people on the right bike, and continue to challenge myself to keep riding and racing as much as possible into our busy seasons. I think it helps keep us all excited to push out quality service and passionate sales.

What is one “pro-tip” that you can share about bike maintenance?

A clean bike is a happy bike. Water, dish soap, and bike lube go a long way. Seeing a problem early can make all the difference.

Where is your favorite place to ride?

Honestly, convenience is key for me. I hate driving to ride my bike, so our hidden trails of Greensburg rank #1. I can get a two hour ride before work and a lot of it is single track. I always prefer to ride in the woods. Something about crashing into a tree seems more soothing than pavement to me.

What is one bit of advice you can offer beginner cyclists?

Consistency. The more you ride the easier it gets. Have fun with it the first couple years. If racing sparks your interest, try it. If not, cool, go on an adventure! Give yourself time to gain skills, confidence, and endurance. Burnout is a real thing if you get to hardcore too quick, unless you’re a freak of nature. If you are, that is awesome! I am not. At the end of the day it’s just another bike ride and sometimes you’re gonna be in the suck.

Are you a member of or involved in any biking organizations?

Team Flat Tire Co. is our in house organization. Our team members including myself get out on the regular. We host events for the community including weekly rides, races in the WPCX cyclocross series, Keystone Triathlon, and will be adding a mountain bike race in 2019. Our members are active in organizations including Kids of Steel, USA Cycling Talent ID Camps, BikePGH, and Pittsburgh Tri Club.

Interested in visiting Flat Tire Co.?

212 East Pittsburgh Street
Basement Unit
Greensburg, PA 15601
(724) 691-0966
Monday Closed
Tuesday 11AM–7PM
Wednesday 11AM-7PM
Thursday 11AM-7PM
Friday 11AM–7PM
Saturday 10AM–6PM
Sunday Closed

Learn more about WMNBikePGH

BikePGH’s Women & Biking program is inclusive towards womxn, femme, nonbinary, and gender non-conforming people. We welcome you to join us on a ride, meet up for coffee, or attend an educational event!

Visit bikepgh.org/wmnbikepgh to learn more.

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