Lee’s Bicycles Closes After 103 Years

Owner, Lee’s Bicycles

BMX VISIT: Connor Fields, center, visited Lee’s Bicycles Nov. 22 to promote the season finale of the BMX National Series. It was one of the last events at Lee’s Bicycles, which has become Phat Tire Bike Shop. At left is Nickel Potter, manager of Phat Tire Bike Shop, and at right is former Lee’s Bicycles owner Adam Vanderburg

GTR Newspapers photo

What a journey this has been growing up in this business for the last 44 years. My father bought Lee’s when it was at 51st Street and Quaker Avenue. At that time, Lee’s was selling new and used Euro bikes but mostly servicing Yahoo lawnmowers and old bicycle clunkers!

Growing up in the early 1970s, I was converting old Stingrays into bikes and taking old cruisers and converting them to mountain bikes by late 1970s. That was an epic time as our industry grew and changed quickly and it hasn’t stopped since. My first journey at 15 years old was cycling 1,000 miles through western Oklahoma, New Mexico, and Colorado with my best friend. My first road bike race was the Joe Martin Stage Race in Fayetteville, Arkansas in 1981. Bicycling is in my blood. It’s now part of our culture and the fabric of the United States.

For 103 years Lee’s Bicycles has sold and serviced bicycles in Tulsa. But times change and I’ve made some significant changes too. I decided to transition the spirit of Lee’s and pass this to our new owners – Phat Tire Bike Shop. Phat Tire has the energy and passion to take us into a new century. I met our new owners last year and was impressed with their operation and knowledge of cycling. I felt these guys had the vision and would be perfect owners for Lee’s in Tulsa. They are based in Bentonville and have four other locations in Arkansas. If you get the chance, I recommend visiting Northwest Arkansas and checking out some of the great paved trails for road bike riding and soft trails for mountain bike riding.

The beautiful thing about Phat Tire Bike Shop taking over is that I get to continue working at the bike shop. I will be helping them with advocacy, community relations, and events. I can’t thank you enough for the decades of support. I am excited to be able to continue living the dream and working with many new members at Phat Tire Bike Shop!

I’ll be seeing you…Where the trail meets the road!

Adam Vanderburg says he will keep managing his commercial properties in the Blue Dome with tenants Phat Tire Bike Shop, Fleet Feet Sports & JINYA Ramen Bar and at the Peloton Center located at 97th Street and Riverside Parkway with tenants Phat Tire Bike Shop, Tulsa Runner, and Fitness Together.

Updated 01-23-2017

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