Thin Air: Online in town
Combine dirt bikes, thousands of after-market parts, four guys who know what they’re talking about and the Internet, and what do you get?
The Thin Air Motorsports Web store.
For close to eight months the guys on West River Street – known to almost everyone in town who rides a dirt bike, street bike, snowmobile or ATV – have been selling a large selection of after-market parts and accessories from their online store at http://www.thinairmoto.com. And with the weather warming up and dirt bike trails drying out, Thin Air Motorsports co-owner Thor Schjelderup expects to see a lot more traffic on the site.
While on one hand, Thin Air Motorsport’s new presence on the Web means the business can now sell to motorsports enthusiasts nationwide, Schjelderup said he sees the largest benefits falling to local customers who now have an even greater selection of items to choose from.
“What [having the Web store] means is that it allows Thin Air Motorsports to have greater purchasing power, which basically means that the local customer has a better selection of parts and items,” Schjelderup said.
Not only do local riders have a better selection, but now they can also comparison shop online and figure out where they are going to get the best price. And that, Schjelderup said, is often right here in Truckee.
“One of the most difficult things for us to overcome is that there’s a perception that because we’re in Truckee we’re more expensive; and it’s not true. If anything, we’re priced as well as the big guys in Reno – if not better,” Schjelderup said.
Both of the Thin Air Motorsports online and traditional stores cater to motorsports enthusiasts who want to customize their rides – be it new handlebars for a dirt bike or new skis for a snowmobile.
“There is a lot of customizing and people putting on after-market parts,” Schjelderup said, “most of our business is based on the after-market accessories: Exhaust systems, sprockets and chains, it goes on and on. There’s a lot of stuff that people start bolting on their bikes.”
The store also carries many lines of protective gear, clothing and accessories for men, women and children – the latter two being rapidly expanding markets in the Truckee region.
“What’s interesting is over the last three or four years, the dirt bike industry up here has grown a lot,” Schjelderup said. “We’re seeing a lot more women riding now, which is great, and a lot more kids and families are getting into it. It’s becoming more of a family-oriented thing than just a guy sport.”
With that growing interest in motorsports, the store has done well lately, which Schjelderup attributes to the fact that everyone involved in the business rides themselves.
“We have a huge regular customer base that supports Thin Air Motorsports, and I think that’s because all of us ride. Everybody has a dirt bike at least. A lot of us have street bikes and most of us have a snowmobile. So we all pretty much are using what we’re selling,” he said.
Besides Schjelderup, the Thin Air Motorsports crew is made up of founder and co-owner Jay England, who started the business in town 13 years ago; parts manager Jim “Bones” Ahle; and Webmaster Jim Medieros.
All four men are looking forward to expanding the offering of after-market parts and accessories available to local riders and possibly becoming an off-road motorcycle dealership if they can find the space in town to do it.
Thin Air Motorsports is located at 11036 West River Street and they are open Mon. Ð Sat. from 9 a.m. Ð 5 p.m. For more information call 582-8081 or see http://www.thinairmoto.com.
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.
User Legend: Moderator Trusted User
Local coronavirus cases reached 3,292 on Friday, a rise of 35 from the day before.