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Why This Small Business Owner Sticks with It, Even After 6,000 Bikes

Emily Kate Pope

Emily Pope is a writer and editor at Fundera. She specializes in all things small business marketing and financing.

Chris Dekerf / Dekerf Cycle Innovations from Mike Nairne on Vimeo

Since opening his shop in 1989, Chris Dekerf estimates he’s built 6,000 bike frames. Welding thousands of bikes might seem like tedious work to some, but it’s plain Dekerf considers himself the luckiest guy in the world: “There’s just not that many guys that get to weld 6,000 bike frames!”

Long before he opened up Dekerf Cycle Innovations in Richmond, British Columbia, Dekerf was an avid cyclist and amateur craftsman. He spent his teenage years riding in bike tours and races, and like his dad, he was always making things. His first job in a bike shop felt like a natural merging of his two passions. He’s been crafting custom bikes ever since.

Dekerf’s skill and dedication have made him a go-to creator for customers shopping for the perfect custom bike. “Most of the people who are coming to me now, they know who I am … they want me to build them something special,” Dekerf says. “My job is to listen and then create that for them.”

Despite his decades of experience being a business owner, Dekerf insists there’s always more to learn: “You’d be amazed at how often I’m doing something and figure out a new way, figure out a better way.”

He’s still mastering the perfect paint job, for instance. “It’s important to keep adding things to the toolbox,” he says.

Dekerf’s motto for the future of his business? “Keep saying yes. Keep learning new stuff. Keep building nice bikes.”

Check out the video to see Dekerf on the job, welding and detailing yet another amazing, custom bike.

Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Emily Kate Pope

Emily Pope is a writer and editor at Fundera. She specializes in all things small business marketing and financing.

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