MAS Bike Shop to Open in Kalispell

Montana Adventure Sports plans shift from Bigfork to downtown Kalispell

By Molly Priddy

A bicycle is often one of the first individual modes of transportation we receive as children, promising the freedom and independence of the relatively open road.

For Renny Johnson, bikes also are the foundation on which he built his business, originally called Montana Adventure Sports based in Bigfork. MAS started in 2012 as an all-around sport store in the village by Flathead Lake.

“In the beginning, we wanted it to be much more of a full-on sports store, so that’s why we went broad with our name,” Johnson said. “Now, our focus is on the bikes.”

Given the departure from water sports equipment and the decision to fully embrace the cycling side of the business, Johnson saw the opportunity to bring his company to a new level, as well as giving it a new name.

Starting in April, Montana Adventure Sports will rebrand as MAS Bikes – a handy acronym as well as a play on the Spanish word “mas” meaning “more” – and will move into its new location in Kalispell at Depot Park Square, in a space that used to house a golf shop.

Johnson said the new location would allow his client base more of a chance to stop by, since it will be more centrally located within the valley. He’d been looking for a new location for about a year when the new spot opened up.

“We’ve been in Bigfork now for three years and even though this little town has treated us really well, we’re ready to move to an area that’s more busy,” he said. “We feel like a lot more people would come to us if we were more convenient.”

Moving to Kalispell will mean joining the ranks of established sports stores, such as Wheaton’s, Rocky Mountain Outfitter, and soon the Toggery, and Johnson said he is excited to be in such company.

“Since we’ve announced (the move), the outpouring of excitement has been really awesome. I think it would be a lot harder for us if we were new, but we’re established,” Johnson said. “I also feel it’s good to be around all these other stores, it’s like-minded people shopping in the core now.”

Being a bike shop in the Flathead Valley means hitting several different markets. The valley is part of two major cycling trails – the Great Divide and the Northern Tier – as well as a growing mountain biking scene, with athletes taking to the trails at Lone Pine State Park, Lion Mountain in Whitefish, and Whitefish Mountain Resort in the summer.

On March 2, the popular online mountain bike website, singletracks.com, ranked the Flathead Valley as No. 6 on its Best Mountain Bike Destinations list.

Cycling is also becoming a major player in the local tourism market, supporting several hostels and hotels throughout the area.

Johnson hopes his move to Kalispell will put him more in the mix. The new shop will have much of the same design and feel as the Bigfork location, with the custom stainless-steel fixtures and open floor design, as well as the ever-popular espresso bar.

But the Kalispell shop will be more open, and the set-up will allow for a comfortable place to drink a coffee and watch TV or chat with bike mechanic Pete Derrick as he works on cycles or just hang out with like-minded enthusiasts.

MAS Bikes will still sell supplements, cycling clothing and accessories, and, of course, cycles, but there will no longer be space for fashion items, Johnson said.

A central location will also allow the shop to organize more group rides and other events, he said.

Johnson hopes to have the space renovated and ready for a soft opening by April, and an official grand opening on Cinco de Mayo (May 5), in keeping with the new rebranding.

“We’re really excited,” he said.

For more information, visit www.MASBikes.com.