In 1974, Arni Nashbar, a New Middletown Ohio advertising man, started a bicycle parts mail order company out of his home with $1,000. Within ten years the company was very successful in the early bicycle market in the USA. In the late 90’s, Nashbar was also a sponsor for the U.S. Postal Cycling team, and eventually in 2000 Nashbar was sold to Performance Bicycle to become a part of their family. Over the years Performance and Nashbar grew into one of the largest internet retailers and opened brick and mortar bicycle shops throughout the USA. Both brands were eventually sold to private equity investors in 2007, but alas, ran into hard times and in 2016 was sold to Advanced Sports Enterprises. Under ASE, the company was unable to regain its form, adapting to the new retail landscape, and closed its facility in North Carolina in 2018.
In February 2019, Nashbar returned to its roots when AMain Sports and Hobbies' husband and wife duo, Kendall and Kelly Bennett, purchased the web site to add to their family of successful eCommerce and brick and mortar businesses.
Similar to the humble beginnings of Nashbar, Kendall and Kelly started AMain Hobbies in 2004 out of their garage in the Northern California town of Chico. Kendall and Kelly both shared a passion for remote control hobbies and excellent customer service – but they found this lacking with the online shopping options that were available at the time. They decided to open an eCommerce web store that met their expectations of what a shopping experience should be – live inventory, fast shipping, and real live human support that was a quick phone call away. AMain Hobbies grew quickly as word of mouth about the company’s quality customer service spread. In 2014 Kendall was in a position and ready to branch out into another passion of his – cycling. In that year AMain Hobbies purchased the local Chico bike shop, Cyclesport, and the AMain Sports & Hobbies and AMain Cycling brands were launched.
Chico has a vibrant cycling community that AMain Sports & Hobbies is proud to be a part of. Kendall can frequently be seen riding local group rides or racing at the Chico Airport Criteriums. Being almost six feet, seven inches tall makes him a favorite to draft behind and he has slung many a teammate to victory. AMain’s fun-loving work environment attracts some of the region’s best and most diverse talent. Available to answer your questions are a United Bicycle Institute Certified Bike Technician as well as a Retül fit specialist. AMain has over a dozen employees who race road, cyclocross, cross country, downhill and enduro. There are even more AMain employees who ride their bike to work year-round. From that carbon fiber new-new bike to old school klunkers, we ride 'em all. Give us a call and let’s talk bikes!
Today, AMain Sports and Hobbies manages three cycling webstores and one brick and mortar bike shop along with an equal amount of sites and shops in the Radio Control segment. Our cycling web sites include AMainCycling.com, PerformanceBike.com and Nashbar.com. Both the AMain Cycling and AMain Hobbies retail stores are located in Chico, California along with the eCommerce distribution center.
If you find yourself in the Northern California area, come say “Hi!” The retail bike shop rents and demos all types of bikes and can share information on local trails, group rides, or simply what’s new. Feel free to take advantage of our local ship to store program to buy anything we sell online and pick it up at one of our retail stores if you are in the area!
As a company that straddles both the online and in-store retail worlds, AMain Sports & Hobbies has a unique perspective on the relationship between both types of business. Local bike shops are incredibly important for cycling communities. They provide folks with places to meet face to face and connect over a love of bikes. At the same time, Kendall and Kelly see exciting potential in how brick and mortar bike shops can collaborate with online stores as the lines between eCommerce and retail stores disappear.
Everyone at AMain Sports & Hobbies is thrilled to welcome Nashbar and their customers into its growing family. AMain Sports & Hobbies’ dedication to support all cyclists achieve their athletic, recreational and transportation goals will carry the Nashbar legacy into the future.
AMain Sports & Hobbies History
Nashbar is part of the AMain Sports & Hobbies multi channel retailer. We have operated out of the Chico, California area since 2004. In that time, both consumers and suppliers have recognized us as being a trusted retailer and business partner.
In May, 2004, Kendall and Kelly Bennett started AMain Hobbies out of their 2-car garage in sunny Chico, California. Kendall, with his passion for RC hobbies, having a software engineering degree and experience running a successful software development company, decided to start the company of his dreams. Kelly, coming from an extensive customer service and human resources background, pitched in with helping customers by phone and filled orders, while Kendall worked his wizardry with the website.
The company grew quickly; mostly from word of mouth of RC racers on forums. AMain Hobbies gained its quality reputation by maintaining a broad selection of inventory, delivering excellent customer service, providing expedited shipping at reasonable rates, and giving back to the RC community by sponsoring races and charitable events.
The business has had to move to 3 different locations in its first ten years of business so it could continue to grow and succeed. We are now located in a 60,000 square foot building which houses our distribution center and offices. We have an RC track: Silver Dollar RC Raceway, which is an outdoor state-of-the-art RC raceway located at the Silver Dollar Fairgrounds in Chico, CA, that hosted the 2013 IFMAR Worlds race event. We also run two successful retail stores in town: AMain Hobbies which sells RC hobby products and AMain Cycling which is a leading retailer of cycling products.
Check out this RC Car Action article (PDF) to read more about the history of AMain, as told by co-founders Kendall and Kelly Bennett.
Our awesome staff embodies the company’s Vision, Mission, and Core Values:
Share the Fun!
We are committed to sharing the fun, camaraderie and joy of sports and hobbies with everyone.
Our Core Values
- Inspire Trust
- Be Committed
- Embrace Change
- Be Accountable
- Strive for Excellence
Building relationships with our people, and our customers, is the secret ingredient to our success!