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J2 Velosport Keeps Competitive Cyclists Fast for Reasonable Prices

By Pamela Sosnowski

Competitive cyclists have a go-to online retailer for carbon bicycle parts, accessories, cycling clothing, and more: J2 Velosport of Palatine. The store's owner Peter Stevens opened J2 seven years ago, with the goal of offering cyclists high level, huh quality products for affordable prices.

"There are dozens of cycling brands out there in the world," says Stevens. "And they all offer very similar products. But they're priced way too high. J2's products are priced realistically." Because the e-commerce business has no middlemen, little overhead, and doesn't spend much on advertising, it can sell its products directly to customers at a lower cost.

J2 carries a selection of bicycle handlebars, stems, seat posts, saddles, cages, and wheel sets, all made of carbon, which keeps a bike's overall weight low while providing superior strength and durability. The store also sells winter gear including gloves, arm warmers, knee warmers, caps, and more to keep cyclists cozy while training during the cold winter months as well as tires, tubes, and rim tape to help them roll fast towards the finish line.

Stevens' love for cycling got started when he was 16 and won his first bike race. During his second competition he was beaten "by a kid on a Huffy. That's when I got hooked." From then on out, he studied ways of making a bike lighter for competitive racing. He launched J2 in 2009 after introducing it to the public at the Chicago Winter Bike Swap held at Harper College every January.

"It's a great local event and we've done it every year since," he says. When his marketing budget allows for it, his company will sponsor local events such as the Sub 5 Ride for Parkinson's.

As a small, family-run business, Stevens prides himself on overseeing an operation that is honest and ethical. Besides the low cost to the customer, Stevens says J2 stands out from other cycling retailers by the level of service he provides.

"Every order is handled by myself or my family," he explains. "Every call, every email is handled by us. And we know how to treat customers. We have a loyal following that likes speaking directly to the owners. Our customers aren't just a number, they're a part of the family." The company will accept returns within seven days of receiving the item, and also provides a one-year warranty to the original purchaser against any defects in workmanship and/or materials.

J2 has no physical storefront, but customers can visit the company's website, http://stores.j2-velo.com, to shop online.

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