By Kevin Collison
Jay Luschen, the owner of World Class Bikes in the West Bottoms, has a global approach to how he rolls whether you’re a hardcore mountain biker, recreational rider or just down on your luck and desperately need a bicycle to get around.
“I want to service the whole community,” he said. “I’ll do everyday guys’ used bikes, help vets and help people occasionally with a free bike.
“We want to be part of the community.”
And he’s about to relocate his World Class shop from the second floor of an old warehouse at 1101 Mulberry St. a half-block away to a much larger space on the first floor of a building at 1301 W. 11th St.
While Luschen has a generous spirit, he’s also a successful business owner.
He started selling bicycles online seven years ago and opened a retail operation about two years ago. All told, he’s lived 40 years in the bicycling business.
“I used to focus totally on online sales, but I got a little pressure from suppliers to do a bricks-and-mortar operation,” he said.
“The retail has grown quite a bit. I’m still doing more on eBay, but our retail is getting close.”
Luschen carries premier brands like Marin, a mountain bike maker out of California, and he also sells used bikes that have been refurbished in his five-person shop. World Class repairs all kinds of bikes and can handle exotic and vintage rides as well.
He’s been known to help out homeless people who stop by his shop to get their bikes back in shape free of charge, and occasionally will give a good used bicycle to someone in need.
His shop also stocks all kinds of bicycle gear including helmets, clothing, tools and accessories.
Luschen expects to open in his new digs next month. Susan Scott of RE/MAX helped with the transaction.
“We’re making the move to push our retail business forward,” he said. “I did it grudgingly, but now it’s working really well.”
Moving forward, Luschen wants to become more involved in the greater Kansas City bicycling community, helping to champion more bike lanes and advocating for his neighborhood too.
“I love the West Bottoms, I wouldn’t want to be in a strip mall,” he said.
Don’t miss any downtown news, sign up for our weekly CityScene KC email review here.