Q&A with Ben Burgert, founder of Ben’s Cycles
Ben Burgert is a Denver native: he’s been in the same zip code pretty much his whole life. As a junior at DU, he’s getting his degree in marketing with a minor in entrepreneurship. His business, Ben’s Cycles, has gained a lot of traction since its founding in the summer of 2020 — as of March 2021, @benscycles has over 1,000 followers on Instagram. Burgert has turned his hobby of fixing up and restoring bikes into an entrepreneurial venture. Entrepreneurship@DU sat down with Burgert for a Q&A about his business, future plans, hobbies and more.
Is Ben’s Cycles your first venture?
The whole entrepreneurship thing started all the way back in middle school for me. I started out selling stickers, then I had a photography thing going for a little while. I’ve kind of bounced from one thing to the next, and I just landed with bikes. I’ve always had a passion for riding bikes. I’ve always thought they were really fun, so I thought, “Why not try to make a little money doing it?” You know, do what you love. So, I’ve been buying bikes on Craigslist, fixing them up and selling them. It’s been a lot of fun.
When did Ben’s Cycles start up?
Last summer was when things really got started. That’s when I invested in tools and a bike stand, made my Instagram page and started reaching out to people. That’s when I really said to myself, “OK, I’m going to do this. I needed to find something to keep me busy during COVID lockdowns. At first, I started working on my own bike, and I didn’t have any intention of taking it to the next level and starting a business. Then I thought, “Why not? I may as well.”
Where do you see yourself post-graduation? Are there more startups on the horizon for you?
Yes, for sure. Ideally, I want to be my own boss post-college. There are some other things I’m interested in as well. The cannabis space is one — you never know what could happen there. I’d really like to see how far I can push this whole bike thing—what I can do to test my potential here. So yeah, I want to do this as long as I can, and when that doesn’t work out anymore, I’ll go find something else to start up.
I’d like to stay in Denver, if possible. It’s expensive to be here, but I’d like to stay in Colorado. The people here are great, I really like being close to family, I love to escape to the mountains, I love climbing—I just love everything about Colorado. I can’t do humidity, no chance.
Where did the passion for bikes come from? Was it something you grew up with?
My dad and I have always been mechanical. I grew up restoring parts with my dad. So I’ve always had a passion for working with my hands and stuff like that. During my freshman year at DU, I met a friend who was really into cycling. Before that, I kind of just rode my bike as a way of commuting. I didn’t really have a passion for it at that point. But my friend got me into it, and I wound up joining the cycling club, so I owe a lot to him for finding a real passion for cycling.
If I asked a friend to describe you in three words, what words would they use?
Relaxed, fun and caring.
Is there a favorite project you’ve worked on with Ben’s Cycles?
Yeah, there is this one old Benotto 3000. It was a bike made in Italy in the 1980s. That same model was actually raced in the Tour de France in the 80s, so it’s a professional race bike. It’s got some really cool old parts to it, and I picked it up for a couple hundred bucks on Craigslist. I’m still working on it. I’m doing a conservative restoration to keep all the original paint and details on it—just want to clean it up and get it in perfect mechanical working condition. The more I look at it in the shop, the more I don’t want to sell it. I don’t know; we’ll see. It’s a special bike.
How can people get in touch if they want to do business with you?
Feel free to send me a DM on Instagram @benscycles or on Facebook and let me know what you’re interested in. I do it all. If you want a custom paint job, or if you want a whole frame removed, new parts, new everything — or if someone just needs a new brake cable or a quick tune-up on their old bike — I can do any of that. I’ve got a wide variety of things I like to do at the shop, so we can make it all happen, really.