Columbus-Based Verde Designing BMX Bikes

Columbus has a surprisingly large bike distribution market, but Verde Bikes is focusing on the full package, designing, selling and distributing their BMX bikes from the city.

Short for bicycle motocross, BMX bikes were originally designed for racing and have evolved into street and stunt riding. The bikes have a shorter front end with 20-inch wheels compared to a mountain bike’s 26-inch wheels.

Aesthetic and details help Verde’s bikes stand out from the pack.

“There’s a lot of brands, we have a ton of competition and everybody tries to hit certain price points, but we make the best looking and best designed bikes,” says Steve Buddendeck, Verde Bikes co-founder. Instead of using one manufacturer for everything as is typical in the industry, Verde gets different parts from different people, creating uniquely designed, high-quality bikes. They also hit a variety of price ranges, $250 to $900, with variance coming from design and materials used.

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Verde’s typical customer is a 13 to 20 year old male, a demographic that isn’t always easy to please.

“The thing about our customer is it’s generally a 13, 14, 15-year-old kid whose attention span is really small,” Buddendeck says. For that reason, Verde puts careful attention to detail in both the design of their bikes and their website – all of which happens in Columbus.

“The ideas, art and aesthetic all happen here,” Buddendeck says. Verde’s bikes are made in Taiwan, but sales and distribution are done from their Alum Creek facility.

Columbus is proving to be a great location for the operation. Since Verde ships a heavy product, “Hands down the distribution part of it is really key,” Buddendeck says. “It’s so central.” The city’s affordability also makes it an ideal location to service their wide network of distributors.

Verde is achieving success on an international scale, selling bikes in about 30 countries and 300 independent bike shops in the U.S. Locally their bikes can be found at roll: and Paradise garage. The company also makes and sells almost every single part found on a BMX bike expect chains, brake levers and brakes.

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Buddendeck and Co-Founder Cory Muth started Verde Bikes in 2007. Buddendeck was into BMX as a kid and wanted to continue in the industry. A position with a BMX magazine led to an introduction to Muth, a successful amateur racer. Once Cory graduated college, the pair started a design business utilizing Buddendeck’s media background and Muth’s experience in graphic design.

“We did a lot of design work and photography for action sport businesses,” Buddendeck says. While things were going well, they both questioned if this was it, prompting the creation of Verde Bikes.

Being ingrained in the industry, “We know how to get stuff done,” he says. They were familiar with both the manufacturing process and how to build a brand. Opportunities during other positions also led to a well-rounded knowledge of the BMX bike scene and introductions to those that have become both distributors and competitors.

Buddendeck says the switch from a design to inventory-based business has been a learning curve. Forecasting is important. Running out of product means a long wait for a re-stock, but being a young company, it’s difficult to have a track-record to look at.

Verde saw rapid growth from the start, doubling unit sales year over year from 2007 to 2011. Catching up with the economy, they pulled the brakes slightly in 2012, but are continuing to see positive sales.

For more information, visit verdebmx.com.