Inspired by his grandfather’s love of the outdoors, Ely Alexander launched Retrospec in 2009 while a Sophomore at USC.
The idea was conceived after purchasing his first (second hand) fixed-gear bike off of eBay for a whopping $600.
At the time, the market was divided between brand new bicycles selling for thousands of dollars in-store and used bikes with aging parts online. Fixies had gained extensive popularity but were extremely expensive despite their gritty, handmade appearance. In the early 2000s, many fixies were built by cobbling together a litany of parts in bright colors to create a custom, unique style. It was Ely’s goal to recreate that look, feel, and style in an affordable way; namely on a college kids budget.
Ely sourced manufacturers and materials on his own, while still attending school full time. With a handful of bikes loaded in the back of his truck, he hit the streets, consigning the bikes to local shops around Southern California. The pitch was to leave one bike on the floor, if it didn’t sell, he’d pick it back up. Not only did they sell, but the tables quickly turned with retailers traveling to Ely’s newfound warehouse in DTLA to stock up as soon as the bikes were available.
Retrospec was conceived with the purpose of creating products that ignite a passion for fresh air, and nurture a lung burning, chest pounding euphoria Ely experienced as a child outdoors alongside his grandfather. Retrospec continues to fuel consumers love for nature with affordable, quality gear so no one is restricted from embracing the outdoors. Retrospec has since expanded its offerings to include inflatable paddleboards, longboards, and snow gear. Over the last decade, Retrospec has grown exponentially to serve consumers of all ages, ignite their passion for fresh air, and fuel their love of nature through all seasons.
At Retrospec, bicycles are not only a mode of transportation but a lifestyle that grows and changes with you at every stage of life. As Ely has grown, so has Retrospec. Ely’s riding needs evolved from college student to working adult to father. Retrospec, in turn, changed alongside those milestones.
Beginning with an everyday bike for college students, Ely soon developed a collection of bicycles to match a variety of needs. Beach cruisers, rugged hybrids, track bikes, Dutch-style city bikes, and now a growing line of children’s products have expanded Retrospec’s offerings to encompass the many ways people enjoy fresh air and sunshine.
We believe that no one should be barred from enjoying the outdoors due to price. We are committed to providing accessible prices for long-lasting, high-quality products for years to come.