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Built to Order

Roll reinvents the perfect ride Imagine buying a car that just didn’t fit—one that was cumbersome and uncomfortable to drive and didn’t even come in the color you wanted. That’s precisely the challenge many riders find in choosing the right bike. And that’s what prompted Stuart Hunter, the founder of Columbus-based bike shop Roll, to [...]
J.R. McMillan



Roll reinvents the perfect ride

Imagine buying a car that just didn’t fit—one that was cumbersome and uncomfortable to drive and didn’t even come in the color you wanted.

That’s precisely the challenge many riders find in choosing the right bike. And that’s what prompted Stuart Hunter, the founder of Columbus-based bike shop Roll, to design a better bicycle from the ground up.

Roll Bicycle Company’s innovative modular design gives customers anywhere the ability to create a custom bike from three base configurations specially assembled for the right balance of flexibility and performance. Delivered to Kickstarter supporters late last year, the bikes are now available for anyone to order.

One of the most memorable parts of buying a bike in your stores is the Fit system. Standing in that giant plastic portal getting scanned provides detailed data on how to adjust each bike for the individual. (For those who haven’t, it’s sort of a Star Trek experience.) How do you accomplish the same precision with online bike orders?

It’s always been my belief that the correct fit is fundamental. If the bike doesn’t fit, you aren’t going to be comfortable, and you aren’t going to ride. As a bike company, ensuring customers could get the right fit was non-negotiable.

That’s why we took the Perfect Fit system we use in our stores and distilled it down to three simple measurements. Customers enter them on the website, and we can select the right size frame and adjust the contact points like saddle height, setback, and handlebars. By doing that, I think we were able to reduce the fear of buying bikes online, and in general. We wanted to remove the barriers that keep people from riding. As a designer, the bike’s function and appearance are extremely important to me. A great ride and a comfortable ride are the cost of entry. It’s so engrained in our business. But the bikes have to look great. They have to make you want to ride.

How did servicing bicycles from other manufacturers affect the design of your own bike? Did you decide, “These are all of the things our bike must have”—or did you do it in reverse order, “Let’s take these problems away, and what we’re left with is a better bicycle”?

The question really started with the customer, not the bike. We’ve been in business 10 years now, every day talking with customers. That’s where the insights came from to launch the bike company. One of the comments we hear constantly is, “I love it, but is it available in any other color?” The answer is typically no, but their expectations are shaped by experiences where personalization is the norm. I wanted that same ability to customize, and I just couldn’t find what I was looking for either. I couldn’t find my everyday bike that I could ride, have pride in, and have fun with—so we decided to build our own.


Now that Roll is making its own bikes, in addition to selling those from other vendors, will you every move beyond online and in-store sales? If I owned a bike shop in another market, would I be able to buy Roll bicycles to sell to my customers as well?

We are focused on creating a complete customer experience. Obviously, there’s a connection between the stores and the bicycle company. But I often describe them as two kids with the same parents —they have the same values and ideals, but they are different businesses. The traditional bike store is disappearing. I don’t believe it’s going away entirely, so the question becomes “How does it serve its community of riders?” The way people shop and interact with brands is evolving. Our challenge is to make sure we are best serving the rider wherever and whenever they want to engage with us—whether that’s online or in-store, at home or in the community.

Bike-friendly neighborhoods are increasingly in demand for businesses and homebuyers. But most American cities and towns revolve around automobiles for access. Why was Columbus the right place to launch Roll bike shops, and Roll Bicycle Company?

Columbus is very supportive of bikes, certainly evidenced by events like Pelotonia. It raises the profile and visibility of bike riders. It improves safety and creates the impetus for infrastructure. I see that as an indication Columbus is becoming a more connected community.

The most fantastic thing about biking is that it isn’t a team sport or an individual sport —it’s both. For some, the social aspects are an intrinsic part of why they ride. Others ride alone, to have time for personal reflection. Obviously, people ride for health and wellness, or transportation —but we have a lot of families who ride together.

I always describe myself as a bike rider instead of a cyclist. I think bike rider is a more embracing and inclusive term, perhaps less intimidating. Columbus is a community of bike riders.

Details on the designs behind Roll Bicycle Company’s Adventure, City, and Sport configuration bikes are available at

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Health & Fitness

Former OSU Linebacker partners with local CBD Company

Julian Foglietti



Former Ohio State University All-American linebacker, and NFL Fox analyst, Chris Spielman has announced a partnership with CBD Health Collection. Speilman was first introduced to the company while looking for solutions to his “nagging pain”, the result of injuries sustained throughout his football career. CBD Health Collection was founded in 2017 by Rick Bauer in conjunction with his son and daughter who run production and marketing respectively.

In conjunction with the new partnership, CBD Health Collection will be launching a Spielman branded line of CBD products targeted at former athletes and weekend warriors experiencing residual pain from sports. The new products will initially be available online as the company finalizes their retail distribution plans. 

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Health & Fitness

It’s no longer necessary to do squats outside of your gym, for now




Gym rats rejoice! Those who’ve been missing the arduousness of wiping down salty equipment after each use or hoping that they come across some top-secret CIA information on the lockerroom floor are in luck.

Since the closing of all non-essential business on March 24, gyms have been void of protein shakes and Affliction t-shirts. Following a court order on Tuesday, workout facilities are now allowed to open their doors earlier than the previous May 26 ruling. Those who were adamant about getting leg day in while also exercising their first amendment rights will no longer have to do so outside of gym complexes.

Lake County Common Pleas Judge Eugene Lucci ruled on Tuesday that state and county health officials, including Ohio Director of Public Health Dr. Amy Acton and the Lake County General Health District, won’t be able to take any action against fitness facilities violating the original reopening date. This comes following a complaint filed by The 1851 Center for Constitutional Law on behalf of 35 Ohio gyms, including Columbus’ Ohio Strength.

The general public would be harmed if an injunction was not granted. There would be a diminishment of public morale and a feeling that one unelected individual could exercise such unfettered power to force everyone to obey," Lucci wrote in the injunction

"The public would be left with feelings that their government is not accountable to them. Prolonged lockdowns have deleterious effects upon the public psyche."

When Lt. Gov. Jon Husted announced several opening days this past Thursday, guidelines that gyms would have to follow to remain open were also outlined. Gyms, fitness centers, and dance studios must keep employees and clients six feet apart, which also includes equipment. Upon entering these facilities, everyone will be asked to wash their hands or use hand sanitizer. 

Fitness facilities will not be asked to close if they follow these guidelines.

This doesn’t mark the end of the lawsuit, though. Restrictions placed on fitness centers are being temporality lifted while the case makes its way through the court system. A successful lawsuit, however, could mean that gyms could sue the state for lost income.

“The ruling by Judge Eugene Lucci of the Lake County Court of Common Pleas explains that private property rights are fundamental rights in Ohio, and that the Ohio Department of Health has both violated those rights and exceeded its own authority,” according to a statement from Cincinnati-based Finney Law Firm.

Photo by: WKYC Channel 3
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Health & Fitness

Pelotonia launches virtual program for 2020 event




For the past 12 years, Pelotonia has raised hundreds of millions of dollars for cancer research with an annual three-day bicycle race. Due to current social distancing measures, riders will not be able to gather this year to trek across central and southern Ohio.

The non-profit cancer research organization, though,  has found a way to allow riders to participate virtually. Launching on June 2, My Pelotonia will allow participants to set their own fundraising and biking goals for the year in place of the three-day event. A fundraising requirement will not be required. 

“While so much has recently changed, the need for critical research funding and the goal of Pelotonia has not,” said Doug Ulman, Pelotonia President and CEO.

“My Pelotonia will be an experience that is more inclusive and personal with more ways to engage and participate than ever before.”

My Pelotonia is also encouraging families to participate. To make this more possible, Pelotonia has waived registration fees and an age requirement. The fundraising deadline has also been extended until October 31.

The program is also encouraging people to not just exercise on their bikes. Running, walking, and volunteering are just some of the activities that count toward a rider’s personal goal.

In lieu of the traditional Pelotonia Opening Ceremony, a live broadcast celebration will be held on August 7.

100 percent of every dollar raised will go toward providing critical funds for cancer research at the OSUCCC-James.

Photos by Pelotonia

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