Time To Dump Your Customers? This Expert Thinks So

Note: a version of this piece appeared in Bicycle Retailer & Industry News Robbie Kellman Baxter wants you to eliminate your customers and replace them with members. And she’s written a book to tell you why you should do it, and how. Her new book, The Membership Economy, describes a fundamental shift in the way […]

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New 3D-Printed Ti Chain Is Lighter, Smoother, Self-Lubing

(April Fool’s prank sent to industry publications. Four editors responded asking for samples.) NEWS—for immediate release 01-April-2016, Vicenza, Italy  Using laser-sintered fabrication for its principle components and featuring embedded nanoparticles of a slicker-than-Teflon ceramic material, an Italian company announced today it has created what it calls “the ultimate bicycle chain.” “The technical pieces of the […]

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Old School #597: Jamming Tool

(Originally published in Red Kite Prayer) You’re an #OldSchoolCyclist when you still have your Jamming Tool. If you already know about Madison racing, you’re welcome to skip down past the indented text. If not, here’s the Cliff Notes version, shamelessly cribbed from Wikipedia and whatever could be easily located with a cursory Google search. Just […]

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Old School #97: Bottle Sock

(Originally published in Red Kite Prayer) You’re an #OldSchoolCyclist if you put a wet sock over your spare bottle on hot days. Because ice cubes were for sissies. Let’s talk about Euro. Not the monetary unit, the cultural unit. As in the irreducible essence of All Things European. Expressed, in this case, by potable liquids. […]

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Why It’s (So Much) Cheaper Online

Originally published in Red Kite Prayer, July 2015 If there’s one thing your local bike shop hates, it’s a customer walking into his (or, increasingly, her) place of business holding a sheet of paper. Of course, that paper might contain a shopping list of top-of-the-line goodies to buy in-store. But it probably doesn’t. And your […]

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Old School #11: End Buttons

(Originally published in Red Kite Prayer) You’re an OldSchoolCyclist when you find a toe strap end button in the bottom of your toolbox. Life may be like a box of chocolates, but a toolbox is like a can of mixed nuts. Over time the smaller stuff inevitably gets shaken down to the bottom. Often that’s […]

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No, Your Bike Shop Is Not Ripping You Off

Originally published in Red Kite Prayer, July 2015. One of the most important rules of the Internet is “Don’t Read The Comments.” RKP ‘s comments are a happy exception, partly because they’re thoroughly moderated, and mostly because RKP readers tend to be interested in riding bikes, as opposed to sniffing spokes and arguing about the […]

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OldSchool #31: Short Zippers

(Originally published in Red Kite Prayer) You’re an #OldSchoolCyclist if you still have scars on your nose from the short metal zippers on wool jerseys. As certain retro-nouveau clothing brands never tire of reminding us, wool jerseys are shaggy bundles of all-weather awesomeness. Sweat-wicking, breathable, cool in summer, warm in winter, we all know the […]

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Recovery Shoes: Why The Stupidest New Trend In Running Footwear Just Might Work For Cycling, Too

You know how when you get back from a long bike ride and get cleaned up and slip into your flip-flops, your feet just feel so darned…good? Of course you do. And so do our friends in the running and hiking communities. That’s because, like cycling, those activities cyclically smoosh the human foot– your foot, […]

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Where’s the Next Generation Of Affordable Bikes Coming From?

Here’s an interesting question, especially coming so close to that national monument to the benefits of ruthless colonialism known as Columbus Day. It goes something like this: The nascent Chinese recession notwithstanding, the cost of manufacturing bicycles in China will only continue to rise over time. So where will America’s next generation of affordable bikes […]

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