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

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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?

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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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We Don’t Need Model Years (Part Two)

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To read Part One, click here. That Was Then, This Is Now. Fortunately, those 240-day lead times from back in the early 2000s are a thing of the past. As discussed previously, it’s more like half that nowadays. Marketing communications can be developed and deployed at internet speed. Plus components haven’t changed every year anymore […]

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We Don’t Need Model Years (Part One)

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This two-part entry is actually the second half of  my previous post about why there weren’t nearly enough bikes in model year 2012 and why we don’t seem to be able to do anything about the chronic under- or over-supply of product in our parochial little industry. One of the big reasons we don’t just […]

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Three Big Reasons There Aren’t Enough Bikes This Year (Part One)

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Ask any retailer. We were blessed with great spring weather in North America this year, and now there aren’t nearly enough bikes in the channel to meet demand. Dealers blame suppliers for not building the right number. Suppliers blame retailers for not ordering the right number. But guess what? This is a seasonal business. The […]

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Smart Cookies: Electra Bikes And Some Tantalizing Hints About Marketing To Non-Enthusiasts

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How does Electra Bicycles turn a tidy profit marketing products to a nonenthusiast customer base the rest of the industry is largely content to ignore? Electra Marketing Director Elayne Fowler knows. But aside from a few tantalizing hints, she’s not telling. Elayne Fowler is one smart cookie. While the rest of the industry has been […]

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Who’s #1? Depending On How You Look At It, It’s Not Who You Think

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Conventional wisdom is, the Big Three bike brands—Trek, Giant, and Specialized—control the lion’s share of the US bike market. Actual numbers in this business are almost impossible to come by, but you’d be hard put to find an industry insider who’d disagree with that statement. And in terms of total unit sales, that wisdom is […]

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Light At The End Of The Tunnel? Maybe.

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I finally got my hands on the National Sporting Goods Administration’s (NSGA) 2010 report on the US Bicycle Market. In addition to being some of the most exciting news we’ve seen in 20 years (more about that in a minute), it’s also by far the easiest to interpret…mostly because instead of digesting the whole report, […]

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Why “Flat” Is Not “The New Up…” and Never Will Be

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My friend and colleague Ray Keener makes a good point in this BR&IN blog post from las week when he asks the question, ” Are flat bike sales for the past 35 years a good thing or a bad thing?” Among other things, Keener points out  that retailers are experiencing higher equipment and service-category sales, (slightly) […]

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Reaching Out To New Markets

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Traditionally one of the reasons bike companies give for not advertising to non-enthusiast markets is that they’re just not cost-effective to reach. And while that may be true when advertising is limited to magazine pages and website banners in enthusiast publications, brands willing to market outside the box should have no problem reaching fresh–and potentially […]

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