As the Bike 3.0 model evolves, the rich are getting (somewhat) richer, the poor are getting (a lot) poorer, and the rest of us worker bees are getting told it's all just Business As Usual. And maybe it is.

After 40 years of bike biz time, I'd like to pass along one key element to those who are steering brands in the modern, digital world.

In Rick Vosper's update to his May 6 editorial, it seems Walmart's Viathon brand has delivered more — and less — than promised.

When jobs, families, careers, houses and even sometimes marriages are on the line, why are we all so resistant to change?

Second in a series of articles by former retailer David DeKeyser.
Photo by Thomas Le on Unsplash

After business profitability, owning your store location, or at least having a transferable lease, makes it easier when it comes time to sell.

For the folks behind the scenes at the PBMA and since day one, we have never said, "we need to fix wages." What we did discuss was a mission, a mission critical to the things we each valued. A mission which, in time, would impact the future.

Photo by Thomas Le on Unsplash

There are many ways to open and run a bike shop, but the list of options to exit the business is finite. First in a series of columns by David DeKeyser.

Last time, I proposed that bike and equipment companies can succeed and grow in a flat market by shifting focus from pushing units to winning — and keeping — customers; and that they can do this by offering a better customer experience, starting at the in-store level. The current installment unpacks that idea in a little more depth, including the question, "how do we pay for all this stuff?"

I hear a lot of feedback about what a professional bicycle mechanic is. Even some mechanics will argue about what makes a mechanic a professional or what qualifies them to become certified.

I think most bike shops think they offer good — even great — customer service. But, when Bicycling magazine publishes a story about bike shops titled, "Hey, Bike Shops: Stop Treating Customers Like Garbage" and then cites its survey that shows 60% of the respondents said they had a "negative experience," maybe it's time to look at your customer service with fresh eyes.

U.S. sales of adult bicycles, all channels.

What will shake up a stagnant bicycle sales market? Retailers dedicated to improving customer service while building brand loyalty.

Even Keener's fancy titanium road bike has a bell.

Talking with my ex-wife last night, this question came up. As healthy Boulder homeowners, we have nothing “real” to complain about. And yet it’s our civic duty to be outraged about something.

Five current and past presidents of the Bicycle Product Suppliers Association say the industry should join PeopleForBikes, which is now merged with BPSA.

Jenny Kallista, co-founder of the Professional Bicycle Mechanic Association and owner of Appalachian Bicycle Institute, says retailers can't make service more profitable if they disregard their own people.

A deeper look into the Bike 3.0 model, the larger concept of market domination, and into Shimano specifically, perhaps the only truly dominant brand in the Bike 3.0 landscape.

The bike industry produces more numbers than wheel sizes — and that’s a lot. Given that, it is kind of amazing that we still face so many basic unanswered questions: How big is the bike industry? How many bikes do we sell? How many people ride bikes? And maybe the most important question — what does it all mean for the future of our industry and our companies?

We’re currently 10 — 15 years into the rise of what I’ve been calling Bike 3.0: a few large companies and retailers rising to market dominance, pushing competitors into marginal positions or out of business entirely. Has Bike 3.0 actually succeeded? And in any case, what comes next?

There are simply too many players providing similar services to a small — some would say even shrinking — market.

Tagged Media/Publishing / Racing & Sponsorship

Tariffs, Trade and angst: Our much beloved industry finds itself in a pickle and we have company. The Trumpistas have declared tit-for-tat tariffs are good for America and from all indicators — at least at the moment — American consumers and our pusillanimous political class seem to care less.

The reality is, it will take two to four years, until 2021—2023, to completely re-source the U.S. bicycle business out of China.


Subscribe to RSS - Opinion/Analysis