Thursday, 22 September 2011

Best in Test

Mystery Shopping by consumer magazines... worth it, helpful and a good thing?

We were mystery shopped a few months back by What Mountain Bike magazine looking for some suspension forks.

We did OK. Rated best in the town over the other 2 in the test, namely Alpine Bikes and Edinburgh Bicycle Cooperative.  By no means did we clear up as we were up against the big boys in town, but we did alright considering.

The criticism was that they would have to almost make us take the cash and that we did not have the stock (no-one did!) but the brief set out by the shopper meant that a buying decision was a wee while off yet anyway and there was no way we were going to pressure an unsure man into buying something he didn't know he needed.

Anyway - it was good to win. It gives us something to keep building on to see what we can achieve. Luckily we have great brands and companies right behind us helping.  Some others don't want to be a part of it and that's fine. They can carry on with the 2nd and 3rd place shops if they like, we don't mind ;-)

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Headwinds... in more than one sense.

You know what a headwind is.  You all know what it's like to ride into one.

It's an invisible force.  A force that makes you dance up through the gears and adjust your position whilst trying to remember what your school physics teacher taught you about aerodynamics all those years ago (bet you wished you had paid more attention sometimes).

It's great though cause on the other side of a headwind you get a tail wind. That's the opposite of rubbish - you get to dance down the gears and tear along with other traffic on equal terms.

Being an invisible force, you can only feel it's effects and it's easy to adjust to it. You just pedal harder and the desired outcome is achieved. You beat through it and come out the other side a bit blustered but feeling better for it.

It's an analogy that can extend to normal everyday life too.  There is always something conspiring to hold you back. Sometimes invisible, sometimes visible - sometimes you can adjust 1 thing and you change direction. You get the tailwind.  The visible headwind is a harder beast to master though; you can see it, you know what it is, but it's precisely these reasons that makes it a harder wall to climb.  Your actions to combat it are predictable and easily seen by the force - they expect a certain response.  Sometimes knowing stuff doesn't help - it's good  not to know.

When you can't see what's there I reckon it makes you fight a little differently, a little smarter, a little bit more elemental. A simple, response to a simple stimulus.

Headwinds are good. You get fitter, faster and stronger to make the most of the tailwind.

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

...there is always something new

Welcome to the first blog by us at TBC. It will mainly be me, Mark, who does this but you will see the odd new name here and there from time to time.

It will be a place we can have a rant or a moan about something we think isn't right. It will also be a place we can point out things to do or new products we have had come into the shop.

To start off we thought we better point out a new product that will be an absolute belter of a bike for 2012.  It's a road bike. It has a carbon frame. It looks the same as other road bikes.   Except... it has batteries. No, it is not electric (they are some way off being good but we will leave that one for another time...) but it has an amazing new technology.

Di2 gear shifting.

Yep. That's right, electronic gear changing.  Buttons instead of levers. No great long cables to get clogged or worn out, just precise Japanese engineering and totally easy to use seamlessness of operation you will think there are pixies involved somewhere.

Why is this a good thing?  Well it's not a bad thing. Yes it's new, yes there will no doubt be problems cause there always is isn't there, it's electronics after all. BUT it is a glimpse of the future, a bit like how an iPod is and was an object of your teenage dreams. Real actual science fiction at your finger tips...

Anyways, back to bikes.  We think that this will be a bike that will propel Cube into the next level of bike design and sales.  There will of course be the expected shortage of stock.  There won't be enough to go around and people will be disappointed, this happens with New Things, it just happens.

However, if you get one you will be amazed.  You will wonder how you ever lived without it.  I have tried Di2 in the past at a trade shows on test bikes and every time you are left wondering, 'how do they do that...?'  You will get that too. It's a good feeling, don't be scared.  New things are good sometimes although old things can be better for certain things.

It will be the way the industry shifts we think <that was not an intentional pun by the way, as hub and internal gearbox systems just don't seem to be the way forward as no one is taking it seriously enough like they do with this.  

Mine comes in November!  Don't worry, you can have a wee shot.

How much?  £2499.  A heap of money - enough to buy a Kitchen and a Bathroom. BUT, how much is your fun worth? How much does the future cost?  It will get cheaper in the long term - even in 2 years time no doubt we will look at this and think we were daft.  You can say that about everything though.  Go get some fun.  Now.

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