Friday, January 20, 2006

29"ers: It's Getting Bigger By The Minute!

Yeah, yeah! I know..........I am a 29"er freak! Okay, I admit it. Maybe it's because I pay attention to it, but it is getting to the point that just about any casual observer has to be noticing something is going on here. This is January, for crying out loud! Not your typical time for new product info to be spilling out.

Check out these news bits: Salsa has it's new and improved Dos Niner frameset in quality control at their warehouse. They will be in stock next week! A new company called Mint Cycles is introducing what is thought to be the worlds first S3 steel 29"er frameset very soon. Niner Cycles has a teaser up on concerning their four inch travel 29"er frame that is currently in testing with plans for release by late summer. Redline has quite a buzz going on over their imminently available Monocog 29"er. These are just news bits on bikes I can think of off the top of my head! That doesn't even include the components that are coming on line, like Pace's carbon 29" fork, or Salsa Cycles Delgado Disc rims. Plus, I know about a super-secret, bombshell that is about to be unleashed that includes TWO new bikes from a well known bike line!

So, I wrote a piece awhile back wondering if any manufacturers were interested in making any money on 29 inch wheeled stuff. I guess that there are! Thing is, I wonder what it's going to take to wake up folks at places like Specialized, Cannondale, or Giant? This market is growing, but in reality, it's not huge. However; the pie is only so big, and I think that if the larger corporations got into the market, two things would happen. First, the smaller custom type builders would suffer. Especially these new start-up companies. Secondly, the sheer marketing might of the larger corporations would probably expand the market, but only for themselves. I think one of the things holding them back is that they are waiting to see if 29"ers are the next big thing. I think it's time to change the way they look at things!

Here's what I think, if the manufacturers would quit looking for that magic trend and start focusing on the micro-trends they would be more diversified, and better able to react to market changes. 29"ers are part of that. They are trending! If you do not have a foot in the market, that trend just may pass you by. But, that's not the only trend in town. Have you seen oil prices lately? Yep! Goin' up again! Some say that oil is destined to go above $70.00 a barrel, which, as you know, is going to spike gas prices at the pump again. Remember what happened last fall? Got a commuter bike in your line-up? Another trend, I'd say! Small? Maybe. It might just turn out to be huge!

That's my take, and I'm sure you'll see it again when another batch of unbelievable 29"er news sweeps over my computer monitor again. Ahh! It's coming in waves!!!

Have a great weekend, and go out and ride that bike!

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