|Direct to Consumer brand Canyon is coming to the US in 2017|
The bicycle industry has been mostly stagnant, or arguably decreasing in size, since 2000 or so. The industry, largely entrenched in its ways developed over the past 40 years or more, hasn't fundamentally changed the way it does its business internally or externally. This is about to be changed, is changing now, and will change more over the next ten years. My prediction is that what we see as a "bike shop" now will not exist in ten years. Oh, there still will be bicycles, and they will still be sold, serviced, and replaced in time with newer ones, but the way we see that being done is going to be very different in the very near future.
Direct to consumer bicycles are not anything new, but let me be clear- what you get from this channel now is sub par compared to traditional bike shop brands. I know, I know..... Those of you that own such bikes are going to get your hackles up and say I'm wrong, I'm being a snob, or whatever. But just you wait and see what Canyon Bikes will be offering. We're talking bikes that will blow a Motobecane out of the water when it comes to the levels of engineering and performance, and you'll barely have to assemble anything when it comes to your door. There is zero comparison to what Canyon Bikes is doing with anything currently available direct to consumer in the US now, and even the big bike brands know this.
|Canyon Dude 9.0 fat bike $3240 and change USD|
Trek started offering their bikes on-line last year, and soon the other big brands followed suit. The convenience of buying from home though is not going to be enough, and in the case of the other brands, you still have to pick up your purchase at a shop. Canyon won't be hamstrung by such limitations. That's going to force the hand of the established companies in some way if Canyon makes any sort of a dint in the marketplace, because there isn't enough "pie" to go around now, much less if Canyon takes a slice.
While that sounds dire, it may not be the biggest motivation for change in the marketplace of bicycles. There are many internal issues within the industry itself which are unsustainable, not to mention how bike shops themselves are operated. Many stories about that can be found all over, but suffice it to say that change is in the wind and even without Canyon's influence, the changes would happen. I just think it may be sooner than it would have been with their entering the US marketplace.