Friday, August 03, 2018

Friday News And Views

New perches from WTB are wider
WTB Introduces Wider Saddles In Silverado and SL8:

Okay, I have to say up front that I am a huge fan of WTB saddles going way back to the 1990's. My love affair with these saddles started with the old SST model and then I moved on to the Pure V.

WTB had this street/commuter high performance saddle for a while I liked, but it was too narrow. So too was the Silverado, and while I was attracted to the shape of that model, I knew that since it was offered in only a narrow width, I couldn't afford to try it.

Meanwhile, my brother-from-another-mother, MG, tried the Silverado and has loved it since. He has nothing but good things to say about it, but his posterior parts are not as "wide-load" as mine are, so he needs that narrower saddle. Well, now WTB has Silverado saddles in a 142mm width, just perfect for my undercarriage. They also are doing the SL8 (say: "S-L-8, not slate) in wider widths and not only 142mm, but 150mm as well. Unfortunately there is no 150mm offered in the Silverado for those wondering about that.

Well, the SL8 is not one I paid attention to, it being initially offered only in an ultra-narrow 127mm width. (Ouch! That hurts me just thinking about it!) Anyway, now they have it in the 142mm width as well, so I can actually sit on it and not fear being split in half. And sit on that saddle as well as the Silverado is what I intend to do. See, WTB sent out a press kit to so I could try these two saddles out and write about my experience. That'll get posted there later.

New direct-to-consumer brand Thesis launched this week.
Thesis Launches Direct-To-Consumer OB1 Model:

Direct to consumer brands are nothing new, but since retail is languishing in the brick and mortar category, many entrepreneurs are looking at this business model. A new brand dubbed Thesis is the latest that I have heard about to hit the scene.

Of course, their first model to market would be an "all-road", gravel type bike because, other than e-bikes, that is the hot category now. Promising what many direct to consumer brands do, (nearly half price of typical bike shop brands), and the latest technologies with several options available, the Thesis brand hopes to carve out a niche in the ever more crowded direct-to-consumer marketplace.

I have two reactions to their press release. One- The language in the release, and especially on their site, is heavily anti-traditional retail and discretely tries to lead you to believe that you are not very smart if you buy from a bike shop. Yet they suggest that you go there to be fit, because, well.....Thesis cannot support you that way, amongst other ways which aren't pointed out. Secondly, the release and the website state that the business model of bicycle brands is to fragment the market and lead you to believe that you "need all these bicycles". Which, on the surface of it, sounds plausible. However; if you consider that after everyone gets a Thesis they will no longer ever need another bicycle, (if what they say is true), then their business model has quite a finite lifespan, no?

I think marketing is marketing, and I smell a strong scent of it in Thesis' presser. They are definitely reaching out to the anti-business, anti-bike shop conspiracy theorists which are out there. Let's make no mistake, if that wasn't the case there would be no Bikes Direct. (Or Canyon, or others in the category)

Here We Go.....

This weekend I am going to do something I haven't done in over a decade. A 24hr event. I'm on a two man team with Sam Auen, he of Tacopocalypse and Krunkwich fame. Together we are "Team Pink", since we are both going to ride pink bicycles, for better or for worse!

The event is on gravel and is called the 24hrs of Cumming. Team Pink will be there and doing the 400K distance option. Each loop is about 60 miles in length and there are 4 loops which are all different, mostly in the area Southwest of Des Moines, Iowa. In other words, it is very hilly. 

I'll be riding my new Black Mountain Cycles MCD, of course, which, if you haven't heard, was dubbed the "Bubblegum Princess" by my daughter. Sam will be riding his pink Twin Six Standard Rando. This will be the BgP's (that's short for Bubblegum Princess) first big outing and I'm looking forward to seeing how it handles the high speed descents down there. It should be interesting at night! 

Also, it is Sam's birthday weekend. Yikes! I've heard stories about Sam's B'day celebrations and they are...... Well, let's hope I survive it! The bike riding will be a piece of cake if the legends I've heard are true about the birthday celebrations of Sam's! 

That's a warp on this week. Get out and ride those bicycles, folks! 

1 comment:

Skidmark said...

I believe the profits from new bike sales @ LocalBikeShops have allowed shops to maintain artificially low maintenance/repair department labor rates...I would think increased repair/labor rates would become necessary to the degree that new bike sales are lost to direct marketers.