A conversation—that’s what we are aiming to create here. A conversation between riders, bike shops and the bike industry itself. There’s a hell of a lot to talk about these days… including the impact being made by the flood of bike standards that have hit the market in recent years. How does it all impact riders? How about the bike shops carrying all of those bikes and parts? And what about the people making the actual products—what’s their take on all this?
I am not a retro grouch. I’m a fan of the kind of innovation that makes bikes and products better. I am, however, concerned about what sometimes seems like an avalanche of haphazard, half-step “innovations” that have saddled bikes and components with the lifespan of a fruit fly. A few of the folks at Chris King share some of my sentiments, which is why they invited a number of companies and bike shop types to King’s factory in Portland, Oregon. The goal was to get a better grasp on the issue and to broaden the discussion.
Employees from Enve, Fox Racing, Moots, Pivot Cycles and Santa Cruz Bicycles answered the call; as did representatives from several Pacific Northwest shops, including Cyclepath, Fanatik Bike, Fat Tire Farm, River City Bicycles and Sellwood Cycle Repair. Where were Shimano, SRAM, Trek, Specialized, Giant….? Fair question. This was our first attempt at creating an industry dialogue and, unfortunately, many people from those (and other companies) were overseas at the time. We’ll work on broadening the attendee list (and conversation) next time around.Why does the bike industry produce so many competing standards for the same basic component?
What kind of impact does the flood of new standards have on bike shops?
Is there any chance that the major players in the bike industry will ever agree to collaborate on new standards in the future?
Those are just a few of the questions we ask and answer here.
So, sit back and give it a listen.
Finally, we'd like to give a quick shout out to Annalisa Fish (who co-hosts the "We Got to Hang Out" cycling podcast) for recording the conversation and giving us the raw materials to make this podcast.