Intense Announces Lower Retail Prices and Hybrid Direct-to-Customer Sales

Dec 4, 2017
by Richard Cunningham  
Intense Tracer 2017 review
Intense's Tracer Factory Build debuted at over $10000. Rider Direct could strike $2500 from the figure.

At seven o'clock Monday morning the average MSRP of every new bike that Intense sells will drop 25 percent. That means a $7000 Pro-Build Tracer will cost $5000. Customers in the USA will have the option of either buying their Intense directly from the factory, or from their local Intense dealers for the same money. Intense will support direct-sales customers from its headquarters in Temecula, California, and also support its existing dealers by linking on-line buyers to them with a prepaid service contract.

With a few exceptions, outside the US, Intense will sell direct to customers only. Intense has been busy setting up warehouses and customer support centers in the regions where it sells abroad to ensure prompt delivery, as well as warranty and setup-assistance in a familiar language and time zone.

Rider direct

Introducing Rider Direct

Intense calls it Rider Direct, and it's a big change in the brand's business model, which has been staunchly devoted to bike-shop sales since its inception. There are a number of factors which motivated Intense to make that decision, but they all boil down to one simple message: Intense just made it much simpler and less expensive to buy one of their bikes.

No secret that Canyon, YT, and Commencal have demonstrated that consumer direct is a powerful tool for mid-sized brands in Europe. Their success has forced every player, large or small, to consider adopting some sort of internet-based sales strategy.

The obvious motivation is a chance to "cut out the middle man" and pocket two slices of the pie that would normally go to their distributor and retailer, but if consumer direct were that simple, everyone would already be on the program. As intense discovered, there's more to the picture than meets the eye.
rider direct
German consumer-direct YT altered the industry forever when they delivered on their promise to sell affordable high-end mountain bikes.

Well before the decision was made to adopt Rider Direct, Intense scrutinized the best and worst of YT and Canyon. They also experimented with Intense's key markets outside the USA (the UK, Europe, Australia, and Canada), instigating test programs to compare the conventional distributor/dealer/customer supply chain with dealer-direct and customer-direct alternatives. What they concluded was that internet sales have permanently altered customer buying habits. And, perhaps more important, that the distributor/dealer supply chain was broken.
rider direct
2018 Intense Carbine


Fixing What's Broken

Mountain biking is a fair weather sport (except in the UK), so our buy/sell season is a short one. Currently, bike distributors and retail shops must purchase and warehouse a substantial inventory to ensure they will have the correct size, color and model for a customer who may never walk into the store. The situation is made worse as bike brands release next-season models in the early summer months, which blunts the value of inventory as retail sales peak.

Savvy bike buyers (and sellers) know this cycle well, so they lay in wait for wholesalers and retailers to close out their stock around August at embarrassingly low prices. It's a vicious cycle that devalues the MSRP of a bicycle (and profit margins) before the first one reaches the dealer's floor.

Bike brands like Intense already own and warehouse their bikes in every size and color. Why waste the time and expense to warehouse them twice more when they could ship them directly to their customer's doorstep? In the USA, where Intense will introduce a hybrid model, dealers can minimize their investment by displaying a small number of showroom models and depend upon Intense to restock them in short notice. Intense says they anticipate shipping orders in two to four days.

Intense says their pilot programs indicated that they could use the savings generated by the Rider Direct Hybrid model to substantially lower their MSRPs and still maintain a fair profit for themselves and for their dealers. For customers, it's a form of free-market price protection. Whether you buy from an Intense dealer, or factory direct, you'll pay a price that reflects the average between the old-school inflated MSRP that high-end brands ask for (but rarely get), and the end-of-season close-out prices that the vultures offer when next year's models arrive. With far less inventory in the supply chain, the close-out situation should be minimized.

bigquotesThe future of retail bicycle dealers will shift towards customer support, and aftermarket sales. When we sell direct to a customer, we link them to the shop with a service contract. So either way, they have an opportunity to establish a long-term relationship.Andrew Herrick, Intense CEO

Will Intense Dealers Accept the Changes?

Intense CEO Andrew Herrick was realistic about the switch to Rider Direct in the USA. He admits that Intense stands to lose a number of retailers, but he believes that dealers who do give it a chance will benefit financially. He says that the sport is maturing and when that happens in a technical, high-end market, profit margins begin to drop. Comparing mountain bikes to the motorcycle industry, Herrick states that the margins on new motorcycles are between 20 and 15 percent - which is where he expects enthusiast-level mountain bikes to level off:

"That doesn't necessarily mean that bike dealers can't make a profit," says Herrick. "If they are careful with inventory, they will. The future of retail bicycle dealers will shift towards customer support and aftermarket sales. When we sell direct to a customer, we link them to the shop with a service contract. So either way, they have an opportunity to establish a long-term relationship"

bigquotesThere are people who don't even grocery shop. My wife goes on Amazon, places the order and they bring it over to our house.Jason Guthrie, Intense Dealer

Jason Guthrie - Chainline Bikes: I had the opportunity to speak frankly with Intense dealer Jason Guthrie, owner of Chainline Bikes in San Diego, California. He thought Rider Direct was going to be helpful:

"I’m pretty sure this will help the shops a ton," says Guthrie. "It gives us another tool to be competitive. It’s one thing to have a high-end bike, but to have one that is more attainable is something special. With on-line stores buying close outs and selling them for less than I could buy one, we can now sell an Intense for a realistic price and not be affected by end-of-year discounts."

Chainline Bikes caters almost exclusively to high-end buyers, who often pay a premium for customized paint and accessories. When asked whether dropping prices and going customer direct would adversely affect Intense, Guthrie was also positive:

"There are people who don't even grocery shop. My wife goes on Amazon, places the order and they bring it over to our house," laughed Guthrie. "The service contract, that's a great option. It covers things, like converting to tubeless, and offers a chance to introduce on-line customers to our shop. I don’t think that Intense’s reputation for being a boutique brand will go away, because of the passion they have for their brand and their core following. As long as they keep their shops involved, as long as price is not the main force driving them."

rider direct
Team mechanic and test rider Chappy Feine. When on-line buyers seek advice, they'll be speaking with the people who build and ride Intense.

bigquotesWith high-end boutique bikes, you don't see them selling as much. People are looking for value builds. I think the industry has pushed a little too hard.James Matty, Intense Dealer

James Matty - Squatch Bikes and Brews: Across the country in Brevard, North Carolina, I also spoke with James Matty, owner of Squatch Bikes and Brews. I asked Matty if and how Intense's direct sales hybrid was going to affect the way his shop does business in the future. Matty seemed positive about the change, but he takes a wait-and-see attitude:

"For us, I think that having better inventory control and product readily available for customers is going to be better for overall volume of sales," says Matty. "I see it being better for local bike shops. People who bought on line before will continue to do so, but now Intense will be directing them to us. As far as the price of the bikes? People are looking for bang for their buck. With high-end boutique bikes, you don't see them selling as much. People are looking for value builds. I think the industry has pushed a little too hard."

To reduce its MSRPs, Intense is lowering its own profit margins, as well as the margins it offers to dealers that elect to stay on the program. Matty seemed okay with that. Intense's Andrew Herrick calls the concept of lowering profit margins, while increasing the volume of sales "the modern, transactional model." It's one of the pillars supporting the brand's move to direct sales. Matty maintains, however, that the transactional model was developed for much larger companies that primarily sell widgets at low price tags and at volumes that dwarf the cycling industry's.

"With this model [Rider Direct hybrid], I see it somewhere in between." predicts Matty. "As long as a bike shop does a little homework and watches their dollars, they will see their profits go up. Ratios will balance out, we will see more people mountain biking, and an increase in sales of smaller items and service. Low margins are like so many industries today. You have to look at your ratios and percentages. If I can sell three instead of one. If at the end of the year, my profits are higher. Why wouldn't I like that?"

Matty views initial success of Rider Direct with positive skepticism. I asked him about that, and how the changes were going to affect Intense's relationship with its core customers:

"I think, out of the gate, they are going to suffer internally." says Matty. "They are going to have a learning curve to figure out what the inventory should be like. When you are running a boutique manufacturing plant like they are, as long as they are maintaining quality and servicing their customers well - as long as they have that human touch like the bike shops - and they're hitting on price - I think those things are hard to beat. All that the on-line shops have to offer is low numbers."

bigquotesRetail pricing at the boutique level is totally fictitious. Dropping the MSRP 20 percent just brings the prices to a realistic level - what customers are really paying for them.Doug Wolkon, Intense Dealer

Doug Wolkon - North of the Border Bikes: Back to Southern California. Doug Wolkon, owner of North of the Border Bike Shop, has a different take on Rider Direct. Doug's shop sits at the trailhead of one of San Diego's most popular trail networks, so his sales are split almost evenly between high-end bikes like Intense, and entry-level models purchased by newbies. Wolkon believes that there are other compelling reasons that Intense is reducing its pricing:

"Retail pricing at the boutique level is totally fictitious," says Wolkon. "Dropping the MSRP 20 percent just brings the prices to a realistic level - what customers are really paying for them. I'd rather sell less bikes at a higher margin. When things are hard to get, everyone wants one. After everyone has one, nobody wants one anymore. There's too many brands out there, and everyone is trying to grasp so much of the market. I think that there's just not enough market."

rider direct
Rider Direct offers bike buyers a chance to order the color, size and model they want, regardless of whether or not their local dealer has one in stock.

bigquotes...We have never been afraid of doing things differently. This time, instead of bringing out a new bike, we are bringing out a better way to do business.Jeff Steber, Intense Founder

What Rider Direct Means for Intense Buyers

When we met to discuss the big changes in store, Intense founder Jeff Steber said: "We have always been a rider-driven company, and we have never been afraid of doing things differently. This time, instead of bringing out a new bike, we are bringing out a better way to do business. It's still about the rider. Prices of high end bikes have gotten out of hand. We've found a way to drop our prices, so now people who maybe could never dream of owning a high-end bike can afford something like our new Tracer."

No cheap bikes: First and foremost, Intense is well aware that performance and pride of ownership are inseparable among its core customers. They will offer their entire 2018 range as advertised and without downgrading anything to reach their new set pricing. Andrew Herrick states that soon, every high-end bike maker will have to make a similar adjustment in their prices.

bigquotesEvery customer who purchases an Intense will be contacted in person, walked through their service contracts and introduced to a local dealer, whether that dealer sells Intense or not.Andrew Herrick, Intense CEO

rider direct
Key to the success of direct sales is delivering the bike tuned, test ridden and 90-percent assembled.

To maintain its core customers and rider-driven mission statement, Intense plans to wow them with personalized service. A completely reconstructed website directs customer requests to real Intense employees who speak their language in their time zones.

Ready to ride - almost: Bikes will be shipped to the customer 90-percent assembled, along with a gift box packed with instructions, user manuals, accessories, and a high-quality tool set that includes everything the owner needs to finish, adjust and tune the bike. Most riders will be able to get their bikes up and running in a half hour. If the new owner doesn't feel up to the task, Intense's free service contract should cover the cost to have it done by his or her local bike shop.

Rider direct
Your new Intense will arrive with instructions, parts manuals, necessary accessories and a sweet tool kit.


Get the bike you want: Regardless of whether you are an on-line shopper or you choose to buy from a retailer, you won't have to search around for your dream bike. Intense will be shipping your bike directly from its warehouse, so you'll be able get the size, model, and color you want, instead of settling for the closest match that your retailer has in stock - or being diverted to another brand of bike altogether. If intense is sold out, you'll be communicating with the factory, so you'll get the straight story the first time around.

Join the family: Perhaps the best aspect of Rider Direct is that owners and potential customers will be interacting with the people who make, design, assemble, ship and ride Intense bicycles. Who could better answer your questions? The power of internet sales is that, for the first time in the mass market, an individual who is making a purchase can communicate directly with a person who helped make the product. It seems that Intense is prepared to take full advantage of that opportunity and hopefully customers will too. The bicycle industry will surely be watching.







365 Comments

  • + 342
 I think it’s great. Prices have obviously been unrealistic for a long time. It’s a step in the right direction. Thank you YT, Commencal etc.
  • + 63
 This might be the year where we see a thinning of the heard. Inflated margins have made the second hand bike market king and the LBS nearly extinct.
  • + 19
 You missed Canyon Smile
  • + 58
 Thank capitalism!
  • - 21
flag poah (Dec 4, 2017 at 7:17) (Below Threshold)
 Funny that those company's have dubious customer service records
  • + 45
 @SnowshoeRider4Life: Thank Taiwan.
  • + 19
 @poah: *companies
  • + 15
 Yep, these companies really kicked the hell out of these so-called premium brands.
  • + 4
 It is great however there many places outide
NorthAmerica and europe where the market is not as big in terms of $$ however important, and direct sales its not going to happen (putting inventory in the country wont make sense) ...listen up intense, YT , canyon, you need to drop your final price to a few key independent distributors to maintain presence in some countries.....cheers
  • + 6
 Who would've thought that Intense were basically laughing all the way to the bank, selling crooked rear triangles for way too much money?
  • + 10
 Just take out the bullshit between the press release and the monthly online deals page.
  • + 9
 This makes me want to buy an Intense, great way to make things clear; Good job
  • + 39
 Brands aside, this shift to direct is an overdue and welcome change. Much better place to focus industry efforts than Boost++149.5evo
  • + 3
 I was going to write a whole long comment, but I will write this instead; Ridiculous! And the only reason why Intense did this is cause they would have sold shit all for trying to push the price up too much to start with. Tell this to the customer who just bought his bike for 10 grand, I bet he will be getting another intense soon. it's this ST view in compnaies that messes everything up!
  • - 18
flag High-Life (Dec 4, 2017 at 10:02) (Below Threshold)
 Yes!! Love this. Bike shops have been irrelevant to bike purchases for decades. In the future we'll have small shops with no inventory so you can just look at the bikes... like how a lot of fashion brands are operating.
  • + 24
 Don't thank Commencal. They went direct because they were too impotent to build a proper dealer network and smothered some of their loyal dealers who risked a lot by purchasing bikes from them and making a stock. Plus they have horrible customer service. They don't belong in the same category with say YT or Canyon. Canyon made mediocre bikes which with over the average parts for a long time before becoming what they are now, but one thing they had always dialed, as far a I can remember: an efficient way of purchasing bikes and decent customer service. Most feedback about YT is the same, although waiting for a failed suspension part means being robbed of quite some time of riding. Long story short: the Andorrans are not on this list and they will never be. They slid into the direct market territory for totally different reasons.
  • + 4
 I think it's a smart move - they're jumping on the direct sales band wagon fairly early to ensure they get a share of the market. The model is somewhat proven, and if they can deliver on the servicing and aftermarket, then I see no real issue for the purchaser or Intense - quite the opposite. Also, given I built my last bike myself, I'd rather not pay a bike shop to do some minor tinkering etc...
  • + 4
 @Soilsledding: where is a second hand bike market? please let me know i haven't seen one in years.
i am having a hard time selling my one or two year old bikes for 20% of the original price...
  • + 4
 @Soilsledding: it's already happened in my town. the best shop is doing great and the mediocre ones failed. too many shops here still anyways.
  • + 13
 I think the focus that the LBS should take now (if not already) is make great service a priority. Specifically, keep your great mechanics, train the promising ones, and support the challenged ones to find a better fit, job-wise. Without great techs, our high-end parts won't be running for long.

I count myself fortunate that I know an outstanding life-long mechanic in the Seattle area. I admit I haven't bought much product save for Clif Bars and Dirt Rag magazine from the shop - but I only trust him to service my suspension.
  • + 1
 @Soilsledding: I agree. Specialized didn't raise prices but reduced the margins to dealers instead. I can see some companies struggling this year.
  • + 5
 @sngltrkmnd: hard to consistently have great techs... Its a meager job where most move on if their smart, including myself... You grow a bit older and realize that there's no money it! Every now and again a shop will retain a gem.
  • + 17
 @michibretz:

@michibretz: If you actually want to sell your used bikes you should be pricing at 50% of MSRP as a starting point. 20% off new is laughable, you can buy a new bike for 20-30% off at the end of the season and that comes with a full warranty.

Who would pay 20% off new price for used? Even if it is mint condition that is absurd.
  • + 12
 @Maxipedia: Canyon and decent customer service in the same sentence - are you serious? Their reputation in Germany is pretty horrible ...
  • + 9
 @gramboh: 20% of or 20% off?
  • + 1
 @slimboyjim: me id rather pay a bike shop not all this direct sales
  • + 8
 @gramboh: lol, i am not talking about 20 percent off retail. I am saying 20 percent of the retail price it had a year or two before = 80% off

for example i am currently trying to sell a 2016 Yeti Sb6. It's a custom xtr build with Industry nine carbon wheels and a lot of other high end parts. At full retail this bike would have been around 14K in 2016 and i'm trying without much success selling it for 2500...
Its sad but i am used to it as I am switching bikes almost every year and it has been like this for a while.
  • + 9
 Honestly, looking at those bikes I don't feel for them. Typical carbon-everything brand with a daltonism-affected designer.
  • + 2
 @lkubica: TIL daltonism - hat tip to you, sir
  • + 1
 @enrico650: As did Trek
  • + 1
 @Maxipedia: I had no idea. Thanks for the info.
  • + 1
 @Soilsledding: You consider 28 points and inflated margin? Because that is a pretty average margin for a typical high end mtb on a LBS sales floor. In other words, if the bikes MSRP is $128, it cost the LBS $100.
  • + 4
 @Maxipedia: Yep, Commencal dumped their bike shops like shit. And Quality is really not on par with Canyon or YT
  • + 5
 @Soilsledding: A think we're due for a pretty big shape up. Most shops are lucky if they make a couple hundred bucks on a new bike. Would love to see brands start interacting with shops differently rather than cutting them out of the picture entirely.
  • + 1
 @MansfieldCyclesVT: Production cost reduction and competition are driving down product cost. There is a power struggle for margin at this point with the manufacturer controlling how the game is played. Unfortunately they plan, and then get worked by a direct sell model and need to cut but aren't willing to let their margin go. They must cut costs, reduce support to LBS, or change structure. This will continue to happen...we've seen high quality carbon costs cut in half almost...carbon frame costs haven't budged...why that appears to be the manufacturers margin after they get taken by SRAM or Shimano. I imagine that the shops will continue to suffer and will not want to be associated with a company. Carbon is stable and now we start to see turn battles...
  • + 0
 @mustbike: I am in the industry and am not trolling here, can you describe what makes the "best shop in town" the best in your experience.
  • - 6
flag marxbix (Dec 4, 2017 at 16:09) (Below Threshold)
 @michibretz: you think you're going to ride a bike for a year and only lose 20%. you can buy a brand new last years model for 30-40% off all day long. 2-3 rides and its worth 1/2 of retail which we know nobody ever pays. we all like to play the game of getting our pro/bro/closeout deals and then saying our bike is worth X even though we built it up for way less. has anyone on this forum ever paid full price for a bike?
  • + 4
 Well done IntenseSmile Great that a major traditional game player is listening to the customers wallets finally. The vast majority of riders can’t afford the exorbitant prices (compared to five years ago) now being charged by many bike companies. Inflation, decreasing currency value and recession can only account for a small proportion of the rise in mountain bikes - unfortunately the rest is corporate greed.

Bike industry: if you want to make more money, look after your core customer base and it will look after you and even grow. Result...higher gross and net profit!
  • + 0
 @BryceBorlick: hope everyone is happy when all they need is tube and a tune up here and there and there isn't anywhere to go!
  • + 1
 @bonkywonky: did you miss the part of the article about how that extra price was given up to dealers and distributors?
  • + 2
 @gramboh: math is hard.. No?
  • + 5
 @lccomz: Margin is calculated on what you sell the product for, not what you paid for it. The margin in your example is under 22%. And we wonder why the typical LBS is not surviving...if you can't even calculate your base margin its going to be an uphill battle to be profitable.
  • + 1
 @Gamsjaga:

Canyon Australia has been very helpful and forthcoming in sorting issues with some warrantied parts on my Strive. My only criticism of them is that they are a bit tardy in responding to emails, otherwise all good.
  • + 5
 @Gunny24:

For me it is a mix of location and love. My go to shop is within 2 miles from where I work. There are 3 other shops within a half of a mile of it. They treat me like I’m part of the crew. I occasionally drop off beverages and donuts to bribe them but at the end of the day they take care of me. They have a great selection of parts on hand and go out of the way to make sure I am taken care of. They have provided me with loaner wheels when my Enve’s were out for warranty repair. They have offered to loan me a bike while mine was in the shop. They treat every interaction like they are still trying to earn my business and rarely disappoint.
  • + 1
 @SnowshoeRider4Life: on pinkbike? Do you know who you are talking to?!!
  • + 2
 @michibretz: Craigslist. It exists, and it's a buyer's market.
  • + 1
 @sngltrkmnd: bikes arent that complicated.
  • + 1
 @SnowshoeRider4Life: Competition = better products for the consumer! Done responsibly and with integrity (remember to vote with your wallet), it's a beautiful thing!
  • + 2
 @michibretz: sorry dude, total reading fail on my part. Sucks you are having trouble moving that SB6 at that price, that is a sweet build especially with that wheelset... that thing would sell fast here in BC at that price ($3,200CAD). 1 year old high spec bikes seem to do about 50% MSRP here, capping out around 5-6k for the pimpest builds that are mint.
  • + 5
 @michibretz: You fully realize that this is how the market works and yet you continue to buy brand new bikes every year? Seems hard to blame anyone but yourself. But don't stop, I support people that always feel the need to have brand new stuff. It allows me to buy almost brand new stuff for less than half price Wink
  • + 2
 @DDB1: You‘re on the lucky side of the globe ... one of the last things that made rounds through european message boards was how Canyon tried to make a customer pay a for full frame, as a crash replacement for a chainstay.
  • + 1
 @Gunny24: skilled mtb mechanics ie people who know how to work on particular stuff you need worked on. people who ride and care about what they're working on is good too. lots of commuter shops where I live have died, but the core mtb shop is doing just fine. Depends where you live, but most areas can't retain the best wrenches if there isn't great riding near by. Go to queenstown or whistler and there's loads of good mechs simply because they understand how their bike is getting thrashed. that makes a big difference, especially in areas like suspension setup.
  • + 1
 @Smilicito: they were in the etc bit Wink
  • + 1
 @Maxipedia: you do know that you can send your Sram/Fox parts to your countries parts center though a lbs , and from my experience of commencal they where a joy to deal with !
I feel for people who bought an intense this year at the full price , big drop in resale price !
  • + 1
 @BryceBorlick: Where can I go to hear more marketing jargon and eventually plop down $12k on one of these revolutionary Boost++149.5evo bikes?
  • + 1
 @dancingwhale: may be not $12k, but radon bikes pretty much won the marketing BS/gimmick/wizardry/cliche recently Wink
  • + 1
 @michibretz: what are selling at 20%? All l can find are sing season hard used bikes for the same price as a year end closeout. You know the type. Ridden 5 times but the paint is rubbed off the chain stays etc.... bikes devalue like a laptop, but everyone thinks they have lightly used Porsche made of bitcoin
  • + 1
 @michibretz: size xl?
  • + 1
 @michibretz: That's because you aren't buying the right bike for resale or your trying to swap parts all over the place. Plus you payed full price from the beginning and kept the bike too long. Can't help you much.
  • + 0
 @michibretz: Maybe your problem is because it’s a Yeti. I sell my year or two old Santa Cruz’s for about 60% of MSRP. Different brands are just worth more used due to not sucking.
  • + 1
 @nicolai12: nothing swapped but teh seat on this one...
  • + 1
 @skilots: nah, had teh same issue with a transition before, and with a couple of other brands as well. my buddy had the same experience with his bikes...

i was just commenting on the fact that someone stated there is a healthy market for used bikes which i don't think there is. especially with brands dumping new bikes in teh market at the end of the year...
Every body wats for teh deal an bikes in shops don't move for the suggested price any more either. thats a problem for teh industry and not only teh reason you cant sell a used bike anymore but also causing financial problems for teh whole industry. just read teh chapter 11 article on Niner...

@robw515 Yes I like bikes. when did this become a surprising thing on pinkbike?
  • + 1
 @michibretz: you should offer that Yeti for shipping on PB or on eBay (with the right seller protection through PayPal of course). Might just be your area isn't great for selling high end enduro bikes or Yeti in particular?
  • + 1
 Wtf! I already bought my 2017 tracer in July damnit! I want a "sweet " tool kit lol!
  • + 1
 @ruypes: thanks for the math lesson. You seem like a really cool guy. Keep fighting the good fight...
  • + 2
 @Gamsjaga: 20% of please. That's the deal of a lifetime.
  • + 0
 @michibretz: So you're trying to sell a 1-2 year old mountain bike that maybe cost $5000 new for $4000? A lot of people can leverage that kind of saving on a NEW bike if they are in-good with their LBS. Its your price that is the issue not the market.

Mountain bikes that are a year old (and are the most abused category of bicycle) are worth maybe 60% of their RRP.
  • + 0
 @michibretz: not to insult you or your purchase but the used market for a Yeti is terrible because Yeti’s reliability and warranty support is terrible. Nobody wants to risk a bike that may fall apart or crack shortly after buying it used only to be offered nothing from Yeti. Not that Yeti owes the second owner anything but at least they could help out when there is a problem with a known issue.

For example, the used market for Santa Cruz is much, much better because they’re don’t often break and even when they do, SC helps out.
  • + 1
 @gramboh: I think he meant 20% of original. That's what he said so...
  • + 1
 @bogey: I have no idea what you are talking about. Maybe things a different in canada with a distributer in the middle but in the US they are super easy to deal with and the bikes have not been problematic in anyway either.
i own and owned many yetis over the years and never had any bad or even troublesome experience with the bikes or the support.
I crashed an sb66 3 or 4 years back and banged it really hard against a rock and it had a tiny little crack by the front derailleur mount. in less the two weeks i had a new frame and the bike was ready to roll again. it took me way longer to heal up again.

@CosmicCarbon I try to sell a bike that was 10k+ for 2k and change. I started at 3 but came down quite a bit already. Yes it has bin ridden hard but everything works the way it is supposed to.
The offer i get are so low it makes more sense to part it out and keep the pieces around as spares. for example it on one of my other bikes a wheel would break and i have to buy a new one i would be quickly up to what people are offering for the bike right now.

anyway, I did not make that statement because of my bike in particular, i just used it as an example because someone stated there is a good market for used bikes which at least in Socal is definitely not true.
  • + 2
 Jacked prices pay for expensive race WC DH and EWS teams, I suppose.
  • + 2
 @stefanfresh: Pays for UCI DH and EWS teams.
  • + 1
 This is fantastic, I went through an entire comment sction, not a single worry about carbon being thrown into the Ocean. Where are those environmental justice warriors? A tip: if prices are going down then there is an incentive to cut the costs and skip the strive for environmental sustainability bit.

@CosmicCarbon - good market for second hand parts, save those stories to your GF when you want to convince her you need a new bike Smile Like @michibretz says, selling a complete is a terrible idea if you want at least 40% of original value of a 2-3 year old bike. You can get 50-60 if you are willing to go through the mess of selling the bike in parts. And completes of absolute high end bikes lose value like hell. While frame and fork keep some value, the XX1/XTR and Enve jewelry is often worthless when sold as complete. And all those fkrs who will bitch on boost are the first to use lack of it as an argument against your bidding price
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: there’s another floor ,the original post the intense had 25% off a $7000 bike is $1750 not $2000 ! That $250 could have gone to ocean cleaning charities!!
  • + 1
 @WAKIdesigns: Agreed - splitting the bike is the best way to go...
  • + 134
 LBS model of the future.

1) No bikes on the sales floor, just a fleet of demo's which will let a potential buyer actually swing a leg over a bike. Charge em $50 for the rental and refund it if the place the order. Acknowledge the reality that consumers have a strong incentive to shop around online when it comes to big ticket items so steer clear of them in general. Maybe get a few for the pigs in the window effect but know up front that it was a marketing trick and don't expect that Fox 40 in the window to actually sell.

2) Robust small parts inventories. Leverage the fact that the consumer has less of an incentive to shop around on small parts. i.e. i'm not going to waste my time looking for the best deal on a seal kits, bearings, brake pads, etc at the $50 price point. I want to walk into a shop and buy it now and am happy to pay the LBS premium for the convenience. In fact a lot of the time its cheaper to get those small parts from an LBS as you'd have to pay shipping on the small parts. Also this is where you are providing real value added as an LBS. I need new brake pads for my shimano brakes but can't figure out which pads as there are several generations of pad being sold and i don't know if i should get resin or metallic. This is where the bike shop steps in and creates some value added by steering you to the right product with staff knowledge/wisdom. Also, if you are a good LBS you should be curating your parts selection to fit with the local riding and preferences that you observe. Put some thought into the parts your stock and you won't be left with 20 of those studded 26in tires in your AZ shop.

3) Service and repairs. That guy that bought the DTC bike after you sheparded them through demoing bikes to choose the right one will first think of you when they need service and repairs to be prepared to capitalized on that be actually being able to perform said service or repair. Fire your bloated army of pimply faced teen know nothings on the sales floor and hire a small core of seasoned wrenches. Note, you'll need to pay better than min wage to acquire said core of seasoned wrenches but you'll still make out like a bandit in savings on payroll from your reduced number of employees. I'm always disappointed when i walk into a shop needing something more in depth than der adjustment (like a damper service) and find out "oh you need to take it to a specialty shop for that". FFS, I walked into this shop that supposedly specializes in bikes via the big sign that said "Bicycles" on the front of your shop. YOU, were supposed to be the specialty shop.
  • + 18
 Bang on about 1 and 3, mostly agree with 2 but only for super cheap items like pads etc, everything else is at the mercy of next day mail order and with an increasing range of 'standards' what shop can cover a suitable range within a resonable budget? will a shop stock a 32t boost race face ring, 27.5 x 2.8 tyre in newest xx compound or pedal pins for xx new pedal? And if the shop has to order them why not do it yourself and save some money?

Who will go this way next - Santa Cruz would be a prime suspect.
  • + 7
 Regarding #3, the biggest issue there right now is a lack of any real certification program for mechanics. Sure, there's UBI and Barnett's, but I've never actually met anyone who went to either. All the mechanics I know (myself included) have been trained more or less on the job - the good ones started out wrenching on their own bikes for a few years before going into the industry, but even then, youtube and trial-and-error are no substitute for real training.

Shops are reluctant to pay more because there isn't a good way to quantify skills right now short of demonstrated ability, and it doesn't take long to train someone who's never held a wrench before how to be "good enough." Which sucks, because "good enough" means that they still screw up a lot, which cuts into margins and takes extra time spent fixing mistakes.
  • + 2
 @ChristophColombo: In the UK we have Cytec, amazed something similar doesnt exist over there.
  • + 3
 @Racer951: point taken. But a lot of times it is still cheaper for me to get my small parts through a LBS even if they have to order it. Idk if it works like this at all shops but at my LBS, if they don't have it in stock, they will added to their next shop order, waive a shipping fee bc the part comes in with a bulk order, but I pay full MSRP, shop makes acceptable margin on part because i paid MSRP and parts are here within a week. I'm sure the correct part was ordered (bc knowledgeble wrench placing order made sure i didn't order the wrong gen pads) and it probably cheaper than if i ordered it online bc i most likely would have had to pay the shipping.
  • + 4
 @freestyIAM: Yea thats a fair point, and if they order the incorrect part it is their fault rather than yours but MSRP is hell of a lot more expensive than the likes of Jenson, CRC, Wiggle, Bike24 etc are and as you say, you have to wait a week for it, not a day or two - Most online shops in your own country have free shipping too....

Its going to get difficult for the shops out there if they keep trying to make money selling full bikes, custom builds and service are about the only way I can see things being profitable in the future if we keep going direct sale on bikes and the online shops keep component prices to a minimum - not to mention the guys selling parts direct.
  • + 7
 @ChristophColombo: BBI certified mechanic (level 2) right here. You don't see more certification because the current bike shop model doesn't value it. Current model is just about moving bike off floor with service/repair often being an after thought. If more shops start emphasizing service and repairs then demand for certification should go up. Certification is an easy way to signal to your potential employer that you aren't just another kid who's played with his bike in their dad's garage with an adjustable crescent wrench and a hammer. Also a good way to signal to customer's that your shop's service staff aren't the same.
  • + 1
 @Racer951: I haven't seen any bike sites that have free shipping unless the order is above $X where X is usually way above the cost of a small part. Maybe if you have prime you can get free 2 day shipping on a small part but I have prime and don't see a lot of small parts that are prime eligible.
  • + 6
 @freestyIAM: Ah fair enough - most online retailers here in the UK offer free delivery, often next day - I imagine having a country the size of a single state in the USA helps there....
  • + 61
 1) I've tried pushing this from the time I started my shop. Unfortunately, many bike brands simply say "no". The brands that say "yes" don't ever have any bikes in stock for us to order, leaving us in the dry when a customer actually wants to order a bike. Bike brands and component manufacturers need to change BEFORE the LBS can. Luckily with the parts distributors we work with, we can get order parts and get them next day in most cases. Customers (both local and online) really love this, and when you call a customer and say "we don't have a part to fix your bike", you can say that they'll only be down for 1 day rather than an entire extra week. I would really love to see distributors carry more bikes, that would be cool since they have 1-2 day free shipping and super accurate inventory systems. I would, without a doubt, stock more bikes to demo if we had actual availability to order for a customer.

2) Small parts are our bread and butter. When looking at numbers and seeing if we can afford peanut butter sandwiches or an actual meals, (generally I pick PB sandwiches anyways haha) the small parts are what actually have margins. Its what people need most often. I don't stock things that I think will sit on a shelf for more than 3 months. I also offer free delivery to your door if you live in Bellingham. Customers can call me or come to the shop, order a part, and I will deliver it to their door the next day. I see this as the convenience to order online but you're able to actually support a local rider that owns and operates a shop and is there to help you out on the drop of a dime.

3) This is all true. I've been around the block for years and have worked with/visited other shops with some mechanics that A) don't know what they're talking about, and B) are arrogant about their opinion. Honestly, hiring undereducated mechanics is just part of any service business. The main difference is how willing they are to learn. Those who are, learn REALLY fast and can be a decent mechanic for most basic service rather quickly. Having a certificate generally doesn't help, and man, I've met some "certified mechanics" that make me scratch my head on that whole subject. I'm not saying I am the best mechanic on Earth, but I'm more than willing to admit if I don't know something off the top of my head. There's no need to completely stop hiring younger kids, because they need to start somewhere. Luckily when I was 16, my LBS hired me, and 11 years later I own and operate my own successful business because they saw me as a local bike lover rather than a little bmx punk. Also, 100% of shops can't service many types of suspension. Some brands, as you know, will not sell service tools to LBS's so you have to send them in to the manufacturer for service. This would be another industry change, but manufacturers would need to be willing to lose out on service income. This may or may not be something that happens.


All in all, its very easy to think about how a bike shop should be ran, and how one would own and operate their own shop if they decided to. In the end, its WAY HARDER to implement said plan once you actually start to do it and make a living from it. Long hours and little to no pay makes the LBS business as something that is either for a investor trying to make a buck from an income business, or from a cyclist who LOVES what they do. There is no in-between. I really do this strictly because I enjoy it and I love helping people with their bike. Going for a ride on the local mountain and seeing a smiling customer that I helped with their skipping drivetrain and contaminated brakes is a great feeling, which is the driving force behind all of my hard work.
  • + 10
 @Mister-Lost-Bike-Shop: Thanks for that insight and a the hearty helping of reality served on my "Three easy steps to survive the coming DTC apocolypse" armchair rant.
  • - 3
 @Mister-Lost-Bike-Shop: And this is why Jeff Bezo is the richest in the world.
  • + 2
 @Racer951: Would love to see those prices come down.
  • + 1
 200$ to rent a demo bike here
  • + 4
 It sounds like this shop of the future is for us "hard core" riders, not for the everyday recreational Joeys that are any shop's bread and butter. I can't see supporting a fleet of demos of hybrid bikes and commuters in all sizes. No way.

And as for stocking small parts - that's a pipe dream IMO.
  • + 5
 @sngltrkmnd: Valid criticism of my egocentric world view. The world revolves around me/you right?

But in all seriousness my proscriptions on how to run a bike shop probably should be directed at bike shops that cater to the enthusiast rather than the average Joe. I can't see many avg Joe's willing to wait 1 week while their bike is shipped to the store. They'll expect to walk out with a bike under $500 with lots of assurances that this bike is "sick" from a sales rep. But still a shop that caters to the average joe is going to face the same pressures from DTC. Not sure what path forward they have.
  • + 1
 Fascinating what is happening to the market. Sounds like it is heading in the right direction.
  • + 6
 so basically you all want shops to go back to how they were in the 90s. No high end gear in stock because it costs too much to floor it and when someone is ready to buy the shop always has the wrong size/colour in stock. Fill the shop with $500 hybrids that sell every day and special order the high-end stuff. The only difference is that in the 90s the shop guys ordered the bike. In the next two years you (the customer) will order the bike and it will arrive to the shop directly.

I miss the last decade when it was cool to fill a shop with awesome stuff and people came in because your store js known to be full of awesome stuff. These last couple years we are seeing less people hanging around and drooling about bikes/shiny bits. Those people are droolig at home. whenever people come in the sale is already done. All we have to do is (1) have the item the customer came in for (2) not charge too much more than the cheapest online source they saw and (3) not screw up the sale.
  • + 5
 @freestyIAM: That was a really good process you put together, I wouldn't even put that in the armchair rant category! I just really wish the bike purchasing process was different for shops. I just feel like the DTC companies are moving forward rapidly while the locally sold type brands are just waiting and pretending nothing is changing.
  • + 1
 @ChristophColombo:

we've had Cytech and City & Guilds here in the UK for some years

Cytech 1 is bike building, Cytech 2 is service mechanic, Cytech 3 for workshop manager (4 & 5 for frame building?)

as with anything, a certificate means nothing without aptitude, open mind and further education. "Everyday you learn something new is a good day"

I've interviewed two "mechanics" recently for our workshop, and despite both being certificated (I won't say which scheme), they couldn't present a competent PDI (pre delivery inspection) on a boxed road bike, and boxed hybrid.

An foreign intern working at our store this summer paid for his own certification in September and came back 2 weeks later all fully certified. We let him loose in the workshop starting with building himself some wheels, and it was a total disaster, they had "taught" him some weird ideas and practises

I had to reteach him how to lace and build wheels as the method they taught him didn't work!
  • + 2
 @freestyIAM: eBay. Most small parts are free shipping from Taiwan to Australia. Slow though.
  • + 2
 I agree with this post bigly. There's certain things the online stores are VERY hard to beat at. They won't be beaten on price and they won't be beaten on choice/selection. However online stores have tonnes of shortcomings. Meanwhile there's tonnes of the things a LBS can do an online store can't e.g. Be there in person. Expertise. Advice. Demos. Repairs & Servicing. Be able to help people same day etc. Need to double down on the things you can do really well and be good at it. Quite often people are prepared to pay more to get the right advice, see it before they buy, support a good store, come away with something same day etc.
  • + 2
 @north-shore-bike-shop: Maybe if you did your homework and actually did marketing and realize what your customer wants....works for the successful every time. I have ridden the Shore for over 35 years and remember when you could go into a bike shop and see Foes, Ellsworth, Titus etc actually there for sale. I know the terms the companies made were steep, and I understand why a shop would not want to carry lots of standing inventory (think John Henry Bikes for all you locals) but the reality is most people want to see STUFF. Bikes, parts, frames....a vacant shop is not going to do well.

Blaming internet sales is a copp out. Good business finds ways and the real riders know deep down supporting local shops is a win/win in the long run. But if the parts you want can't be found or take 2 weeks to show up (or more likely, can't show up until you place a minimum order) no wonder most go online. Sadly, components are components, and a derailleur is a derailleur. In the end, all that matters to the buyer is that he got it and at the best price. Bonus if he didn't have to wait a month for the order.

I think in the end the shops either evolve or die out. My other hobby, among others, is high end audio, and the brick and mortar stores are suffering for the same reason as bike shops. But both seem to do little to adapt, find new ways or give incentives to keep a customer base. Again, I can get a Chris King headset anywhere........
  • + 3
 @blackfly: Thats a real dick-headed thing to come out with to an actual business owner giving his real-world opinion of the state of play.

Your suggestion to prosper as a good bike shop - do some marketing and 'Spend more money - DUH!' - well thats very insightful of you, isnt it?

Just take somet time to think about what you are saying, you want small (focus on that word) shops to carry enough stock to have the parts people always need on the shelf, dispite an ever diversifying industry, so not only do you want them to have bottomless pockets, they also need a warehouse now to store it all in.

You also want the small shop to 'do some marketing' - does everybody think all businesses have endless resources? How on earth is a small shop meant to obtain this kind of information so that it is actually usefull?

With the above business model, your local, small shop will be gone, replaced either by a chain shop or much larger business, a small shop can only do so much, people expect big business service and abilites everywhere now, even the 2 man bike shop.
  • + 4
 @freestyIAM
I own a bike shop and that's exactly how we function. Custom wheels, suspension work, brake overhauls, high end hub rebuilds, and normal repairs is our focus. I can't afford to have a fleet of bikes on the floor only to have them be blown out by the suppliers and crush any margin I may have had. When sales reps come in looking to get their bikes represented in the store and I have to turn them away because it's a bad investment in my local market. People come to us because we stock what we know is durable, what works in our area and what has good company backings and we try to bring in as many USA made options as well.
There are only 2 of us at the shop. Both UBI and DT Swiss certified. My mechanic makes $3.50 an hour more than I make because I know that the wages in a bike shop don't compare to working in a mill and I want my employees to strive to pick up every bit of feedback we get from our experiences riding trails, parts and from our customers.
I looked at the way the industry has been moving over the last 15 years that I've been wrenching professionally and structured my shop to take up the slack from online direct sales and poor LBS experiences.
It's really the only way I can be competitive on my prices and keep the doors open.

What I think most of these companies aren't seeing is that when bike shops quit recommending or pushing brands of bikes because the brand, model and are irrelevant to the shop (pick what makes you happy and click order on your smart phone) combined with the perpetual need to one-up the next guy with a new "industry standard" that is actually more proprietary than standard; I imagine we will see a heavy stagnation of bikes in an oversaturated and under supported market. Try calling the big companies that do online direct sales and getting good customer support. They say take it to you LBS and have them contact us. That's terrible in the eyes of the customer especially when the LBS is a dying breed and not everyone has access to a shop.
  • + 56
 You forgot to mention the other positive: At last, PBers will stop bitching about Intense bikes on sale in the monthly online deals section.
  • + 51
 No they won’t.
  • + 7
 I figure that the "online deals" and sales that you see for intense bikes are just going to be the new standard pricing. Most brands have a minimum retail price clause, so I'm guessing that intense has been pretending that the msrp is higher, when in reality their "sale" price is what they were expecting to sell at.
  • + 1
 So that's why they didn't have any Intense on December online deals!! People were looking for them badly... lol
  • + 5
 This is great news. But im actually kind of sad that the intense deal jokes will die out.
  • + 6
 don't hold your breath.
Remember the base of Maslow's hierarchy of needs; the basic human need to eat, sleep and complain. If Intense or anyone else ever truly addressed everything PBers were complaining about, they'd start complaining that they have nothing to complain about.
  • + 39
 Just so everyone knows, Specialized just announced they are going to be raising their prices on their bikes, as they felt they were too low compared to the competition. Meanwhile, YT just restructured to be able to drop their prices lower and keep stock higher.
  • + 11
 Sarcasm? The big S dropped prices on a lot of 2018 models I’m assuming due to increased price competition. I don’t see them being able to creep back up without losing sales.
  • - 3
 @WasatchEnduro: I'll have to verify, but I was told by my sales staff that they were going to be bumping prices up. Maybe a post Xmas or 2019 thing, idk.
  • + 2
 @mtnbykr05: Price change is not affecting any of their full suspension or nicer hardtail mountain bikes. Big S price change is mostly just a few bread and butter models for them with a few exceptions.
  • + 18
 Specialized is the Apple of bikes. No matter what price point you buy any of their products at, your getting ripped off and they’ll make a new version next year.
  • - 6
flag jclnv (Dec 4, 2017 at 8:34) (Below Threshold)
 @bridgermurray: But a year old model at a discount then. It'll probably be better than YT whohave been running the same dated geo on their bikes since they were launched.
  • + 1
 The "S" is for Sucks.
  • + 2
 As soon as I saw the hokey yoke thingy attached to the top of all their rear shocks, I knew I'd never own a Specialized. Screw their proprietary crap, it's hard enough finding the right repair parts. I hope my LBS doesn't take a hit from the direct to customer movement, they deserve to be able to stay relevant. I wonder how much $$$ overinflated rent skim, the parasite tick on all our backs that keeps us from being able to afford these bikes.
  • + 6
 @jclnv: Haha keep pushing that YT hate. My 'outdated' Capra destroys all previous bikes I've owned. That's all that matters to me.
  • - 2
 @JWadd: Okay here's what that yoke does. It removes the DU and replaces it with a Bearing so you get less friction (better small bump) as the suspension cycles. There also isn't a DU to wear out. It also allows a shorter overall distance in shock frame interface allowing for more room for a full size bottle and the SWAT door.

Here's what shocks I can for my frame. Fox X2, Ohlins STX/TTX, Dvo Topaz, Monarch Plus.

Storm in a teacup and some real world advantages.
  • - 1
 @endlessblockades: Reach measurement and rear centre length is a joke on Capra's.
  • + 5
 @jclnv: But I can manual it all day. Maybe you just like to sit and climb.
  • + 4
 @bridgermurray:

Eesh. Plenty of opinions on S and YT.

My Stumpjumper is awesome but of course I didn’t pay near msrp for it (but new). Their prices are fair and for example their $3k models (Stumpy Comp) can go head to head performance, spec, and price wise with any other non D2C brand.
  • + 3
 @jclnv: kool-aid much?
  • + 1
 @jclnv:

Hahaha! No geo on the Capra is outdated IMO. I will agree tho that the Jeffsy’s could go a little longer and slacker. The XL Jeffsy 29 is actually too short for my preferences and I’m only 6’1”.
  • + 0
 @JWadd:

J-Dubb -> I run a DVO Topaz on my Stumpy and it’s an awesome shock upgrade that’s available with the proprietary mount. So are Monarch Pluses. Unfortunately most high end Fox shocks aren’t and if you use a bike yoke link the air cans still don’t always clear the (carbon) frame. I tried a DPX2 and it wouldn’t fit Frown
  • - 4
flag RedBurn (Dec 4, 2017 at 12:49) (Below Threshold)
 I want specialized to go bankrupt, THIS company is such a pain in the ass for the sport, she litterally steals people's money
  • + 2
 @bridgermurray: So I take it you own an andriod phone made by that boutique phone manufacturer Samsung or drive a low production run Bentley and never shop online at amazon.
  • + 2
 @WasatchEnduro: The reach numbers are 20mm less for give size compared to an Enduro. And the seat tubes are stupidly long. I'd have to run a large but I'd only get a 100mm dropper on it due to the seat tube. It's a 4 year old bike. Of course it's dated.
  • + 1
 @fercho25: What are you talking about? Everything I said is accurate.
  • + 2
 @endlessblockades: Yep. everyone i know who has a YT loves it. there is also this Gwin guy that seems to do OK on them.
  • + 5
 @marxbix: 5'10" and has to ride an XL LOL!
  • + 1
 @JWadd: Where did the shock yoke touch you?
  • + 3
 @jclnv: 1. That proprietary yoke had shocks (especially CC inline) collapsing faster than tourists at the Oktoberfest - too much sideload perhaps? 2. The bolt fixing the shock tends to come loose. 3. „Bike Yoke“ proved with their version compatible with almost any shock that it is not necessary.
  • + 36
 So they are just going to be selling them for the same price as the Pinkbike Online deals?
  • + 3
 Seems to be the case. But by cutting out the distributor, they'll still be able to make a (smaller) profit.
  • + 33
 Glad I didn't purchase mine this morning at 6:59. That would have sucked...
  • + 21
 Can anyone with a degree on mathematics (I am just an engineer) explain me how a 25% off on a $7000 bike results in a $2000 discount?
  • + 20
 I've noticed sometimes people like to make you think that $5001 and $5999 are both $5000.
  • + 5
 They rounded, obviously math says its 1750 off.
  • + 6
 obviously they made an error because they used the wrong sig figs...
  • + 3
 Engineers....always trying to be precise!
  • + 27
 The numbers came from the top at Intense. In reality, 25% is an average. The price changes are all model specific.
  • + 4
 You are correct. it isn't 25%, but precisely 28,5714286% off of 7000$.
  • + 5
 No, it's because their figures haven't been orthonormalized within the vector. If you look at their pricing matrix and then normalize the vectors....oh, nevermind. You're right. It's a rounding error. F IT.
  • + 10
 Hey, that's the same logic I use telling my wife how much things cost.
  • + 3
 @JWadd: "babes its only a few hundreds" "...a few thousands" "...a few...hundreds...of...thousands..."
  • + 19
 Sounds like some private equity money came up with an idea to "disrupt" the bike industry and has pumped a bunch of money in to Intense hoping to make a killing. Hope it works out for them. It could just as likely end up that in five years the Intense brand has as much cachet in marketplace as Mongoose, Raleigh and Schwinn.

They are right about how the single biggest thing against Santa Cruz, Ibis, Specialized, Trek, etc is that when you by a new one, even if you got a "deal" from the shop, deep down you know you got hosed. That's why the direct models are growing so fast.
  • + 19
 Tell me more about this "Intense Free Service Contract". I've worked in a number of bike shops, and none of them happily hand out free labor to a customer who bought their bike on the internet.
  • + 7
 My guess is it'll be similar to how warranty service at car dealers works. Car dealers don't work for free either. They generally perform work for an agreed upon price.
  • + 7
 I would imagine that the shop just bills Intense, probably at some agreed-upon rate.
  • + 5
 @ChristophColombo: This. Bill Intense, "free" to the customer. Warranty work is the same way. I didn't buy my bike at my now local shop, but they bill SRAM whenever I need new Guides.
  • + 2
 The free service comes in the toolbox . Which, joking aside, I think is a pretty smart move. All DTCs should provide a specific toolset.
  • + 6
 I'm a radon service partner in the UK. Get £30 for a bike build, 5% on parts etc, yet have to deal with all the grief that is not our fault/responsibility. If that's what Intense are looking to do I feel sorry for the shops that sign up to it as they end up as a free distribution /drop off point for the brand, who most likely will keep there own profit margins at the expense of the shops.
  • + 1
 Its a Hybrid model in which Intense works closely with the dealers to provide the best experience possible to the rider. theres a service agreement established at the time of purchase with there connected dealer and the shop is credited for the services included.
  • + 2
 Nothing's free, it's just included in the price of the bike.
  • + 2
 @tgent: SRAM doesn't pay shops anything for service actually.
  • + 1
 @dualsuspensiondave: Really?? My bike shop has told me multiple times that whenever they send back the brakes they bill SRAM for the labor and then SRAM obviously provides the parts for free. What am I missing??
  • + 2
 @tgent: That's not what they do (I worked in a shop, a good friend of mine owns a shop as well). Generally speaking, SRAM will replace the entire brake after the shop has tried a whole slew of things to fix it that SRAM recommends. They don't however pay for labor, nor does any other bike manufacturer that I've known of. That's the big problem with selling SRAM products at a bike shop.
  • + 1
 @dualsuspensiondave: Bummer! Thanks for the info, I guess I have a good shop that doesn't mind doing it then. Do you know if it's the same for warranty replacements on frames, for instance if I break a frame and X company has to warranty the frame, it takes the bike shop a while to transfer all the parts over, will Intense or whoever pay the shop for that labor?
  • + 2
 @tgent: Indeed that's a good shop, and refreshing to hear about. That's the service that keeps shops alive.

No, shops aren't paid for that either. Another reason for shops to carry good brands with good quality control.
  • + 12
 Sounds like a good idea to me. Forcing LBSs to pre-buy a certain amount of inventory is the stone-age way of doing business. Get the shops to stock plenty of demos, and then order the bike online or at the LBS for exactly the same price. Adding on the service contract is normal with other things like cars, refrigerators, etc so why not bikes. That way people do don't like touching their bike can still get service and others who only things themselves don't pay for what they don't want.
  • + 1
 We have a computer store in Oslo that works this way. They only demo the stuff that can be demoed like übercool gamer PC's and ipads. Why not for bikes? You can collect your stuff in the store in 2-5 days anyway.
  • + 1
 @joni0001984: This pretty much how an Apple store is. A bunch of hardware you can touch and try out, and they may have some stuff in stock but you can just order stuff there and have it show up at your house.
  • + 11
 I like being able to go to a bike shop for a part or for repairs I’m not comfortable doing myself but this is inevitable, eventually all companies will sell direct, it’s cheaper for the company and cheaper for the consumer, and let’s be honest, inflation and wages don’t rise at the same rate and are only getting further and further apart. Maybe in the future bike shops will have to adapt to the car mechanics model of mainly repairs/Maintenace and stocking mostly frequently needed parts.
  • + 5
 Been saying this for a long time. bike café, shop rides, basic maintenance lessons, trail build days an maybe some beers in the evening. Really push the social side of things an try an make a few £$€
  • + 13
 Kind of interesting (scary). Sounds like pre-restructuring prior to filing for bankruptcy.
  • + 7
 True. No new models, lower prices and service contract with a local shop that doesn't sell Intense....sounds like you might be right.
  • + 0
 Two changes of business model in two years, seems like it.
In Europe they're gonna get their arses kicked trying to compete with the efficient german brands (Radon, YT, Canyon)
  • + 3
 @Whipperman: ...or they could just stop asking an unrealistic price for their bicycles. I don't see the build kit adding up to the $10,000+ price tag.
  • + 8
 Still Expensive.

£8k instead of £10k for a factory model.

But YT equivalent spec is £4k (ok £5 if you add on a grand to upgrade the ethirteen wheels to enve)

I could put a factory model together myself for £8k and the distributers are still making money this way.

Doen’t quite add up...
  • + 1
 DH Wagon is £5.8K. Top spec from YT is £5K (not at the moment on sale). Add on the bike box and shipping and that's £5.3K easy.

Albeit I saw it at £4.5K all year...
  • + 3
 Yep, you get the early 2000's damper of the Yari on a 5000e build. They might have forgotten that Canyon top tier Strive is also at this price
  • + 1
 The Pro model M16 is $5k on the site right now with all top spec and full carbon.
  • + 8
 Bike shops that offer demos still have an advantage. I bought a consumer-direct bike through a shop because I could demo it first. I really don't see the point of buying at an LBS if you can't demo first, it seems like their only advantage. The new mobile-van type shops could potentially be a great way to provide demos as well.
  • - 2
 I've never demo'd a bike prior to buying. To me, all bikes seem pretty similar. I've never hopped on a bike and been like - holy shit - what is this thing? Yeah there are some minor differences, but not enough to necessitate a ride first. I also enjoy getting to know how a bike rides over a season, so maybe the demo is lost on me.
  • + 1
 I think is a clever bussiness model. If it's possible to buy a direct sales brand online or through the LBS for the same price and still everyone is having a profit, people will choose to support the LBS, I believe.
  • + 6
 @RichPune: Maybe I'm picky, but there are massive differences between bikes even in the same category. How the suspension works and geometry feels are the main things I'm looking for when I demo. I'd never buy a new bike if they were "all generally the same".


I'd never buy a new bike without demoing, but I have bought used bikes without demoing, knowing I could re-sell it for the same price. I've bought at least 3 used bikes that I did not like at all and had to re-sell them. Lessons learned I guess.
  • + 7
 I think the fact that their bikes have been overpriced and that no one really buys them, hence all the steep discounts on overstock intense bikes online, is what is really pushing this. Maybe now they'll actually sell some bikes. But, I can't even get them to address a warranty issue on my Spider C frame.....the warranty guy doesn't respond to my polite emails, no one answers the phone and when they do, it's the same story, "Yeah man, we'll take care of it." Then nothing.....it's been going on for 6 months. Instead of making a customer who is psyched to ride Intense, they've made an enemy.
  • + 1
 @deserat That's wild, they replaced my Recluse frame within a week. You gotta use a shop though for warranty.
  • + 2
 @dualsuspensiondave: The shop I bought it at is three states away. I have since moved. The nearest shop that carries Intense is two hours away. I stopped by there when passing through and they said they don't bother submitting warranty claims to intense anymore because of the lack of response from intense and that they won't be carrying intense bikes in the future. Called intense and they said they would help me directly because there isn't a shop nearby.... This whole article is about dealer direct service from Intense. Are they going to make everyone that buys a bike from them go through a dealer when they have a problem?
  • + 0
 @deserat: No need to negative prop me for telling you my experience. I was blown away by the customer service because of all of the negative things that I've heard. I am really frustrated that my bike is worth even less than an Intense already is second hand though. I think that they should've waited for new models to be released so they wouldn't have screwed their existing customers.

Just about every manufacturer requires going through a shop for warranty though. In fact, the shop that I went through was one that commented in this article. Sometimes a bike shop with a good relationship with their dealers gets things done quicker. I highly recommend Squatch Bikes and Brews in Brevard, NC (it's also four states away from me). The situation sucks for you, and I hope that you call them freaking out every day until they get you taken care of. Have the shop that you bought it at take care of it, they should ship it to you for free as well, if not, then it's a small price to pay in the situation. Again, I hope you get it resolved!
  • + 1
 @dualsuspensiondave: FWIW, I didn't neg prop you. Just relating my experiences, as are you.
  • + 12
 Oh, that's Intense.
  • + 6
 I think the new Carbine is 7000$ Canadian and comes with a Yari, hmmmmm, I can't imagine why people weren't buying there bikes. I guess boutique status doesn't go as far as they'd hoped. (they are very nice bikes though, no question)
  • - 3
 * lyrik
  • + 6
 The best distribution model these days is dealer-direct like Focus, KTM and Orbea in Europe. No distribution centres in each country, bikes are sent direct from the factory to dealers. So bikes are still sold in LBS's with customer service as normal, but well priced because they're not sat in wharehouses. Best of both worlds.
  • + 6
 hmm interesting, but i had 3 intense m9 and now intense m16 ( i hate that 27,5 bike, maybe thats why i dont have now 2017 intense) and one thing i know, the customer service was very very bad at intense. when i had replacing on my m9 it took almost 16 weeks to do that. so iam skeptical about this new approach because had bad experience.
  • + 4
 Same here. I had numerous dealings with them (and their local dealer) before I sold my Intense, and they literally never sent me anything when they said they would. Not once.
  • + 2
 Yep, worst customer service experience I've had with a bike company. Stopped by a shop that carried Intense that's a couple hours from where I live and they basically refused to help. Not because they didn't want to help, but because they've "never been able to get Intense to do what they said they would do" in regards to warranties or small part replacement.
  • + 1
 @deserat: Good info to have.
I keep looking at slightly cheaper bikes than the $3k mark ( $3k is really the max I can't afford, so coming in lower is desirable.). My local builder, Transition, is just up the road and are great guys. Their bikes are heavier than I really want, but that local availability and customer service keep me coming back to them as the next buy. I know that I can always call ahead if needed and get in my car to take care of any issues I might have. Customer service is very important to me. There is plenty of choice in any market these days, so to stand out and earn dollars, you have to have that human element nailed down.
  • + 2
 @deserat: same here.
  • + 0
 @skelldify: I've had at least a dozen intense bikes. broke 2 rear triangles (totally abusive rock strikes in both cases, my fault) and I had new triangles within 1 week (disclaimer: I am in So cal)
  • - 1
 @marxbix: They took care of my Recluse within a week, and they answer the phone when I call them. I'm 2k miles from California.
  • + 6
 *JOB AVAILABLE - Intense Bicycles International Warehouse Warranty Co-ordinator*
SKILLS REQUIRED
- Work 28 hours a day, 9 days a week dealing with 95% of Intense's inventory being sent back to your department.
- Mediate 95% of Intense' customers as they spend their summer waiting for a replacement part.... or even an email.
- Handle death threats.
- Survive assassination attempts
- Be invincible
  • + 3
 This is a job for;
Bond, James Bond
I.Q. Double-O, Seveen
  • + 2
 Agent 951
  • + 1
 Best laugh I´ve had in weeks, thanks
  • + 5
 There are a number of factors which motivated Intense to make that decision, but they all boil down to one simple message: Intense couldn't handle all the Pinkbike user comments during the monthly deals release hit the front page.
  • + 4
 I always loved Intense. But ever since they moved to carbon I lost interest in their frames, they lost their identity in my opinion. Nevertheless I still get excited when I see one of the old welded in USA frames for sale. Would love to own an SS2 or one of the last UZZIs.
  • + 4
 Typical bike shop customer service:
Where did you buy that?
Why did you buy that?
You don't want that.
Are you in our computer system?
All the racers around here use (fill in blank)

I don't think lower prices or inventory management will solve that problem. LBS used to service every bike that rolled in the door, no problem (70s era). Now you have to declare a political party before buying an inner tube or a gear cable.
  • + 4
 Finally something comparable to YT (but still a bit off due to YT's sale):

Intense Tracer Expert , carbon frame, lyrik
$4299
intensecycles.com/collections/tracer/products/2017-tracer-expert-build
vs.
YT Capra CF carbon fram, Lyrik fork
$3,999 (on sale now at $2,999!)
us.yt-industries.com/detail/index/sArticle/1283/sCategory/260
  • + 5
 An Alu Tues is currently under 2,000. I remember when Boxxers were $1400 alone.
  • + 1
 2018 NukeProof Mega RS,better fork and shock,better brakes,Carbon bars,nicer wheelset.Same price,maybe a little cheaper shipped to your door then the Tracer.
  • + 1
 @jolie: I love my new tracer but that new mega is tits! And better value.
  • + 8
 People still view Intense as boutique?
  • + 0
 Their bikes are garbage if you ask me.
  • - 1
 @Satanslittlehelper: I've been riding my M3 seen 2006 and completely rebuilt it twice since then and that frame is still rock solid. so much so I haven't felt the need to upgrade. When I do it most likely be a 951 or M16. I also just rode my friends brand new all mtn intense and was amazed with how nice that bike was.
So I'm not buying what you're selling buddy..
  • + 0
 @mbiker35: Cool story, I still think their bikes suck.
  • + 0
 @Satanslittlehelper: Says the guy with a Banshee.
  • + 1
 @dualsuspensiondave: Says a guy who owned a Banshee, I've had a lot of bikes my friend. Besides, that KS mini link system still works better than vpp.
  • + 0
 @Satanslittlehelper: Banshees are pretty fragile aside from the Rune. They're heavy as hell and don't pedal very well. Definitely not in the same league as the new Intense bikes.
  • + 1
 @dualsuspensiondave: Pedaling efficiency isn't something I particularly care about. However I found that Spitfire to pedal quite well even though it was built like a tank. In fact I've never heard the complaint that Banshee bikes are fragile, but TBH I don't know or care that much about the brand, just got an amazing deal on it so I gave it a try. I prefer Horst link over everything I've ridden and my warden pretty much puts every other bike I've owned to shame.
  • + 1
 @Satanslittlehelper: Each to their own. It's a well known issue with the Spitfire actually, the frames break and they normally give you a Rune instead. VPP bikes will all pretty much pedal better than the Spitfire, but it sure doesn't matter if you don't care about that. Myself, I've had many horst link bikes and will never go back to one, except possibly a downhill bike. They handle rough descending fairly well, although they don't usually corner well as I like and don't pedal well in comparison to most other designs. Just because you have a preference does not make an Intense a bad bike, they're pretty well manufactured these days. Their older aluminum bikes were a nightmare though.
  • + 1
 @dualsuspensiondave: But they stand pretty firmly behind their brand and take care of you when you do happen to find out how fragile they are... and the Rune is no exception to that. They pedal well enough going up but it'll out descend most 6" bikes
  • + 4
 What would help me most as a consumer for the "Rider-Direct" model would be local regional access to demo bikes at realistic rental prices ($50 a day is fair).

For instance, YT bikes are very appealing, however, because I can't demo one here in Santa Cruz, they are off my radar.
  • + 0
 How can 50 USD a day be fair? That does barely pay for the work in the shop to set up the bike correctly, clean it, re-adjust etc. But you still have to pay for replacement parts, the bike itself, floor space. Remember, a lot of people do not go easy on test bikes, they get a lot of abuse.
  • + 3
 This is pretty groundbreaking. Nice to see flagship companies jumping on board. Face it...technology will undermine many antequated business models in order to eliminate unecessary middle-men. like Uber did to Taxis Bitcoin is doing to paper currency...
  • + 3
 I live in a small town. We don't have the luxury of having several retail stores for every type of product. Once retailers are gone, they are gone. If you like having the option of trying something on for size or being able to pick it up today, you gotta support these guys and keep them in business. Whether it's a book, a bike or a pair of jeans.
  • + 3
 Just ordered a carbine frame, after cancelling my 'pre-order' on a new rocky mountain instinct that was made in August, originally scheduled for October delivery....then November....then March....then May....with all sorts of mixed up communications in between. Within an hour of talking to someone from intense on the phone the frame was on it's way. So far so good in my eyes...
  • + 6
 They had to make a change. Nobody was buying Intense bikes anymore in my area.
  • + 3
 Is this in effect in Canada too? You can only get an intense at MEC now (which is our version of REI), where the bikes are always discounted off msrp to begin within. Mec's are only in major cities. Although, they ship Canada wide and will literally return or warranty anything. So maybe it'll work?
  • + 4
 Mec is continuing to carry Intense and the prices match direct pricing
  • + 2
 Intense also sold thru IBDs in Canada but their support of those dealers has been so atrocious the past decade that I've deliberately avoided buying any Intenses even when they might have a model I like. I do all my own work anyway but for frame specific spares, I'd rather not have to wait a month.
  • + 7
 Hey they should fix their warranty department while their at it.
  • + 5
 For sure.When I dealt with "Chad"he was real cool,acted like he would help me out and all with a warranty issue the first( and only)time I talked to him.Called him, emailed a few times after that.He never returned a single email or call.Good customer support!
  • + 3
 @jolie: I think I had the same Chad experience too, seems cool send him photos then nothing.
  • + 3
 Agreed prices have been out of hand lately. I've built three bikes recently and saved over buying fully built based on sourcing out deals on chainreaction, ebay and other online markets. The good thing is I built up with the parts I wanted instead of buying new at a high price and replacing parts that seemed low spec'd for full builds. Good job Intense on the price drop!
  • + 7
 This pricing better be reflected at mec.
  • + 2
 New pricing was added for every 2018 model
  • + 3
 @strider: which is still 10-15% more than an equivalent model from a real bike shop
  • + 4
 @Tr011: Not seeing what you're saying here.... Basically the same builds below for a 100$ difference, so i guess you're wrong and didn't bother looking?

2018 Reign Advanced 1: $5699, GX eagle, Fox36/DPS float elite, alu rear end, Green

2018 Tracer expert: $5590, GX eagle, Lyrik/Monarch RC3, Full carbon frame, Also green
  • + 1
 Or you could save 600 bucks and buy the Norco Range C3 with DVO suspension f&r, sell the Guide Rs and use the 800 bucks or so to pimp the rest of the bike out how you like Wink
  • + 1
 @wallheater: I mean, you're not wrong on that point, but all of the Intense prices are in the same ball park now as most brands and lower than others instead of being 1-2g's more
  • + 4
 Buying a new Intense means that you have to give the dealer $1000 for ordering you a bike. Intense can't compete with that model.
  • + 2
 I rode Intense bikes for the last 10+ years - tazer/m1/m3/tracer/tracer2/tracer275 these were all amazing aluminium works of art. I then got a 275c and hated it. No idea why but just couldn’t get on with it.

A friend had a 275a that the back end was so twisted it ruined opposite bearings - this was 1 month out of warrenty and Intense refused to sort it.
  • + 2
 My Giant Reign was $6000 in 2015, in 2016 it dropped to $5200, in 2017 it was
$4900 and the 2018 is at an even $4000...
Would have sucked for me had I not bought one leftover brand new in the box, in the spring of 2016 for $3000 even.
My friends paid $17000 for 2 Pivots... I'm sorry but THEY ARE F#$%ING BIKES at the end of the day...
Hard spending real money on something I try to break every time on I ride it.. Thank God it takes it.
  • + 2
 The prices are great! I can even have two bikes possibly, and not have to make one do it all. Who's going to pay 25% more for an equivalent bike if they know their stuff? There's still space for local bike shops in the entry to mid level bikes where non-pinkbike consumers need help making a decision. But the high end boutique brands need to answer to shareholders and this is the best way to move units.
  • + 3
 Between bike brand and model saturation (too many good choices) and endless price escalation, there just aren't enough dentists to keep this market going without some changes and some pain points for the bike brands
  • + 2
 No that they are so cheap, and no more bro and super discounts 6 months after the release, nobody will want these bikes. Just another cheap internet brand. You can't tell the trail-side story of how you got the hook-up on your Tracer.
  • + 2
 Bought a 2018 NukeProof Mega 275 RS that is on par with the Tracer 275 SL for pretty much 2k less than the intense.$4600 shipped to my door from the UK! I like how Intense lists their prices "excluding" tax.Intense doesn't really stand behind their product to well either from my experiences with them.
  • + 2
 I get the sense that there is a real desperation happening now in the industry. It's a real shame as my local lift access park had record numbers this year. I guess we are such a small portion of the industry... A lot of companies are growing tired of treading water and heads are starting to go under.
  • + 3
 Rider Direct in the US sounds pretty good. As an Intense dealer in the UK, we were not offered any opportunity of continuing on as an Intense dealer, Saddleback told us that it's purely direct - 'as YT/Canyon do it'.
  • + 0
 I fear that may be a "Brexit" fallout. It's likely they'll have a warehouse in the UK and then another for the EU. In the EU, it's likely they will maintain a similar "dealer-direct" model as in the US, with only one (or maybe two) warehouses servicing them. With the UK being physically smaller, one warehouse can essentially replace dealers.
  • + 1
 Says in the article that they won't go through shops at all outside of the USA.

I can't think you are missing out on the tiny margin they will be offering the 'dealers' in the us anyway, will be essentially a finders fee now as shops won't hold stock.

Then again - how many shops actually held intense frames as stock anyway and just ordered on demand? I imagine they looked at that, why bother allowing shops to order when they get a sale for an easy profit when they can do that themselves.
  • + 2
 Honestly, if someone doesn't have the basic tools and needs that Intense toolkit to assemble the bike then they probably shouldn't be assembling a bike at all. I wonder how Intense is going to get around that liability issue?
  • + 3
 Bike prices are way too high. That’s why i have all commencal bikes. They’re awesome, every bit as good as the bigger companies if not better and you save thousands. I’ll never buy any other company again.
  • + 2
 I think something else is going on with Intense. The reason a company restructures the way it is doing things is because the previous way was not working. As with Niner before - this may be a sign of fiscal issues. But who knows RSD moved to the same model in Canada last year.

My point is this may say more about the demise of Boutique Brands rather than the LBS. We will always need the LBS as these bikes get more and more complex.

The intense bikes seem so out of place in MEC in Canada based on their high sticker prices. But that's how many other "high end" boutique brands are. Bring out the "my bike is worth more than my car" bumper stickers!
  • + 6
 I think there bikes were overpriced to start with, nice toolkit though.
  • + 3
 @intensecyclesusa : What happens to the poor sheeps that bought an Intense a couple of weeks ago ? They paid 20% more and won't have your free-repairs thingy.
Sucks to be on of them
  • + 2
 When you have such competent bikes rocking around in the direct sales model running a premium brand has probably taken a bit of a hit.
So will these bikes remain at a premium. Losing the dealer network and saving some money but maintaining their boutiqe price status (I understand they will be cheaper but how much more expensive than competition?)
As for the future of the LBS? On a recent trip to a city they have already evolved. Front of house is a large coffee shop with artfully placed bike parts and candy, a few bike catalogues strewn about and some bikes mounted to the wall. Looking through the door next to the counter you could see bikes and mechanics working away.
Might work well for a city shop but a small town, with limited space, is going to struggle to exist
  • + 2
 No wonder when a new Tracer with a decent build will cost you £8500 in the UK. Even with 25% knocked off its way too expensive. Prices are just unrealistic now. Wouldn't be surprised if Intense go to the wall with this one. I like to see what I'm buying. Where am I going to do that? In my experience their customer service was less than adequate before this. I put up with this because I had my LBS on my side, fighting my corner. Who's going to do that now?
  • + 3
 They say the margins should be 15-20% on bikes. What are the margins currently for big brands selling in shops? Are they that much higher?
  • - 7
flag otto99 (Dec 4, 2017 at 11:30) (Below Threshold)
 yep about 50-60%
  • + 3
 @otto99: Absolutely not, the largest bike margin of any brand is about 30 percent or so.
  • + 1
 @mikromakro Ok, well thats not what the customer is allowed to do where I live. Regardless if warranty or repair the broken part always has to be sent in by the (either the shop where you bought the bike/part) or a shop that works with that brand.
The reason being that the dealerships/Distribution has dealer Information i,e Adress etc for the the part to get sent back. Certain and mostly all distributions do not cater to customer Needs, all has to done by the shop.
  • + 1
 Something from this article struck me in particular regarding waiting for end-of-year closeouts. Not saying it's impossible, but as a short rider in need of size small frames, I rarely see end-of-year deals in size small and usually have to purchase early in the season while they're available. Manufacturers don't make as many size small (understandable) and LBS rarely stock them. By end of year, none are left to even discount; at least not in the models or colors I'm looking for. The idea of a demo fleet and direct sales that aren't timed to a model year cycle is appealing; count me in.
  • + 2
 IMO Giant is the only retailer who can match price/quality with the direct-consumer brands (canyon, commencal, yt), due to their in-house production and good relations with components companies.

Am I wrong on this?
  • + 3
 Can this article just be titled: 'Intense finds out that having a perpetual sale is essentially giving the bike a new MSRP.'?
  • + 1
 I've owned 6 Intense's since 2000 and had the privilege of a factory tour back in 2014. I like their bikes but will miss the cachet of having a hand made alloy frame. I never had a misaligned frame and yes I've cracked a couple.

I think the recent business moves (carbon frames only, offshore manufacturing, focusing on complete builds) were necessary to survive and reflect the new reality. Smaller boutique brands must adapt now or they will lose to the YT's and others. Bigger brands with deeper pockets will likely have more of a multi-channel approach.

Our small local bike shops have pretty much adapted already. Buying a high end bike like an Intense was always been special order. Mobile mechanic models like Velofix will really benefit from this as well as they currently make their money on service and P&A rather than stocking complete bikes.
  • + 1
 Is anyone paying the real MSRP in shops (except for Spe) ?
At any bike shop you can get a 10% discount if you talk for more than 10min. But my guess is the official prices were just 10% higher because they know that everyone gets discounts.

So yeah Intense is trying the premium approach with support, service contract and stuff. Is there a sort of engagement on parts availability, response time... ?
  • + 1
 I do sometimes. I don't have a problem with it. Back in October I got a TR11 frame and it was full retail. Ain't no thang.
  • + 6
 Smart move!
  • + 1
 I'm totally on the fence on this kind of move, but leaning toward liking it. Knowing the markup on high-end bikes, any LBS can certainly discount any big brand 25% off MSRP and still make a decent margin -- on THAT ONE sale, anyway. That doesn't mean it's a good strategy for making the shop profitable, but if you can move product and get stock replaced quickly, that's a winner. For the high-end stuff, they can't afford to carry enough stock variety to avoid ordering what you want anyway. Most of their volume is on the entry-level stuff -- higher volumes, lower prices, much more work to make the same number of dollars. You've gotta sell and do initial maintenance on 5 or 6 $800 bikes to equal what you make on one $4000 bike, and I wonder what the actual ratio of sales looks like. But that also potentially drives a lot more service and upsell opportunities.

I just wonder how the LBS business model is going to change over time. Maybe it will go back to what I remember as a kid -- the Schwinn shop was also a locksmith -- or something similar, not even sure being a locksmith is a viable option these days. I just fear that if this trend continues, only select few LBS's will have the tools and knowledge to do repairs on high-end bikes, and more service will be mail-order. For suspension components we already see that. I'm lucky enough to be a competent-enough mechanic to do my own stuff, but most people aren't. And for those that aren't, dropping coin on a bike you have to ship in for maintenance sounds like a pain.

With the variety of standards and brands, stocking an assortment of small parts that work with the variety of bikes out there just doesn't seem feasible. It's a guessing game knowing what will actually move, and I would guess that there would be 40% or more that sits in bins for months at a time. Not much money to be made there.

Anyway, prices and margins are a bit crazy, but so is the tech we are getting these days. I love seeing what they will come out with next, and yes, I go buy it (even though I would like them to settle down on some standards). I had a standing deal with my previous LBS of 15% off MSRP, which we both thought was a decent deal for both me and them (but from this article it sounds like I could have negotiated 20%!). I just moved and got told by my new LBS that they would do 10% this time, but that's it. OK, well, guess I will be going somewhere else next time. Maybe just order an Intense.
  • + 1
 When brands like these close their local production facilities and sell direct, it kind of increases the value of the traditional direct sales brands (Canyon etc.). They also do in house design and testing and production abroad, but they already have a lot of experience with the direct sales model.
  • + 3
 Hadn't ever even considered buying an Intense because of the price. This will make me think twice before ordering a TUES next year. Nice on Intense!
  • + 1
 Look at the chain reaction Nukeproof bikes.Way cheaper shipped to your door.No sales tax.
  • + 5
 This is intense. Who's next?
  • + 5
 Pivot
  • + 2
 Evil
  • + 1
 Commencal went direct due to the snap n fail years. People became very shy. I took a gamble on a V4 but I must admit I never had my axle snap so didn't have to worry about their sporadic service.

Intense? It's been over priced for way too long. I considered the 275 but the full build was insulting for the kit they through on the bike
  • + 3
 Great News! Now eliminate the PF Bottom Bracket while you're at it! Then, maybe I'll buy one
  • + 0
 Can someone answer this question?
With all these "direct to customer"sales going on and when Intense mentioned the customer will be linked to the shop eith a service contract..when repairs have to be made(when the bike is still under warranty)...will the customer be willing to pay for the repairs? The way I see it,the dealer always has some playing space because of his margin...people who buy bikes from the shop automatically get calculated into that margin. Now,that the bike was sold/sent directly the customer,he will be obligated to pay for repairs because no mechanic in this day and age will work for free. Right?
If the customer get linked to a shop with a service contract...what terms are in those contracts?
My experience is certain things are covered by warranty..and the rest I will have to pay. A good dealer will recognise his customers and give you a good deal...
  • + 2
 If your dropperpost(example) has some issues you deliver it to he company that distributes the brand in your country. They should take care of warranty issues and/or service.
  • + 1
 They should of waited to do this release after they fixed their website. You can’t find any geometry charts, and there are build packages missing. Try to look up a Spider! Only one build available?
  • + 4
 Wow, Intense bike owners just took a big hit on resale value. SMH...
  • + 1
 Yeah! It was hard enough getting rid of a used Intense as it was.I had 2 and they where very tough to sell without taking a huge hit in the pocket book.
  • + 1
 I got my 2018 tracer expert for 140 dollars cheaper than their new pricing, from a dealer on here. That was in September.
  • + 1
 I will never buy an Intense regardless of their price or business model. I had a 6.6 once and had major issues with it and they told me to get stuffed. Not a brand worth supporting.
  • + 2
 You would be crying if you had just bought one!? Will many other brands follow soon? YT really caused a very much needed change! Thanks
  • + 2
 GREAT! Long awaited online direct cheaper sales. almost bought a DH YT. Now i am considering buying an DH intense at realistic prices.
  • + 2
 I like this a lot as their prices were WAY out of line in my opinion. I do feel bad for folks who recently purchased an Intense though
  • - 1
 First they ditched all thiere in house welders. Now a restructuring of selling the bikes. Intense realises they have to change with the times. The tool kit looks sweet. Unfortunatly all modern plastic bikes look the same and the market is now saturated with carbon clone bikes. I hope all the bike companies start dropping prices to compeat.
  • + 1
 Lower price is always better, but I'm not spending a penny on Intense until they relieve their color blind Head of Design from his or her duties.
  • + 1
 after been shafted and left with 30k of intense in my shop i hope you go tits up , No loyalty for my 15 - 35 k a year business .you guys suck
  • + 3
 It's a start, at least. Thankfully.
  • + 1
 Roll with the vultures. If I wanted an Intense tracer or carbine frame, I'd pick it up from RCZ for less than 40% of the original price.
  • + 1
 Does not matter a price when they have the dreamed up in the 80s vomit colors. Even on the link when the bike is black. Hideous.
  • + 3
 Deal of the Month list just got a lot shorter
  • + 1
 One gripe about the website - I can't find geometry for any of the bikes. It would be great if there was an easy way to find the geometry for each bike.
  • + 2
 how mas produced “made in china” can be called “boutique”
  • + 2
 Good point! Agree.
  • + 1
 I like this a lot! Never been a fan of buying from a shop and having to pay more money then I have to!
  • + 1
 Eventually the Canadian brands will have to go this way. RM/Norco/Dev. Prices need to come down for these guys.
  • + 1
 I had a quick look earlier and a Norco is still a bit cheaper than a similar Intense at todays prices (which are on MEC's website). I.e. Tracer Vs Carbon Range IIRC although I've already forgotten which way around Intenses range go.
  • + 1
 Crappy sales huh? Ever thought about hiring a graphic designer who isn’t a teenager addicted to skittles?
  • + 2
 Doesn't matter, just bought a jeffsy pro..... on discount.
  • + 1
 I to am looking at a jeffsy,but not sure on the size. That's the problem with not being able to demo 1. I'm 5-11 32in inseam and I fall between a medium and large. Right now I'm on a medium reign and it feels good downhill but a little small on the climbs.
  • + 1
 @Mtberrr: Definitely get the large.
  • + 1
 "Prices of high end bikes have gotten out of hand."

Sells bikes for $10k or more.
  • + 2
 Great now I only need to sell one of my kidneys to buy an Intense!!!
  • + 1
 Specialized dropped prices, by lowering quality of parts on bikes They dont change models each year just colours
  • - 2
 I think its due to basically They arent selling as much as they expected due to bad customer service odd specs exorbitant pricing and hideous paint schemes. Around me in nj all i see are yetis santa cruz specialized trek transition and giant. I think ive seem one intense
  • + 0
 Intense are ugly. Odd specs and builds. No wonder they are in trouble. Writing on the wall.
  • + 2
 "Od specs and builds"

2018 fox factory suspension, sram XX1 Eagle, and enve m70s? Not sure how those are odd, just sounds like best of the best
  • + 0
 @Uhlrichl1: YOU SHOULD HAVE SEEN MY FACE READING THAT GUYS POST...HAHAHAHA
  • + 1
 step in the right direction , but still long way to go.
  • + 0
 Wow, I appreciated all the openness and honesty. Kudo's to Intense, they just earned a lot more cred it my book.
  • + 1
 Only if Santa cruz did the same thing
  • + 1
 Ok so who's next? My next bike will be either yt or intense.
  • + 1
 I like it. Not a huge fan of their bikes but I like feasible bike prices.
  • - 3
 This is interesting. It seems like it will be great for the consumers, and a lot of the comments here are positive. I'm curious to see how LBS feel about it. 25% is a massive margin decrease, and I'm sure Intense will be working to minimize how much of that they realize, putting a significant burden on the shops/retailers that sell them. That being said, Intense are notorious for going cheaper online, sooooo maybe they were never really $10k to begin with.

My guess is many shops will stop carrying Intense, because they can sell you an Intense at 15% margin or a Santa Cruz at 50% margin.
  • + 3
 tgent -> your numbers are WAY off. Santa Cruz’s dealer pricing is actually higher than many other brands so the markup is lower as is profit margin.
  • + 0
 @WasatchEnduro: I took Intense's margin based off what they stated in the article: "margins on new motorcycles are between 20 and 15 percent - which is where he expects enthusiast-level mountain bikes to level off" so I threw out 15 percent for the LBS.

Look at what Competitive Cyclist is selling Santa Cruz's for right now: www.competitivecyclist.com/santa-cruz-bicycles-bronson-carbon-cc-x01-eagle-complete-mountain-bike-2017?skidn=SNZ00GC-MATBLA-M&ti=U2VhcmNoIFJlc3VsdHM6c2FudGFjcnV6OjE6ODpzYW50YWNydXo

They are 30% off, and have been all month, I guarantee you they are not losing money on every SC they sell. If you replace my estimate of 50% margin with 30% the still thing remains true that LBSs aren't going to want to make half the margin on an Intense.
  • + 1
 @tgent:

Yeah I was just commenting on SC, whose dealers mark up their bikes at a smaller margin than say the big S. Dealers then have to maintain close to msrp to make a decent margin. SC can do this because they have a strong brand image. I know this as I’m friends with a SC dealer.

An online SC distributor probably gets better pricing from SC but at 30% I doubt CC is making anything, just offloading inventory at the end of the season to free up capital. It’s a standard end of the year sale on 2017s and very normal for all types of businesses to offload at or near cost at the end of the year.
  • + 1
 @WasatchEnduro: Good point. I think my point still stands though that an LBS will prefer to just not sell intense if they can get better margins with other brands, and I believe they can. Margins are so low for LBSs already, they need to sell brands that give them the ability to stay in business. SC and Intense's distribution models were very similar, with selling to larger online dealers like CC, but it seemed like Intense was going to the extreme of pricing with an MSRP of $10k but then distributing to online mass retailers at much lower prices (hence the crazy deals on them at the end of the year).

We'll see what happens, I think it's good for the consumer, but will lead to Intense being direct only as I bet they will be passing on those lower margins to LBSs.
  • + 5
 @tgent:

Agreed. If I were a dealer I’d sell SC over Intense. Plus IMO they just haven’t dialed in the quality and brand image as well as SC.

But let’s be real now. It’s the paint jobs that are hurting them.
  • + 2
 @WasatchEnduro: LOL Amen.
  • + 1
 @tgent: I think this model could end up being really good for some shops, especially small ones that can’t afford to stock much inventory, especially not on the high end. A small town shop can now be an Intense dealer even if they only sell one bike. It’s one more Local rider sold a nice bike not through Jenson. One Intense bike on inventory = 10 bread and butter family bikes for inventory that the small shop will actually sell and needs to have on hand.
  • + 1
 Canfield Brothers went direct to consumer in January 2016. Just sayin'.
  • + 1
 ...correction, they've always been direct to consumer with their frames, but in 2016 went fully direct to consumer with parts and complete bikes.
  • + 1
 What states will Intense be collecting tax when ordering online?
  • + 1
 States that have a sales tax.
  • + 2
 way to go
  • + 1
 hmmm. interesting. another company doing it.
  • + 1
 Like I've said before..."If you can't beat them - join them".
  • + 1
 Knolly Bikes have been doing something similar for over a year now.
  • + 1
 but it is kind of a weird set up. yes its online and supposedly delivery thru a shop. but the prices haven't decreased with the move to that model. and in fact, if you're Canadian, everything is now in US dollars and so the price has actually increased. substantially. and when I asked at my LBS, they indicated it worked poorly enough that they were not interested in being the LBS tagged with a sale. To be clear, this LBS pretty much meets all the PB comment "criteria" for being an excellent shop - excellent mechanics, no pressure sales, support the local scene, etc. etc.
  • + 1
 @Specialized Are you next to cut prices and sell direct?
  • + 0
 I just got a complete free ride bike from 2002 for 250$ and its handmade in Canada, freekin sweet!
  • + 1
 prices of bikes is just silly and stop the finance
  • + 1
 Now they just need to make aluminium frames and then perfect
  • + 1
 Meh...
  • + 1
 What a joke. Whatever.
  • + 1
 Still can't afford one
  • + 0
 MEC is staying with Intense?
  • + 1
 Apparently
  • - 2
 Every time I see an Intense, unless it is very old, it is always murdered black. Dentists like black. And I do not blame them as the other color schemes are just a sore eye.
  • - 3
 maaaan i cant wait until this catches up and y'all cant fix your own bikes or miss a weekend of riding because you dont have an LBS to grab a tire or brake pads from.
  • + 1
 Exactly.
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