Cannondale and GT to Reject Traditional Mid-Year Model Structure

Jul 13, 2020 at 6:33
by James Smurthwaite  

GT and Cannondale, who both fall under the Cycling Sports Group, are turning their back on the traditional model year structure and will replace it with a version that aligns itself with the calendar year. Most brands currently release new frames in mid-summer, however, following feedback from dealers, Cannondale and GT will now take dealer orders in Q4 with new models coming as the next calendar year begins.

The reason for the change mainly comes down to discounting. Dealers felt they had to discount at the start of the riding season - spring and early summer - to clear out the stock before the next model year was released under the current model.

With COVID disruptions further exploiting this model and leaving a number of bike shops without stock to sell until the new models dropped in summer this year, Cannondale and GT saw it as an opportune moment to change their model system and try to disrupt the traditional industry cycles. They said they will "take a leadership position in changing a broken system that continually leads to inventory and cash flow issues for both suppliers and retailers." Cannondale are keen to stress that while this move isn't in response to COVID, it has given them time to reflect on a new way of operating.

On top of this, if they did manage to sell out all of the old models, dealers were then left twiddling their thumbs and waiting for the new models at the busiest time of the year. An additional annoyance for shops was having to send a staff member along to a dealer launch in their busiest period, leaving the shop short-staffed in the meantime.


CSG claims there are 4 main benefits for dealers with the new model:

Improved margins - Dealers can sell bikes at full price throughout the year with no need to discount in the spring to offload stock.

Inventory at the start of the year - Dealers will have stock of new bikes from the start of the season in spring through to its peak in summer.

Easier to manage a business - Dealers can focus on selling in summer, not attending launches for new products.

Innovation aligned with consumer demand - Cannondale and GT believe that most people are paying attention to innovation at the start of the season, when its new product will just have been released.

Alongside the new release schedule, CSG is now planning on only updating mid-to-low end bikes on a two or three-year cycle. There may be colour changes to keep the line fresh but variations on spec will be kept to a minimum.

There are certainly some drawbacks here for CSG, primarily if there are mid-season updates to key components such as drivetrains or suspension, their models for that year may miss out and seem less appealing in comparison to their competition. However, the group is aware it's taking a risk but hopes to be disruptive enough to carry the rest of the industry with it. Russell Merry, General Manager of the UK market for Cycling Sports Group told Cycling Industry News, "Clearly, it’s been too hard to be done and the whole industry has been operating a broken model for decades. This is a once in a lifetime event and we intend to help all the links in our business chain be more profitable by being the most progressive and responsive supplier."

The brands have already taken model years off their websites and will begin dealer events in October this year for next year's models.


139 Comments

  • 513 4
 What would be an even bolder step would be to forgo the traditional 'model year' entirely, only releasing new models when there was actually an update beyond a new paint scheme. This would reduce the need for bike shops to discount models every year in the first place, and reduces waste in the system by avoiding older models becoming redundant. Obviously component manufacturers would have to align with this to a degree - for more significant components such as drivetrains, suspension and brakes - but let's face it, most of these components don't get anything other than new stickers or colours each year anyway. Better for the planet, better for the industry.
  • 21 0
 A number of brands do this. Most just change the paint but for some reason in our current market this deems the old paint job of the same bike as being last years.
  • 23 82
flag thenotoriousmic (Jul 13, 2020 at 13:01) (Below Threshold)
 Better idea would be for the bike industry to stop ripping us off and sell their bikes in last years colours prices anyway and stop being greedy.
  • 13 0
 The only tricky part would be managing the spec on the bike as Shimano, Fox, Sram, etc. make changes to their products. Even if they eschewed the model-year format, there's not guaranty that their updates would line up with bike manufacturer updates. Now that's not a reason to stick with model years, just something that bike companies would have to figure out how to handle if they abandoned model years.
  • 12 26
flag blowmyfuse (Jul 13, 2020 at 13:13) (Below Threshold)
 I just want either brand to produce a "not hokey" looking design moving forward.
  • 116 5
 @thenotoriousmic: We need to stop labeling everything we don't like as "greedy". Is it greedy when racers like Gwin negotiate to their fullest potential? Is it greedy when you or I shop around for the best deal on a part?

Few in the bike industry are making big money. Those that do, like racers, have a 10 year career where they can sustain the performance needed to get awesome pay. Most people in the industry take a pay cut to work in the field they love. I left a cycling clothing brand because I could make 30% more outside the cycling industry. I didn't get a position at Santa Cruz because I was asking 15% more than what their budget was for a position. Maximizing profits isn't evil or greedy. Thank goodness we have companies trying to increase their efficiency and maximize margins for struggling bike shops facing a tsunami of online retailers.
  • 25 1
 @thenotoriousmic: nothing in life is free. Bet that shop owner can say what a cheap ass customer demanding a deal just because some paint changed!

Nothing about margins in the industry is better or worse than others. They’re pretty small margins on a pretty small market.

If companies charged less you’d either have no shops to service them because cut out the middleman or you’d have brands come out with one model in three sizes because they have to play it safe.

Something tells me the laser cat graph reading wheel path analyzing shock strokers of pb wouldn’t have the latter option
  • 11 84
flag thenotoriousmic (Jul 13, 2020 at 14:09) (Below Threshold)
 @hamncheez: what a load of shit. They can afford to knock thousands of a bike as soon as a new paint job comes out and still make a profit. Now if they weren’t being so greedy they could have sold it at higher price and not lost a load of money selling off old stock and no offence but you’re just as bad as they are for defending their shitty business practices. Go give your head a wobble.
  • 6 0
 Transition did this for a long time but eventually caved. And I would bet it was the MTB consumers, stressing out over what year a given bike was, that caused them to change. But I could be wrong. Probably tough to spec bikes if you’re not in line with the rest of the industry.
  • 47 4
 @thenotoriousmic: You have zero clue. A shop pays $3000 for a bike, new colors come out, the shop still paid $3000 for that bike....that is it. The brands also still paid what ever they paid for it coming from Asia most likely. Sounds like you are just bitter because you cant afford what ever bike you lust after. Do you complain on car mag sites because Ferrari or Porsche won't sell you a car at a huge discount? How about the place where you buy clothing or food? As @hamncheez says above, VERY few getting rich in the bike industry.
  • 5 61
flag thenotoriousmic (Jul 13, 2020 at 16:40) (Below Threshold)
 @bman33: You’re actually stupid. Read what you just said and imagine someone else said it. Sounds ridiculous doesn’t it? Don’t care about cars but unlike the bike industry I doubt Porsche dealerships are struggling complaining that they have to sell last years cars cheap at the beginning of summer. If they were, they’d start lowing their prices. It’s better to sell something at a reduced price than not at all.
  • 2 0
 Doesn't make a difference to buyers. Model year makes tracking sales and upgrade cycles easier.
  • 4 4
 Kind of surprised that in the number of years I've been on pinkbike I've never seen anyone post the actual typical retail margin (or markup) on a new MTB. Would be very curious to see how it relates to other industries and whether based off msrp if high end bikes run bigger margins or if it is a standard markup across the board.

For what it's worth medium volume retail tend to operate with margins at about 33% (meaning a markup of 50% over wholesale). I would expect complete bikes to have at least a 50% margin at full msrp with aftermarket parts falling closer to traditional retail.
  • 19 1
 @friendlyfoe: Complete bikes definitely don't have 50% mark up on them new, and as they get more expensive usually that margin goes down. Worked in a few shops from different brands and it's basically the same across the board. As far as retail cost goes complete bikes are on the really low end of what's standard for retail % range. Now accessories and clothing is usually closer to that 50% but that is certainly not true for everything (like shoes).

Also people need to realize that % is there so you can actually have a local shop and knowledgable employees. Direct to consumer business models will never true your wheel, service a complicated shock, or figure out what else is wrong with your bike.
  • 22 0
 @friendlyfoe: bicycle markups are between 25-45% depending on the volume of sales a shop does with a brand, the size of the brand, and the retail price of the bike. Expensive boutique bike that shifts only a couple units at a small shop being the low end and your $299 townie on the high end. Some outliers excluded.
@thenotoriousmic car dealerships are paid a bonus based off of of numbers sold, so they are incentivized to offer a discount to make manufacturer's quotas. This does not exist in the bicycling world so a discounted model on the floor comes at a large cost to the shop. Anything approaching a 30% discount on a mid-high end mtb means the shop is selling it at cost (not considering the opportunity cost of that model sitting in the floor, freight, assembly, etc.).
Bicycle shops are not making fistfuls of cash on new mtbs.
  • 10 0
 @mechaNICK: eeek. 25% markup is only 20% margin. That's pretty painful on a low volume product. Even at a 45% markup you're just getting on par with traditional retail.

Add in that most shops give a 15% discount on any additional purchases when you get a new bike and.... Well I'm glad I don't own a bike shop.

Maybe parts are better than that though? I got a non boost set of wheels 2 years ago where msrp was 1200 and I got them for I think 650 because they had a scratch on them. I doubt this sales associate was selling me anything below cost.
  • 2 0
 @friendlyfoe: most parts, tools, accessories, and clothing offer shops better margins (again, many exclusions apply). Most likely that scratch 'n dent wheelset was picked up on closeout from a distributor so the shop still made something. If not, the shop definitely took a bath on that one.
  • 2 0
 The direct to consumer brands seem like they'll pioneer the end of model years, if such a thing ever actually happens. The problem however is the same as mid-year model launches. If Commencal is currently speccing a 36 on the Meta, but you know the 38 will be debuting soon, are you more or less likely to pull the trigger on the current inventory? I think it may have an even bigger impact than a simple model year color change as we're now talking about appreciable differences in specifications. I like where Cannondale and GT are heading with this, allow dealers to sell current bikes during the entire peak season, giving them the best chance as selling preseason allotments for top dollar, and use the offseason to dump remaining inventory if they need to.
  • 3 0
 @big-red: That's what I love about Bird. They update the spec selection as soon as new product launches, and their frames as soon as an update is ready. Probably impossible for big brands to do that tho.
  • 2 1
 @hamncheez: beautifully stated
  • 5 0
 @mechaNICK: also, auto dealerships get kickbacks on things like financing cars... The 12 month same as cash deal a lot of bike shops offer? The shop loses a couple more points on the margins...

Auto dealerships also make good money selling you things like extended warranties and add-ons like undercarriage protection...
  • 8 1
 @thenotoriousmic: where you get your drugs homie?
  • 6 2
 @hamncheez: as I told my buddy, you can get Ferrari’s for pennies in the cycling industry, but I’d much rather be able to afford a Ferrari.

I remember my first job offer outside of cycling being 2x what I was making. That gets you a lot further than 45% off on a bike.

Plus Santa Cruz and yeti are pretty damn close to ep price almost the whole year on competitive cyclist or Jenson.
  • 5 5
 @friendlyfoe: You obviously don't know the big mfg numbers...also, the bike shop owners near me drive Raptors and have built out sprinters. I don't have a issue with it, but it sure is is wealthy persons sport with a bunch of frivolous changes and gimmick marketing. To a degree, this is a fashion industry.
  • 1 0
 @maxyedor: wait a minute you bring up a great point that I'm not sure they've thought through. The reason model years work is because the major component manufacturers release their new products in conjunction with that mid model year. That means their bikes will be 6 months behind new product releases. Oops.
  • 1 0
 @mechaNICK: yeah it was already down to 900 on sale, then when I pointed out the significant but not structural scratch (I've put more similar scratches in them since) he went into the computer and said he could sell them for 650. It was a non boost wheelset which even 2.5 years ago I'm sure they were eager to move. I seriously doubt this kid had the ability to sell them for below cost which made me think parts might be in the 50% margin range. This was on a set of Dt Swiss ex spline 1700 wheels.
  • 2 0
 that sounds great. but it ignores one huge factor. human nature. when you figure out how to change DNA level impulses, let me know. I will want in.
  • 1 0
 @lumpy873: never get the undercoat...
  • 1 0
 agree..but this means they would be actually thinking about the consumer and the planet rather than themselves...it would mean that the bullshit marketing became real...and is too good to be true
  • 2 6
flag thenotoriousmic (Jul 14, 2020 at 4:56) (Below Threshold)
 @mechaNICK: doesn’t matter what it is and how much you paid for it. If something isn’t selling and you need to sell it before the newer version is released and wipes all the value of your stock, you lower the price to get the sale. Don’t make as much profit but your still making profit. Complaining that you’ve sat on a bike all year at full retail and now have to sell it next to nothing because the latest version has come out is just bad business. Firstly because you’ve invested in a product nobody wants and secondly you haven’t adapted to make the sale and let’s be honest they’re still making money of last years models, now if they weren’t being so greedy they could have sold that bike with a slight reduction restocked and sold more bikes with the profits and continued the process throughout the year.

@ironmonsoon602

Check your inbox mate, I’ve sent you a phone number. Wink
  • 1 0
 @domino0 Bird Cycleworks and Airdrop both use this, I.e. no model year and version only (also Cotic I think). It seems more the bigger brands that keep the paintwork refresh. It is sensible.
  • 4 0
 @friendlyfoe: I can tell you that as the price tag goes up the margins go down for the retailer. Any consumer who thinks that the shop is making 50 points on a $2000+ is completely out to lunch.
  • 2 0
 @Dropthedebt: anything the car dealer is trying to push, you can usually get done cheaper elsewhere...
  • 2 0
 @thenotoriousmic: I have tremendous "clue". I worked in shops off/on for years and have three close friends owning/running shops. But yeah, I'm clueless.
  • 1 2
 This would matter more for GT than Cannondale, mostly because GT actually has products worth buying. (BMX frames)
  • 5 0
 @mechaNICK: you nailed it on the head.
Margin erosion is a major factor in the cycling industry. Once that bike is pulled from the box and assembled, margin declines. Sell a bike and give away free water bottles, margin declines. Flip the lights on in the shop and that bike is still sitting on the floor, margin declines. Entry and exit margin is a tough metric for a shop to track, but makes a massive difference when a shop is trying to unload inventory.
Cheers!
  • 1 0
 @friendlyfoe: I can't buy a Stumpjumper with XTR yet... so I'm not sure it matters in the real world. Some manufacturers move quicker than others.
  • 1 4
 But then how else would mtb companies be able to bleed the consumer dry and convince them that their old bikes/components are outdated and that you will be a total nerd by riding anything other than the latest and greatest?
  • 3 7
flag stumphumper92 (Jul 14, 2020 at 10:42) (Below Threshold)
 @thenotoriousmic: I am with you bro... Not sure why all the downvotes. People don't want to hear the reality that the mtb industry has become all marketing, instead of just getting out there and riding whatever you got. Maybe it's bc these people want to convince themselves that it was worth spending thousands on a new mtb each year instead of putting that money into their retirement or childrens' college fund?
  • 5 1
 @stumphumper92: Yeah, damn companies for attempting to make money.....bastards. We should all be riding single speed clunkers from the late 1970's and nothing else. Progress and new designs are bullshit. I hate when someone forces me to buy something.

Hyperbole aside, not a single mountain bike maker/site is shaming anyone for riding what they have. The comment section and maybe your local a*sholes are. That said, companies that sell products are in the market to ....sell products. Yes, marketing is involved, but that is true with ALL consumer products. I have been through the early-mid 1990's bikes. Bikes today are vastly better in every way to bikes not that long ago and that is because if big and sometimes incremental changes. Ride your current bike into the ground, and kudos if you do, no one is forcing anyone to buy anything. There are even new tires, forks, rims, etc. out there in 26" if you want.
  • 3 1
 @stumphumper92: I think most of us work at some type of for-profit entity in whatever industry. Not sure why people always knock new bike stuff as the big bad bike industry trying to get you to buy stuff. Happens in all industries- are you still using a flip cell phone and a Gateway computer? Probably not.
  • 2 1
 @stumphumper92: don't buy a new bike, save for your kids college fund. Sensible advice but not a good marketing campaign. I prefer my favorite brands don't take on this approach so they still exist when I take a break from putting money into my kid's college fund and buy my next bike
  • 4 4
 @stumphumper92: You’l always get downvoted when you go against the grain. I think it’s to do with add money or something. They don’t want you chatting shit about the product they’re trying to promote in the comments so they try to hide it when all it does is draw more attention to it because everyone wants to read the hidden message or petty little children want to sensor you because you’ve got a different opinion to them. Ether way I wouldn’t worry. All I’m saying is if they can afford to slash thousands of retail price just because an identical bike with different stickers exists then maybe they should have slashed a few hundred off when it didn’t. I’m just bored of these bike shops moaning and pulling on our heartstrings with all these sob stories demanding that we should support our local bike shops when they do absolutely nothing to support us. All the good bike shops are doing well and that’s who gets my business and that’s all you need to know.
  • 2 1
 @pargolf8: Coward remarks from a behind the safety of a keyboard, but yeah. Looking forward to it if you can. I have in-laws in NYC, maybe come down next time I am up we can have a beer. Slapping is optional but we can see where the night goes right?
  • 2 0
 @thenotoriousmic: Who is making millions off of cycling? No one goes into the industry to get rich. No bike shop is making the owner tons of money. In most cases its rich businessmen opening bike shops after they have already become wealthy.
  • 2 0
 @hamncheez: Lance Armstrong.
  • 2 3
 @hamncheez: I don’t care dude. If the industries run poorly it’s not really my problem is it? I don’t run my business like this, I adapt and keep the profits rolling not moan or dish out a sob story and plead for the community to support my business out of the good of their hearts and get little or nothing in return.
  • 2 0
 @thenotoriousmic: So a mature, highly competitive industry that has revenue in the billions needs to learn from your one company.

So, when did you become a millionaire? Which fortune 500 company is your business?
  • 2 3
 @hamncheez: whatever mate. You just keep making excuses for someone else’s poor business model, see how that works out for you and your wallet.
  • 1 0
 @usedbikestuff: narcos don`t count...they have other business
  • 2 0
 @bman33: Well that's a bit dramatic. Obviously wouldn't expect you to ride the same bike you were given when you were 10. But a bike that's only a few years old is more than capable. I understand that companies gotta make money, but making new standards with marginal (if any) gains isn't the way to do it. Upgrade when something improves significantly. For example, if we make our way to gearboxes as a common standard, upgrade your bike then if that's what you want. If you bought Eagle last year and they release a new cassette with 52t cog, switch spacing from 142mm -> 148/157mm, Sram creating a new standard with dub being 28.99.. are you kidding me? that's just stupid and doesn't warrant an upgrade, but people will feed into it and convince themselves that they NEED it.

You're taking it way too literally. How bout instead of pumping out new products, perfect the ones that already exist...
  • 1 1
 absolutely agree. ! Dear brands. Time to prove the world we're all on the same boat. The future needs better, more sustainable and long living products. We don't need more. We need better, no matter how long it takes to come out. Thanks @domino0
  • 1 0
 To this point it isn’t that simple. If you skip a year, then component supply goes down, supply going down will result in loss of sales for publicly traded companies which looks bad to investors. They then downsize to right size financials which impacts development and support. So you have even less forks and potentially less support be it parts and maybe higher prices. There’s a lot of course correction and impacts beyond just electing not to change paint
  • 3 0
 @friendlyfoe: every bike and company has a different cost structure. The margins for the shops are different for different models. Even shop to shop is different due to account size.
  • 1 0
 @makripper: so you don't know either lol. Yeah was just curious ballpark. I'm just always interested in the business side. Like I said most retail operates on 50% markup (33% margin) and that doesn't bother me at all. Everyone needs to get paid and make a buck. If shops are in that range I don't mind paying msrp on bikes and parts. I was thinking it might be a bit more as most shops around here give 15%off any other accessories when you buy a new bike. Yes it's an add-on sale but giving away half your profit hurts my soul. So I figured either margins were higher or someone started doing it and everyone else decided to follow suit.
  • 1 0
 @friendlyfoe: I'd would say ballpark, the margins on high-end hardgoods in the outdoor industry are not great. I've been involved in a couple different shops focused on high-end bikes, skis, and snowboards. People expected a bit of a deal on such expensive products, and with low margins to begin with, they didn't make much after giving a discount or having a sale. Softgoods, accessories, and services did better.
  • 2 0
 @friendlyfoe: yes I do know. I've worked in a few bike shops over the years.
  • 35 1
 Now, why don’t all brands do this? Seems pretty smart for bike shop brands. Only problem is, people aren’t thinking about bikes as much in the winter. It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out.
  • 32 2
 If you live anywhere with mild winters most people will ride year round.
  • 6 0
 @Shred-BC: true, but there definitely is still a lull around early January and February. I would think if they want to release the bikes later in the year though they would want to do it before the holidays, I’d think that there is definitely an increase in sales then, and people want their brand new bikes. It’ll be interesting to see what happens with sales.
  • 10 0
 I don't think they necessarily need to sell them during the winter so much as have them in inventory come spring so they have the current model for the entire year.

The one challenge I see is if you release a new bike when no ones interested will people lose interest in it by the spring?
  • 14 0
 Not true. Social media has turned MTB into something you may actively do for a few months a year, but you are thinking about all the time.
  • 11 0
 @Shred-BC: Yep us Brits ride 12 months a year, 8 normally muddy!
  • 8 0
 I think about my bike more when I cant ride it!
  • 9 0
 Don’t forget there’s an entire hemisphere below the equator Smile
  • 1 0
 @jonodavis: Say what...?? Eek
  • 3 0
 @ompete: South Wales. 429 days of rain per year.
  • 23 0
 Even better idea: stop with a yearly cycle and just a different colour or lower spec for the same price, but just launch a new model when it is really significant better/ different.
  • 10 5
 what's wrong with a new color each year for the same price?
  • 11 3
 @biker245: changing color for no reason creates obsolescence for the previous color scheme despite it being the same bike. If for exemple you keep the same paint job for the life of the model, this mode will keep a much higher value on the second hand market since the buyer won't feel "ashamed" when showing up with the bike. To the eye of most they may think it is a bike from the season while it might be 2 season old. This may seem futile but people like to have nice looking bike they can identify to, and having a bike that is obsolete in the eyes of the community, mostly because of a paint job, isn't too good for your ego. And unless you ride with a 10 years old bike with miss-matched everything you think this way to some extent. So this would benefit shops, first hand sellers, second hand buyers.
  • 10 0
 @Balgaroth: insecurity level 100.. Same bike.. Old color
  • 8 0
 The important thing that is missing in many of the arguments about this approach— this isn’t only about high-end full-sus bikes. This is about the $400-$500 alloy hardtails, the commuter bikes, and kids bikes. It’s about creating a strategy that works for the design, manufacturing, marketing, and delivery of an entire fleet of bikes from the companies. This is a move to help small business owners operate to the best of their ability. I’m a fan of CSG prioritizing the LBS while helping themselves in the process.
  • 2 1
 But that’s what they already do. The new Scalpel launched this year, and the previous version (Scalpel-Si) launched in 2016. Sure they updated the spec and colors along the way (would you really want a 2016 drivetrain in 2019?) but the underlying frame wasn’t updated until it was ready.
  • 1 0
 @Balgaroth: I don’t know if I would feel shame with the older color. Maybe I like the old color better. I can think of a few bikes where this is the case. But then again I tend to ride my bikes for almost 10 years at a time, so maybe I don’t worry about it too much. I would like a bike I can get jazzed about when I first buy it, though. After that, I don’t care if my bike sports an old paint job 5 years down the line.
  • 1 0
 @GPP2117:
Mostly helping themselves at having a more efficient business model. The side effect is helping LSBs.
As long as LSBs need to keep huge stocks from January, they will still lose money.

What would really help the LBSs, and also the dealers, would be to set-up some sort of BSMs or BRs, like in other retail industries. Basically, dealers would support LBSs in destocking/selling larger unsold volumes and the manufacturers would support the dealers in giving these BSMs and/or BRs. That way, the profit margin for the LSBs would be higher(as the destocking would not be soley on their backs) and it would be more easy for a shop owner to take larger stocks, knowing that dealers will help them if that's the case.
In the end, it would be beneficial for all parts involved, as the volumes would increase. It works in retail, why wouldn't work in bike industry. Like someone said above, to a degree, this is fashion.
  • 1 0
 @biker245: Because it's not the same price, it's usually higher.
  • 1 0
 @santacruzbicycles has done this for ages. Don’t get me started on them selling out for new standards and cool paint schemes but essentially the same as you are saying. Release a new model when significant enough
  • 1 0
 @eugenux: help me out here. "LSB" is a typo for "LBS", which means "local bike shop". What do "BSM" and "BR" mean?
  • 2 0
 @pmhobson:
Back system money and back rebate.

Basically, I agree with a distributer to take 1000 pcs of whatever, which I need to sell in 60 days maximum to be profitable. If, for instance, after 50 days, I have sold only 200 pcs, the distributer will be emitting a correction invoice, thus changing(lowering) my aquisition price or negative invoice directly or I will simply invoicing him and use the money for financing sales campaigns. All of these(+similar) go into those BSMs and BRs.
  • 14 1
 Kudos for a new approach. As someone who used to work in a shop and a friend of may who still do, I know the frustration they are going thru with having to discount in their busy season and being stuck with last season or not enough new season inventory.
  • 3 4
 This isn’t a new approach. Santa Cruz has been doing this forever. Hence v1 v2 etc .
  • 6 1
 @usedbikestuff: Actually Santa Cruz does mid-season model year switch. MY20 was released July 1st last year, and MY21 was launched on July 7th.
  • 1 7
flag usedbikestuff (Jul 13, 2020 at 14:13) (Below Threshold)
 @leon-forfar: I guess I was taking a trip in the way back machine when you still could customize the front and rear triangle color of your nomad and select the parts build separate from your fork before you ordered it and waited 6 to 8 months to receive it. Blur 4x, v2 alum bonds. Pre-driver 8 days.

It’s typical Cannondale shit to come charging through the front door claiming they thought of it first when in fact they should have just moved to this model without making any sort of mention.

Like that scene in dumb and dumber where Lloyd says “we landed on the moon!” This isn’t news and it isn’t new
  • 13 0
 Brilliant! Big ups Dorel for taking action in this moment.
  • 7 0
 I know I'm in the wrong hemisphere but it always seemed weird having bikes come out in the middle of winter. It meant you could an Enduro in July 2019 that was a 19 bike, then in August the bike became a 20. It will be interesting to see how the industry is impacted here as it will just be a reverse of the Northern Hemisphere. To be honest, colour tweaks are about the only way I can keep track of the year changes.
  • 4 0
 Well it would mean clearing "old" stock at Christmas or even boxing day sales in AU, which in way makes more sense than middle of the year sales. I think it suits southern hemisphere better as well.
  • 8 0
 Funny enough Cannondale was the first to just launch bikes in the middle of summer back in the 90's... rest of the industry followed. Go figure.
  • 10 4
 This is awesome. keeps winter exciting. Nothing sucks more then going to pull the trigger on a new ride, and all the sudden next years model is out and then quickly sold out. and your stuck... fucking sucks
  • 11 52
flag GlassGuy (Jul 13, 2020 at 13:08) (Below Threshold)
 Man, "Nothing sucks more then(should be 'than'), going to pull the trigger on a new ride"....you know there are people that are born unable to walk, (I think that would suck)...unable to see, or maybe lose their vision(I think that would suck too). Or maybe their mother has major medical bills so he has to ride--oh my god....a two year old bike!! Some people live places without water, or much food. Some people ride the same bikes for years and years..and are happy, I'm guessing happier than you, it would seem. Does not being able to get the newest and "bestest" thing immediately really suck...that bad?? I'm pretty sure if you think a bit about it there are things that "suck" much more than your little bike issue Wink
  • 16 8
 @GlassGuy: So I work hard and treat myself well. go f*ck yourself.
  • 4 1
 @GlassGuy: Spoken like a guy who can't afford a new bike and is jealous of those who can.
  • 3 0
 @GlassGuy: yo dude, you this is a pinkbike comment section right?
  • 3 0
 @GlassGuy: duuuuuuuude. Debbie downer.
  • 10 1
 Releasing bikes on a set schedule is catalog thinking in the internet age.
  • 2 1
 Clearly you’re not a bowler
  • 3 0
 @usedbikestuff: My guess is, he's never even played cricket.
  • 4 0
 @commental: he doesn't even like cricket..he loves it
  • 6 1
 A product is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it. Maybe if bike brands offered more color options on the mid-high end bikes they would sell more bikes. Often times the lower - mid level bikes have a better color way. If I'm spending 6-7k on a bike, the last thing I want is to turn down a bike because the color sucks. I see many ugly colored high end bikes!
Again a product is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it Smile
  • 5 0
 Nothing new, Ragley also have a January launch with stock available shortly after. Imagine launching a year model of bikes in the actual year!!
  • 1 0
 This reminds me of the ski industry. When I was 16, you’d be pumped to have the newest gear at the start of the season. In that case, you had ‘this years’ gear. Then I grew up and started coaching kids who were so good that they were riding ‘next years’ stuff this year - a concept that up to that point was foreign to me and anyone else who was just skiing recreationally and buying their own stuff instead of receiving sponsor support.
  • 6 0
 Cannondale and GT - not the hero's we wanted, but the hero's we really did need.
  • 2 0
 I get half of this but this won't do away with discounting as shops still need to move inventory until they do away with the model years thing. What about when new suspension comes along like this year with the Fox 38 and the Zeb? It would suck to pay full price for the latest model year of a particular bike and have the suspension be immediately superseded by midyear releases.
  • 2 0
 The Southern Hemisphere typically have highest demand during or nearing Xmas season. In other parts of the world where there is no snow, the highest demand for bikes is typically the holiday seasons of Christmas and Lunar/Chinese New Year (Asia).

Releasing info on new models during late Q3 or early Q4 of the year makes sense.
  • 2 0
 would need whole industry to participate, otherwise they put themselves in difficult position at midsummer - everyones waiting for the new stuff and they will have theirs in like 6 months.
but great idea to fix the stupidity of "model year" vs calendar year.
  • 2 0
 I'm in the Auto Industry where model years play a big role in sales. This is all good in theory, but all you need is one competitor not to play ball, and the strategy is thrown out the window. So CSG says their retailers can sell their current bikes at higher prices, and higher margins, because other CSG products aren't being replaced in a month and therefore need to be discounted. This would be fine if CSG operated in a vacuum. But all you need is someone like a Giant to not play ball, and all of a sudden, why would anyone pay full price for a Cannondale when the Giant is 20-30% off (under the "broken" model)? (Just using Giant vs. Cannondale as big players...not necessarily brands that compete).

Also, while their discounting season will be traditional off-season in the northern hemisphere, how much more of a discount do you need to convince someone to buy a road/XC bike in the winter?

Obviously they've run the numbers and they're taking the gamble. I agree with their strategy, but am not anticipating that they will stick with this model for long once they have 1-2 consecutive years of it not "working" as they originally envisaged and retailers start complaining that they still have to discount in summer peak season AND off-season now.

What would really support this strategy is an overall lower pricing strategy that remains relatively flat throughout the year. This would be far more disruptive in the industry than changing the model-year lifecycle changeover. Imagine bike and part pricing that was so "fair" that we all paid full retail at our LBS instead of hunting for 50% off deals online?
  • 2 0
 "Now planning on only updating mid-to-low end bikes on a two or three-year cycle."

Actually makes sense from every point of view. The business makes more money, the customers doesn't feel SO let down when the new model year outspecs a newly purchased bike and it's good for the planet, less planned obsolescence.
  • 1 0
 You get the buzz of release but without the impulse to buy and ride. You will get a lot of wow that’s bike is cool I might in spring. And by spring the other new models are getting realized and and spy shots so most will wait. But then again I live where snow falls
  • 2 0
 and then come Australia (and other southern hemisphere country)... for them christmas is right at the beginning of summer... with fresh bikes to buy.... hmmm juicy for bike brands!
  • 1 0
 Yep our peak time and full margin point.
  • 1 0
 Funny as I had discussions with them years ago that it simply is nonesense to keep up with these old fashion trends and lifecycles. I imagine a time when brands only launch new models wehen they are actually new. I mean new colors don't make a new bike. When will bike companies realize that they could have less stress (keeping better stock, keep selling with higher margins, scale production better, ..) when they simply stretch their product lifecycle until they overhaul the bikes frame. They can easily swap the hard hitting shit Model 9.0 spec with a hard hitting shit model 9.1 to bring in the newest suspension if they like but the bike would still be without any model year...

Like car brands do it or at least used to do...
  • 1 0
 On the face of it changing to this release model makes loads of sense. But then when you think about it it really does not. Currently if someone get a new bike at Christmas (I know bikes are bought all year round but surely the Christmas/holiday period is the busiest) it is typically a new model. If all manufactures go down this route your shine new bike is 'out of date' within a few weeks of owning it. I know its usually only a colour change, but there are usually a few component update also. I'm not sure this new model is as good as stated in the artical for the consumer.
  • 1 0
 Every pro comes with a con and in this case the most obviouse con is that the main issue of LBS is not only not addressed but get even worse: preorders and stock distribution.

I assume if you really want to help LBS the brands should not transfer additional risk to the LBS but increase their stock levels (or the distributors) and allocate quotas to LBS. So LBS can place multiple orders a year.
  • 1 0
 As a GT dealer, I have a few things to say
they stopped making bikes way before April this year for top-selling bikes to ship in Feb and be sold out by April with no new bikes until December or later.
Icing on the cake is GT never told our shop about the yearly booking order until the night before it was due so we had slim pickings for the bikes we did end up with.

All of this on top of most of the bikes we wanted not making it out of the catalog and into our store.
Top 2 hardtail specs were eu only and not for sale in Canada and the same goes for their Ebikes this year.
The worst by far had to be when someone bought a used gt only 1 year old and gt had 1 swingarm to replace the broken one but they would not sell it to us because he bought the bike 2nd hand.
I am waiting to see if they do the same thing for a used bike that was $10 000 new. I need a chainstay and I have asked 3 times and still no answer. The big S sold me a rocker link for my status when it was 5 years old and I bought it used.
Scott will sell me parts for a bike from 2009 still but gt won't support a bike that's only a year old.
  • 1 0
 I guess that makes sense for lower priced recreational bikes, but it seems like most of my friends buying high-end bikes, especially for racing, buy in the fall so they are set and ready to go for the next riding season.
  • 1 0
 To everyone who is obsessed with having the latest and greatest stuff. Remember There's racers that weld up they're own homemade steel clunkers and podium next to Wc factory pros. Just saying
  • 2 0
 Because of the carbon molds being so expensive the bike companies NEED to get 3 years out of the same bike to make it profitable
  • 3 0
 I mean the ski industry has been doing this for years...
  • 3 0
 Just version bikes, tying to a model year is stupid. V1 V2 etc
  • 2 0
 That graph...boobs. snicker> Okay, got my junior high comment out. Thank you.
  • 1 0
 In the southwest our riding season actually is opposite of the rest of country so when the new models came out right after Interbike they hit the dealers right at the start.
  • 1 0
 What about a new bike for Xmas? Now, you'll be lucky to find any stock come Xmas-time. Much of a muchness.. You make bikes, people buy bikes.
  • 2 0
 I actually think its a great move. Personally it suck that mid season your bike just become obsolete. I think this will worl
  • 1 3
 Won’t people who are shopping for a bike in the summer/fall be comparing bikes??? they will see that they can get this model year from a non-CSG company for a discount or next model year for full retail... causing them to ignore canondale and get???
  • 1 0
 Should be like Beer - 4 seasonal and a rotation line extension!! Jk this sounds way better for shops?
  • 1 0
 ...perfect if only there were m.y. 2020 or 2021 bikes available for purchase, now...
  • 3 1
 I like this move. YT does it already.
  • 2 0
 Noooo! I only buy the discounted bikes
  • 2 0
 Ahhhh just get rid of the calendar. Problem(s) solved.
  • 1 0
 I gotta agree...my buddy just bot the new commensal and wont have it til October...after riding season.
  • 1 0
 Somebody tell them to pay more for qa/qc to the factories in china so their frames don't creak.
  • 1 0
 I applaud you CSG. clap>
  • 1 0
 Hasn't Santa Cruz been doing this for years?
  • 1 0
 Well, the new 5010 was *just* released.
  • 2 1
 YT been doing this
  • 4 0
 YT sells direct to consumer. This move is about assisting the LBS with inventory management. Shops that don’t buy bikes and carry large stock can have a hard time getting bikes in the summer months because of supply constraints. It’s no fun telling a customer in July that they need to wait until October for a bike for their teen. Then, if they do stock up and have excess inventory as a new model comes out, they’re forced to discount because the consumer wants the newest model (even if no changes were made other than paint color.)
  • 1 0
 Now thats a graph
  • 3 5
 it's dorel. nobody cares why they say they do what they do. dead brands walking.
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