Search results for: "cycles of life"

Cycles of Life: The Dealer Camp Experience

View from Mt Tam during Marin Bikes dealer camp 2013

The view from Mt Tam is one perk of the bike biz.

Cycles of Life is an ongoing series from Siren Cycles’ founder Brendan Collier. While it’ll touch on his bike brand, the focus is on the romantic notion most of us have of one day opening a little bike shop to call our own. He’s done it, and now he’s chronicling the experience for us.

No, not that DealerCamp. I had the pleasure of joining a number of other dealers in Northern California for Marin Bikes’ 2014 product launch.

As a new bike shop owner, this was my first time attending a bike industry dealer camp. I’d been invited to attend SaddleDrive with QBP & Salsa last month, but had to bow out when our forest was on fire. The dealer camp concept affords an opportunity for the the manufacturer to have the undivided attention of their dealers, and a low stress getaway for those of us working in IBD’s. I joke  that industry perks like this are what I get to enjoy in lieu of the benefits that come with a “real job.”

While my dealer camp experience was with Marin Bikes, I’d imagine the playbook -and some of the benefits to the IBD & manufacturer- are similar for all brands. In the end, I found the opportunity to network with other IBD’s just as valuable as the info received from the manufacturer.

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Cycles of Life: Building it Out

Getting ready for opening day 2011- home made fixtures and small space.

Getting ready for opening day 2011- home made fixtures and small space.

Editor’s Note: This is the third article from Siren Cycles’ founder Brendan Collier. While it’ll touch on his bike brand, the focus is on the romantic notion most of us have of one day opening a little bike shop to call our own. He’s done it, and now he’s chronicling the experience for us. We hope you enjoy reading it as much as we do! Read the full series here.

The Space

We opened our shop in 2011 with more ideas than capital. We had to make the best of the resources we had (or could get) and it broke down something like this:

At the lead up to opening day, we focused heavily on triage repairs for weekend visitors, and selling the small bits & pieces one might need during a weekend of riding. We didn’t need much space to make that happen, and I didn’t have much to spend anyhow. So a small shop would work to get us off the ground.

In early spring of 2011 we found a small space, something on the order of 250 sq/ft in a quiet complex just off the beaten path. Hidden in plain sight, as I like to be. We signed a lease and set out to make something fun & profitable of it. A notable advantage of being in a multiunit complex came to light when we outgrew our first space and needed to move into a larger space – a problem easier to solve in-house and beneficial to the owner as well.

Space has been a tricky figure to get right, and keep right. Our startup plan was built on organic growth- slowly building the demand for cycling in our town, starting with word of mouth. We were very limited for overhead in terms of inventory & rent. As time has passed and the business has grown, we’re outgrowing our second space, albeit at a slower rate. The need for space is a riddle, and solving takes some looking at a number of factors, from proportion of retail sales to service revenue… to the value of exposure in a certain area of town.

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Cycles of Life: The Concept

Hub Cyclery Merchandise

Editor’s Note: This is the second article in a new series from Siren Cycles’ founder Brendan Collier. While it’ll touch on his bike brand, the focus is on the romantic notion most of us have of one day opening a little bike shop to call our own. He’s done it, and now he’s chronicling the experience for us. We hope you enjoy reading it as much as we’ve enjoyed putting it together. Read Brendan’s first article here. -Tyler

What do we want the vibe and theme of our bike shop to be?

To answer that question, we drew on the impressions of bike shops we’ve worked at before, and destination IBD’s (Independent Bicycle Dealers) we’d visited.

We’re mountain bikers. We figured it’s best to do what you know, so we started off on the basis that we most wanted to grow into a “mountain bike boutique.” We make no secret of the fact we’d like to do whatever we can to help transform Idyllwild into a destination bike town. I believe much of it comes from creating an atmosphere where people can relax, and engage in what they love to do. We’ll do our part of that at the shop.

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Cycles of Life: Why We Opened a Bike Shop

Editor’s Note: We’re quite proud to introduce a new series from Siren Cycles’ founder Brendan Collier. While it’ll touch on his bike brand, the focus is on the romantic notion most of us have of one day opening a little bike shop to call our own. He’s done it, and now he’s chronicling the experience for us. We hope you enjoy reading it as much as we’ve enjoyed putting it together. And so we begin… -Tyler

Two years ago, we decided to open a bike shop in our little town. We might’ve been on to something…

For years, my wife Mary and I had shared that dream of “someday” opening a bike shop. We had favorite bike shops we liked to visit when we were road tripping, most for a certain vibe they’d possessed, and others for their technical savvy. We’d become connoisseurs of the LBS. We often talked about what we’d like to see for ourselves in that “someday” bike shop we’d open, and what sort of town we’d open it in. For me, the turns of events in my life led me to opening the Hub Cyclery in Idyllwild, California on March 1st, 2011.

Why’d I do it?

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Niner Carbon Fork Still Rideable After Being Smashed With Hammer

niner-carbon-fork-hammered

You may recall the video where Niner Bikes co-founder Chris Sugai smashed their new carbon fork with a hammer. A few people posted comments about what the inside of the fork may look like, and Niner said that while it was structurally sound, it should be replaced if such damage occured. The point of the test was to show that even massive hits to the fork wouldn’t result in catastrophic, rider-flying-off-a-cliff, certain death failure. Well, it seems Niner wanted to see if the fork was rideable afterall, so they tested it. Here’s the results:

After abusing a carbon Niner fork with a ball peen hammer, we sent the very same component off to our testing facility and sent it through the same rigorous tests that our brand new forks undergo.

Niner forks are tested to the new European standards specifically designed for mountain bike use. To pass these safety standards the fork must undergo a load of 650 Newtons, both pushing and pulling on the dropouts for one hundred thousand cycles. Our hammer fork passed this test easily, so we kept going… and we upped the load. At 750 Newtons, the hammer fork passed another hundred thousand cycles, so we kept at it… and at it… In the end we were not able to get this fork to break until after three hundred thousand cycles! The Niner carbon fork tripled the most stringent bike product safety standard out there, after being beaten with a hammer! We would prefer that you didn’t do this to your fork, but it is nice to know how tough these things really are.

Also, they’ve updated their demo shop list, so if you’re looking for a local shop that has demo bikes in stock, hit ‘more’ to see the current list.  Oh, and you’ll see their sweet Niner Sigg water bottle…

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