Saturday, June 15, 2013

Back in action!

After selling my first wave of bikes, I realized I was doing it wrong. There were a few types of work I couldn't do on my own, and didn't feel okay about doing at Bike Pirates, and pretty much had to do in order to guarantee the relative safety of the bikes I was selling. So I put my bike business on hold, while I got the tools and extra education to be able to do a complete and proper build. I also realized that there's no way I can just build up a bike and sell it right away. It's something that I need to do while riding the bike here and there, so that I do a build over a longer period of time, and all the bugs get worked out. I kept having to do follow-up maintenance after my sales, and it was the kind of stupid things that now I plan to catch during my extended builds. So now I plan to take a month or two to get a bike up to scratch, and then I can sell them with the knowledge that they won't need maintenance for a reasonable amount of time. This gives my customers a big value advantage over other bikes. Even brand-new bikes aren't ridden around between being built and being sold, so they usually require maintenance almost right away. Bike vendors even offer follow-up maintenance in their sales agreements, and I think that's an admission of failure. They should be able to sell each and every customer a product that doesn't need maintenance for at least six months, and the goal should be a year and a half. So that's my goal with my bikes. I even plan to lend them to friends so that they can be tested and tuned up over the period of a whole commuting season.

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