Shimano sales down, SRAM laying off, inventories up, exports down, bad news for the bike business abounds. Where is the silver lining? What is the formula for success?
The recipe is as old as civilization. Here's the irony of Slowtwitch Road Shows: The smaller the shop, the more rural the area, the more fun I have. Why? Because local stakeholders need each other.
Triathlon is only so big. Whether you're a race director searching for a host city or Slowtwitch searching for a host shop, success is found in communities (or stores) that want and need what you bring. In the photo below and throughout are members from the Rocklin Endurance Tri Club, the Yuba Sutter Tri Club, Davis Tri Club, Sacramento Tri Club. They all need this shop and this shop needs them right back.
Jim Felt, of Felt Bicycles, lives in Auburn, 20 minutes away from this store. With all respect given to Boulder, Auburn is just about the best place to live if you're a cyclist or triathlete. Jim and I were talking shop before posing for a photo.
There was lotsa Hoka and lotsa Felt at this show. But BMC and Cervelo were there too, and this store sells a lot of bikes made by all 3 brands. In fact, there were more BMC TM01s built and on the floor than I've seen in awhile.
Below is the Red Bull truck. This opens up, in all directions - side, rear, top - ready to make music as loud as you want.
In the background the Red Bull truck is open (so to speak) for business.
The Sunday morning ride from this store is typically under a dozen, I'm given to think. Not on this day. When I drove up to start fitting it looked like a gran fondo getting ready to go.
What's good about tri: all ages, all body types, all abilities, all welcome.
Riders returning (they were still out on the ride as this pic was taken) could rack their bikes on T-BLOCKS racks, as this pair of Dimonds. While T-BLOCKS are designed for race organizers, several stores and manufacturers have purchased them after seeing them at these Road Shows, because of their modularity, space saving, light weight, and adjustable wheel widths.
If it's beer it must be a Slowtwitch Road Show.
Here I am with some of the Rocklin Endurance Sports' staff.
Slowtwitch Road Shows will take place in better than 30 cities this year, me at more than 20 of them. Yes I'm having fun, but I'm probably not going to keep a schedule this frantic next year.
When I fit folks at these shows it's any port in a storm, so to speak. I can use any fit bike, whether Exit Cycling (this one here) or Retul, Shimano, Purely Custom or GURU. As long as the bike adjusts in an x/y axis and reads out either stack and reach or handlebar x/y, I'm good to fit.
We overwhelmed this shop, but boy did they turn on the hospitality. Showing solidarity with this store on this day were, beyond the brands already mentioned, Coeur Sports, Generation UCAN, Pioneer Cycle Sports, Polar, Zipp, SRAM, Quarq and CycleOps.
Also there were race organizations: USA Productions, Big Blue Adventures, and TBF Racing.