Something important debuted. Not the Diamondback Andean. That bike was launched a couple of months ago. Today is our first glimpse of the Andean’s Project-One-style buildable shopper, the Andean Custom Studio, with a Pad X/Y sizer built in.
This is big.
First, it’s one of the few desirable frames built into a shopping module like this. We’ve seen this kind of thing from Chain Wiggle or Competitive Cyclist, but not with a frame anyone would want. Wrench Science comes pretty close. One of these days I’m going to investigate Wrench Science more closely, because they do what they do under the radar. When considered as a tri retailer there are two very desirable brands in Wrench Science's stable: Orbea and Argon 18.
Still, visually, its shopping site pales compared to what Diamondback released today, bearing in mind that Diamondback only had to worry about one model of one brand, whereas Wrench Science has that multiplied by at least an order of magnitude.
What Diamondback released today is something you might expect Canyon to offer, but I think Diamondback would bristle at this, because it believes it’s already executing what Canyon has so-far yet to do in the U.S.: successfully selling top-caliber bikes consumer direct.
Diamondback is building, as we speak, an assembly facility at its headquarters that will place on the Andean the build kit the consumer wants, with the desired wheels, and so forth, and ship it to the consumer pretty much ready to ride. I’ve seen the box the consumer gets. I didn’t know Fedex and UPS allowed boxes that big. I’ve seen the way the bike comes. Twenty minutes and you’re pedaling down the street.
Now, for the sizer. It’s a Pad X/Y prescriptive solver. Honestly, either I measured wrong it the sizer is wrong. I have an Andean, I measured it, and the sizer prescribed a set-up that yields a position 20mm longer than what I think I have on the Andean in my garage. Our CTO, Jordan Rapp, also found that the sizer exported a solution that is probably one size down from the frame size he’d likely ride.
I spoke to Diamondback about this. They seem to work at warp speed. If their sizer needs tightening up, they say, they’re going to tighten it up. Pronto. I was provided the contact info for the bike’s engineer and I had CAD drawings in front of me within a day. I've now got all the Andean’s frame assembly parts on my computer screen. Nice! If they’re going to be that proactive I can only respond in kind: the Andean’s engineer and I should have any issues sorted and deployed on the sizer quite soon.
Diamondback’s Andean was a shot across the industrial design bow. And not just a shot. A moon shot. The Andean is out there. Were I Diamondback, I’d have been relieved when Cervelo’s P5X came out, because its design validated much of what the Andean set out to do. These two new tri models validate each other. The P5X made the Andean a “safer” purchase for consumers (and vice versa).
But a bike is just a bike, it’s not a process. In today’s marketplace process is just as important. Don’t believe me? Consider Amazon. Amazon is not only, or mainly, a retailer. It’s a process for shopping, deciding, buying. What Diamondback released today was a process combining a best-in-class app for selecting the best way to prescribe one’s own Andean and then to execute the purchase.
Canyon is coming. But Diamondback is already here.