Bike Shop Hub Center:

The business and work culture of Bike Shop Hub in all it's glory.

When we have new products, sales, weird marketing ideas, commentary on the cycling industry, or embarrasing photos of of the staff, this is where you'll find it.

And since we are located in Arizona, we'll talk about the cycling scene in the state.

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We get to see and touch and test all sorts of great cycling gear here at our world headquarters. But we actually get to meet very few of our customers in person.

We just know you are out there taking pictures of your amazing cycling adventures. We want to see them! The best ones will be shared on the relevant section of this blog: Bike Cargo Trailers, Bike Touring, Bike Technology and Family Cycling.

Monthly Archives: July 2007

Business Platforms

This week at Wandertec:
1. Finalized the design of the Wandertec Sax
2. Got interviewed by a journalist for the Chicago Tribune for a possible story about Bike Cargo Trailers and their use in Chicago.
3. Worked on designing some packaging using Adobe Illustrator for the Wandertec mLite.
4. Listed some the Ultimate5 Plus Handelbar Bags at the BikeTrailerShop.com.
5. Got in 10 Xtracycles after being out of stock for the last few months.

Life is good at Wandertec these days. Sales have been strong at the BikeTrailerShop all spring and summer. The shop expansion should be underway soon. I’ve been enjoying developing several new products.

However, as an anxious entrepreneur, I’m constantly bitten by the bug to do more. Its good to be where I’m at, having climbed the first hurdle of establishing a profitable business, but the dreams around the corner keep me blazing ahead. Getting to the next level means having a large fully functioning shop and hiring an employee to help with the daily tasks of keeping things running.

I’m very excited about starting to work on expanding the BikeTrailerShop platform into including other websites. The plan is to launch another site focused on selling racks and panniers. I will carry a very complete selection of brands and models of rack and panniers along with other bicycling bags. Really focusing in-depth on the niche of Bike Cargo Trailers has really gone over well with customers. It has also worked well with one of our main advertising mediums, Search Engine Rankings. I’m looking forward to a similar success with bicycle panniers and bicycle racks.

Taking this business model one step further, I would like to continue to launch other niche specific stores within the bicycling industry. This is a growing trend throughout the Internet. I feel it is a great way to serve the bicycling public. I also feel that it is a service that is complimentary to local bike shops. While local bike shops offer a large variety of bicycling necessities, specialty web stores can offer those hard to find items that it doesn’t really make sense for local shops to stock.

The Perfect Cargo Machine

The Perfect Bike Trailer 1893 BernardiThe perfect bike cargo trailer would be light and strong. It would have lights and a kickstand incorporated into it. You would barely notice its affect on your bike as you pulled it. It would work on road and off and have smooth suspending properties to keep your load from getting jostled. It would work great for both large and small loads. It would go on and off your bike with quick/secure ease. It would collapse down neatly out of the way and transform into a carrying case for your bike when you were traveling like the CELLO bike case.

Using the Trailer

This week at Wandertec:

1. Finished the Wandertec SAX (BOB liner) design and began testing.
2. Began assembly of the 1st batch of Wandertec mLites.
3. Fitted lights on my Carry Freedom Y-Frame Trailer.
4. Started using my Carry Freedom Y-Frame and Xtracycle to transport a large load of work equipment across town instead of using my Honda Element.
5. Signed off on the plans for the shop expansion.

I decided to start up with using my Carry Freedom to try to avoid one of my trips across town. I bought the Honda Element a few years ago so I’d have a car that got relatively good gas mileage (26mpg) and that could still be used to haul some stuff. But lately I’ve been hauling almost everything in town by bike.

This got me thinking about changing up my vehicles. I’ve decided to sell the Element soon and replace it with a Toyota Corolla. My girlfriend is going to sell her Mercury Sable station wagon and replace it with a used Toyota Pickup. The Toyota Pickup will be used for when our loads are just to big for bike trailers around town and the Corolla will be for road trippin. I’ve used the Element as the Wandertec trade show and event vehicle. But with only a few of these events to attend each year, I figured I’ll be better off just renting a van when it was needed.

When considering the choices of fuel efficient cars to replace my overall all-purpose but not optimally fuel efficient Element, I first thought on the Prius. It seems that if I will mostly be using the new car on the highway for road trips. In these conditions the braking energy recapture benefits of the Prius are less applicable. I also considered a VW Golf diesel. My problem with this was I’d spend approximately $5000 more than the Corolla and only get 45mpg vs. 40 mpg. I’ve decided rather to put that $5000 into updating the heater in my house.

I put in all my data into an energy/carbon use calculator and discovered that the best use of my resources was to replace the 38 year old furnace in my house. This would reduce my energy use by 15% while using a 40 mpg car instead of a 26 mpg car only resulted in an 8% reduction in energy use.

For the long term, I’m very interested in using a Plug-In Hybrid. But saying as they are not yet available, the Toyota Corolla and some other energy saving technologies will have to do as my bridge to a more energy efficient day.

Why Bike Trailers?

Hmm, why do I love bike cargo trailers so much?

Maybe its because I can do what I want to do with them which is ride my bike.

I don’t like sitting in an oil burning car. I like getting out there under the sky and doing something with my muscles and smiling at others as I roll on by.

Why do you love bicycle trailers so much?

Monsoonal Rains

This week at Wandertec:

1.Pressed forward on the BOB Liner (Wandertec SAX) design.
2.Set up a new CELL Phone & Land Line for clearer phone time.
3.Cut a large batch of sign blanks for Signarama on the ShopBot.

The long awaited monsoonal rains came yesterday into Flagstaff. With our on going drought like condition, this change in the weather is very much appreciated. I took a beautiful evening mountain bike ride. The trail was perfect for riding. I was cleaning all the sections that the powdery dust had previously rendered unrideable.

Transitioning back into prototype development has required me to slow down and refocus my brain parts. The day-to-day hustle pace of shipping and receiving does not translate well into design work. It requires a different cadence. I have to relax and allow myself to go back and forth between flurries of inspiration and spiraling meditations. When I find the right balance between time spent on visualizing an idea and physically putting it together, I can move forward at the best pace. To much visualizations leads to getting no where, and not enough leads to loads of frustrating attempts.

Progress has been made and a functioning prototype of the SAX now exists, the next step is to clean up the design and get it fitting nice and snug in the BOB Trailer. At this pace, I expect to have it available in the next few weeks.

Gone Fishing

How many Blogs begin something like “It’s been awhile since I last posted”?

This Month at Wandertec:
1. Set up an ad in the new publication Practical Pedal.
2. Signed a contract for the Wandertec Shop Expansion.
3. Worked on the design for the long awaited BOB Trailer Liner.
4. Recieved confirmation that the Wandertec mLites have been completed and are being delivered.
5. Went on vacation up California’s PCH and snapped a photo of a BOBBer near Muir Woods.

We were glad to jump on board with the new publication Practical Pedal. This magazine/blog/website is doing its part to support and grow our favorite niche, bicycles used as a means of transportation. We’ve been including a copy of the printed version in with all of our orders and handing them out around Flagstaff.

Plans are finally underway to launch our workshop expansion. The contract has been signed and we hope to have a much bigger facility running by the end of the year.

The Wandertec mLites have left Germany and should be available soon. With the new Wandertec SAX BOB Liner design almost complete, we are looking forward to introducting all of these new products with a website update and a new printed brochure soon.

Trailers for Adult Passengers

Edit (5/24/08): I just came across a trailer design for pulling a wheel chair on a trailer. See Tony’s Trailers for more.

Bike Trailer AmbulanceThis site is generally devoted towards bicycle cargo trailers. The category of bike child trailers deserves another blog of its own by someone more versed in this area of expertise than myself.