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.

Join the conversation.

Send In Your Cycling Photos

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: September 2010

State of the Hub: 2010 Vegas Finale Interbike Wrap-up

ridekick-electric-bike-trailer-2010-interbike-outdoor-cropInterbike served up a whole pile of new ideas, inspiration, coming-together-of minds and momentum as we dive into the Fall. On the highs and lows, our goals of learning more about electric bicycles definitely shined as a centerpiece of our visit to the show while our goal of focusing on children’s cycling did not really meet our full expectation. In between, there were some great new products introduced that will have an impact for both BikeTrailerShop.com and BikeBagShop.com. And as always there was plenty of quality face time with our manufacturers and some important introductions to the people behind some of the new products that we are considering offering.

Quite a bit of our time at Interbike was focused on our project to consider bicycles and accessories through the lens of a bicycle designed to offer a comfort level of use as close as possible to that of a car. Our “Jump on the bike and GO” bike idea (discussed in a previous post) was the centerpiece of some videography we were doing to be presented through UtilityCycling.org. This idea also sprung several interesting conversations with our manufacturer reps. And some inspiration for some potential product ideas may have sprung up as well.

megan-robinc-adam-robina-ortlieb-messenger-bags-interbike-2010-cropOverall, Interbike generally seems to be a blend of inspiration and distraction. This year, we had quite a few specific goals in mind as well as quite a few team members who have never attended before, so from the viewpoint of offering a sumbersion into the cycling industry it was worthwhile for nearly our entire team to go. Next year, with Interbike in Anheim, I am considering a more focused approach and possibly looking at traveling to other events with select portions of our team geared up with specific strategies.

One of the most unexpected inspirations that seemed to culminate with this Interbike was a flood of new product ideas for Wandertec. To start out, on the drive out to the Outdoor Demo, Stu and I had some interesting brainstorms about a redesign of the Wandertec BONGO trailer. As the week progressed, quite a few ideas stemming from the “Jump on the bike and GO” Bike kept surfacing. These ideas along with some previous product ideas are inspiring some consideration to explore our potential for a strong division of the business aimed at product development and manufacturing. In considering these new ideas, I am cautious in not wanting to take away from the strong core and main flow of our business, our specialty cycling internet shops. In exploring our opportunities in new directions, I am considering looking for investors who would be backing specific divisions of the business. In growing the business and considering an outreach to investors, I am beginning to imagine developing a business plan that specifies a variety of divisions (or focuses) with specific plans directed at each of these focuses. This “a la carte business plan” would allow for investors to clearly see a choice of different potential directions for the business and consider investing in the direction that they felt offered the most promise. A central portion of this style of business plan would be that we would not deviate from our focus on the main course, the specialty shops. In addition, all of the directions presented would not only have potential in themselves but also offer opportunity to help grow our overall network of products and marketing capabilities.

surly-bike-trailer-short-2010-interbike-cropInternet Marketing Wizardry:

  1. Developing a good set of reporting tools to establish a baseline for our internet marketing success and progress.
  2. Continuing to fine tune and further develop or shopping network feeds. Currently we our using GoDataFeed.com to feed out to Google Shopping, Bing Shopping, TheFind, Price Grabber, NexTag and Shopzilla.
  3. Maintaining our current channels (currently Adwords, Twitter & Facebook).
  4. Looking ahead towards joining the affiliate network Share-A-Sale and possibly setting up our own in-house affiliate network.

Strategy for A Super Sweet Cycling Product Line Up:

  1. Adding to our lineup of messenger bags at BikeBagShop.com and balance bikes, and trailer-cycles at BikeKidShop.com.
  2. Introducing video to our product listings. We’re starting out by uploading available videos from our manufacturers and will be adding in some of our own videos as well.
  3. Building a photo booth to do our own product photography as well as photography for our expert article “bike setups” pages.

velo-orange-front-rack-interbike-2010-cropRefining the Cyclists Internet Shopping Experiance :

  1. Setting up a new Drupal website to update the BikeShopHub.com. This site will include a new forum, our blog, a feed from all of our blogs, and pages that feature products that we represent in the USA such as Extrawheel products.
  2. Fine-tuning our link massaging tool that allows for rapid intuitive cross linking of our content.
  3. Cleaning up layout of our product description pages.

Smooth Shipping to Your Door & How We Make It Happen:

  1. Settling in our organization of our inventory.
  2. Integrating all of our inventory management and shipping management into one role.
  3. Exploring a relationship with an international freight forwarder.

Expert Level Bicycle Accessories Designed & Built In Flagstaff, AZ, USA:

  1. Setup relationship for manufacturing of the Wandertec BONGO load bed.
  2. Get back into brainstorming ideas for the BONGO rail system.

The Gooood Deals:

Our Most Recent Blog Chatter:

interbike-2010-opening-address-crop

State Of The Hub On Pause, We’re at Interbike!

59183_10150276439455384_327015235383_14891254_1386740_nI thought I would quickly report in from our hotel room at the Flamingo. The Bike Shop Hub is at Interbike this week exploring the cycling industry and strategize new relationships, deals and products for the coming year.

This year, we’re very excited about quite a few things. One of our top priorities is to look for more products for BikeKidShop.com and improve our knowledge of children’s cycling. On another front, we are learning as much as we can about Electric Assist Bikes for some new directions and projects that we are considering. We are of course, souring the show for has many bike trailers, bike bags and bike racks as possible, while meeting up with all of the dealers we are working with.

This is the final year in Vegas for Interbike, so should be a good one before it returns next year to Anheim. If you want to keep up with our day-to-day meanderings and thoughts on the show, be sure to follow us on our Bike Shop Hub Facebook Page.

Day 2 at Interbike – Our 1st Day Here…

BikeTrailerBlog.com has just arrived at Interbike! under the auspice of BikeShopHub.com. Today, our goal is to test ride electric bikes, with the intention of offering both a line of regular style e-bikes as well as electric cargo bikes here in Flagstaff through our shop, Bike Shop Hub. While we don’t expect to see too many bike trailers out and about today, electric cargo bikes are definitely a topic of interest for BikeTrailerBlog.com. Electric bikes in general are also capturing our attention as they are certainly useful when towing bike cargo trailers.

We will be attempting to do a quick daily Interbike post over the next few days, posting a few of the best bike trailer related photos from the day along with a quick update. For more regular updates of bike trailers, as well as plenty of other updates, checkout our FaceBook page. A team of 4 of our posed with our iPhones ready to post anything exciting that we see in the realm of Bike Cargo Trailers, Bike Child Trailers, Trailer Cycles, LongTail Bikes and Cargo Bikes plus other stuff involving Bike Bags, Bike Rack, Electric Assist Bikes and more…

So check out our FaceBook page already for the latest updates. Our goal is to post 10 to 20 times a day!

Burley Travoy Takes Gold at Eurobike, Bike Shop Hub Gears Up for Interbike

Eric from Burley was kind enough to send us his recap from the 2010 EuroBike. For those of you who don’t know of, or who have never been to Interbike, the U.S. version of Eurobike, Eurobike is basically a giant convention and trade show made up of everything and everyone who is involved in the bike industry in Europe and around the world. It is a time to check out all the new stuff that companies are producing for the upcoming year. Generally both shows are geared towards people who work in the cycling industry, but Eurobike does have a consumer day were they open the doors to the public.

We here at the Bike Shop Hub are gearing up for this year’s Interbike, which runs all of next week in fabulous Las Vegas, Nevada. It should be an interesting one this year. We are hoping to check out a lot of new e-bike products. According to Eric they were a big hit in Eurobike. We are also interested in new cargo and child trailers, new bike touring gear, and some ideas for our forthcoming new shops. Stay tuned as we will try and keep updates coming live from the show. And we will certainly have some good recaps when we return.

Here is what Eric had to say about his visit to the 2010 Eurobike:

Chrome!

chrome-4 Since our humble beginnings at Bike Bag Shop we have focused on carrying brands that are geared towards the utility of cycling. Bike bags are, by nature and definition, products designed to increase the usability of your bike, whether it is for bike touring, bike commuting, or hauling groceries. The Bike Bag Shop has prided itself by carrying some of the best products available in those respective categories. Ortlieb, Jandd and Vaude are some of the best bike touring panniers on the market. Old Man Mountain and Tubus are known for their quality rack construction. One thing that many of these brands, and Bike Bag Shop as a whole, have in common is that their primary focus is in the function of their design, leaving fashion and lifestyle second. Obviously, if you are bike touring across Mongolia, function is going to be your only concern. You need your rack and bags to be sturdy, reliable and functional. But what if you could take utility and function and blend it with fashion and lifestyle. This has become one of our new focuses at the Bike Bag Shop and we are starting with Chrome.

An Interesting Experiment in Child and Cargo Hauling

One of the reason that I really enjoy my job writing the Bike Trailer Blog is, of course, sharing the many great bike trailer stories, but also writing about some of the more unusual creations and set-ups that people have come up with. We received an interesting story from Brian about his child/cargo bike trailer setup. Brian has come up with an interesting twist on a single wheeled trailer. I think this is one of the times where a picture is worth a thousand words. To make it even better Brian added some electric assist to the equation.

State of the Hub: Drupal is Coming!

josh-and-melanie-wedding-cropI took a week off with the “State of the Hub” as I got married to my beautiful bride. So I took a week off from blogging about the state of affairs. Now that all of the wedding hubbub is wrapped up, I have a few moments to get back on the blogging train.

logo_drupalOver the last two weeks, the most dramatic change has been our cracking open of our efforts into Drupal. Frank put in the base code for what will become the new BikeShopHub.com using a still in development version of the latest Drupal, version 7. To get started, we’ve been configuring the forums. This week we are brainstorming the overall look and feel of the home page of BikeShopHub.com. Our intention here is to draw in information from all of our shops, the blogs and the forum into a dashboard style page. We’re working on figuring out the content and the layout with the home that it all blends together into harmoniously into a functional and fashionable looking website.

A marketing idea that I’ve had bubbling around in my brain may be coming to the forefront. Recently, I’ve been contemplating how to make the bike as easy as a choice for quick trips across town as a car is. Even as a lifelong cyclist, I still find myself constantly dealing with small issues with my bicycle. In the last month, several of the things that have slowed me down were a flat tire, a squeaky drive train and a bolt that fell out of my bike rack. While I’m completely capable of sorting out these issues, I’ve been thinking about how these seemingly minor issues can completely disable many from wanting to ride their bikes. On the other side of the spectrum, I’ve been thinking about how (environmental, cost and health factors aside) in general there are a wide variety of reasons that it is often much more convenient to get in the car and go as compared to heading out on by bike. Almost any car has the following: head and taillights, one-key security for the car and your stuff, the ability to keep road grime off of you and generally speaking solid road worthiness.

With all this in mind, I’ve been thinking about piecing together a bicycle that is a one-key, jump-on-the-bike and go bike. This bike would be extremely durable, reliable and easy-to-use for standard situations. Essentially, I would like to put together the Toyota Corolla of bikes. It will probably have an internal gear hub, big heavy reliable wheels, front and rear locking trunks, built in lights and solid built in racks and fenders. And of course, the bike will have an electric system both to make it more jump-in-and-go ready and also to compensate for it’s tough, heavy-duty, heavy parts. Ideally, the same key that locked the bikes built in lock would lock the trunks.

thorn-tandem-with-wandertec-bongo-at-moviesBuilding this bike is intriguing for us from several perspectives. As bicycle accessory experts, it will be an interesting platform to explore a wide range of accessories from. From the blogging perspective, building this bike could offer us quite a bit of fodder for blog postings from our blog UtilityCycling.org as well as potential guest blog posts with our friends at CommuteByBike.com and BikeCommuters.com. From the overall marketing perspective, this project could lead to some interesting and perhaps unexpected opportunities. From the bicycle advocacy direction, our aspiration would be to encourage a dialog in the bicycle industry, at the minimum, joining the current conversation about good commuter bike design, and at the high level, demonstrating an idea that encourages some new thinking within the bicycle industry. Finally, on our manufacturing level, piecing this jump-in-and-go ready bike together could provide some inspiration for Wandertec products and could possibly even be an entry point to us building such a bike.

Our Current Internet Marketing Agenda:

  1. Developing a good set of reporting tools to establish a baseline for our internet marketing success and progress.
  2. Continuing to fine tune and further develop or shopping network feeds. Currently we our using GoDataFeed.com to feed out to Google Shopping, Bing Shopping, TheFind, Price Grabber, NexTag and Shopzilla.
  3. Maintaining our current channels (currently Adwords, Twitter & Facebook).
  4. Looking ahead towards joining the affiliate network Share-A-Sale and possibly setting up our own in-house affiliate network

Our Products Agenda (shop content):

  1. Adding to our lineup of messenger bags at BikeBagShop.com and balance bikes, and trailer-cycles at BikeKidShop.com.
  2. Preparing for better photography and video by investing in new equipment, software and setting up our photo area.
  3. Configuring our website to add videos to our product listings.

Our Website Interface Agenda (web programming):

  1. Setting up a new Drupal website to update the BikeShopHub.com. This site will include a new forum, our blog, a feed from all of our blogs, and pages that feature Wandertec and Extrawheel products.
  2. Fine-tuning our link massaging tool that allows for rapid intuitive cross linking of our content.
  3. Cleaning up layout of our product description pages.

Our Shipping & Logistics Agenda:

  1. Settling in our organization of our inventory.
  2. Integrating all of our inventory management and shipping management into one role.
  3. Exploring a relationship with a freight forwarder.

Our Wandertec Manufacturing Agenda:

  1. Setup relationship for manufacturing of the Wandertec BONGO load bed.
  2. Get back into brainstorming ideas for the BONGO rail system.

Current Promotions:

Check out the BikeShopHub FaceBook feed for a compilation of our latest blog posts

Lone Peak Sale!

lone-peak-mount-rainier-rear-pannier-blackNow through September 28 the Bike Bag Shop will be offering 10% off all Lone Peak products. Lone Peak packs are handcrafted in the U.S since 1979. Lone Peak is known for constructing quality products that are tough, reliable and functional. Lone Peak utilizes the finest materials available, superior design and construction to manufacture the best packs available.

All Lone Peak bags use the Loc-on suspension mounting system, which is a hook and bungee system that is nearly indestructible yet easy and convenient to use. The Loc-on hook wraps all the way around the rails of you bike rack to ensure maximum stability. Looking for durability in your touring gear? All Lone Peak bags are construed from abrasion and tear resistant Cordura.

lone-peak-mount-superior-rear-pannierLone Peak has a pack or bag for every situation. The P-500 Mt. Superior panniers are expedition ready with plenty of space to leave for a couple of months and not worry about what you left behind. If your just headed out for the day the PD-200 Mt. Olympus panniers/day pack is the perfect choice for a light weight yet spacious day trip. Lone Peak also has a great lien-up of commuter bags for those close to home journeys. The GP-850 grocery panneir is perfect for those quick stops by the market on the way home from work. Lone Peak also produces one of the only garment bag panniers on the market, the GP-1000 Garmet Bag Pannier. If you love to commute to work using your bike but still have to wear a suit then the GP-1000 is guarantied to make your life a little easier, and keep your suit a little cleaner.

lone-peak-basic-rack-pack-blueMake no mistake, Lone Peak isn’t just about panniers, the Lone Peak Rack Top Bags are some of the lightest and best on the market. Lone Peak handle bar bags go great with any pannier set up, whether it is for touring or I if you just want to keep your camera with in arms reach. Lone Peak Frame bags are a great way to add extra storage space to your bike when you don’t have racks mounted or your are trying to keep things on the light side.

Whether you are getting ready for an epic bike tour or just need some more space for your bike daily commute, Lone Peak has a bag or pannier to fit your needs. Handmade in the USA, Lone Peak stands for quality and performance. Get yourself in gear now through the 28th of September with Lone Peak bagsat a great price.

New Kettler Child Seats!

kettler-logoThere are many different schools of thought when it comes to transporting children on bicycles. Some people prefer child trailers others prefer child seats. For those who prefer child seats there are many from which to choose, but only a handful stand above the rest. Kettler is one of the brands that defines quality in child seat production. Kettler is a name that has long been associated with quality cycling products, now that same reputation for quality can be seen in their child seats.

kettler-rodeo-rear-child-seat-folded-stockThe Bike Kid Shop is excited to now offer a comprehensive line of Kettler child seats to add to our already extensive line of child cycling products. Kettler child seats come in a variety of styles and price points to suit any child’s needs. Headlining the Kettler child seat collection is the Rodeo. The Kettler Rodeo is packed with style, design and function. the Rodeo is one of the only fold-able child seats available on the market. Constructed from lightweight kettler-rodeo-rear-child-seat-front-stockaluminum and high-impact injection-molded resin, the Rodeo not only looks good but is strong and sturdy. The Rodeo, as with all Kettler child seats, comes with Kettler’s suspension mounting system which is designed to securely mount the child seat to the bike while providing ride dampening, taking the edge off of road vibrations and bumps. The Rodeo as has a mesh-contoured seat for maximum comfort.

kettler-flipper-rear-child-seat-mounted-gray-stockThe Kettler flipper comes equipped with a reclining back rest to optimize for different child sizes and comfort. The Flipper also includes two separate side storage bags that mount to the sides of the child seat to carry extra items along on your next outing. The Kettler Fipper, Teddy and Bingo child seats come equipped with a removable, washable contoured foam seat. The Kettler Teddy is similar in design to the Flipper but does not allow reclining of the rear back rest. The Teddy has a height-adjustable head rest and two solid storage spaces which reside behind the foot rests of the child seat. Both the Flipper and the Teddy are constructed from high impact injection-molded resin.

kettler-bingo-front-child-seat-mounted-front-stockIf your looking for something a little different or would rather have your child in front of you then check out the Kettler Bingo. The Bingo is a front-mounted child seat as compared to the Rodeo, Flipper, and Teddy which are rear mounting seats. The Bingo still uses Kettler’s suspension mounting system for added comfort. The Bingo comes with adjustable footrests and a removable foam liner. Every Kettler child seat is equipped with a three-point safety harness to ensure that your child is safe and secure. The Kettler suspension mounting system incorporates mounting brackets that will fit just about any bike whether it is a front or rear mounting seat.

If your looking for the best child seats available, look no further then Kettler. All Kettler products are backed by a three -year limited manufacturer’s warranty. Get your child on your bike and out with you on your next cycling adventure with a new Kettler child seat from the Bike Kid Shop.

A Recovery Child Trailer Turned Cargo.

Here at the Bike Trailer Blog we love to hear about DIY bike trailer projects, but something we love even more than creation from scratch is creation from recycle. Harry’s wife found an old bike child trailer on its way to the landfill. Unfortunately all the fabric has been damaged by the sun and water, but the frame was still in good shape.