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Small Business Tales from BSH and the Launching of LocalBasket.com

Happy Small Business Saturday everyone!

As the editor of this cycling blog and the owner of www.bikeshophub.com, I generally find myself as deep in the weeds of small business as I am in immersed in the world of cycling. And I’m often tempted to write about my various small business trials and tribulations here at this blog. Most of the time, I manage to keep my business musings in check in favor of keeping this blog focused on what people are here for, cycling insights and knowledge. However, today is Small Business Saturday, so I hope you won’t mind indulging me as I take this opportunity to talk about this small business.

www.bikeshophub.com turned 10 years old this year. But I wasn’t very inspired to celebrate being that we are in the middle of one of our toughest years. The short and sweet of it is that our website is becoming very out-of-date. Over the last three years we’ve been spending a very significant amount of time and money on fixing this problem.

The results of an out-of-date website and spending probably way too much money on website development with nothing yet to show for it, has been that our sales have been dropping off significantly since our high-water mark in 2014. Other factors have contributed to our sales decline as well. The biggest factor was that, at the start of 2015, the ending of our three-year-long clearance of Chariot branded bike child trailers, connected to Chariot being purchased by Thule in 2012. A dip in the overall cycling market, low gas prices and the high value of the dollar have added to our decline in sales as well.

But, like I said, the biggest factor has simply been that our website is way behind the times. But there is hope yet! We are achingly close to finally releasing our new website. In fact at the moment, we are in testing mode, sending limited amounts of our web traffic to the new version of the site.

Our about to be released new website design
Our about to be released new website design

Fixing up our new site has been a very trying experience. I don’t want try to tell the whole story because accountability on a project of this magnitude is a messy and confusing thing to throw around, and at the end of the day, I stand in the middle of all of it. What I can say is that to help see my way through this, I really had to dig in deep and expand my knowledge of eCommerce and web development. The most important key to me figuring this out, was spending a year knuckling down and becoming a beginner web developer. In doing this I gained the critical skills that I needed to understand why it was so challenging to get the results I needed from the web developers I’ve been working with. On the eCommerce side, I’ll give a shout out to eCommerce Fuel, which has been an incredibly helpful community as I’ve waded my way through.

As part of my learning process, I decided to work on a learning project. I launched a new eCommerce business, LocalBasket.com. And yes its a real, live business now. You can go there and check out our gift baskets of awesome sweet and spicy treats, most of which are made locally here in Tucson.

local_basket_logo_large

Launching this new website on my own, was an incredibly helpful way for me, as the owner of an eCommerce business, to really get a much more solid grasp of all of the technology pieces that must come together. Now and moving forward, I’m certain that I will be much better at making strategic decisions for www.bikeshophub.com’s website needs.

Beyond serving as a learning project, we did have some bigger ideas for LocalBasket.com:
#1 it is a business that can do well even as the cycling season slows down.
#2 it is a business that my wife Melanie is very interested and wants to help develop.
#3 it might just be a great business opportunity.

Those things said, our strategy is to gradually launch LocalBasket.com, putting in a low-key, casual marketing effort. Marketing a new business effectively is a full-time effort. Right now I really need to be putting 99% of my focus on getting www.bikeshophub.com back on track with the launch of our new website.

If you’ve read this far, you’re likely interested in the trials and tribulations of running a small business or in this particular case a small, niche-focused, eCommerce business. So thank you for listening to our ever evolving story as a business.

And finally being that its Small Business Saturday and all, I’ll appeal to your small business supporting sensibilities and ask you to consider sending a little business our way. At www.bikeshophub.com, we have our best sales of the year going on right now.

Ortlieb and Tubus is 10% off
2016 Thule Chariots are on closeout
Revelate Design Bags is 15% off
and to see more, checkout our email summary or just head on over to www.bikeshophub.com.

Or if you’re not in need of any cycling gear at the moment, now you can support us with a purchase at LocalBasket.com!

local_basket_tucson_deluxo

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Interested in Blogging about Bikepacking or Commuting by Bike? We're Hiring!

Are you a bikepacking aficionado with a penchant for hair raising story telling? Are you a dedicated bicycle commuter who wants to inspire others to bike to work? If you fit either of these bills, keep reading because we’re looking for two new writers to join the www.bikeshophub.com blogging team.

Around the start of this year, we decided to rev up this blog by bringing on four bloggers. We found four great bloggers who’ve focused in on doing a monthly post within their area of cycling focus.

Matt Maynard has handled Bicycle Touring, Carissa Sipp has focused on Family Cycling, Wesley Cheney has been our Utility Cycling guru and Emilie Bahr has covered Bike Commuting for us.

They’ve all delivered great posts in their various fields of expertise and we’ve been grateful for their efforts. Change is in the air, and its time to make some adjustments moving forward.

bicycle_bloggers

As Emilie explains in her latest post “Why I haven’t been riding my bike“, she’s got her hands quite full with a new born and hasn’t been able to spend as much time on the bike as she would like to drum up inspired cycling stories. So she’ll be departing her posting schedule, leaving an opportunity open for someone new to step in.

In our bicycle touring coverage, we’ve been primarily focused on traditional bicycle touring, covering topics about bicycling adventures on paved and dirt roads with bike pannier and rack setups. However, we haven’t put very much focus into the newest innovation in bicycle touring, bikepacking. To be clear, by bikepacking I mean bike touring using a mountain bike in mostly off-road conditions.

We are separating bicycle touring into road touring and bicycle touring. Matt Maynard will be continuing on in the road touring category. His international travel experience combined with hi great sense of the epic adventure of bicycle touring are perhaps even better defined by the road touring distinction.

So this means, that we are looking for an intrepid bikepacker full of great stories and awesome knowledge to join our blogging team and share their stories. Without further ado, here are some descriptions of the type of blogging we’re looking for in each category:

Bikepacking

There are many intrepid bicycle touring bloggers, but when it comes to bikepacking the telling of tales from the trails is far less common. But here at www.bikeshophub.com we’ve seen massive growth in our sales of bikepacking specific bags over the last 5 years. With bikepacking specific gear and bicycles on the rise and the fun of going camping and mountain biking all combined into one, we know this trend is not going away anytime soon.

What we’d like to focus on in the Bikepacking realm:

  • Personal stories of bikepacking adventures
  • Bikepacking gear, from bags to bikes to ultralight camping setups
  • Recommended routes
  • Inspiration and guides for getting started with bikepacking
bikepacking_setup
Tales of Bikepacking

Commute by Bike

This category has its roots in the blog CommuteByBike.com, which we took over management of in 2011, and the bulk of our archived content is made up of over 3,000 bike commuting related posts. We’re are looking for someone to carry on this fine tradition with provocative posting about their personal experiences bike commuting and the state of bike commuting in the US.

Example of our bike commuting focus:

Are you looking for the best way to save money, improve your health, help the environment and have fun while your at it? The answer is simple. Get out your bicycle and ride it to work.

bike-commuting
Getting Where I Need to Go

Job Details and How to Apply:

We are looking for experienced writers who are passionate about cycling and who can contribute a monthly post to the www.bikeshophub.com blog, focused on one of our four blog categories.

Contribution Requirements

  • Once per month deliver (on-time) a 600 to 1500 word high-quality blog post.
    • Posts will need to be input into WordPress, edited and ready to publish.
    • Posts should include 3 to 6 original photos and possibly a video.

Benefits

  • $20 per hour (and upward depending upon experience)
    • In general, we’re budgeting $60 to $100 per post.
  • Employee pricing of www.bikeshophub.com’s cycling and outdoor gear accounts.
  • Learn our business blogging (and WordPress) best practices.
  • Develop your personal brand and send traffic back to your website.
  • Gain experience and develop connections within the bicycling industry.

Qualifications/Experience (Necessities):

  • Professional experience as a writer.
  • Examples of your writing.
  • A strong passion for cycling.
  • Substantial experience within the cycling category you are applying for.

Qualifications/Experience (Nice-to-Haves):

  • An active bicycle blog (or any blog for that matter).
  • Examples of writing within the cycling category being applied for.

How to Apply:

  • Email josh@www.bikeshophub.com
  • Title your email: I’m interested in blogging for www.bikeshophub.com
  • Copy/paste the application questions below into the email.
    • Input 3 returns between each bulleted question.
    • Input your answer so that there is one empty line above and below.
  • Please submit your application by Nov. 15th (We will consider applications submitted through Nov. 22nd)

*** Please Note: If you submitted an application to us during our recruitment earlier this year (February, 2016) a new application is not necessary. Please simply indicate whether you are interested in the bikepacking or bike commuting categories and we will review your prior application.

Application Questions:

  • Please describe your professional writing experience.
  • Please describe your involvement with cycling. What aspects of cycling do you feel most strongly about?
  • Are you interested in blogging about Bikepacking or Bike Commuting?
  • Do you have a blog? If you do, please su
    mmarize your experiences blogging?
  • Are you familiar with how to produce and edit a blog post within WordPress?
  • What is your current employment status?
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Dutch Auction Style Closeouts: 5% MORE Off the Price Every Month

To really clear out these closeouts, we’re experimenting with a new technique. We have the closeouts for our 5 departments listed on the following 5 closeout pages:

At the start of each month, every closeout will be:

increased by 5%

We will keep doing this every month until all items are cleared out.

We’re very much using the style of the Dutch Auction. We’re putting the psychological sales pressure on you. Should you buy now while the item is still in stock or wait until next month when the price drops, but risk it being sold out?

Its important to note that their will be a floor to the pricing between 50% and 75% on all products.

Bike_Bag_Shop
Closeouts___Archives___Bike_Shop_Hub


So what’s the story behind all of our closeouts? Perhaps due to the nature of selling online, some things just don’t sell as much through our website as do other. Aren’t closeouts generally those picked over ignored products in the back of the store?

Well, yes that sometimes happens. But for our closeouts, this is simply not the case.

Several years ago we decided to explore selling cycling products beyond our main standbys of bicycle bags and bicycle trailers. We didn’t know what you our customer base would be interested, so rather than guessing we decided to launch multiple tests. We launched new department experiments representing 12 different sub-categories of cycling products.

So what did we learn from this big experiment in online retail, you ask? Well the bottom line was unlike we had discovered with bags and trailers, there was not an under-served niche of cycling products waiting for www.bikeshophub.com to come along and take care off. There were really no breakaway new niches.

Even without any big successes, as we got to know our new collection of products we did find some brands that we’re keepers for the long term. And as we got a sense of what these brands were, we decided our 12 experiments were spread to thinly. So we consolidated our offerings into 3 new departments, Accessories, Apparel and Components.

These three new departments are the best of the best. Its stuff that we liked that our customers wanted to buy from. But what about all of the other good stuff that we experimented with selling. Well its high time we cleared the decks of this excess. And what does that mean for you? It means a BIG CLOSEOUT SALE!

Closeout___Archives___Bike_Shop_Hub

Closeout___Archives___Bike_Shop_Hub

Closeout___Archives___Bike_Shop_Hub

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Say Hello to our New Bloggers

We had a great response to our recent blogger outreach. Thank you to everyone who applied!

We’ve put together our team and have been prepping everyone to launch their first post and get on their monthly posting rhythm. We’ll be publishing posts every Monday starting in the coming weeks.

Without further ado I am pleased to introduce our new team of bloggers.

Welcome Wes!

Utility Cycling lives on and its because we found Wesley Cheney. Wes lives and breathes bicycles and writing about every possibly way to utilize a bicycle comes as naturally to Wes as insulting pretty much anyone comes to Donald Trump (kind of a strange comparison I know). I am proud of what my sister, Melanie Colavito and I established in laying the groundwork for a definition of Utility Cycling. Wes has been tasked with both filling in the gaps of exploring the undiscovered corner of Utility Cycling, unearthing the flavor of greasy bike parts, sweaty brows and adventurous undertakings coming together. Wes hails from Norfolk and is lifelong cyclist and bicycle advocate and also an cycling blogger and writer.

wesley_cheney_bicycle_norfolk
Wesley Cheney

Greetings Emilie!

For Commute By Bike, we found a real gem in Emilie who hails from new Orleans. A city planner and the author of a new book on urban cycling called Urban Revolutions: A woman’s guide to two-wheeled transportation. Emilie is perfectly positioned to bring us great insights into the latest developments in the world of bicycle commuting. Emilie will be following in the cycle tracks of a great tradition of blogging in our Commute By Bike section, from Ted Johnson to Arleigh Jenkins to Richard Masoner and others. I’m excited to read the adventures she’ll take us on as she carries the torch forward.

Emilie Bahr
Emilie Bahr

Buenos Dias Senor Matt!

And batting cleanup, Matt Maynard is sure to be a grand slam. Matt is a British outdoor journalist, environmentalist and photographer who will be checking in from his abode in Santiago, Chile. He writes stories seeking in his own words, “to draw on that clarity we have when living life with determination and truthfulness”. Matt’s reputation as an adventure writer precedes him. He has toured South America on his bike, pedaled across Europe and battled down The Great Divide in the USA. His adventure writing credits include the BBC, Men’s Fitness, the Guardian and Red Bull. Matt will be taking the best of his Bike Touring experience and getting things rolling for this new section of our blog.
Matt Maynard
Matt Maynard
So that’s the new team! Please take a moment to welcome them to the blog. And if you have any suggestions for what you’d like to see covered in any of their respective four sections, of Bike Touring, Commute By Bike, Family Cycling and Utility Cycling, let us know here as well.
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The 2015 Closeouts List

And now a message from our sponsors…

2016 is well upon us. As we prepare for the coming cycling season, we’re looking to clear out some space in the old warehouse. So we’re lowering our prices on our remaining 2015 inventory.

Below is the list of all of the great deals we have going on now. All of these deals are while supplies last!

Select Ortlieb Commuter Panniers 15% to 35% off
Select Lone Peak Bags 25% off
All Timbuk2 Bags 30% off
Select Chrome Bags 20% off
All Racktime Bags 20% off
Select Blackburn Racks and Bags 20% off

Biologic Tech Accessories 50% off

25% off 2015 Burley Child Trailers
20% off 2015 Croozer Child Trailers
Croozer C1 $159.99 (Normally $299.99)
Kiddy Van Child Trailers 50% off
Weehoo WeeGo $259.99 (Normally $399.99)
2013 Chariot CX1 $599.99 and Chinook1 $549.99

bike-shop-hub-warehouse
Clearing out that warehouse
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We're Hiring Four Bicycle Bloggers!

As I’ve mentioned recently, we’ve got some big plans here at the Bike Shop Hub blog. We’re focusing on #1 improving the quality and consistency of our content. And #2 improving the design and functionality of our blogging software (Through WordPress Custom Theming).

For the content side of things, we’re currently recruiting four bicycle bloggers to focus on our Bike Touring, Commute by Bike, Family Cycling and Utility Cycling categories. We’re inspired to bring together a voracious crew of talented bicycle bloggers to reinvigorate our writing and bring you supercharged cycling content.

If you are interested in applying, please see the application instructions below. If you know anyone who might be interested, please forward this post along. And please help us with this recruitment effort by sharing this post on Facebook, Twitter or the bathroom door at the closest truck stop.

bike-ambulance

On the blogging software side, the wheels are in motion beneath the surface for some major improvements. For the last 6 months, I have been studying front-end web development. While I am still very much a beginner, I am making strides at gaining technical design/development skills. And most importantly, I am seeing the pathway to dramatically improving the look and functionality of both our blog and our eCommerce shop.

This effort is not just hinging upon me. Frank Koenen, our back-end developer, does the heavy lifting of managing all of the hard-core technical aspects. He manages the entire project which includes: LAMP stack (server management), custom OSCommerce shopping cart, WordPress, WooCommerce and our custom OSCommerce (in development), integration between OSCommerce and Xtuple ERP + many more systems. In short, Frank does all of the tech-geek stuff while I focus on the design and user-experience side (certainly geeky in its own right).

But back to the point, here are summaries or our four types of bicycling focuses.

Bike Touring

The internet is full of bicycle touring bloggers. What else are you going to do while you take a break at the quaint little coffee shop in the middle of no-where. We’re looking for a bicycle touring writer who can look both inward and outward, telling both their own story and the epic of the bike touring movement as a whole.

Our bike touring focus:

Grand tours, epic weekend backpack adventures the perfect honeymoon by bike…. we love seeing the world by bicycle. It is inspirational, relaxing, loads of fun and simply put the best damn way to go on vacation.

ortlieb-packer-plus-pannier-set-on-tour-old
The World by Bike

Commute by Bike

This category has its roots in the blog CommuteByBike.com, which we took over management of in 2011, and the bulk of our archived content is made up of over 3,000 bike commuting related posts. We’re are looking for someone to carry on this fine tradition with provocative posting about their personal experiences bike commuting and the state of bike commuting in the US.

Our bike commuting focus:

Are you looking for the best way to save money, improve your health, help the environment and have fun while your at it? The answer is simple. Get out your bicycle and ride it to work.

bike-commuting
Getting Where I Need to Go

Family Cycling

I’ve noticed that there is a dearth of actively maintained family cycling blogs. I suppose you can only be an active family cyclist for so long. Our solution to that will be to accept that once our writers done trucking their kids around, we’ll probably have to replace them with a fresh, new parent.

Our family cycling focus:

Going cycling with kids is a great way to get out and have some fun with the whole family all while introducing your kids to the joys of cycling. We’ll introduce you to the world of family cycling and all of the tips and tricks you need to make it a truly wonderful experience.

bike-ambulance
Bringing the Kids

Utility Cycling

Our blogging roots are in blogging at UtilityCycling.org and before that the closely related BikeTrailerBlog.com, having published over 500 posts between the two. We are looking for someone whose current occupation involves utility cycling. I am imagining a bicycle messenger, bicycle delivery or bicycle cabbie. Finding someone in a highly trafficked bicycling city like Portland, NYC, Copenhagen or Amsterdam surrounded by plenty of activity in the Utility Cycling realm would be ideal.

Our utility cycling focus:

Bicycles are more than machines for recreation and sport, they are tools for getting work done. I’m sure your familiar with common economic uses of bicycles for delivery and taxis, but the depth and breadth that bicycles of tasks that bicycles have been deployed in is quite astounding. We’ll explore all of the arenas that bicycles are part of the tools of the trade and discuss new ideas and opportunities for the future of utility cycling.

bike-ambulance
Getting Jobs Done

Job Details and How to Apply:

We are looking for experienced writers who are passionate about cycling and who can contribute a monthly post to the www.bikeshophub.com blog, focused on one of our four blog categories.

Contribution Requirements

  • Once per month deliver (on-time) a 600 to 1500 word high-quality blog post.
    • Posts will need to be input into WordPress, edited and ready to publish.
    • Posts should include 3 to 6 original photos and possibly a video.

Benefits

  • $20 per hour (and upward depending upon experience)
    • In general, we’re budgeting $60 to $100 per post.
  • Employee pricing of www.bikeshophub.com’s cycling and outdoor gear accounts.
  • Learn our business blogging (and WordPress) best practices.
  • Develop your personal brand and send traffic back to your website.
  • Gain experience and develop connections within the bicycling industry.

Qualifications/Experience (Necessities):

  • Professional experience as a writer.
  • Examples of your writing.
  • A strong passion for cycling.
  • Substantial experience within the cycling category you are applying for.

Qualifications/Experience (Nice-to-Haves):

  • An active bicycle blog (or any blog for that matter).
  • Examples of writing within the cycling category being applied for.

How to Apply:

  • Email josh@www.bikeshophub.com
  • Title your email: I’m interested in blogging for www.bikeshophub.com
  • Copy/paste the following application questions into the email.
    • Input 3 returns between each bulleted question.
    • Input your answer so that there is one empty line above and below.
  • Please submit your application by Feb. 1st (We will consider application submitted through Feb. 8th)

Application Questions:

  • Please describe your professional writing experience.
  • Please describe your involvement in and passion for cycling.
  • Which of our four blog categories are you interested in applying for? (Choose up to two, listed in order of preference)
  • Do you have a blog, and if so please summarize your experience as a blogger?
  • Are you capable of producing and uploading a fully edited blog post to WordPress?
  • What is your current employment status?

 

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A Bicycle Accessory Focused Showroom for Tucson

Happy New Year everybody! I hope you had a great holiday celebration with family and friends and are ready to dive into the 2016 with vigor.

I am very excited to hit the ground running with all that Bike Shop Hub has in store for the New Year. We’re really starting to get our momentum turning for getting the new mobile-friendly version of our eCommerce shop launched. Many new updates are in the works for this blog. And the wheels are turning for us to get back on top of our game for producing great bike commuting, touring and family cycling content like never before.

And last but not least, we’re getting into the local Tucson bicycling scene with the launch of our new showroom. So, lets kick off the new year with a tour of our new showroom. If you’re in the area, look us up and stop on by!

Were located at:
2801 N Flowing Wells ste. 101
Tucson, AZ 85705
https://www.bikeshophub.com/contact.php

bike-shop-hub-sign-back-displays-etc
The Old Bike Shop Hub Sign Lettering Mounted in Wooden Frames

The inspirations of our new showroom effort was three-fold.

First off, as an online purveyor of bicycle accessories, we are generally busy from March to September when the majority of the US has acclimate cycling weather. But we are based in Tucson where the best cycling starts in September and runs through May. Sooo, our goal is to grow our local business so we can be busy throughout the year and gain all of the advantages of running on more of an even-keel.

The second big factor is our plans to expand our product lineup. While you may not have noticed, we’ve added a plethora of new product departments to www.bikeshophub.com. The list includes accessories such as tires, clothing, locks, handlebars and drivetrains. So the showroom has become a convenient place for us to store all of this new product. And by branching out into all of the products, our offering is much closer to that of a standard bike shop with our bend towards bike commuting, touring and family cycling.

And finally, our showroom helps us be better at our primary focus, doing eCommerce. By having products out on display and getting grilled by local customers, has been honing the edge of our bicycle accessory expertise. And in this light, she showroom makes a great backdrop for our product photography and video.

bike-shop-hub-helmets-clothes-display
Clothing and Helmets for Bike Touring and Commuting!
bike-shop-hub-lights
Our Massive Bicycle Light Collection!

Yet another benefit of our showroom is the way that it captures the spirit of Bike Shop Hub. Where else can you find such a concentration of bicycle accessories for bike touring, commuting and touring. Not every customer who walks in the door gets it. But there have been at least a handful that as they begin browsing through our selection, the light bulb clicks on.

These customers realize that we are not focused on the average mean of cyclists, we’re focused on a particular flavor of the cycling experience. I like to think of it as the flavor of everyday adventure.

bike-shop-hub-tools-display
Bike Tools by Park, Pedros, Lezyne and Birzman
bike-shop-hub-saddles-display
Saddles by Brooks, Selle Anatomica, Velo Orange and Terry

What would a bicycle showroom be without bicycles themselves. While we’ve always focused on accessories, as bicycle lovers we’ve always wanted to get our hands on more bikes.

With the showroom launch we finally had a good excuse to put together a display of bicycles. With their lineup of touring worthy steeds, we got started with Surly bicycles. Not only are these just great bikes, they are perfect for displaying and demonstrating bicycle accessories.

Of all of this gear, the Surly Moonlander with Revelate bags has attracted the most attention. For the coming year we plan on expanding our fat bike lineup even further to add in displays for framebags by Apidura and Restrap.

After almost 10 years of selling bicycle accessories online, we finally have a decent showroom for our local customers here in Tucson, Arizona. Look us up and stop on by!

bike-shop-hub-front-showroom-view
The View Back to the Front
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Holiday Gifts for Those Who Adventure Daily

Let the Holiday adventures begin!

Enjoy our list of gifts optimized for everyday cycling adventures.

Revelate Designs Viscacha

Ready to break away from the everyday? The Viscacha is the first bag to start your ultimate bikepacking setup.

revelate-designs-viscacha-seat-bag-stock

Ortlieb Commuter Bag

Looking for a better way to do it? The Commuter is going to get you to work in style. Eliminate those excuses and get out there.

ortlieb-commuter-bag-brown

Burley HoneyBee

The adventure begins when your kids scramble into a Honey Bee and you head out to the park.

burley-honey-bee-bike-child-trailer-stroller

Thule Cadence

Achieve instant adventure. As soon as the kids pile in, the fun begins with Thule’s Cadence Bike Child Trailer.

thule_cadence_bike_child_trailer

Radical Design Cyclone IV Trekking Trailer

Get ready for the long haul. The Cyclone IV has the DNA of a long haul trucker built into a sleek, stylized packaged.

radical-design-cyclone-iv-trekking-trailer-side

Light and Motion Vis 360+

Get out there now! Don’t let anything hold you back. It doesn’t matter when you leave or when you come home, the Vis 360 will keep you visible and therefor safe when the sun goes down.

light-motion-vis-360-plus-bike-light-set-3-stock

Schwalbe Marathon Plus Tires

Are you adventuring 10 miles or 10,000 miles? It doesn’t matter because when you receive your standard issue touring treads you’ll be ready for wherever the road takes you.

schwalbe_marathon_plus_stockPinhead 4 Pack

Getting out there is so much easier when your bike is prepped for the adventure. For the journey on the town, a Pinhead 4-pack keeps your bike parts on your bike.

pinhead-4pack-1

Club Ride Men’s Go West Shirt

A shirt designed for work, play and everything in between.

club-ride-go-west-stoic-blue-front2

Lezyne Stainless 12 Multi-Tool

Shit happens. Being prepared makes it less shitty.

lezyne_stainless_steel_12_mutli_tool_main_stock

Brooks C17 Cadium Saddle

Recommending a saddle as a gift is a little bit tricky. But this is one fantastic saddle so I could not resist.

brooks_cambium_c17_saddle_natural_stock

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The Adventure Begins…Updates to our Blog

Bike Shop Hub Sign

As of a few days ago, we completed the first step of a rebranding project for www.bikeshophub.com with some updates here.

Step 1 involved the following:

  1. Transition CommuteByBike.com into www.bikeshophub.com/blog.
  2. Transition UtilityCycling.org into www.bikeshophub.com/blog.
  3. Put up a several aesthetic changes including a new header images.
  4. Archive our Forums
  5. Organize our content into 5 categories:
    • Commute By Bike
    • Bike Touring
    • Family Cycling
    • Utility Cycling
    • Shop Updates

This last aspect is the most important to you our readers. With this update we are beginning our adventure of expanding our blogging activities beyond bike commuting and utility cycling into bike touring and family cycling.

While it is clear that our blog’s template and design are out of date, this is the next change that is on the agenda. We will be working on updating to a mobile-friendly design that makes the content shine.

Bike Shop Hub Sign
A New Rendition of Our Old Sign

As we get settled into this new direction, we’ll be working on increasing the frequency and quality of our posting or in other words after we are through the grind of the technical aspects of these updates, we’ll get to focus on bringing more great content.

Finally, these updates to our blog also represent the first step in updates we are working on to www.bikeshophub.com as a whole. Change is afoot for the better. Let us know what you think.

The Adventure Begins

The adventure begins when you grab your pannier and head out for your morning commute.
The adventure begins when your kids scramble into their bike trailer and you’re off to the park.
The adventure begins when you ride down you driveway loaded up for the weekend.
The adventure begins out your front door….

www.bikeshophub.com

customer-bike-tour-revelate-bags
A Customer Stopping by after Riding the Divide
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My 2015 Interbike Report

I walked the floors of Interbike for the last 3 days. I met with our suppliers, the folks behind brands like Ortlieb, Revelate, Thule, and Weehoo. After some catching up and business talk I captured video of their latest products some of which I will be sharing here after some editing.

The culture shifts of Intebike from year-to-year is something that always gets me thinking. Examining the current state of this intense microcosm of cycling personality and comparing it to years pasts gives me my bearing on how cycling culture is evolving.

The urban bike culture movement (aka hipsters on fixies) seemed to have a surprisingly diminished presence. The most notable factoid to support that was the absence of Chrome Bags who in years past had a massive booth full of hipster magnetism. I have no idea why they were not there though in Googling “Chrome not at Interbike 2015” discovered some hard to interpret references to them in connection to #sockgate.

Perhaps replacing the Urban Bike Culture movement, the BMX scene seemed surprisingly strong this year. In my wanderings I took a turn down an aisle that put me in the middle of the type of partying typically reserved for late night. Those kids were definitely enjoying their Interbike experience.

Having mentioned #sockgate, have a look into it if you haven’t heard of it already. As the inappropriately sexist sock gifting incident has already been incredibly well covered, all I will venture to say is that even if the incident itself reveals some of the backwater places that our cycling culture still resides in, the response demonstrates that change is afoot.

With regards to interesting new products, this wasn’t a banner year. That said, there are always incremental changes and a few oddities to capture the imagination. Here is a sampling of what captured mine.

cleary-childs-bike

Cleary Children’s Bicycles

Inflatable Bike Rack

Inflatable Car Trunk Rack – It Fits Into That Bag on the Cargo Rack

restrap-bag

Bikepacking Saddle Bag by Restrap

cobi-phone-mount

COBI Smart Biking – Integrating your Smart Phone with your Bicycle

LiteLock

Lite Lok

patches

Patches!