The ultimate bike parts crux
It’s roughly 5:ooAM here in Taiwan. I’ve been awake for a few hours now thinking about stuff. Lot’s of stuff. I’m here on a work trip to preview some 2010 bicycle components. As I lay awake in my bed going through yesterday’s meetings and presentations, a few things are coming to mind. One is alarming and at the same time exciting. I guess it all depends what perspective you take.
In one presentations yesterday, a major company discussed a couple of new semi-secret “Ultimate” prototype parts that said “serviceability” is not important. Today when I look at these statements and look back at other products I know are coming down the pipeline, I think it is both an exciting and an alarming trend.
It’s exciting because when you design a product and take some user serviceability out of the product, you can make different choices. In the case of the products I saw yesterday, they are sweet and will really help elevate “Performance”. The other thing here is that the technology often trickles down and ultimately can improve other products.
It’s sad and alarming because this comes with certain expectations, expense and technology. Consumers shouldn’t & can’t service the product. 99% of the bike dealers can’t support it either. It’s also sad because these products come at a significant price. One vendor even said “Price doesn’t matter.” Who can afford them? Well obviously they think some wealthy consumers can. I do think and know they will sell. Unfortunately, the profile of consumers that can actually afford these ultimate products also want, and often demand, immediate gratification. There in lies the crux.
Ultimate part gets bought by customer(s) who demands immediate service when something goes wrong with the new unserviceable Ultimate part. Now what? Who is this good for?
Something to consider as I go off to another day of meetings and new product presentations.
And, since every blog post of mine needs at least one photo, here’s a shot from the road. I think these guys need some service after this little incident.