Thursday, January 29, 2009
Wrench Science in Bicycling Magazine
Shops we love.
Bicycling Magazine has finally showed some love to a segment of the cycling industry that is usually looked past. Online. There are a lot of preconceptions about online stores. Primarily because of dead beat online discounters that have pushed the industry to not trust what online stores have to offer. The most notorious being Colorado Cyclist's handling of Litespeed in the 90's. Colorado Cyclist, almost single handedly took the litespeed brand out of business with there discount tactics. The online community at the time was primarily made up of "mail order" discount shops, such as Jenson, Performance, and Nashbar. Which happen to all be owned by Performance now. These component discounters put a bad taste in the IBD's mouth about selling online, which pushed them to speak up against any online avenue. The next generation of bad online business practices was when the doors were opened to nearly any online store that asked for a brand. These next breed of "discount high-end" stores almost put the demise on the whole online community. Luckily most of them are all out of business due to the shady dealings, discounting and poor customer service. 123 bikes, kalo mtb to name a few who come to mind, the last one of the discounters still standing is Beyond Bikes and with the amount of manufacturers pulling out of the store in recent times and the amount of negative press on MTBR....well I'll let you decide.
Wrench Science has always maintained excellent customer service and respect to all the manufacturers we carry. We want to stay in business, we want our manufacturers to stay in business and we want to prove that online stores don't have to become discounters to be a good business model. Plus we build the sickest bikes in the industry.
When Wrench Science was being conceptualized back in 1998, there wasn't any high-end custom bike shops online that truly tried to build bikes for people. We decided that if we were going to enter the market there was really only one way to do it, which was to do what we did as a bike shop and build custom bikes right. At the time we didn't even sell bikes, we were service only by appointment and we had a full booked day every day. We tried to recreate that environment we were working in and give the professional mechanical advice we did in our store. The only logical choice was to create an online bike wizard. Thus WSLogic and Wrench Science were born.
The biggest misunderstanding about Wrench Science is the bike builder. The brilliance behind it is so shrouded in modesty, that often it's mistaken as "just a regular" bike builder. Ahh..and here lays the beauty. WSLogic is intellectual and for those few who understand the difference will praise Wrench Science's efforts in taking technology and molding it to the simplicity of a bike. The bike builder that so many taught as the best, surely haven't taken a close look at the workings of a true model. The simplicity of building a bike on Wrench Science often surpasses the idea that there is actual software behind it. Much like using an Adobe program you often don't think about what it takes to create software that is seamless and effortless. We work every single day on updating and increasing the software capabilities. We invest in our technology to ensure you have the best bike building experience on the web. The ease of building a custom bike is often over looking the technology, which it should.
First and foremost we are a bike shop with diehard bike employees, but we are also software developers. The bike builder is the only truly compatible bike builder in the world. In most cases of other bike builders they either have no compatibility, such as competitive cyclist, or your limited to a very select amount of parts that are hardcoded into the website. Either way it limits you as customer. If you don't know all the compatibilities between parts, your most likely building bikes online with incompatible items. In these times of short attention spans, isn't it important to know that you can build a custom bike 30 seconds knowing that know matter what item you choose in the drop down it's going to be compatible with the previous parts you've chosen? You can build a custom bike faster than pouring yourself a cup of coffee. The difficulty we use to go through specing a custom bike, trying to figure out pricing and making changes is really incomprehensible on an efficiency scale.
In today's world of custom jeans, cars, hats and computers what's a high end bike that isn't custom built these days? Isn't part of the fun of spending $6000 is knowing that it's built special for you? Perfect fit, perfect component selection and perfect color for exactly you. Not a bike that the production manager spec'd 100,000 to be shipped across the country. You owe it to yourself to take the step. The software (WSLogic) is special, it doesn't just go through parts that have already been chosen to fit, it looks at every mechanical number associated to the part to ensure that the next part matches perfectly. No mistakes. The only mistakes that can occur are human error and we have tried to exclude that possibility by building our own in house enterprise system that goes from the build, to the estimate, to the sale, to the buyer, to the parts receiver all being automated to track your parts systematically along the way. No this isn't your dad's bike shop of the 70's this is the culmination of technology and modernism wrapped up into a bike shop.
The few online stores left after the sweeping of the last few years have proven there place on the web. Each of us have qualities that out shine each other, but what we can say that none others can, is that we have the best custom bike builder in the world. Bicycling Magazine see's it, Tony Ellsworth sees it, Dave Turner see's it, Veltec see's it, Gita Bike see's it, Time USA see's it, Magura USA see's it in fact all of our manufacturer's see it. They aren't just supporting us because were a bike shop, they are supporting us because it's the future of bike shops to give customers options that work and we're the one's pioneering that front.
I ask of you to build bikes and customize.
Posted by zaxxon at 12:13 PM