Archive for November 2011

TONGA | planting seeds of cycling culture in the Pacific

In contrast to its printed prominence in ‘Asia-Pacific’, the Pacific part of this vast region doesn’t register as a growth-center for cycling. As Cycling iQ is an equal opportunities website, it’s only reasonable that occasionally we go beyond the Far East in our search for emerging cycling nations.

Taiwan’s quality strategy | why your $3,000 bicycle comes from China

Any attentive cyclist riding Melbourne’s Beach Road regularly in recent years would have noticed two things; there are a lot more people cycling, and; there are a lot more people cycling on nice bikes. It would appear that, in order for leisure riders to truly express themselves as cyclists, a quality composite bicycle is de … Continue reading

More Wiggle room | UK online retailer settling into Australian home

Wiggle, the UK-based e-commerce giant that last year claimed to ship more than 400 individual parcels per day to Australia, has announced a partnership with two bicycle “service points” in Sydney and Melbourne. In an email sent out to its Australian customers earlier this month, Wiggle announced the new initiative, which will no doubt cause … Continue reading

Vertical limit | surviving compression fatigue

Consumers of cycling products have been taken for quite a ride during the last two decades. Bicycle brands, their distributors and retailers, demonstrated a remarkable endurance and capacity to sustain a profitable, trust-based supply chain model that ultimately could not resist a swell in capitalistic desire urged forward by the confluence of global trade re-structuring … Continue reading

Vertical limit | what just happened?

The emergence of e-commerce in the bicycle market was an affront to almost every aspect of an industry business model that had for years thrived on handshakes, muffin-toting sales representatives and the seductive embrace of high margins. Though online stores had essentially evolved in full public view, a majority of the bicycle industry’s distributors and … Continue reading

Vertical limit | 10 years on, the first cracks appear

Year 2001. Taiwanese OEM production hummed along, retail prices were buoyant, and cycling was enjoying an upswing in popularity across the Asia-Pacific region. However, as the new millennium’s first decade matured, so too did a trio of inter-related trends that would upset the bicycle industry’s delicate ecosystem and threaten to explode into a full-blown zero-sum … Continue reading

Vertical limit | the long and short of bicycle manufacturing

Free-market capitalism, a cycling boom and supply-chain protectionism made the 1990’s a financial boon for bicycle brands, their distributors and retailers. The highly profitable business model of selling bicycles manifested in scaled-up physical supply nodes designed to cope with increasing volumes and demand. It was a comfortable situation for all.

Vertical limit | bicycle industry supply chains

2011 is a fine time to be a consumer of cycling equipment. Brands and their downstream re-sellers are clambering over each other to cut through the noise created from market re-structuring. Many players in the bicycle industry have been left stranded as they’ve failed to adapt to a new competitive normality. The only trick left … Continue reading

Vertical limit | blissful detachment: export utopia

1991. Shimano STI was introduced, Miguel Indurain’s five-year Tour de France dominance began, teens moshed to ‘Nevermind’, and the World Wide Web officially launched to the public. Bicycles were purchased in bike shops and carbon fiber frames were often of dubious quality. But thanks to a surge in exports from the US and Europe, at … Continue reading

Vertical limit | bicycle business under pressure

Accessibility used to be all that stood between a bicycle brand and a consumer. Today, it’s more complicated. Multiple business models co-exist, creating a plethora of purchasing options for consumers. It is both exciting and confronting. Every node in the supply chain, from factories to bicycle retailers, must be profitable to survive the new paradigm. … Continue reading

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