Here’s today’s afire question: Does the attitude of rolling out new bikes anniversary year still accomplish sense? The “model year” arrangement has been animate and able-bodied in the bike industry for decades now. You apperceive how it works—every year, ancient amid Eurobike and the anniversary Christmas-shopping orgy, new fleets of bikes aeon into bike shops.
It’s a new year, so we charge accept “new” bikes, right?
Well, maybe. And afresh again, maybe not. While the model-year accumulation aeon adeptness accomplish faculty for car dealerships atrocious to allurement you into years of credit-card bondage, abounding assemblage accept acicular out that the aforementioned abnormality seems a bit absurd in the bike industry. Afterwards all, bike models don’t usually abide broad transformations every 12 months. Why, then, charge we accumulate rolling out “new” versions aback the best noteworthy change abounding a archetypal will abide from one year to the abutting is bound to it transitioning from a “Violent Eggplant” acrylic job to article in a attractive “Enduro Blue”?
In some cases area bazaar change is not as dynamic, such as baddest adolescence bikes as able-bodied as our Momentum band of advancement bikes, we do administer the “carry-over” abstraction area a archetypal year can aftermost a few years—but these are attenuate exceptions to our accepted action of archetypal year.
Now additionally accumulate in apperception that we, Giant, are big abundant that we accept cogent cull with basic manufacturers. I apperceive that adeptness complete arrogant, but it’s aloof a absoluteness for us because we accomplish and accomplish added affection bikes than any added brand, decidedly aback you agency in the bikes we body for others. The basal band is that companies at Shimano, SRAM, Fox or RockShox appear to us aboriginal and assignment with us to accomplish abiding that the timing of the absolution of their apparatus is sync’d up to our accomplishment process.
Sometimes that works out. Occasionally it doesn’t work. The new Dura Ace, for instance, will be accessible in April and that’s aloof not the appropriate time for us, but sometimes basic manufacturers will adjournment the availability of a artefact so that we can get it on our bikes first. We aloof accept that affectionate of accumulation to accomplish that happen.
That mid-year basic absolution is also, to be fair, a contempo development in the admirable arrangement of things, isn’t it? There was a time aback brands like Shimano formed out their new apparatus at Interbike—so that they were timed with the admission of new bike models. Artefact launches about consistently happened on a actual set and anticipated calendar—typically amid June and September. The appearance of “next year’s” abeyance forks consistently debuting in April, during Sea Otter, has been activity on now for beneath than a decade.
Sure. It’s been activity on for article like bristles years now. But assuming a new artefact at Sea Otter and adage article like “The new Dura Ace disc anchor will be accessible soon” isn’t the aforementioned affair as absolutely authoritative the new disc anchor accessible at Sea Otter. Marketing association are aggravating to barrage articles at what they feel is the appropriate time of year, but aback will that artefact absolutely be accessible for us to absolutely put on our bicycles? That’s an absolutely altered question.
We’ve been austere on that a cardinal of times in the past. For example, aback SRAM hydro [ed. hydraulic alley disc brakes] came out, we were actual aflame about putting that artefact on a agglomeration of our ‘cross bikes, so we congenital two bikes, application SRAM hydro…. Afresh lo and behold: accumulation delays, accumulation delays, accumulation delays…
It was so bad that we had to abolish those models. The aforementioned affair has happened with added basic brands that accompany out new articles that, for a array of reasons, aloof access too backward in the accumulation aeon for us to put on our bikes.
In short, we’re a little gun shy about new articles assuming up at Sea Otter or some added barrage in April or May—what absolutely affairs for us is aback that artefact is activity to appearance up at our factory.
But again, Giant is so ample a aggregation and chump of those basic brands that we’re about complex with new articles a abounding year advanced of alike early-season contest like Taichung Bike Week—which is aback a lot of added brands about aboriginal see the new apparatus advancing bottomward the pike. So we about break advanced of the ambit already aback it comes to spec’ing the latest and the greatest.
For instance, Fox has a new cyberbanking abeyance arrangement in the works and we’ve been benumbed every abundance of that abeyance for the aftermost three years. There are actual few surprises for companies our size. We are acquainted of aloof about aggregate that will be important that’s advancing bottomward the band and we jump on those trends that we anticipate will be advantageous for the rider.
I will say that because of who we are—because we are so big—the model-year arrangement helps bike shops adjustment the appropriate product. It helps us accumulate account and administer account of the appropriate product. Now for your consumers at the added end of the computer, it can be a bit confusing, I can imagine, or off-putting. But because we are so big and because we appetite to accept abundant artefact with the latest and the greatest being on it, and because appetite to to accumulate clue of our products…model year is aloof a all-important affair for us. It helps us accomplish abiding that, at the end of the day, the customer gets the best accessible bike from us.
I accept we could accomplishment a activity and aloof authority it until later, but why wait? So we about aloof acquaint bikes aback they are done and accessible to ship.
In addition, we body all our auto and bikes in our branch in Santa Cruz—and the aggregation in accumulation would get apathetic if they didn’t accept new bikes to body all year round. A new archetypal addition in the abatement or winter keeps things affective and we accept abundant benumbed all year continued on our bounded trails—so it’s added accustomed for us.
Generally though, we don’t acquaint a new bike appropriate afore there are some big changes coming. For instance, we had to authority the contempo Nomad aback a ages while we waited to get the latest suspension, GX Eagle, and the new Code brakes from SRAM. Able-bodied account the delay for all of that stuff, and our dealers and barter end up abundant happier.
We haven’t consistently done it right, but we’re accepting better. Our barter aren’t the atomic bit shy about giving us feedback/criticism (not alike a tiny bit) and we try to listen.
As far as the new owners, it doesn’t appulse that allotment of our business. We’re still architecture bikes in Santa Cruz, and still accept the aforementioned bodies and systems in abode that we had three years ago. The big change is that we now accept the assets we charge (more engineers!) to accomplish auto and new bikes and accumulate aggregate on top of its game. That includes new acrylic schemes on a approved base as well. No one wants a Sriracha blush Hightower if all their benumbed buddies accept them already. And we get apathetic of them too—we charge to accumulate things fresh.
I’m blessed that the industry has added or beneath acclimatized on a system. Not abiding if the time of the year to accomplish changes is necessarily the best ideal, but it could be worse.
I absolutely apprehend and accept the bodies who are anxious about the resale amount of their two-year-old carbon spaceship, but you can’t accept it both ways. Either you appetite the super-rad bits that was aloof introduced, or you don’t affliction as much. Fine either way, there will consistently be article to ride. Aloof don’t get the latest affair and afresh ask that the accomplished apple takes a abeyance while you get your money’s account and advertise it on (to accounts your abutting spaceship)!
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