Volume 2 / Issue 017
World’s premiere custom bicycle shop – triathlon bikes
The newsletter for active cycling lifestyles
Volume 2, Issue 17 / ISSN 1945-1776
In this issue:
A Note from Kevin
Welcome to “Perfectly Fit,” our newsletter which is designed to help you get the most out of an active, cycling lifestyle. I have a team of pros from all over the world that will help me provide you with great info and a place for you to find out what you want to know. Your feedback is so important and we will make a place for you to be heard.
Our main article discusses the interesting phenomenon of fear relating to custom bikes and positioning.
Our BikeTech Help Desk has a question regarding the best way to set up a studio cycle, or "spin" bike. We also have a question about what to do with a broken carbon trispoke wheel.
Don’t forget to visit our blog as new stuff is posted there almost daily. It is easy to subscribe to the blog so you can get updates sent to you.
Thanks again for letting me share with you a little about cycling. I respect your time and will strive to continue to make it worth it.
Every Thursday KGS Bikes is joining Alchemy Bicycles to sponsor the Pure Austin Fitness Driveway Series Criteriums at The Driveway in Austin. We will have a tent set up and will look forward to seeing you at the race which is called the Best in Texas.
Every positioning session is an event and one which you will find most valuable. Don’t forget lead times in these custom bikes. With six to eight week deliveries, you need to factor that into your purchase plans so your season can be best utilized for success.
We received a nice note from our friend Guillermo Mascarenas in Mexico, who purchased a couple of KGS Parlees as a husband and wife set:
Just want to let you know that the more I ride the new Parlee, the better it gets!! Thank you very much for convincing me to do this project. The whole process was a lot of fun, well worth the time and money. My shoulder pain is gone and the quality of my rides substantially increased. The best part however, was our memorable ‘closing lunch’ where we met Toni and enjoyed some great American wine.
All the best,
Feature Article – What are you Afraid of?
As spring finally begins to bloom in our El Nino year, people are getting more and more interested in bicycling. KGS Bikes has always been more of a global business and this year, I have been getting more feedback from people in the local area. There seem to be two distinct types of conversations. The first is, "Wow, I never knew a place like this existed!" This is the expected response ever since I opened the doors, committed to finding a perfect position more than joining the rest of the pack to sell a "deal." The second one is much more interesting, and has two variants. "I have been afraid to go in your store, prior to now," or "I am afraid to go in your store because I might buy something."
On one hand, I could snort and think, "How preposterous! What is so scary about a bike studio?" On the other hand, however, there are so many people expressing fear of even stepping one foot in the door, I wonder how this happened. We do have a big part of our "old brain" that is devoted to fear. In wild animals, fear keeps them from being eaten. The problem is, we have a big "new brain" that tries to outsmart the old brain, with mixed results. We are really animals, deep inside, despite how our society tries to deny it. In fact, we participate in active sports like bicycling to keep physically fit and to manufacture some adversity and challenge, since we don’t have to go hunt buffalo anymore to survive.
So, back to the question of fear. I like to analyze why most people buy bikes in the first place. If a bike was chosen based on peer pressure or marketing hype, and it doesn’t perform as advertised, one could easily have a fear of discovering the new or existing bike doesn’t fit. This possibility is real, and if one comes into the studio and the true position is derived, the bike has a 95% chance of being incapable of being adjusted to the correct position. For better or for worse, this I have known this for years, and actually did not set out to sell only custom bikes. We have about 20 frames that are basically unsellable because I wanted to have inventory like the other guys, but found far too few people that could actually ride them. What I find fascinating is the fact that so many people who know of us don’t want to know if they can ride more comfortably or efficiently.
Seth Godin likens this to "willful ignorance vs. active skepticism." I believe that the unwillingness to admit that losses may have to be taken to really improve cycling creates this fear.
Paradoxically, when one gets a stock bike, and even gets a "deal," it is rare when the costs of upgrades and modifications are included in the subconscious cost of the bike. I find that folks are surprised when they compare the real costs of custom vs the real costs of stock, even when the value of time when riding more comfortably and efficiently is eliminated. This is testament to the loyalty relationship that I describe that happens when one buys a bike. Whether the bike is right or not, it tends to be defended and the place where the bike was purchased will be revisited.
It takes a lot to change bike shops. One of our clients compared the relationship to a hair stylist. People will put up with a lot of pain to avoid having to fire their stylist and I find that folks follow the same patterns with bike shops. It is not surprising, then, that many people that discover KGS Bikes have just moved to town or have had a bad experience at another shop that caused them to feel the need to change.
At the end of the day, we try not to make KGS Bikes a scary place, but one where lots of education can be had at no cost, plus real long term value is delivered with the best service we can muster. I hope you take the opportunity to come visit sometime if you live in the area, and be a skeptic. We won’t let you be willfully ignorant and can probably demystify a lot of the things that concern you, at least as far as bicycles go!
Until next time,
BikeTech Help Desk
I need to add training hours during the week and I will be attending my first "studio cycling" class. Since I found my position on the bike recently I don’t know how I can set up the spin bike to work for me.
What do I do?
This is a very good question. Here is a short checklist that should help you in the studio cycling class. I should warn you, however, that you will get many different points of view as each instructor and each participant will have their own idea of what "right" is.
I hit a massive pothole in a triathlon recently and I thought that I had just blown out a tire. Alas, I discovered that my HED trispoke rear wheel has a big bump in it. Actually, the wheel goes side to side and I can feel a hop. I took it to a bike shop in Houston and they said it can’t be fixed. Is this true?
Ouch. I am so sorry to have to give you the bad news, but after you brought the wheel by, we discovered it had 8 mm of sideways movement and a 7 mm vertical divot in the rim. This means that the carbon structure has been compromised and unfortunately, it is not repairable. To minimize the possibility of this happening in the future, you need to learn to "get light" on the bike when you go over potholes and railroad tracks. It is pretty easy to get the front wheel over the hole, but sometimes the back wheel is heavily loaded so it can really be damaged. The technique involves timing and can be done even in the aerobars. You need to first and foremost look ahead for things like this. Many triathlon bikes have bars that are so low that you really can’t see, so you end up with your head down. Getting your aerobars high enough so you can look forward the whole race is very important.
After you can see the pothole, you can learn to do a "bunny hop", and it can be done in the aerobars as well, but you have to be a little careful. The technique is as follows. Learn how long it takes you to do a quick "hop" by raising yourself out of the saddle. You need to be able to time it to get the rear wheel over, as well as the front. I suggest going to a parking lot and using a stripe as your reference, so you can learn the technique. It is as much practice as anything else, and if you spend 15 minutes learning to confidently hop the bike over obstacles you will be well on your way to a much safer and less expensive experience when, not if, you come across something like this in the future.
Follow up with more questions and we can get more in depth on this topic.
We only recommend products, services or companies that we have actually tried or worked with personally. A recommendation, like a reputation, is very important and we do not take this responsibility lightly. The following links are to our friends at the Cooper Aerobics Center in Dallas. Dr. Kenneth Cooper is considered "The Father of Aerobics" and has put together a group of world class companies that have a direct impact on us as cyclists and as professional people:
These links are to our frame builders and other providers that make KGS Bikes the premiere fitting studio and cycling boutique in the world:
About KGS Bikes and Kevin
KGS Bikes is known around the world as the premiere bicycle fitting studio and cycling boutique. Kevin Saunders, President, has over 25 years experience in bicycle fitting and high-end bicycles. He also has a broad knowledge of anatomy, structural engineering and industrial design. In addition to fitting services, KGS Bikes sells bicycles from Parlee, Serotta, Zinn, Co-Motion, Storck and Guru. They also feature Lew wheels, custom shoes by Rocket7 and the best available components from around the world. Visit kgsbikes.comfor more information, including beautiful photography of the bikes carefully created for their owners.
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