Too hot to ride? Commission a Custom Bicycle for the fall!

by kgsbikes on August 8, 2011

in Bicycle Positioning,Bikes

Argeny Hunter's KGS / Parlee Z1 Custom Bicycle

Argeny Hunter just took delivery of this beauty.

At KGS Custom Bicycles, the summer is the slowest time of the year. We don’t have a big repair department since most of our clientele hails from afar. Most of our clients or potential clients are vacationing, busy with kids, or riding the bike they currently have. What is interesting, however is the Fall Rally, as we call it, or the people who thought it was too hot to ride in the summer, and by the time school starts, they ponder a new custom bike. Current lead times are typically about 3 months for a road bike and up to six months for a KGS / Parlee custom triathlon bicycle.

Universally, they discover something else, however. It is a two word phrase called “lead time”. For some reason, most people don’t factor in the lead time required to commission a true premium custom bicycle. The lead time is the one feature of buying bicycles at this level that is a real pain.

This is why this time of year, we spend a lot of time introducing our concepts to people and asking them to consider a trip to the studio for a BalancePoint™ session. We then have the data required to design a bike and can work remotely from this point on.

Here is the typical “positioning day trip” schedule for an individual who flys into San Antonio.

  1. Take the first flight into San Antonio. Kevin personally picks you up at the airport and drives you to the studio.
  2. You need to bring cycling clothing, shoes, and if your pedals or saddle are unusual, bring them too. At least we will have discussed this to know that when you arrive, we are ready for you.
  3. The actual positioning takes between 1 to 3 hours and so your time in the studio tends to be 2-4 hours. Plan on at least 5 hours before you need to be back at the airport, at least 60-90 minutes prior to your flight.
  4. Kevin will buy your lunch and whisk you back to the airport, so you have no car rental, plus no pain dealing with transportation.
This works for either road, triathlon or both positions. If you need to do both (they are separate procedures with separate results) you can have the data to order one bike now and another later, with one visit.
What happens next is we design your bicycle and calculate the price. You send us 75% and we start moving. BTW the last 25% is due when the frame ships back to us, and we don’t charge you for changing your mind on components in the mean time. The reason for this policy is many out of towners don’t take delivery of their bike when it is actually finished and we can keep it perfect and safe for you but we are so small that we can’t take the cash flow hit to handle delivery delays.
Our track record for exceeding expectations is fantastic and we invite you to consider the benefits of true custom designed just for you. You are worth it, and the lead times can work for you, not against you.
Finally, here is a link to our Referral Program where we are sinking all of our marketing dollars. Those who help us find a match with new clients get the rewards.
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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Spinner Bike August 9, 2011 at 1:50 AM

Is there ever such a thing as budget custom bicycle?

kgsbikes August 9, 2011 at 5:25 AM

Great question. The answer is, it depends. Like the car business, the bike is typically sold heavily discounted to establish a loyalty relationship with the bike shop. While a custom bike is built one at a time, rather than mass produced and assembled in Asia like almost all other bikes, some bike shops will discount the bike so much that it can fit into almost any budget, with inexpensive frames, parts and free labor.

That said, KGS Custom Bicycles are not marketed at the budget crowd, because we don’t have scads of accessories and consumables to make up the lost profits on a discount bike. We charge a reasonable markup on every bicycle transaction which knocks us out of price competition with other bike shops. Where we excel is in the precision of our positioning and the level of our builds, plus our service. Therefore, the value that people want at the level of our bikes is less about hitting an inexpensive budget and more about exceeding very high expectations.

If you have a minimal budget, go to a bigger bike shop and haggle like crazy because most will discount to the point of losing money to lock you into their shop.

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