Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on May 9th, 2006 at 11:23 pm
Shimano is investing millions of dollars into a new component group called "Coasting" that will target new cyclists. They plan to roll out the new group to only 15 cities the first year starting in March of 2007. According to a story in Bicycle Retailer and Industry News, Shimano will focus the initial marketing of the new group in "bike-friendly cities with safe places to ride."
Portland has been selected as one of those cities. Starting in June of 2007 you can expect to see Shimano all over town:
"An eight-week campaign is scheduled consisting of guerilla marketing in recreational hot spots and billborards, plus ads in alternative weeklies."
More excerpts from the article (I would just link to the full story, but Bicycle Retailer does not post their articles online.):
"Based on about 50 interviews....consumers wanted their bikes to require zero maintenance, be practical to ride in street clothes and inexpensive"
"The group uses an existing automatic-shifting three-speed Nexus hub. It features a front-hub dynamo that powers the shifting. The group also has coaster brakes."
"To use the group, suppliers must create a new Coasting-specific design. Shimano expects seven or eight companies to release Coasting-equipped bikes the first year. Giant, Raleigh and Trek are among the existing companies."
I give Shimano a lot of credit for boldly going where no one in the bike industry has gone before. Reaching new cyclists is the Holy Grail for advocates and the industry and it will be very interesting to see if Shimano's big experiment succeeds in getting this coveted demographic onto bikes.Email This Post Possibly related posts