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Shop Talk

In current times it is often said that bike shops, the old bricks and mortar ones, need to find ways to survive and stay relevant.

Good stock, good staff and a good location are all necessities but often these are still not enough. Customers need to feel like “their” shop is offering them more than just great prices. Transitions long time member “SpeedyJ” is the manager at Cheeky Velosport in Randwick in Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs and they have embarked on a series of Seminar nights this week to give their customers access to experts on important and relevant topics. 

The first instalment was called their “Hour of Power” discussing the types and uses of Power Meters. Power meters were, only a few short years ago, extremely expensive and complicated gadgets to own, and use. Now with many new players in the market and yet more on the way prices are falling making them available to a much wider range of riders.

Elton Christiansen from Echelon sports talked us through the range of Quarq power meters and spoke of how the Quarq works and what the different units do and what they are compatible with.

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Dave Mohr from FE Sports then talked us though the Stages power meter and the Garmin Vector pedals and the advantages and benefits of these two power meter types.

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The take home message from these two speakers, even though they are direct competitors in this rapidly developing market sector, is that they agreed that no one power meter is perfect for everyone. They all have their advantages and disadvantages and depending on your bike, drivetrain, style of riding, data requirements and of course budget you can now choose a power meter that best suits your requirements.

Now a power meter is just a tool that gives numbers, lots and lots of numbers. The magic doesn’t happen till you figure out what the numbers mean and then work out what to do to train with those numbers. That’s where guys like Alex Simmons come into the picture. Transitions members would be familiar with Alex’s work but for those who don’t know him, Alex is a coach at RST Coaching and a man who around these parts is commonly referred to as a “power guru”. Alex knows all the numbers, what they mean and how best to use them and his services are sought out by some of the best cyclists going around.

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Alex took questions from the interested audience about all things power. For those that have dipped a toe in the power waters you will know that without clear guidance you can drown in a sea of three letter acronyms. While this “Hour of Power” was far from an exhaustive resource for all things power it is a good gentle lead in for the novice or a good kick in the pants for those who already on power meters who don’t utilise them to their full potential.

More importantly it is about a bike shop engaging with its customers in ways other than the usual shop-customer interaction, and given that as we go to print the Govt. is talking about putting a GST on ALL purchases from overseas, the customer relationship may again have a broader value proposition for stores than is currently the case and I dare say we will see more such efforts from the successful bike shops.

The next monthly instalment of Cheekys shop talks is touted to be on Nutrition. If you can get there and would like to be kept informed check out their Facebook page.

© 2015 Transitions.

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