Saturday, June 7, 2014

How to sell bikes

If you are a bike company that has recently developed a bike that's built to pedal up and ride fast down, you should probably have figured out by now how to properly advertise that bike to the consuming masses.  In case you're a little stuck, here's a tip on how to go about selling that bike to the doctors and dentists of the world.

First, sponsor a cross-country/cyclocross racer who's looking to expand their career into North American enduro races, or Super D, as it was formerly known (or short track xc, as it was known before that).

You're going to want to film an a short clip of them that shows off the bike in action.  The most important part of the video will be the pedal up, because you want the consumers to see how effortless it is to ride your bike up the hill.  Make sure you get a shot of the rider sprinting up the hill out of the saddle, but tell him to take long breaks between the shots.  He can't look like he's working hard. Your bike needs to be seen as a hill crusher with enough gear range to make every mountain feel as flat as Iowa, because that sounds fun.

Next, add in some shots of him riding down the hill.  You're going to want to film some "gnarly technical terrain" and "sick drops."  A key part of this stage is to get some close up shots that emphasize the bike and distract from how tame the trail is.  Another trick is to have every other shot in slow motion.  This will make it look like the rider is making amazing micro-adjustments on the bike, when actually it's just the bike bouncing around under him because the suspension is designed solely for a stiff pedaling platform.  It's a great bonus if the rider can throw in some bar turns for "style"points.

Edit all the footage together, pick a nice soft rock song with plenty of DMB influence for the 90's frat boys, and slap on a clever title that subtly works in the name of your bike. Bam!  You've got yourself a bestseller.

Here's a great example of an edit that follows these guidelines:

Some things to avoid are: Fast riding, big jumps, corners, loose dirt, putting the seat all the way down, and allusions to drug use.  These are all things that will not only detract from your bike's image, but they will push away the kind of customers that you want.  When the ho-hum riders of the world see your bike get ridden on a challenging trail and by a rider with excessive of bike handling skills, they feel inadequate and begin to associate your bike with the insecurities that led them to the high-earning professions in the first place.

Further damage to your brand will be accrued when the dirty bike bums are attracted to your bike.  These losers spend all their non-riding time on the internet consuming bike media because it's free and they don't have jobs.  They'll snap up an edit that shows clean, technical riding and start lusting after your frame.  Cheap and hard on their equipment, the bums will be constantly calling your company in vain attempts to warranty broken frames that have obviously been used well past their limits.

Here's an edit that elegantly illustrates the undesired attributes listed above.  Not only did they make an awful rider choice, there is no slo-mo, no uphill shots, and even worse, no bar turns.  It's as if the rider wasn't even trying to look good.


  1. Direct contact between the nail and the head. Well said.

  2. Luke has some seriously good software running upstairs.