The Blog — Glass Houses

Little Glass Houses For You And Me

125214666 Glass Houses

So this announcement kind of stunned me.  I've never been a customer of Competitive Cyclist, and while my wife bought some chamois cream from RealCyclist I've personally got no experience with that enterprise/conglomerate/whatever you want to call it. Nonetheless, Mike and I both enjoyed reading the CC blog, where this was announced.  "Enjoyed reading the CC blog" is sort of a funny way to state it, because while they had some good insights and definitely had some quality snapshots up there (it is mostly due to them that I ride with a camera pretty much all the time), they also...

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Reflections on the bottom brackets of Mark Cavendish and Katy Perry

125214666 Glass Houses Pro and Cons Trends & Technology

I write about Mark Cavendish here a lot - not so much because of who he is, but because of what he represents as a rider. Above anything else, Mark Cavendish represents an unmitigated desire for power transfer. Comfort and weight be damned - he needs his bike set up exclusively to optimize the last 200M of a race. It's got to be hard to take a bike that Mark likes and sell it out in the real world, since most riders can't be so narrowly focused in their needs. Absolutely we want something that doesn't whip around when we...

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Subsidies, Sponsorship and Sexy Paint

125214666 Bicycle Biz Economics Glass Houses

Part of the cost of the modern racing bicycle is a subsidy, or some economic assistance that one buyer provides so that another doesn't have to. The most obvious place we see this is in amateur and pro sponsorship. The expense of giving racers pro deals and free equipment is built into the margins of products sold at retail. You're paying more so that others may ride for free or half-price.  You won't be surprised to learn that subsidies don't sit well with our model. We think you should pay for what's important, and asking you to shoulder the burden...

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Cost-Based Pricing, Value-Based Pricing and Awesome-Based Pricing

125214666 Bicycle Biz Economics Glass Houses

I've written previously about how we set our prices. We use what is called cost-based pricing: we start with what it costs us to procure and deliver a frame or wheelset to you, and then add to that amount an amount of margin (or profit) that makes the effort required on our part worthwhile. If we chose higher margins, we'd make more on each sale but have fewer sales overall. If we charged less, we wouldn't make as much on each transaction and we'd grow to resent all you cheap bastards taking advantage of us every time we shipped a...

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The Bloody Bleeding Edge

125214666 Glass Houses Trends & Technology

Being centered on product that's really really good, but has no aspirations or claims of being the absolute best in any metric, affords November a pretty nice place in the world order.  To be sure, we are always on the lookout for better stuff and ways to improve how we do what we do, but we aren't driven to be world leaders in anything but delivering really good race ready products at exceptional value.  For sure there are speedbumps along the way, and we continue to learn and improve pretty much all the time.  We ain't perfect.  My mom would tell...

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