In Which Output Sells its First Bike
When Josh and I launched Output Speedlab, taking over from Steve Merz back in the fall of 2017, we didn’t anticipate selling bicycles. But the bike industry—shifting on the winds of direct sales of bicycles, the rise of gravel riding, and the Internet’s continuing influence on how business is done—is a rapidly changing landscape. Dan Empfield of Slowtwitch wrote about this earlier this year, asking the question “In the future, [do they] stock bikes? Fit bikes? Wrench on bikes? Have a Kickr studio? Run an amateur club team? Are they coaches? Race directors?” Josh and I read that article and thought “You know, that essentially describes what we do. We fit bikes, work on bikes, both Josh and I are coaches, dabble in amateur team management, work at a Kickr studio…the only things we don’t do on this list are race direction (good God, please no) and…sell bikes.”
We thought about it some more. If there was a way to make it work, it made a lot of sense. We could provide a fit to a customer, source the new bike, and then have it built and waiting for him/her in a matter of days. We inquired with Argon 18 for our first dealer, as we’re particularly excited about that bike brand. They offer two excellent frame choices (The E-117 and E-119), so they don’t paralyze the customer with choice; their build specifications are similarly constrained (2-3 options per bike), resulting in a sensible spread of components and price; and they offered one final feature that we love: instead of us becoming one of their stocking dealers (which would entail carrying inventory, credit applications, and a whole mess of things that would complicate bike sales), Argon 18 sources the bike from an existing local bike shop, who ships it to us. The best part of this deal? The bike shop still gets credit for selling the bike with Argon, which means they get something out of the deal, we can sell a bike easily to a customer, and there’s one more Argon 18 out there in the world. Everybody wins. We are an official “Non-stocking Dealer” in their parlance, so you know that you have the weight of that company behind any bike we sell. One astute customer asked if this meant he was the first purchaser (a very good question for warranty concerns!), and we are, in fact, the first seller, which means any bike you purchase in the manner carries its full warranty from Argon.
This has been a possibility, now, for a few months, and we’ve sold our first bikes—Argon E-117s and E-119s to a few customers. It’s an excellent bike: easy to work on, assemble, and cable; easy to troubleshoot on the customer end for things like brakes, tire/frame interaction, and shifting; easy to fit (the bikes accommodate a huge range of riders); and fast out on course.
Are you in the market for a new bike this spring? If you purchase and Argon from us, here’s what you get:
The cost of your bike REFUNDED TO YOU, and the confidence knowing you have purchased the correct bike for you
An incredible bike that you will treasure (and ride very quickly)
The knowledge that you are still supporting local bike shops all over the country
Product support—we are an Argon 18 official dealer that can source and service replacement parts directly from the mother company
Ready for your new ride? Book today.