Of all the things I’ve posted about here on this blog since it launched back in 2006, there’s one page that has remained as the top visited page since it was written. And it’s not bike business-related or about Interbike. Well, at least not directly related. It’s about a fun website that allows you to design your dream fixie. And many of those readers who visited that page found it by searching for the top ranked search term for Interbike Times, “fixie design.”
Not one to avoid going back to the same well for more of the same traffic, I give you Design Your Dream Fixie 2.0: trendy fashion retailer Urban Outfitters has been selling bikes through its website–even going so far as to call it the “Urban Outfitters Bike Shop” and give it its own vanity url: bikes.urbanoutfitters.com.
The site lets you design your own bike and preview how it will look as you go along. Once you’ve designed it–by selecting frame, wheel and component colors–and placed your order, they (or rather their partner Republic Bike) build it and ship it to you (some assembly required). All for the incredibly attractive price of $399.
Is this mass-merchant/big box-style bike selling or a popular and fashionable non-endemic retailer helping to spread the gospel of bikes to their customer base? Does the simple and straightforward nature of fixed gear bikes alleviate some of the concern that U.O. don’t have service departments in their stores at all? If fixies hadn’t developed into the trend that they are, would U.O. be selling any bikes at all? Is a fixie just a fashion accessory to the U.O. customer or are they being used in a very practical way as a means of transportation with some lasting impact on the buyer’s lifestyle?