26 May 2009

Cervelo's Great Weekend Could Have Been Better!

Carlos Sastre proved that he's going to be a man to watch at the Tour de France with a great stage win on May 25th! He even has a great chance of winning the Giro d' Italia. Not only did he win the stage, he also put 25 and 26 seconds on the two riders ahead of him on the general classification, Denis Menchov and Danilo Di Luca. See CyclingNews.com's report on the race.

Cervelo Test Team also won a stage of the race on Saturday and came close to winning the stage on Sunday. In fact, the directors were criticized for their tactics on Sunday. It was thought they could have won three stages in a row. Serge Pauwels was in the break and he looked stronger than his companions. He was ordered back to help Carlos Sastre.

On Saturday Cervelo Test Team's Simon Gerrans won the 14th stage.

13 May 2009

Are You Man Enough To Wear Pink?

Come on! This blog and the subject of the above poll is "Would you wear a pink jersey?" Admittedly, sales have been kind of slow on the Premura jersey from Castelli.

Are you confident enough to wear pink?

Will the rednecks throw beer bottles at you when you ride down the street?

Has our society evolved to a point where people are indifferent to what people wear?

12 May 2009

Bicycling Magazine Gear of the Day Review-Pearl Izumi Women's P.R.O. Bib Shorts

Bicycling Magazine Gear of the Day Review April 2009

The first chamois I ever loved came in a pair of Pearl Izumi P.R.O. women's cycling shorts. That was well over ten years ago, and I rode that lycra through miles of singletrack, years of commuting and my share of MS150s. I never complained of one saddle sore and couldn't understand the constant refrain of post-ride pain from fellow riders. Club kit eventually took their place, then a tragic brush with a fence post ripped the fatal gash in my first Pearl PRO's.

So when I recently went surfing for some low-profile chamois to log mountain rides and training miles, I was thrilled to learn Pearl Izumi makes the P.R.O. short in a women's-specific bib. Similar to the boxers vs. briefs conundrum, I'm a bib-girl. I like the fluid feel of riding without a band around my waist and do most of my racing in a skinsuit, so bibs feel good to me.

Pearl Izumi's trademarked P.R.O. Microsensor fabric is designed to wick moisture away and keep you dry on long rides or hard training days. The Direct Vent panels are contoured to offer ventilation in the torso where your base layer, jersey or jacket might cover you on brisk days. The Flatlock seams are both sturdy and give, which means chafe-free riding. And the wide hem and bonded silicone gripper won't pinch or feel tight around your thighs. My favorite detail by far is the tiny clasp that keeps the straps secure across your breasts. Yes, I said breasts. This is a women's bib short after all. Without it, the straps frame whatever assets you have, and that's the last thing I want to think about when I ride. The clasp gives you a crisp, clean silhouette from top-to-bottom. Which reminds me . . . I can't forget the supple P.R.O. 3D chamois, which is what made me want a pair of these bibs in the first place.

It's the details that count and each year Pearl Izumi reinvents the wheel and makes this piece of apparel better. The women's short costs $130 while the bibs sell for $155. That may seem steep until you do a cost per mile analysis and account for the hours of comfortable riding you'll get for your money. Now all of a sudden you've got a deal.

Years of feedback and advancements in performance apparel go into each pair. I like that the P.R.O. chamois has been around as long as I've been committed to riding my bike. That tells me I can count on these bibs to deliver more great miles with confidence. — Liz Reap Carlson

SkyBike This doesn't look comfortable at all

BicyclingHub.com Owner Doug Duguay Featured In Practical Ecommerce's Lessons Learned Series

May 07, 2009 · by Brendan Gibbons

“Lessons Learned” is a biweekly series where we ask ecommerce business owners to share their experiences and advice. For this installment, we interviewed Bicyclinghub.com owner Doug Duguay about his experiences selling cycling apparel online. Duguay's business has three employees and is based in Portland, Oregon. Bicyclinghub.com sells about 600 individual products and garners more than $1 million in revenue each year. Here are Duguay's experiences with and suggestions for a variety of ecommerce-related topics.

Doug Duguay
Shopping cart software

“We use the Yahoo! shopping cart, implemented by Solid Cactus. One of things with the default Yahoo! cart, when you go to checkout it looks like you’re on a completely different site. We customized it, so it looks like a Bicyclinghub.com page. This is important in giving customers confidence.”

“I had a store in 2000 that sold cameras and electronics. The margins were so low that I quit on it, but at the time I tried working on Miva Merchant and just found it too difficult. When I originally put together Bicyclinghub.com, it only took me about 8 hours to do everything. We have preferred to use them because of the ease of use, but we have considered other platforms because of the transactions fees we have been charged by Yahoo!”

“Because we’re a high-volume dealer, we get a little better support with a direct line and an account manager. They were pretty difficult to get through to for a time if you didn’t know who to talk to.”

“We use Yahoo! for hosting, too. There haven’t been too many problems. We’ve had occasional downtime and glitches. Our customers haven't complained about downtime a lot.”


“Our employees focus on order processing, customer service and inventory management. We’re fortunate, being in cycling, that we get people who are actually passionate about what they’re doing. Hiring can be a crapshoot, but try find people who are passionate about the products you’re selling.”


“We have a Facebook page, Twitter page, a blog, and we use Google AdWords and Yahoo! search marketing. We’ve done some trade website stuff, but we will never do anything in print. We don’t promote much to local business as much as a worldwide audience.”

“We have our pages translated to Japanese, and we run AdWords campaigns in Japanese. We noticed there were a lot high volume orders coming from Japan. We went to a Yahoo! user forum looking for a translating service. We plan to do more with other languages like Korean and Spanish.”

“I was actually at Solid Cactus boot camp two weeks ago, and I was talking to another merchant there about translating pages. He just said, ‘But people buy from us anyway.’ Perhaps, but people will be more appreciative of you going after their business by using their language.”

Pay-per-click advertising

“The more specific [keywords] we can get, the better the click-through rate. With more specific ads, the conversion rate is also higher. Right now our PPC campaigns are as specific as we can make them. At one time, we were spending about $10,000 a month on PPC. It’s probably a quarter of that right now.

“I think a good thing would be to check PPC at least every two weeks to see what terms are converting well for you. If it’s not converting, either lower the budget or get rid of it.”
Search engine optimization

“We do the blog, Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and social media. We also build pages that are friendly to search terms. Read all the information out there. It’s not like SEO is a great secret. Just keep up with current market trends.”

“One of the things we really had to work on this year is when people search ‘cycling jersey,’ we’re number one on Google. But I need to clean up the landing page because it is kind of a mess. We have a fairly low bounce rate, but it’s just not converting people right now. I have to have some conversations with people about how to make that page convert better.”
Expense control

“Last year at this time, we had the physical retail store. That meant our overhead was quite a bit more expensive. We closed the store and moved to a new place that was quite a bit less expensive. Keeping rent under control keeps overhead really low.”

“The other thing is we were paying huge transaction fees to credit card companies. We sat down with a lot of different credit card companies and tried to find most competitive rates. We ended up saving about $1,000 a month.”

Accounting software

“We use QuickBooks."

Order management software

“We’re in the process of looking right now. We tried to use OrderMotion in the past, but it didn’t work too well. We’re looking at Cactus Complete, Stone Edge and Mail Order Manager. We’re looking for quick shipments and handling of inventory.”

“Automation is one of those things we really need to get done as soon as possible. We waited way too long to get it done. We get bogged down and have back orders. The Yahoo! system is terrible as far as that goes.”
Shipping and order fulfillment

“We keep almost everything on inventory. There are a couple of major suppliers in Portland that we purchase and ship from the same day. Essentially, a customer can order something from us, we can pick it up from our suppliers and ship it all the same day. Our focus has always been on turning around inventory quickly. We don’t want people to be waiting for two weeks for an order. We eliminate a lot of variables by keeping our location stocked.”

Credit card payments

“Having the checkout page match the actual site is important with that. One of the other things I need to do is put security seals on the site, so when people are entering their information they don’t have second thoughts about that. We don’t actually have that right now. When we first started in 2002, it was a situation where people would call us because they weren’t secure with giving their information. Now it’s a part of our culture, and people aren’t as insecure as they once were about giving their information online.”

Social media

“I just heard stories that social media does help with SEO, so that’s why we embrace it. As far as direct results, we’ve had a few sales but not enough to really get too excited about it. We’re in the process of trying to hire a social media person to handle it part-time for us. With everything else, it’s hard to keep up with it.”

Email marketing

“We have collected a lot of customer emails over past few years and now have about 13,000 and use Constant Contact to send email blasts. Like the blog, it’s one of those things we need to do more often. For the most part, we do specials about what’s going on with the site, but we also try to focus on articles we’re putting in the blog and other things that are relevant to cyclists instead of just what’s on sale now.”


“We use Blogspot. Like I said, we’re trying to find someone to hire for that. Sometimes we get involved in the day-to-day and don’t update blog as much as we should. That’s probably the last thing we think of.”

Customer service

“We want to create win-win situations where the customer feels he or she is actually getting something, and we feel like we’re not giving something away completely. Just last week, we sent a customer the wrong color jersey. We sent them a one-use coupon for the site, saying we goofed up.”

General business attitude

“I’m not sure if this is my life’s work, but it is fun doing something I love and working with a product I love. It makes life a lot easier. I could never see myself working for someone again. I can walk to the office from my home, and I bring my dog to work with me every day. Life is great!”

09 May 2009

Tom Boonen Caught With Cocaine Again

BRUSSELS (AP)—Tom Boonen’s Quick Step team says the Belgian cyclist has tested positive for cocaine for a second time.

Quick Step spokesman Alessandro Tegner said his team was informed Saturday about the result of the test, reportedly taken 12 days after Boonen won the Paris-Roubaix classic for the third time on April 12.

Last year, Boonen tested positive for cocaine in an out-of-competition test and missed the Tour de France. A Belgian court dropped criminal charges in February against Boonen, who apologized to his fans but never confirmed or denied he had taken the drug.

Penalties for possession in Belgium can vary from three months to five years in jail, along with fines of up to $155,000.


07 May 2009

Cervelo XXXL Training, Long Sleeve and Thermal Jackets

Dear Cervelo fans

We are still getting our 09 Kit inventory - as soon as it is made and arrives at Castelli North America HQ here in Portland, Oregon - we are over there whisking it away and getting it out to you as fast as we can. We at the Bicyclinghub have to thank you all for your continued patience and understanding whilst your orders are being fulfilled.

For those still waiting for tops in size XXXL, we must apologise but Castelli have advised us that they will not after all be producing any garments in this size. If you wish, we will be more than happy to send you out the XXL to try and this can be returned to us as per our returns policy - unused, with tags attached and in the original packaging please.


Doug and Kevin

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