Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Bikes of Kona!

From SlowTwitch, best for everything endurance. 

Many go to Kona hoping for a win, and they're not all athletes. Who came out of Kona smiling?

When I began the Kona Bike Count in 1992 there were over 200 bike brands represented in the race. There has been some consolidation at the top, because the barrier to entry is high. Used to be that an old mechanical Bridgeport mill, a gas torch and a headbadge was all you needed to be a bike maker. Not so now, when the great majority of new bikes pop out of molds, and a size run of molds costs tens of thousands. 

But there is still a shipload of bike brands on that pier. Who won?

Five or six companies stand out in my mind. First, of course, Cervelo, with 496 bikes in the race – almost 1 in 4 – and it wasn't that long ago that Cervelo was thought by many retail stores washed up, the brand of the past. Obviously rumors of its demise were greatly exaggerated. In my opinion, one stat that holds up fairly well is:

incremental gains = (this year's total) - .75(last year's total)

The idea is to guess at incremental gains year-over-year. If Cervelo, the company, was wiped off the map, you'd still see a lot of bikes the subsequent year. How many? Historically, 75% of the prior year's total is not a bad number.