I remember back in the early 90’s when I bought my first pair of cycling shorts. I was riding more and more and realized that for any distance over a few miles I needed to cushion the bottom side. At that time about the only store local to me that carried anything like that was Sport Authority. I went in, looked at a few pairs and ended up with a pair that were made by Nike. They were far different then the shorts we have today as they were more of a cottony blend, not smooth and slick by todays standards. From that moment on I realized what I had been missing – comfort! But other than that single pair of shorts I really had nothing to compare them to, but they worked for me and I wore them a lot!
Up until last year I had always worn cycling shorts when I went out on rides. I started mountain biking in the early 2000’s so I had accumulated a few baggy pairs of cycling shorts but would sometimes break out those old Nikes and wear them under cargo shorts.
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, right? Or so I thought.
Back when I was a teen in the ’80s I remember coveting the Specialized product brochures that used to come in the mail. Oh how I wanted one of those bikes.
Those were some lasting impressions and I now finally own one of those bikes I used to drool over as a teen. I had a great experience with my local independent bike shop but what I didn’t know at the time is how personal “corporate” gets with their customers.
After my purchase I filled out my registration online and answered the canned questions on my purchase and intended use. It’s pretty standard fare for any type of product registration, you fill it out and never hear from the company again.
Well needless to say I was surprised when I received a personal email from one of their product marking specialists. It wasn’t just some canned email going to a generic account, but a real live human being looking to understand their riders needs for future development. There was a set of questions that I gladly replied to which then turned into a decent email exchange with my sharing of some riding stores and photos of the bike in use.
Maybe I impress easy but to me that is great interaction with their customers. Never have I received a personal email from another company representative looking to understand their customer wants & needs better. If their great bikes didn’t already win me over as a customer their customer relations surely would have.
I’ve been on 2 wheels for most of my life. The first “real” bike I can remember was a Schwinn Stingray, blue over silver with a banana seat and a coaster brake. Not only did I ride that bike as much as I could it also got me started with mods and tinkering. Changed the seat, handlebars, grips, chain, you name it. I was hooked.
My next bike after that was a “grown-up” 10 speed… except that it was yellow and it was from Sears. So as you can guess it didn’t have the best components on it and I destroyed several rear derailleurs in short order, twigs and mud can really do a number on them, especially when they are made of cheap plastic. I was a man ahead of my time… I was riding that bike like I was a CX racer long before I ever even heard about CX.