Her first grasshopper.
Excerpt from Barnett’s latest newsletter article “Excellence, or Expediency?” http://bbinstitute.com
When the bicycle leaves a factory, it has considerable potential, but if the right things don’t happen between the factory and the purchase by the rider, that potential doesn’t even get close to being fully realized.
Here’s what we know from our cumulative century-plus of experience:
From the factory, virtually not a single adjustable bearing (in a hub, a bottom bracket, or headset) was ever correctly adjusted.
From the factory, not a single derailleur would not have benefited from a few minutes of attention from a highly-skilled mechanic.
From the factory, not a single wheel is as well tensioned or as straight as any fully-skilled mechanic would make a wheel for use on his or her own bike.
And these are just a few salient examples. In summary, not a single bike we have ever seen come out of a box could not have been improved in every single adjustable area by a mechanic with a top-level skill set.
The implication of this is enormous. Very few consumers have ever ridden a bicycle performing at it’s maximum performance potential.
Just how impractical could it be to see that a bicycle leaves the store in optimum condition? The difference between a “expedient” bike assembly and an “excellent” assembly is a matter of a couple of hours of a fully-capable mechanic’s attention. At the going rate for service in today’s bicycle retail industry, that’s a difference of more than $100, but probably not more than $200. Will the consumer pay that? In fact, in some of the more sophisticated (and successful) bike shops, consumers do pay extra for an excellent assembly. In these cases, either the bike is priced at the suggested retail, and the charge for assembly is added on, or the bike is priced above suggested retail and the higher price includes the cost of assembly.