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Synaptic Cycles

Happy New Year!

January 2, 2013Joe BartoeNews

Happy New Year, everyone! It seems that 2012 was quite the blur! It started out fast and then hit the wall! Just like the owner. We kept moving forward and have now gotten a second wind, thankfully!

We had our trials and tribulations over the past year. The biggest difficulty we had was due to hacking into our site that resulted in it being down for multiple months. Fortunately, we have solved that issue and put up a brand new site. If you haven’t  had the time to browse around, please do! We are very happy with our new site and our new web developer (Thanks Luke!).

The year wasn’t without some great times. We enjoyed becoming re-acquainted with some of our customers as they came back into town for a visit, and we also had the opportunity to meet some wonderful new people who were using our services for the first time. Additionally, we had the opportunity to go on some great rides with our customers, enjoying learning more about them while showing them what our roads have to offer. All in all, we love to spend time with our customers and welcome the opportunity to provide them with our services.

Our year ended with a special delivery to a couple who would be riding our Volagis from San Francisco to San Diego over a 2 week period. This Swedish couple is planning on following the coast highway for most of their trip. As we bid them farewell, we couldn’t help but feel envious at the trip before them! We can’t usually guarantee a delivery in San Francisco with pick up in San Diego, but the the planets aligned, and we were able to get this to work for them.

As mentioned, we have taken on Volagi as one of our offerings for high-end road bike rentals. As of this writing, we now have 4 Volagis in our inventory, ranging from 50cm to 57cm. Two of the bikes have Dura Ace drivetrains and two have Ultegra drivetrains. Whenever possible, we are trying to upgrade our offerings to make sure that we can high-end rental equipment to our customers.

Volagi has proven to be cutting edge, as other makers are beginning to include disc-braked road bikes to their lines. Volagi, not content to rest on their laurels, have added a new steel bike line called the Viaje. It has many of the same features as the Liscio, but is made of steel, is rack-able, and has even greater tire clearance. It’s truly  a bike for all kinds of adventures! We’re definitely intrigued and hope to get a look at one and maybe get to ride one soon. With some luck, we might have a few to offer for rent soon. Other new additions at Volagi include options on their Liscios for hydraulic disc brakes and internal wiring for electronic gruppos. We’ve been  riding these off and on, and love the frame design and the disc brakes are great to have, especially when descending a twisty mountain road!

We continue our association with Calfee, going into our 3rd year. We have introduced so many people to this brand over the past few years through our rental service, and we are extremely happy to continue to do so! We are often surprised when our rental customers are unaware of Calfee before renting from us, but it gives us an opportunity to introduce them to a great bike company. Built in California from US-sourced materials, these frames are ready for long days in the saddle and pretty much anything you can dish out. One comment we get a lot from our customers is that they climb incredibly well. We had one racer pronounce his stiffer than his Giant TCR. We don’t really like to apply terms like “compliant” and “stiff” when describing bikes. It’s all relative, after all. All we can say, is that we like to ride the Calfees ourselves, at the expense of a lot of our other really nice bikes.

During the past year, we were outperforming our numbers from the first year of business by quite a bit. Most months, we were 50-100% above our sales from the previous year. We owe a lot of this to our customers! We were very pleasantly surprised to have a number of repeat customers this year, and we were even more excited to learn that they had referred a lot of business our way. Thank you all! We strive to provide a great experience to all of our customers, and the return business and referrals validate that we are doing a great job!

Unfortunately, we ran into website issues over the last quarter of the year and saw a significant drop in business. Thankfully, we’ve survived this little glitch and gotten it fixed and now have a fully functional site back online. Thanks for sticking by us during this time! We had several return customers write or call wondering what happened, and it means a lot that you stuck with us when it looked like we were in trouble.

Our new year is beginning like last year. Our first delivery of the year will be to a repeat customer and his wife. He even trusted us enough to send his Power Tap wheel out for us to put on his rental. Looks like he’s planning some serious training while he’s here! We’re also getting the opportunity to do a few corporate events. We’ll be providing bikes and leading a few rides over the next year. These are always a great time and allow us to ride and mingle with customers in a way that we don’t usually get to do.

As we begin the year, we are planning some new things as we move forward. We will be adding more bikes to the stable as we try to keep up with our customer base. Some of these will likely be a new brand that we bring in. Keep your eyes out for these new offerings. We hope to have a few racing wheel offerings as well. Both for rentals or to go along with your rental bike, if you like. We are also trying to gear up a bit so we can offer more touring style events. We have always been able to do this, if people ask, but we would like to formalize it a bit. For now, if you want a guided tour for a day or two, or you’d like to put together a group of friends and do a supported ride for a few days, let us know and we’ll see what we can do for you.

Well, that about covers it for our yearly review!  I have to get going on a bike build as a brand new Volagi just arrived at the door!

We want to take this time to thank all of our customers for being so wonderful to work with! Obviously, without you, we wouldn’t be in business, but also, without you, we wouldn’t enjoy being in business.

Have a wonderful new year, everyone! We hope to see you all soon!


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