Below is an excerpt from my letter to the editor. IMHO the 2013 Buyer's Guide is good. It could be better.
Congratulations on another fine edition for 2013. I always find it an interesting issue that I tend to save for quite a while as a handy resource when my friends start asking for recommendations on new bikes. Amazing how many tend to do so mid-season.
A few items appear to be lacking in the publication. T & T and I don’t mean the nation in the Caribbean. Tandems and Track bikes are sadly missing from your guide. Yes, they may not have the mass-market appeal of general road or mountain bikes. However they do represent some interesting perspectives on the state-of-the-art in cycling technology. Want the ultimate in responsiveness to transfer of power? Track bikes have you covered. How about the ultimate in power-to-weight ratio? Tandems.
And when it comes to spending money, something your advertisers love in a demographic group, tandem riders are hard to beat. They buy 2X, matching naturally, of everything from cycling kit, accessories, fall/winter/spring clothing, etc. Tandem riders also tend to do more organized touring and cycling vacations. When they do so they spend a lot more money on hotels, food, travel, and memorabilia. Clearly a social-economic group that your advertisers want to impress.
Track bikes – well track riding / racing is gaining traction across the country. Pardon the pun. With new facilities popping up in the mid-west and east while recently Michigan announced funding to put some life back into the old Pontiac outdoor facility. With the awesome Colorado Springs facility close to your HQ and the Carson LA Velodrome providing year-round photo ops, you have numerous options available for your photo shoots.
As a demographic you will be hard pressed to find a group of people who spend more time and money on their cycling passion than tandem owners. They may not be out ‘racing’ every weekend but they are riding, touring, taking long and often very expensive cycling vacations, buying expensive vehicle racking systems, garage storing systems, and an awful lot of matching jerseys. Not to mention these bikes range from the performance value leader Cannondale at appx $3,000 to Calfee and Santana models north of $10,000 with all sorts of custom machines, options, belt drive, mountain versions available.
My wife and I will volunteer our services to help coordinate a group of experienced tandem test riders.
Again, enjoy the 2013 issue. There is still room for improvement.