WHY RIDE OUT OF THE BOX™ SHIPPING?
Posted on 14 March 2016
We launched Ride Out Of The Box™ because we know how difficult it can be to find a good city bike at a regular bike shop.
In a perfect world you would be able to buy a city bike at a bike shop, because in a perfect world bike shops would care about attracting the widest possible customer base. But, alas this does not seem to be the case. Bike stores just don't seem to care about the city cyclist.
However, city bikes are the fastest growing segment in our market. And that growth is happening in stores like ours, and online. And online is good but also scary. Many online bike retailers are start-ups with very little bike design or bike shop experience. Not us. We're brick-and-mortar retailers who've been importing European city and cargo bikes for over a decade. We pride ourselves on our experience.
That's why we launched Ride Out Of The Box™, it gives our customer a quality bike delivered professionally and ready to ride.
YOUR BIKE SHOULDN'T BE DAMAGED GOODS:
Like we said, many bikes sold online are from companies who have little bike design or bike shop experience - and this inexperience occurs nose to tail: from production to delivery.
First, proper assembly and tuning takes a great deal of experience. And, the bike has to be good to begin with, which is why we take our product selection so seriously. For instance, we won't assemble most bikes sold online at our shop because we can't fix what wasn't made correctly. Our industry takes professional assembly so seriously that all manufacturer warranties are void if the bike is not assembled by a professional mechanic. Take that very seriously if you plan on assembling a bike yourself.
Second, most companies shipping bikes online - even if they are assembled and tuned (and these companies are rare but do exist) - use boxes that, when damaged, immediately damage the bike inside. The minute the box is crushed the bike is crushed. And, if you signed for the bike it immediately becomes your responsibility.
Think this isn't a problem? It is. Before we launched Ride Out Of The Box™ our own shipments looked like the one above and below:
Bike shipped to New York City. Because the bike rests against the box, every impact was an impact to the bike.
Same bike. Given the damage to the box you wouldn't expect the frame to recieve such a serious dent - especially with the chainguard and crankset as buffers - but this bike is a total write off.
Shipment to Montreal. Because the fender rests against the back of the box, it takes very little to mangle as the box passes through multiple conveyers in the courier system. That's why we don't use the courier system.
Shipment to Los Angeles. Fork is a total write off. Would have been very difficult to catch this given that the box arrived looking OK and customer would need professional tools to assess.
The scary thing? We have loads and loads more pictures. And a cabinet full of damage claims. Yeesh.
RIDE OUT OF THE BOX™
Ride Out Of The Box™ is about delivering a fully assembled and tuned bike right to your front door, ready to ride.
We take packaging seriously. First, we refuse to use the courier system. Courier companies use large automated conveyers, all of which have steep 45 degree angles to move stuff around. Things get broken. We use the freight system, the same IKEA uses to deliver your couch. This minimizes the number of times the bike is handled, and that's good for your bike.
We also refuse to let the cardboard box brace the bike. The role of the box is to be a protective shield. If that layer of defence is also holding up the bike, then the bike is damaged the minute the box is damaged - and boxes always get damaged.
Our box uses a very cost-effective wooden brace that keeps the bike standing up without any need of the cardboard box. This lets us build enough space between the bike and box. Should the box be damaged the bike will be perfectly OK.
You can see it here in action:
First we create a wooden structure that forms the base of our pallet, this lets pallet-jacks or forklifts lift the box rather than slippery human hands. This bike is off to Ottawa.
Now, we tension the bike to the frame using high-tensile packing straps. This lets the bike stand up without needing to rest against the carboard shield. This bike is off to Wauwatosa, Wisconsin.
Next, we place our custom designed carboard sleeve over the bike, giving the bike the protective shield it needs.
For cargo bikes we use an extra huge custom made box attached to an extra-long custom-made pallet.
We roll the cargo bike in and secure it with high-tensile strapping. This bike is off to Vancouver, BC.
Bike arrives after a long trip by rail and truck to Edmonton, Alberta! The box has seen a bit of abuse but the bike is pristine and ready for a lifetime of use!
So, whereas many start-ups sell their questionable bikes via questionable methods, we take bicycles much more seriously - they are your transporation, after all!