Our partner in podcasting, The Gravel Ride Podcast, sits down this week with former Pro Tour rider and current Ribble Cycles Head of Product, Jamie Burrow. Jamie walks us through the range of Ribble Gravel Bikes across three frame materials and highlight the companies’ unique custom bike builder.
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Automatic Transcription by The Gravel Ride (please excuse all errors)
[00:00:00]Craig Dalton: [00:00:00] Hello and welcome to the gravel ride podcast. I’m your host Craig Dalton.
[00:00:08]This week on the podcast, we have Jamie Burrow. He’s a former pro tour rider on the road and current head of product for the UK brand Ribble cycles.
[00:00:19]As you’ll learn from Jamie, Ribble offers a full suite of gravel bikes across a range of materials.
[00:00:25]And also offers a direct to consumer model via their website with a unique bike configurator tool that allows you to customize every element of your gravel bike. So if you’re looking for those wide bars or 650 wheels, Or a little different saddle or set up, you can go through and individually customize every part and piece of the bike.
[00:00:46]Making it uniquely yours. Including a custom paint job, which I just learned about during the podcast. Which i think is a fabulous opportunity for anybody looking to ride something unique.
[00:00:56]Before we jump in, I just wanted to send a huge thank you to those of you who have elected to become members of the podcast. Via buy me a coffee.com/the gravel ride your monthly support to my efforts at the podcast are hugely appreciated
[00:01:11]And I wouldn’t keep doing what I’m doing without your support. With all that said let’s dive right in to my interview with Jamie. Jamie. Welcome to the show. I appreciate you joining us all the way from the UK. You’re welcome. I know we could easily do an hour on your backstory as a cyclist back in the pro tour, but [00:01:30] for the purpose of this conversation, why don’t you just tell us what led you to your current role at Ribble?
[00:01:35]Jamie Burrow: [00:01:35] I suppose it’s just taking a different path to most people who, you know, X, Y, Z, as you go down the kind of sports director, team management role. I come from a cycling family and grew up around bikes, really. Dad told me to build bikes when I was probably about five years old, I think.
[00:01:50] And the early days my dad was a designer himself by trade. And it just passionate the bikes as a kid. I started designing my own bikes as a teenager, honestly, back in the days when everything was made by steel I was designing my race bikes that sort of 15, 16, and had a local frame builder would build them for me.
[00:02:08]And then you go into the whole race career thing. And even as it has it sides where obviously all your equipment is given to you, you don’t have choice on things. Sometimes on the best equipment, sometimes it’s not the best and, seeing the sides of things and then get out, it would be so much better if you could have this or who could have done this way.
[00:02:26] So suddenly finding yourself, coming out the other side of a career where you’re effectively right in the kit for seven, eight hours a day in all conditions, you know what you want, what’s good. And, what’s missing. So then suddenly be, behind the steering wheel of, being out of an input in those things.
[00:02:42] That’s a pretty cool.
[00:02:44] Craig Dalton: [00:02:44] Yeah. It’s gotta be pretty amazing to take your vision for what a bicycle should be and deliver it to the world.
[00:02:50]Jamie Burrow: [00:02:50] That’s right. Yeah. Honestly, my main background was obviously road riding and obviously there’s so many different forms, disciplines of of cycling, but It does [00:03:00] help when, when you’ve ridden bikes in every situation at higher level to know what they need, for OEM performance wise, aerodynamics everything map, you just, if are those kinds of get to know things, is it that you get to know on the road?
[00:03:15]Craig Dalton: [00:03:15] Can you, I was really tickled to learn about Ribble as such a storied UK brand that I hadn’t really heard of. I suppose I’d seen it in some races. But it really didn’t connect the dots until after I got introduced to it. Can you tell the listener a little bit about Ribble’s history as a brand?
[00:03:33]Jamie Burrow: [00:03:33] Yeah, so it’s actually a very old brand.
[00:03:36] It was originated in 1897. So it’s a pretty old comes from the Northwest of England. The Ribble name comes from the river in the river valley. It was a family business for generations. Changed hands a few times. As we went into the 20th century I even from my own point of view, growing up, I would say coming from a cycling family where and obviously way before online sales in cycling weekly magazine in the UK where the back pages were always full of adverts rebel was always the big.
[00:04:06] Out of the taken up the last two back pages of the magazine, and it was one of the premium brands of the UK. Foods, seventies, eighties, nineties, they would sponsor some of the biggest elite teams in the UK of a national team sponsor. They were the official Barcelona Olympics supplier guys, like Boardman rode them for years previous to it before going to approach or career.
[00:04:30] [00:04:30] Wiggins, even Geraint Thomas, they’re all guys that have written on Ribble over the years and, because they were one of the, one of the big brands. And you come back in that era
[00:04:40]Craig Dalton: [00:04:40] and then it sounded like in talking to you offline, the brand took a little dip as bicycle companies started to move from steel to carbon and other materials.
[00:04:49] And then it seems like over the last, five, six years has had a really big resurgence in the UK. Can you talk us through what was going on there?
[00:04:57] Jamie Burrow: [00:04:57] Yeah, man. I think that not just rebel, I think it was actually quite a fast change from steel and then a brief period into titanium. A minium, at least as far as a vote were concerned.
[00:05:09] And then into carbon, obviously when carbon come along as a material, took away the ability for small builders, as the UK was falling small frame builders, as well as a lot of the bigger brands like Ribble And as soon as you go to the gun of those different forms of production, and obviously everything went over to Asia, I was, did the bigger brands managed to want, I suppose they directed it from the beginning and it made it harder for the smaller brands to be able to keep paces, things a lot more expensive, especially when you look back at the beginning of of.
[00:05:41] The carbon industry mounted costs, everything production costs were so much more expensive than they are now. And I think a lot of brands did get lost through the nineties early two thousands, but now things are a lot more accessible to everyone and, it’s been our job to bring Ribble back on
[00:05:57] Craig Dalton: [00:05:57] the map and now Ribble building out of all sorts [00:06:00] of materials.
[00:06:01] Jamie Burrow: [00:06:01] Yeah. That’s great. That is one of our kind of. Key USBs is the fact that we offer so many materials across. So the same genre of bikes.
[00:06:11] Craig Dalton: [00:06:11] Yeah. And I want to dig into the gravel series because that is clearly represented with the aluminum carbon titanium. I did want to point out that rebel has an exceptional web property.
[00:06:23] At this point, it was really enjoyable going through the bike configurator and in talking to one of your colleagues, just learning about. The sheer amount of customization that is available and the amount of holding that the team provides for an e-commerce experience, I think is really exciting and notable in the industry.
[00:06:42] Do you want to talk about that direct to consumer model and how you make the consumer feel like they’re in the showroom with the employees, even throughout the pandemic?
[00:06:51]Jamie Burrow: [00:06:51] Yeah. And the whole key kind of USP for the business is our bike builder function, which allows you to effectively, you can have a choose a bike from one of our pre-spec’s.
[00:07:02] And I’ve obviously been put together from our knowledge, but then obviously that’s the way that most of the bike brands do outside of that, the bike builder gives you the options to customize effectively everything. Whether you want to start from a frame platform or a group set. And to manage everything.
[00:07:18]The choice of handlebars from materials to size is handlebars, stems. seatposts, settles tires, 700 c, 650b wheel sizes, especially on the, on a gravel bike. It [00:07:30] flared bars, standard bars, crank lengths, all of these things we offer as well as for good part of it, year and a half, two years now, we’ve been offering custom color.
[00:07:39]And all of this is done in house. So every single bike is from the moment of order. It’s one bike, it’s one mechanic. So the whole process for obviously to do go, directly onliner you said from we’ve got our go install platform, which is, a virtual instill experience, which is proven really successful in a lot of people go on there.
[00:07:59] Maybe initially with an idea of one product and actually walk away with another product because they didn’t have a full understanding of what they really needed. Yeah. Or just someone who didn’t have an understanding and needed that expertise to, to find that buyer. And obviously starting from the kind of right, and the person wants to do budget, obviously, and the facts, the way the bike builder works, you couldn’t completely customize that bite to the rider.
[00:08:25]You’re not. Is there a lot of kind of bike shops would do in the past. You all, can you set it in the bottom of something, the shop floor, and it’s the salesman basically sell it, trying to sell that, buy it to the customer because he’s got it in stock, regardless of whether it’s the right size or the actual product the customer is after.
[00:08:43] Whereas obviously we can offer you exactly what you need.
[00:08:47] Craig Dalton: [00:08:47] Yeah. I think that’s particularly interesting and germane to the gravel market simply because the consumers have to go through so much thought process of. What is my terrain look like, what do I want to do? What are my intentions? [00:09:00] And these gravel bikes are so configurable and their personalities can be so different based on tire wheel, size bar, with all these things that you give them the option to.
[00:09:10] So to me, when I looked at the Ribble site, I said, this is almost an accelerant for the consumer to have all the conversations they should be having with themselves about what they want to do with this bike. So they make sure they get it. As they need it right when it comes off the factory floor.
[00:09:26] Jamie Burrow: [00:09:26] That’s right. Yeah. And I think gravels is the unusual, one of, all of the the different sort of sectors that we sell bikes in, because it’s new to the point where I don’t think, across the industry, hasn’t become a stable platform of what is a gravel bike and what is gravel, geometry. And a lot of it does come down to the end use of it, obviously.
[00:09:47]Gravel, we’re still talking about gravel. When we look at mountain bikes, when you look at trails and Euro downhill cross country, we look at them as individual categories. We don’t just say mountain bike anymore. Whereas gravel, we’re still just saying gravel. Even when you look into the events that are currently on offer globally A lot of them.
[00:10:05]A lot of it as the whole pandemic is stopped. Obviously mass participation events, nothing compared to the side of gravel probably would have taken a massive step forward. Last year. I know the UCI, I’m talking about you jumping on the bandwagon, tend to the world championships and all sorts of competitive racing.
[00:10:24]But for the moment, outside of, over there, you’ve got Things like that. It cans over here. We’ve got the day of [00:10:30] either kind of more, a lot of guys have taken it more backpack in adventure rather than the race side of things. And obviously you’ve got such a difference between fully loaded in a bike to take on a long adventure than racing effectively.
[00:10:48] Off-road and it’s still. No, I think as the events unfold and people get more into it, we’ll see the more, it develop more. From our side as a brand, and we started with our CGR model, which is cross gravel road and I suppose initially thinking it was the fact that gravel in the UK was slightly slower than it was in in the states to actually get moving.
[00:11:14] And we can see that. And it’s one useful thing with our bike builder tool, because you’re not, you haven’t got pre specked, a catalog bike, it’s you get to see through the bite load of what the end consumers actually using the bike for. And then the year one this is quite a UK thing, but as a commuter that you could tell that most people buying the bike we’re buying as commuter or running vendors we’re rack.
[00:11:39] What a kind of heavy duty road tires, lights. So it was more of a ride to work bike rather than a gravel bike. As the gravel scene took off, you saw they’ve gone into bike and go to button the same frame platforms, but then switch into one by systems. Gravel tires, fled bars, start to [00:12:00] come in all these kinds of things that I’ve picked up in the gravel trends.
[00:12:04]And, it’s been good to see the development and how the end consumers have taken sight of that. The other thing on our side, and it’s what led us to move on to having a grubbing specific range on top of the CGR was the fact that the CGR was born as effectively relaxed road geometry with bigger clearances.
[00:12:26]And then we’ve taken the we’ve taken a. Hint more from, mountain biking, hardtail mountain bike in. So the new gravel range, we’ve got to have a slightly longer and lower geometry. So a bit more stable off road, where if you want to a full on gravel bike, you can take it out there. More kind of gnarly road trails rather than just.
[00:12:46]Craig Dalton: [00:12:46] Yeah, I thought
[00:12:47] it was really interesting as someone who’s been involved in the sport intimately, the last three years, you’ve got an article on the website about the CGR geometry versus the gravel geometry, and just seeing the frame superimposed on one another was really interesting because I think it is indicative of that.
[00:13:05] Trend in gravel, as you said, to make these, to take them out and bike influence and make these bikes hugely capable while still balancing the ability to ride them on the road and enjoy them. Obviously it’s not a pro tour level road bike anymore. You’ve made compromises, but at the same token, for most riders, it can be extremely enjoyable as their quote unquote road bike and massively capable as their gravel [00:13:30] bike, their bike, packing bike, et cetera.
[00:13:32]Jamie Burrow: [00:13:32] Yeah, so I don’t have nothing. It’s just been interesting to think. A lot of people in the beginning it was, I can buy one buyer that does it all. And then I think we saw on the other end of the scale, people that may be at a real high-end road by the high end mountain bike and wanted the second bike. And it was a plus one.
[00:13:51] And, maybe he did go in for a more cheaper than she’d ever bought it because it was a plus one. And now we’re seeing again, it’s developed so fast. But now people are buying high roadway and a high-end gravel bike, rather than it just being the plus one to just give it a go.
[00:14:08] Craig Dalton: [00:14:08] Yeah. And particularly as people focus more and more on the racing side of things, they’re going to be willing to make compromises about comfort, to go for speed and performance.
[00:14:18] And I think I always want to hazard our listeners to say get the bike that’s right for you. It’s no use. Chasing that pro athlete who can replace his equipment and get new wheels, et cetera, and just really wants to go super fast versus the bike that you need in your garage to get, to make you your rides as much fun as possible.
[00:14:38]Jamie Burrow: [00:14:38] Yeah, that’s right. That’s one thing. One key thing. I think we’re one of the few brands still offer all the different platforms across different frame materials. And often you’ll find that. I switched frame material. You’ll end up with a complete different bike and link different geometry with a different purpose.
[00:14:54] Whereas we’re we don’t want to compromise the end consumer, the consumers, [00:15:00] like kind of end goal of where they want to ride the bike in the material. If you want that style bike, then got the choice of material, whether it’s a choice, but there’s a budget wherever it’s a choice because of, it’s just a choice from the heart kind of steel to titanium because you like.
[00:15:14] a more kind of classic material, always performance based, you can choose either of those frame materials and you’re not hindered by a different geometry or something
[00:15:24] like that.
[00:15:24] Craig Dalton: [00:15:24] That’s a perfect segue into my next question, which is going specifically into the gravel range and talking about, as you just alluded to rebel offers an aluminum model, a carbon model, and a titanium model.
[00:15:38] Can you talk through, if you were talking to a customer, how they should think about those different frame materials and what the effect might be on performance and budget.
[00:15:46]Obviously budget wise that element is always the starting point. And, I say a bit because you’re on a budget or a lot of people, maybe it’s the plus one as an entry into the gravel.
[00:15:58]And again, a lot of it is depends on what your end usages. We say a lot of titaniums definitely back with the boom, with titanium sales across all models has grown dramatically over the last year and half, but obviously gravel and the CGR models. It’s it’s a material that really lends itself to it, for its durability.
[00:16:18] It’s got a perfect properties with, a bit of compliance for off-road riding carbon. Again, it’s maybe firat from outside possibly one of the kind of slower responding the ones. But I [00:16:30] think because of it is probably seen as more of a race bike. It does have the attributes, outcome bike takes all of the attributes of our SLR road frame, which is that the front of our men’s and women’s use are proteins.
[00:16:43]It’s you know, it’s at the same, is it the same two profiles? Carbon lapses are high end road bikes. It’s got aerodynamic attributes to it. But obviously until things like mass participation events and natural gravel racing, take part maybe there isn’t such a need for that kind of bike.
[00:16:58] Whereas at the moment it is more a do it all bike. The aloe and the titanium are popular.
[00:17:04]With it, I noticed aesthetically, one of the signature marks of the rebel design on the gravel is a drop stay. Is there a performance benefit to that design?
[00:17:15]Jamie Burrow: [00:17:15] Yeah, not just to calm the gravels across the whole range, it’s it is obviously there is the assessment side to it, but the compliance, it does offer a more comfortable ride.
[00:17:26]Yeah, especially on the insurance products on the driver bikes and the CGR.
[00:17:29] Craig Dalton: [00:17:29] And does that translate to the aluminum offering as well as their sort of tuning of the frame material that can allow? I know aluminum has the reputation of being incredibly stiff and harsh. Can you design in some of the, some subtleness to that rear end on the aluminum bike as well?
[00:17:46] Jamie Burrow: [00:17:46] Yeah, you can from obviously the shape of the seat stays. And another thing that is very popular is. No, as you can do with that bite value is things like the carbon seatpost carbon safe bikes is one of the most popular upgrades yeah. [00:18:00] On the Aluminium bikes, because the job stay along with the compost.
[00:18:03] It does give you a notable difference in flex and comfort.
[00:18:07] Craig Dalton: [00:18:07] Yeah. I was always surprised by that. I had a hard tail mountain bike from I think BMC back in the day and they had a drop stay and had a carbon post and the suppleness is notable and it’s not disconcerting. And I think certainly for the gravel side of things, you need to look at all these elements to get the suppleness that you’re looking for in the bike.
[00:18:30] Jamie Burrow: [00:18:30] That’s what I mean. And I think one of the main, probably the biggest difference, the biggest, fastest growing trend across all bikes at the moment is tire size. In an age con you think how long we were on kind of 19 to 21, 23 mill tires for years and years. And then it went 25, 28, 32 on road bikes very quickly.
[00:18:51]I don’t think we long before. Maybe outside of racing, a 32 mil tire is pretty much the standard, even on the road, for comfort and using the tires as well as part of your compliance. I was still on the graphic bikes. You’ve definitely got that.
[00:19:06] Craig Dalton: [00:19:06] Yeah, you’re absolutely right.
[00:19:08] As far as tire clearance goes on the gravel range, is there a difference between the CGR models and the gravel models in terms of tire clearance?
[00:19:16] Jamie Burrow: [00:19:16] They’re both 45 mil with guards with
[00:19:19] Craig Dalton: [00:19:19] 700. Is that 700 C.
[00:19:21] Jamie Burrow: [00:19:21] 700 C and a 47 by six 50.
[00:19:25] Craig Dalton: [00:19:25] Okay, great. And, And do you see that for UK riding, is that sort of size [00:19:30] range pretty much covered the gamut of the type of terrain you’ll get into in the UK?
[00:19:34]Jamie Burrow: [00:19:34] It does in the UK? Definitely. Yeah. I know some brands are out 50 mil but I think for the UK 45 mil definitely covers it.
[00:19:42]Craig Dalton: [00:19:42] Speaking about the UK market. I’m curious since we’ve had a few guests on from the UK, but I’m just curious about the UK gravel market. In general you mentioned a couple notable events.
[00:19:53] What are some of the other ones that, that people outside the UK should have on their calendar of interest?
[00:19:58]Jamie Burrow: [00:19:58] It is still very new over here. Seven going on right now is the Tuscany trail. So not in the UK, but obviously in Italy. And that’s dubbed as being the biggest pot packing event in the world.
[00:20:08]And sounds like a cool event. Some at the moment, we’ve got day reliever. I did that myself two years ago. Last year. Honestly, that’s canceled it. I don’t know, two years ago. And. That was a great event. And that really does show the popularity and the growing popularity.
[00:20:22] Craig Dalton: [00:20:22] Is that a single day event?
[00:20:23] Jamie Burrow: [00:20:23] The Dirty Reiver? Yeah. Similar events that there’s a hundred Ks, the short one and 200, just to fall for distance. That’s up in the north of England. And it’s all on nice fire tracks. It’s not too technical, but it’s 200 K never crosses the same. Same track twice, obviously for the UK, that’s pretty amazing to do 200 K in effectively one big loop.
[00:20:45]And the kind of event that I think it, entry sold out within two or three days. So that kind of thing is obviously that’s, what’s going to be, I’m pretty sure that it’s going to be the new, big thing. And as I think if we hadn’t have had the everything locked down last year, we would have [00:21:00] seen already a massive increase in events.
[00:21:02] Yeah, I
[00:21:02] Craig Dalton: [00:21:02] think you’re right that last year it was just EV all the trends were telling us that every event was going to be challenging to get into. And there were going to be some massive new ones on the calendar. So there is so much pent up demand. And as you’ve mentioned, as a lot of bikes got under people’s bodies this past year in the pandemic, and they’re just re waiting to take them out on some sort of event.
[00:21:25] Jamie Burrow: [00:21:25] Sorry. Yeah, because one is even seeing where people are riding them, just fun, social writing. Cause we don’t really, apart from, that area in the north of England, they say there’s hundreds of kilometers of travels to ride. But for the rest of the UK, it’s, I’ve a canal path, tow paths, which are obviously very basic terrain.
[00:21:45] Otherwise it’s taken it on effective mountain bike trails. We don’t have to. Hundreds of kilometers of kind of white roads that you know, you guys probably do. And so you see it in a complete different style of what is driving a ride in one of the guys? It works real well. He runs one of the biggest forums gravel writers in the UK.
[00:22:05] And he was saying he was at the weekend and he was on a effectively, a mountain bike trail and everyone was surprised that he was there and he’s governed by it. What are you doing on there, on that bike?
[00:22:13]Craig Dalton: [00:22:13] Yeah, I think it’s funny. Cause you can, a lot of, in a lot of situations like that, you can ride your gravel bike to the mountain bike area, ride the loop and then ride home.
[00:22:23] Whereas the mountain bikers are all getting in their car and cruising over to begin with. Yeah. So that’s exciting. Is rebel [00:22:30] involved in any of the events specifically as a sponsor? No, sir.
[00:22:33]Jamie Burrow: [00:22:33] Not at the moment. I think basically because. I think over here, yes, events have started to take place again, but so many events are still on the even events are happening.
[00:22:47] It’s so touch and go down to the last minute, wherever they’re going ahead or not. So we’ve, I think generally we took a bit of a back step on events over the last year. We had a big events plan for last year, which the whole thing had to be canceled. And obviously sales were so good last year.
[00:23:03] Anyway, that. Between the events canceled and sales gamble, our focus has changed in other than once things do to return to normal or we’ll be back, we had even talked about things like that, raver and having a presence there because and we know are important, they will be moving forwards.
[00:23:18]Craig Dalton: [00:23:18] Yeah. We’re just starting to see, I think this month here, June in the U S that the big events are starting to kick off again. We’re fortunate that vaccination rollout’s been pretty strong here in the U S so a lot of people have gotten the vaccination shots. So Unbound formerly dirty Kanza is actually going off probably the weekend before this episode roll release.
[00:23:38] So we’ll see. That’s really the first one. I think that’s going to kick off the very, very major events here in the U S side.
[00:23:45]Jamie Burrow: [00:23:45] Yeah. Yeah. I think we’re a, seems to be time trial and that’s pretty much the only one that’s got the guaranteed participation and
[00:23:53]provided it’s a bit more difficult.
[00:23:56] Craig Dalton: [00:23:56] Yeah, absolutely. time-traveling has had a rich history [00:24:00] in the UK. It’s so different than it is here in the U S I know time-traveling used to be just part of my father’s youth growing up every week, he would go visit the county time trial and try to rip out a good time.
[00:24:11] Jamie Burrow: [00:24:11] Yeah, I think you can probably ride a club time trial every day of the week in the UK somewhere.
[00:24:17]Craig Dalton: [00:24:17] That’s amazing for the Ribble brand. Are you selling across Europe and across the world at this point?
[00:24:24] Jamie Burrow: [00:24:24] Yes, we are. Obviously UK is still the biggest market, but we definitely have expanded globally.
[00:24:29] Us is probably the largest growing outside of the UK. What else should we be seen? A pre even pre pandemic growth into a lot of other countries where we hadn’t previously touched on which is good to see because it has been all natural growth, we’ve not actually done any real targeted marketing for any particular kind of territory outside of the UK.
[00:24:51] So any growth has been No it’s come naturally, which is obviously very promising.
[00:24:56] Craig Dalton: [00:24:56] Yeah. I think you’d get a, like a heightened level of commitment from the riders when they’ve found you naturally, they fall in love with the brand. They get it underneath them. They’re going to be very passionate users.
[00:25:06] Jamie Burrow: [00:25:06] That’s right. Yeah. I think from why then I think one, the products that helped us was probably our eBike range. When we started our e-bike range, basically we knew that whole range in one go. And one of the key bikes, like a bit on the gravel within Europe, UK was probably the slightest responder in the bike market were Northern Europe, particularly places like Germany, [00:25:30] the e-bikes as a non biker as a everyday hybrid commuter and become kind of a.
[00:25:36] And everyday thing the years in UK was such a popular trend and we reverse things in a way by starting with a lightweight carbon bike to fit in with our heritage as as a road brand, but reverse the trends of way through announcers during my starting with mountain bikes and hybrid bikes, and then going towards rode bikes.
[00:25:55]But I think in doing so, and I think when we launched it, we launched the light is carbon e-bike in the world. I think that puts us on the map as a brand, whether customers are interested in an e-bike or not. And I think that bike helped drive awareness of the brand. And from there, we’ve obviously just seen it grow and grow in all sectors.
[00:26:15] Craig Dalton: [00:26:15] Interesting one final question. One of the big challenges for the entire industry has been supply chain and componentry and getting your hands on the parts. You need to get these bikes out the door. How are you feeling about the current state of supply chain and how are you guys looking for inventory at this point?
[00:26:31] If listeners are interested in picking up a gravel bike?
[00:26:34]Jamie Burrow: [00:26:34] Yeah, it is, it’s difficult as it is with everyone. I think we are probably one of the best placed. Out there. And a lot of it, because we were very fast to respond, which was good. But the key thing is the fact that because of our bodybuilder and every bike is built to order, we’re not running a model years or catalog of models where if you’re going to have that model, and then that was the [00:27:00] invention for that year, then you’re stuck.
[00:27:02] We can make those small changes, even if it’s for a lot of people, it could be that bike and that spec. It might be the tires that are in that bike that they’re taking the lead time from being next month to be in seven months. And because they are built one bites, one mechanic, we can just seem to call up the customer and say, look, you want to change your tires.
[00:27:23] You can have that by next month. You can just where you see the dates on the website and then, you might see it by this kind of five, six month lead time, but it can be that one part. And we have got that flexibility too. To change that one part. And they say sometimes is as simple as, a tire handlebar tape, anything like that.
[00:27:40] And, we can respond to that by switching these parts out which is one of the ways trying to stay on top of all the time to make. So we’ve always got these parts available, but, even if it is a bike that you’ve ordered and then that one part is a difficulty, we will contact the customer and let them know, you can change this by how you’re gonna have your bike a lot sooner.
[00:27:59] Which is something that not many other people have gone on the error on their side.
[00:28:06] Craig Dalton: [00:28:06] That’s very true. I hadn’t thought about it that way, but if you’re a big through the independent bicycle retailer channel and you show that you’ve got a pan eraser tire and you don’t have a Panner racer tire, All of a sudden you can’t ship that bike because it’s false advertising or what have you.
[00:28:22] And if everything becomes crazy and you can’t get it out the door, I love that. I also love what you noted earlier about how [00:28:30] much data you get in real time from the customer. If they’re moving towards flared bars or bigger tires, all these things really makes the Ribble business model interesting and flexible.
[00:28:41] So that was super exciting to learn about that. And I encourage the listener to go to rebels website, play around with the bike configurator. It’s just a lot of fun because it forces you to think through what’s the ideal bike from me because you’re not buying off a catalog. You’re buying the bike that’s built for you.
[00:28:59]Jamie Burrow: [00:28:59] That’s right. Yeah. And even downtown see the custom color. And that’s been a real interesting experience in seeing where people have spend extra money on color over something that a more experienced person to say I’ve gone back to the kind of the age old thing of upgrading your wheels is always going to be one of the first things you should always do on a bike.
[00:29:22]But maybe taking a fairly basic spec drive chain and we’ll set, but then they’ll spend a fair amount of money on out in the color. And, we see that all the time and it’s one of those things, in my head, I would think, I don’t know, why would you do that? But then you see it more and more.
[00:29:38] And, obviously by having the bikes built here on premises ones where a mechanic, you walk for every day and you just see. What colors people are going for what specs and so interested in seeing what people are going for. Cause it’s, they have got the freedom to do pretty much what they want.
[00:29:53] Craig Dalton: [00:29:53] Yeah. I love that. I love that. I had a manufacturing facility myself and some days I would see the custom work going out the door and [00:30:00] think, God, that person’s crazy for picking that color way. And other times I would see combinations that would never have dawned on me and think that is absolutely brilliant.
[00:30:09] What a great idea.
[00:30:11] Jamie Burrow: [00:30:11] Yeah. When we launched out. Few months back, we launched our CGR step-through e-bike. And one of the first ones. So on the shop floor was, had been aspect to carbon wheels, carbon bars, you would never find a pre -spec step through by we’ve covered wheels, cotton ball.
[00:30:29] I don’t think in any brand in the world, obviously someone out there maybe for mobility reasons needed. Step through for, even ease of getting on and off the bike, but didn’t mean to say they weren’t after a high-end performance bike, so why not put the to carbon wheels and carbon bonds on it?
[00:30:48] Craig Dalton: [00:30:48] Yeah. Why not? Jamie, I appreciate all the time. It was great to get to know you a little bit and get to know the Ribble brand.
[00:30:54]Big, thanks to Jamie for joining the show this week and telling us all about the Ribble brand. Very excited about what they’re working on and very excited to get one underneath me and myself. Keep following me on Instagram. And you may see me on one of their gravel bikes sometime soon.
[00:31:10]This week, my big ask for you is if you’ve got a gravel cycling friend, please share this episode with them or one of my other episodes.
[00:31:16]I’m always looking to connect with new riders and hopefully provide a little bit of help in their journey to become gravel, cyclists. Until next time here’s to finding some dirt onto your wheels
The Gravel Ride Podcast