If you've followed OPEN for a while, you know that we don't do any marketing. No advertising, no sponsorships, nothing. It's not that we are necessarily "against" these things, but when you're a small company determined to stay small, you have to make decisions. And that mostly means deciding NOT to do things. Marketing takes a lot of time, so scrapping it altogether frees up time for other things.
Many people think that without advertising, it's hard to get good reviews (or ANY reviews). But we haven't found that to be the case. To be sure, there are media outlets that require "pay to play" (GCN comes to mind). But there are also a lot of outlets that simply want to review the newest bikes to the best of their abilities, regardless of any advertisement.
You can see it again with the launch of the WI.DE.; many reviews have already appeared online (we started the list on the WI.DE. page
). But a special mention goes to the world's largest bike magazine: Bicycling.
First they gave us an Editor's Choice Award for the U.P.
These Awards are a big thing inside the industry, including an official awards dinner at SeaOtter.
Then they proclaimed the U.P.P.E.R. to be the "Optimum Expression of Wanderlust"
. That's poetry right there.
Last week, they added their first review of the WI.DE.
(we sent the bike in advance to a couple of magazines), which by the way includes a great mix-up. While a shop was building the bike for Bicycling, Schwalbe sent a set of 700x50c tires to see if they would fit. Conclusion: they don't really (they fit but with minimal clearance). But then the bike was boxed up and sent to Bicycling without changing back the tires! And they rode and loved it, although they did mention the toe overlap (no kidding, since to make things worse this all happened on an XS sized WI.DE., which obviously has the shortest front-center to begin with.)
And if all that wasn't enough, they put the U.P.P.E.R. on the cover of what they call their "preposterous, barely-defensible Greatest Bikes Ever Made" issue, with a chance for you to vote for it online.
So if you like your UP or UPPER, feel free to show your support
. You'll have to scroll down a bit past some other bikes, and you can vote any of the other bikes up or down (I upvoted the Pegoretti of course, but that's another story).
As always, thanks for your support, and many more stories to come this month.