Who wants to see kit out of action all the time? Nobody.
Eric Golesh, an engineer by trade, has a background in designing and testing fitness equipment that spans more than 20 years. At Stages Cycling he is focused on design engineering for the indoor and outdoor businesses, a critical member of the team who both identifies and implements advancements in cycling product development.
When it comes to the indoor studio industry Eric gets straight to the point: “Who wants to see people working on kit all the time? No one, right? It costs our customers time and money.”
Here we review the features on the SC indoor bike range that Eric and the team find were the biggest hits for Stages’ customers.
“When we design any bike, when we talk about our customers — who are first and foremost studio owners, right? — we design the bike with them in mind. There are always two things that we prioritise: maintenance and easy ‘clean-ability’.
“Studio owners and operators do not want to be worrying about bikes going down, or paying technicians to fix any bikes when they do go down. So it’s our goal to design the most efficient bikes out there: easy to clean and as maintenance-free as possible. The engineering and workmanship that goes into the design and the product development to make that possible and sustainable needs to be pretty advanced.
“I’ll give you a few examples of the aspects of our SC bike series and how they play out in the studio environment.
1. The Stages Drive Train
“The Stages signature drive train was designed to be maintenance free. Best practice recommends some minimal daily cleaning and some silicone spray on the sliders if you want to be really smart about your equipment maintenance, but other than that, you can forget about it once the bike is in the club.
2. Simplified adjustments
“Something we hear a lot from our customers is that they don’t want to seeing sweat “pooling” up anywhere on the bike over the longer-term, so the bike design has to avoid any place where this could happen and the materials have to be extremely stable and last a long time. When we design a bike, accounting for that is HUGE for us.
“Our trademarks — the developments we have made to our adjustment mechanisms (the FitLoc, Sprint Shift, extended fore aft on the handlebars) have all been inspired by market feedback like this, which helps us to advance the experience for the end user.
3. The Stages FitLoc
“We adapted our FitLoc mechanism to allow the club to pre-set the tension and prevent the end user from inadvertently misadjusting the handle bars and saddle. This means that for the end user, the experience is consistent and more reliable across the board: push and pull is all you have to do.
“Lock it in and you’re on the bike and going.”
4. The Stages SprintShift
“From a functionality standpoint, when I talk to instructors and go to studios, no kidding, nine times out of ten, the SprintShift is the first thing they’re all about. I have had instructors at studios where ninety percent of their programming includes interval training tell me: “I go ride on a bike without a SprintShift now and I just don’t know what to do!”
“The SprintShift mechanism is reliable and durable and stands up really well to sweat.
5. The Saddle
“A smooth and comfortable ride is such an important part of our design DNA, and the saddle is a huge part of that. The saddle is something we’ve always gotten some real feedback on — especially from women. We did a ton of testing during the design process. We utilised a woman’s traditional cycling saddle as a base design, shortening the overall length and adding a split design down the middle. Improvements in durability means that the saddle is best protected against the risk of splits and cracking and ultimately lasts a lot longer. We have had some great reviews!
6. The Power Meter — Auto Zero Reset
“One big one for our customers: studio teams no longer need to perform monthly maintenance zero resets on the power meter on the SC3 (Stages Indoor Cycling bike fitted with power meter and console as standard). This year we implemented the auto zero reset.
“Between every class when the power meter goes to “sleep”, it does an auto check. The power meter can tell the angle of the crank and calculate the weight of pedal and take that into effect to complete a zero reset all on its own. Our customers can be confident of the accuracy of their riders’ data.
“Our joined up approach with our own customer experience and field teams allows us to move quickly as a business and remain proactive to our customers’ needs. Saving our studio owner customers money in man hours and maintenance isn’t only big for our customers — it’s a big one for us too.”
Next: Learn more ways to save time and money in 2019. Customer Experience Manager Travis Hall has got you covered with his top four maintenance tips so you're set for the start of 2019.