The bike business shifts gears

Shimano and Ideo go tandem on a bike for everyman.

By Michael V. Copeland, Business 2.0 Magazine senior writer

(Business 2.0 Magazine) -- The bicycle industry is going wobbly. Annual sales dipped from $6.2 billion to about $5.8 billion after Lance Armstrong retired in 2005. So Japanese giant Shimano, the Intel of bike components, enlisted top Silicon Valley design shop Ideo to create a bike that would appeal to a vast potential market: people who like the idea of biking, but not the spandex-clad seriousness of bike shops.

The result is now on sale for up to $700 from industry titans Giant, Raleigh, and Trek. Says Trek brand manager Derek Deubel, "We expect it to be a driving force for growth."

1 PEDAL POWER A dynamo in the front hub powers a computer under the frame when you start pumping.

2 HELPING HAND The drivetrain computer senses how hard you're pedaling and shifts gears accordingly.

3 SOLID STOP Coasting brakes, like the ones on your first bike, eliminate those clumsy levers on the handlebars.  Top of page

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