With more and more of the bigger brands going to consumer-direct, other smaller brands are growing out of this new model, offering complete bikes with substantial build kits, in modern geometries, straight to the consumer’s door. Ocoee Bikes has adopted this business practice with three platforms currently; all-road with the Baseline, gravel with the Boundary, and MTB with the Seclud model. Each bike comes in a variety of build kit options, colors, and sizing, allowing the consumer to pick the bike that suits their needs best. Now, this business model does come with some downsides. One of which being by cutting out the middleman – aka the LBS – it will put more pressure on existing shops to adapt to the changing market, something that older shops will have a hard time adjusting to. Another issue is being able to ride one of these bikes before you buy one.
In the end, brands like Ocoee Bikes will continue to pop up and the consumer direct model isn’t going anywhere. This leaves it up to the consumers to support their local shops and the local shops to support the consumers. I will say this, these smaller brands are listening to consumers more than the bigger corporations. Look at the Boundary model. It checks a lot of boxes! A carbon fork with fender and cargo cage mounts. At this point, every single ‘gravel’ bike should have these. Hell, in my opinion, every carbon disc fork should have them! Why is this such a hard thing to adopt? Sheesh.
What are your thoughts on Ocoee Bikes and the consumer direct model?