Santa Fe, NM – May 3, 2010 – Prospective Commencal buyers should prepare themselves for a case of whiplash this spring. Prices on Commencal’s top models of complete bikes have just fallen by an average of 15 percent. But lower pricing is only part of the story. Commencal wants to give customers the opportunity to build their ideal bike from the frame up, with a wider variety of options for every part of the bike – right down to the grips. The idea is not new, but the depth of choice is unprecedented.
Commencal’s exclusive US importer, BTI has launched its much anticipated Total Choice™ – a powerful, web-based custom bike builder that enables bike shops to take advantage the distributor’s enormous selection of top name components. Total Choice is designed to serve as a bridge between bike brands, local shops and the consumer allowing dealers and their customers to design, collaborate and order fully custom bikes online.
Commencal is determined to offer not only a unique, highly engineered product but a unique way of buying bikes. Commencal’s global marketing strategy relies on its international distributors, like BTI, to explore ways to adapt the brand to fit into their local market. “BTI’s Total Choice allows us to offer our customers what we know best: a perfect racing chassis with high-performance suspension that is specially designed and tuned for aggressive riding,” says Commencal Europe’s director of International Marketing, Marion Alexandre. Total Choice™ empowers Commencal’s US customers to select the components that suit their specific riding styles.
With over a year of development and programming, BTI has invested significant effort in making Total Choice™ both user friendly and flexible. Other bike brands that have custom builder programs, but BTI’s diverse component selection is unmatched. The devil is in the details – in programming Total Choice, BTI has gone further than its predecessors, identifying 24 potential areas for customization on a typical XC bike. A prospective buyer can, for instance, choose from 10 or more model-specific forks for a given cross country bike, including Fox Racing Shox at special OEM prices. With Total Choice, every configuration imaginable becomes ‘stock’ – delivered to the dealer for assembly. Dealers can also opt for a modestly priced in-house bike assembly service provided by BTI’s Factory Service Center.
According to Commencal USA Brand Manager Michael Raney, “the inspiration for this program really comes from the enthusiast buyer. We set out to get them involved in the excitement of building a high-end bike in a way that was impossible before the web.” A consumer version of Total Choice embedded directly into the Commencal-USA website gives the customer access to many of the same tools available to the retailer, minus wholesale pricing. Built-in social networking makes it easy to build a fantasy bike and share it online with riding buddies, or the user can print the configuration and take it to their local shop to order. “This is a game changer, putting the power traditionally given to the bike manufacturer into the hands of the rider and the independent bike shop. The customer takes home the bike they really want – so everybody wins.”
“As consumers we want all the choice we can get, but this desire is often at odds with the traditional model of selling bikes, which depends upon limiting options and strict inventory management to remain profitable. Total Choice offers a compromise by providing a just-in-time model for selling bikes,” says Preston Martin, BTI co-founder and Vice President. “Total Choice is a valuable tool that a bike shop can to use to satisfy their most discriminating customers.”
Commencal’s Total Choice™ consumer portal is now publicly accessible. Venerable Italian cycling brand Cinelli will roll out its selection of Total Choice enabled road bikes in the next few weeks, and a re-launching of Voodoo Cycle’s site in the works for mid-summer. We invite you to take Total Choice™ for a spin yourself at www.commencal-usa.com or if you are a dealer, visit BTI-USA.com.
source: Bill Lane