Introduction by Francis Cebedo:
Santa Cruz has been knocking them out of the park lately. Word on the street is their office is right beside Verve Coffee headquarters and that has kept them awake and kept the ideas flowing. Their latest venture is custom colors for their frames. We chatted with Mike Ferrentino (aka MtotheF) and got some insight on their new offering.
Mtbr: Where are these painted?
MtotheF: they are powdercoated right here in santa cruz. going forward, we’re offering two stock colors on every model, aluminum or carbon fiber, and the custom color choice program is a way to ensure that we still offer a wide range of choice for people who want something other than stock.
Mtbr: Why now?
MtotheF: well, there are a few reasons. we’ve always done all our own powdercoating here in santa cruz. however, the move to carbon fiber, as well as the push to stock colors, meant that we were having wet paint done in asia instead. you can’t powdercoat carbon fiber, and the stock colors are a way to make life easier for our dealers. offering six or seven stock powdercoat colors on our bikes previously meant that dealers would more often than not get stuck with exactly the wrong color bike on the floor. offering options is good, but think of it from a dealer’s perspective – what color do you gamble on bringing in to the showroom? so, by trimming down to two stock colors, we end up a little bit more like what most other bike companies are offering. this hopefully makes our line more appealing to dealers from a showroom floor perspective.
but if we limit everything to two stock colors, then we blow it with regard to one of our trademarks as a brand – freedom of choice. hence the custom color choice program. and instead of offering six or so colors, we’re offering twelve, with two colors of clearcoat, four styles of decal, five colors of decal, and making each single one to order.
Mtbr: What has made this possible?
MtotheF: it isn’t anything we weren’t already capable of doing as far as equipment and technology. but if we were to try and apply the program to every single one of our bikes, the powdercoat process would end up being a pretty major chokepoint as far as getting bikes out the door.
Mtbr: How much longer does it take?
MtotheF: if we have the raw frames in stock, it shouldn’t add more than a few extra days to our current order turnaround time. bear in mind that these have to be ordered through a santa cruz dealer though, and the timeframe i am referencing here is based on when that final order hits our production department.
Freedom Of Choice!
We’ve been wrestling this toward the light of day for many months now, and are proud to finally introduce the new Custom Color Choice Program, or CCCP for short. Brand new for Santa Cruz Bicycles, CCCP is a custom powdercoat program available on most of our aluminum models, offering customers the ability to choose the finish of their bikes from an array of options that can be factored into the thousands! Each and every CCCP bike is finished by hand, right here in Santa Cruz, California. Here’s what it entails:
The CCCP is already available on SIX of our models: Jackal, Chameleon, Highball, Blur LT, Tallboy, and Nomad. As we introduce new aluminum models, they will be incorporated into the CCCP. Sorry, we can’t apply this to carbon fiber bikes (because carbon fiber bikes aren’t powdercoated). In the bike builder, select your model, then click on the CCCP icon to get started.
Each CCCP frame can be finished in one of TWO different clear coat options: Gloss or satin. The gloss finish deepens the luster of the entire powdercoat/decal combination, makes the metallic and trans color options pop harder, whereas the satin finish mutes the final color choices, and makes for a more stealth look.
We are offering TWELVE colors initially, from subtle to loud, mild to wild. This is just the start, in more than one sense. We plan on regularly introducing new colors, so this will be a constantly evolving part of our Bike Builder.
Once you’ve selected clear coat and color, there are FOUR styles of decal on tap for the introduction of CCCP: Large strip, small strip, large block and small block. The “strip” designation indicates the classic italicized downtube style we have been using since Day One. The “block” designation represents the style of decal found most recently on the Butcher, Nickel, and Jackal graphics.
The decals mentioned above will be available in FIVE colors: Black, white, red, yellow and silver. As mentioned with powdercoat color options, the colors for decals, as well as the styles of decal available, is likely to expand as the CCCP evolves. All told, the models, colors, decals, decal colors and finish options add up to 2876 potential choices (it’d be 2880 in a perfect world but there are a couple exclusions that we just can’t in good taste let people get away with, sorry).
How does it work?
Simple. Visit the Santa Cruz Bicycles Bike Builder on our website. Select an applicable model, click the CCCP icon, select color, select decal style and color, select a finish, then continue to configure your bike as you would from the rest of our available kit and suspension menus. Or, if you want to purchase a frame only, stop right there, Then visit a Santa Cruz dealer, and ask to Go Custom. They will then fill out a very specific order form that both dealer and customer will need to sign, and then the dealer will submit the order to us. As soon as we receive and confirm the order, we will paint the frame to order, inspect it, build it if the order is for a complete bike, and deliver it to the dealer. CCCP will increase the retail price of full suspension frames by $300, and hardtails by $175. Bear in mind, each CCCP frame is made entirely to order, one at a time, and is a true custom finish of the highest quality.
Go Custom! Visit the Santa Cruz Bicycles Bike Builder and broaden your horizons today.
Additionally, for those who have been asking when our bike builder will be mobile device friendly, check it out! The whole thing now plays nicely with iphones, ipads, tablets, droids, and whatever else people use besides computers to geek out on the interwebs. Our web designer lost all his hair on this one, so kudos are well due. Send him hats to keep his now bald head warm. There are also some nifty share features embedded into the builder now that allow you to show off your build, custom or otherwise, via facebook or twitter. Go forth and be viral.