15 July 2009

Urban Outfitters custom bikes

Most of the emails I get from Urban Outfitters look like words cut out of construction paper with some glitter thrown in. That in itself is not a problem, but usually if a clothing store sends me emails, I kind of want to see clothing in them – something other than the fact that I got an email has to make me want to click on it.

That's why I thought the imagery in today's email was of the "lifestyle photography /aesthetics" variety. Looking a bit closer, though, I noticed that Urban now has a bike store.

UO bikes

They have nice, candy-like colors, and a few different parts on the bikes that you can apply them to. I spent the next few minutes wasting my time designing one:

My custom bike that I am not buying

Which is pretty cool, since it kept me on their site longer than they ever have with any other email. I have been playing with the idea of being in the market for a bike (I love my own, but it is SO heavy and unwieldy), and this helped me think a little bit about the stuff I should take into consideration, should that idea ever become a reality.

If someone were to want to go all out with customization, this may not be the best place to go: you only seem to be able to get one kind of frame, one style of handlebars, one type of seat, etc. On the other end of the spectrum is Mission Bicycle Company, which lets you customize a bike so incredibly much that you are out of luck if you don't know a ton about how bikes work:

Mission Bicycle Company

So maybe the Urban Outfitters bike shop isn't for a hyper serious cyclist, or one who isn't as picky about building a bike with options in a million different places. It's kind of build-a-bike for beginners, if you will. And you know what, there's nothing wrong with that... it actually kind of fits with how I perceive the brand. I – as pretty much everyone else – have had some issues with Urban Outfitters in the past, but this is one of the more interesting things I've seen them do lately.
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