By blackmountaincycles,

Filed under: Shop stuff

With 2017, the shop is entering its 10th year.  Ten years!  Dang, that went by fast.  It’s reported that only about 1/2 of all small businesses will reach a 5-year anniversary and only about 1/3 survive 10 years.  Not playing with favorable odds from the get-go.  But here it is and it’s time to reevaluate the focus of the shop.

Not long after I opened, Grant Peterson from Rivendell came by the shop and asked me “what’s your focus.”  Well, I’m not sure.  It’s a bike shop so I’ve got inventory for bike riders – you know, lights, racks, tires, maps, seat bags, pedals…  But what’s your focus?  Who is your customer?  You can’t be everything to everyone – especially since the shop is in a small, rural market.

The focus is the Black Mountain Cycles range of frames and parts/accessories that enhances them.  And because of that, 2017 will be a year of refocusing.  I’ve got a fair amount of inventory of stuff that seems to collect dust waiting for that one person who steps into the shop and needs that one item.  While it’s great to be able to make that one person happy, carrying that inventory comes at a cost, a real cost and a virtual cost.  The virtual cost is me having to look at the clutter every day.  Why the heck did I buy that only to have dust from my dirt parking lot settle on it.  Dusting sucks.  Dusting a whole bunch of small things sucks even more.  Can’t someone just buy this?  Why do I have so many of this item?  Why do I even have that?  Oh yeah, I probably sold a couple in quick succession and then thought, well, I better stock up on this one.  Not too smart, there, Mike.

So, 2017 will be a year of refocusing.  Reorganizing.  Reselling.  The focus of Black Mountain Cycles is Black Mountain Cycles.  It’s a bit premature to think I could turn the Black Mountain Cycles brand into a stand-alone bike brand without the retail space.  The retail space gives the brand a unique position and a space for folks to come into the shop and check out the collection of vintage road and mountain bikes and maybe pick up something from the stuff I’m going to want to liberate in my refocus effort.  Need a Cue Clip?  I got some that I need to see disappear.  Need a first-gen Shimano R600 50/34 compact 9 speed crankset?  Yeah, that’s got to go too (and it works fine with 10-speed too).  There’s lots more.  Too much to list so for the time being, there’s just going to be a table full of stuff that seriously needs to find a new home.  Shifters, derailleurs, fenders, panniers, seats, tires, handlebars, forks, 10spd wheels…  If you’re in the area and need something, please stop in.  I’ll pour you some coffee and you can peruse the stuff.

In the mean time, framesets keep moving out the door.  The new run of black and red cross frames are moving out steadily (if you’re thinking about a 56cm size, don’t think too long, they’re almost gone).  I’ve got more road frames on order (estimated June/July arrival) because it seems a review in “Bicycling Magazine” does give sales a bump up.  And in between it all, I’m working on some new frames.  More later.  In the mean time, here’s a couple of shots of the shop from today and from a few days before officially opening.  Just a little change.

new shop

The shop a few days before officially opening in 2007.

Shop view 2017-03-02

The shop as it looks in 2017.

(What’s playing:  Ken Booth Everything I Own)

40 responses to “(Re)Focus”

  1. John nigri says:

    Any bro deals on a 54 cm road frame??
    Never hurts to ask!!

  2. christiaan van zyl says:

    Mike congrats! I promise that I will get to visit BEFORE you celebrate the next 10! I have to see the home of my fine BMC Road machine. 10 000M on mine now, and the bike still gets regular looks and compliments – Thank You. And I still look at it on the stand after I wipe it down post-ride and congratulate myself with the smart choice I made!
    From the side-lines you seem to be doing most things right most of the time, you have an intuitive feel for what your market wants and needs, and it reminds me of the anti-advertising sentiment: “Show me, don’t tell me.” In the short time that I have know Black Mountain Cycles you have provided me a with an excellent product, great service, and given me no BS advice each time I asked.
    You deserve ALL the success that you are having – CHEERS to your first 10 years!

  3. Phil A Barnidge says:

    Congratulations! That is for sure a tremendous milestone.
    As a consumer I have to admit, that a walk through your store was like walking through candy land.
    As a marketing consultant, I have been preaching what you discussed for years. “FOCUS. And then, REFOCUS!” You just can’t be successful being all things to all people… And be happy.
    I love my MonsterCross. Keep doing what you do best.
    That reminds me, I need to order that fork! I mean get back to work.

  4. Jeff Bailey says:

    Good work Mike! Isn’t it amazing how much “no longer useful” inventory builds up? I think you’re doing a great job and the frames rock!

  5. christian says:


    When you get more road frames in, will you be getting any spare forks with the newer fork crown design as you did with the monstercross frames? I love mine https://flic.kr/p/MxKo1L as-is, but was thinking that the newer fork might make wider fender mounting simpler.

  6. Nik says:

    Congratulations on 10 years, Mike. That is some undertaking in such a small community. And you’ve still got that case of Mickeys under the bench after all these years. I will personally remove those when I next visit 😉

  7. Craig Groseth says:

    Congratulations, Mike! A real milestone worthy of note! I’m glad to hear that the Black Mountain Cycles focus will continue to be Black Mountain Cycles frames. They’re GREAT! As you know, my Black Mountain monster cross is my go-to bike for all kinds of adventures. If it ever is replaced, it will be another Black Mountain. And if I lived closer, I’d ride by this weekend to say “Howdy” and help reduce your clutter. Happy Trails, Mike. Here’s to another ten years.

  8. Andrew Mallchok says:

    Less is more…..
    Could that be a Black 58cm
    In the stand ?

  9. Guitar Ted says:

    Congratulations, Mike. I’ve been following along since the beginning. It really is too bad that I live so far away and have never been to the shop. I hope to check that off the bucket list.

    Thanks for all you do regardless. I don’t have to remind you about my feelings for my BMC frame and fork…..

    Looking forward to your next ten years!

  10. Joe says:

    Mike, Any plans to add a second color to the upcoming order of road frames? I know there’s a storied history behind the orange color it’s just not a color for me though. Thanks.

    • blackmountaincycles says:

      Joe, maybe down the road I’ll have a new color, but for this next run, it’s more of the same orange. Space limitations are the limiting factor.

  11. Tim says:

    I’m almost too afraid to ask, but I really hope the big couch doesn’t become a victim of this refocusing effort….

    Good job on the ten year anniversary, here’s to many more.

  12. David Mathews says:

    Congratulations on ten years, Mike. Lots of other folks have said this, but I get lots of compliments on the blue road bike you built up for me, which is very cool. But riding it is cooler – still the best bike I’ve ever owned.

  13. Mike Hare says:

    I loved reading this Mike. It sounds like your 2nd decade will be exciting and I hope to follow it into my 8th decade. My orange Black Mountain road is just great, looking, riding and at making me smile. I’m downsizing again and really appreciate the “why did I ever buy this” feeling. I just hope I can get the bike box down to about a shoe box. Best to you and thanks for all your help and advice.

  14. Kurt Manley says:

    Congrats Mike! Thanks for making such rad bikes and for all the incredible service and advice you’ve given me! Hope you get many more years of happiness at the shop!

  15. Kurt says:

    Dear Mike: Congrats on surviving the so called valley of death. Have you tried that new Whisky parts Road fork on your road frame yet? When can I put my money down for a 56 Road frame?

    • blackmountaincycles says:

      Thanks, Kurt. I added your name to a list of folks who would like to be notified when the 56cm frames arrive. Once I get more info on production schedules, I’ll put up a page in my webstore for deposits.

  16. Kurt says:

    Dear Mike: much appreciated. How abou that Whisky Parts No.7 Road fork?

  17. Kurt says:

    Dear Mike: It is a carbon road fork for long reach brakes. It has been specified on the new all city Mr Pink. But on a blog for this fork, I saw a Black Mountain Cycles Road owner comment on The Radavist website that they bought one and really liked it, (http://theradavist.com/2017/01/whisky-parts-co-no-7-road-fork/ ). I just assumed some of your road bike clients must have asked you for this part on your complete builds… Hence my question, what do you think? Worth the upgrade? in advance many thanks for your feedback.

    • blackmountaincycles says:

      I saw that this fork was available, but I’ve no experience with it to provide an honest response regarding this fork. I may need to get one for my bike to find out.

  18. jean boulanger says:

    Mike, so happy we got to be part of your story. Thank you for welcoming us to CA ten+ years ago. Sami looks adorable with that price gun!!


  19. Dan S. says:

    I’m one of the folks who found out about you via the Bicycling Mag article. I thinking about buying one of your 60cm Road V3 frames this spring. I plan to swap out my recent Shimano 105 5800 11spd groupset from a different bike and put it on the V3. Other than needing to buy long reach calipers, do you see any issues with that compatibility? thanks!

    • blackmountaincycles says:

      Thanks. There shouldn’t be any issues transferring parts. If your f/d is 31.8 clamp size, you’ll need to shim it down to 28.6mm. If the f/d is braze-on, you’ll need a braze-on adapter for 28.6. Seat post is 27.2 and it takes a standard 1 1/8″ threadless headset. Let me know if I can answer any other questions. Best by email, though – blackmtncycles (at) gmail

  20. Philip Williamson says:

    Congratulations on ten years! I’ll try to stop by this weekend and say hi. The old XTR crank from your back stock was a nice upgrade for my Bontrager.

  21. David says:

    Hi, I walked into your shop about a year ago. I’ve been riding bikes happily my whole life, but have already really started building or maintaining my own bikes over the last couple of years, and had no expectations about your shop or frames when I walked in. I just happened to be in Point Reyes Station for the weekend, but greatly enjoyed seeing your bike collection, the bike you were building up, and chatting with you about your frames. Since then, I’ve only read rave reviews of your frames, and am happy to think of your bikes coming from that shop. Congratulations on hitting this marker of success!

    From that visit, one thing that I think would really enhance the experience of your retail space quite a bit is this: if you had some frames or bikes built up to test-ride. I visited your shop without much knowledge of your frames, but after visiting your shop, I did a bunch of research on your frames versus others in similar categories. What stops me from pulling the trigger is that I don’t know where I could test-ride one, and therefore can’t bring myself yet to buy yours (except for rave reviews, which at the end of the day aren’t enough for me). I know it costs space and some depreciation value to offer that experience, but I’m guessing if I or other people come all the way out and were to test-ride it in your happy shop, you would sell more to make up the difference. You have more bicycle industry experience and might have already thought of the cons, but I guess I’m still thinking about how to test-ride one before I get one.

    • blackmountaincycles says:

      Thank you for the feedback. Building a fleet of bikes available for test ride is a good idea. And I do tend to build up some bikes as my time permits and as my supply permits. However, the amount of frames I bring in at any one time is very, very small and it’s not easy to set aside a number of them for complete bikes to build on spec and keep in the shop. At the moment I have two bikes set up for possible test rides (which can realistically only be 5 minutes or so). I have had these bikes built as display/test bikes for at least the past year and in that time, neither bike has been taken out for a test ride. It’s not realistic for me based on the size of my company, the space I have inside my store, and time/resources to build bikes of each size from each production run. Maybe in the future, this is something that can be done.

  22. Darren says:

    Hi Mike

    I inquired about a year ago about the prospect of you doing a disc frameset, and here we are a year later… any thoughts on this? You had said it was likely to happen but not for at least another year!

    I love your bikes, but hey, I’m a disc. Take guy 🙂

    • blackmountaincycles says:

      Darren, disc frames are happening. I’ve had a time to ride the first samples and am waiting for a second sample before I confirm it for production. Early 2018 is my goal.

  23. Darren says:

    Oops! A ‘disc brake’ guy!!

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