I don’t know if you recently visited Coasting.com, the website dedicated to the innovation program initiated by Shimano with several bicycle brands like Giant, Trek, Fuji, K2 and even Schwinn (2008). Developped with the innovation firm IDEO, this project intended to bring new consumers to cycling, those who didn’t identify themselves with the technology-driven world of copmetitive cycling. Well, the website now directly brings you to Shimano’s corporate website, Shimano.com.
After contacting Shimano, I found out the whole program had been abandoned – or at least temporarilly stopped. According the Shimano France‘s Mathieu Arrambourg, who was the first to answer my questions, the marketing efforts didn’t generate the expected sales, revealing that customers (and distributors?) were not interested enough in the products. The program, which was exclusively directed to the Northern American market, started in 2007 with Giant, Trek and Raleigh, seven other manufacturers joined the movement in 2008. Heather Abraham from Trek told me that the Lime, Trek’s Coasting model, “is no longer being produced” and that, at this time “nothing new is happening with the Coasting program“.
The Californian headquarters of Giant and Shimano USA haven’t made any statement yet. I understood that the announcement was made to Coasting’s member companies during Taiwan’s Taipei Cycle trade show, and that product managers and other marketing executives couldn not yet communicate on the issue. What ever the statements will look like, I hope that this promising approach of cycling’s marketing won’t be definitively abandonned, because it had (has!) market potential. Imagine what potential there would be in emerging markets like india and China… Or do they really just want cheap cars ?
Feel free to comment or to react !
[…] think about Coasting, it appears that the project is no longer active. Yannig Roth points out in a post on his blog, that the separate website for the program, Coasting.com, now redirects to the Shimano corporate […]
[…] Bummer. I liked the concept and the bikes; my one worry was that at $500-$700 the bikes were too expensive for their target usage. […]
Thanks for the news and investigation Yanning!
I have a feeling they are targeting the wrong population, or the wrong region. If cycling is not already built into their culture, then the possibility for general public (who is not yet drawn into recreational cycling) to enter cycling would be slim with such an upmarket model. For most, a cheap mountain bike looking bike from chain stores is probably sufficient, both in terms of functionality and the debatable “cool” look, and investments and return. We have to face the fact that Cycling Culture is still a niche for now.
But with time, I’m sure what Shimano envisioned with Coasting will come along, but North America will probably not at the forefront.
I wrote an article for my University about the idea of coasting, the innovation of it and the strategic importance of the project for Shimano. Until today I thought that the project was growing, I wrote some e-mails to shimano to ask about it and it´s evolution.
Is great to read your posts, I´ll return for more info about it
Thank you for your comment, if you haven’t seen it make sure to read “What caused Shimano’s Coasting-program to fail ?” I’d be glad to have your point of view on it. Hope to hear from you
[…] research within the bicycle industry, like focus group research from the IDEO group that led to Shimano Coasting. It would be great (hint!) if researchers and advocates could get their mitts on that, and […]
[…] which led to the development of a totally new product: the Coasting group. Eventually this offer did not work on the market, for whatever reason. But it’s an interesting case, and another possible application of […]