During all this we've also been quietly working on a new partnership, one that will give us more time to innovate and refine products, and will improve the level of customer service that our online customers receive.
We're excited to announce that Bike Shop Hub is now the exclusive online dealer of Xtracycle accessories and FreeRadicals, and we are transferring all of our e-commerce operations to them.
And yes, that means that we no longer sell direct-to-consumer. Pretty hard to fathom for us the day when we would sell only to dealers. For perhaps a bit too long we have held on to the firm belief that growing the LongTail cargo bike movement required selling direct to your doorstep - we are now seeing that the tide has turned. Bike shops everywhere are welcoming our product on their floor, and major newspapers (ahem, Wall Street Journal) are claiming LongTails the "New Station Wagon."
Xtracycle will still service our pre-existing customers warranty issues and questions, but you will definitely find that our business is orienting towards empowering and training our dealers to serve you better. We see Bike Trailer Shop as a critical piece of this puzzle. They are a trusted long-time partner and believer in the movement, and they care more about the mission than the money. For that reason, they have agreed to partner with us even though we require that they do not run specials on our products that are independent from our physical bike shops, and they charge shipping on all our product sales through their site. These efforts are desgined to encourage customers to visit physical dealers first, and if they can't help you get your needs met, leverage the incredible e-commerce platform that Bike Trailer Shop has built.
Bike Shop Hub has been selling Xtracycle products for years and is well-versed in supporting the FreeRadical - they stock all of the Xtracycle repair parts, making it easy to get a set of French Nuts when you're on tour, or a hard to get accessory that dealers don't stock. They have a great track record of helping customers, shipping on time, managing backorders, and helping to build the bike community.
Both of our companies are based on the idea that bikes can and should be used for transportation, and that the ability to carry cargo by bike means more bike rides and more car-free miles. Together we hope to make it easier to get and maintain your Xtracycle FreeRadical in the places that don't yet have a dealer.
Bike Shop Hub doesn't sell or ship our bikes, since those still need to be assembled by a mechanic - and serviced by a shop over time. So please don't ask them to send you an EdgeRunner or CargoJoe. They will probably try to sell you a FreeRadical.
To read more about this partnership, you can download a .pdf of their press release here.