Feb 26  |  In The Shop 2.26.13

Posted by , February 26th, 2013 at 3:06PM    

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Feb 22  |  Not Going To NAHBS

Posted by , February 22nd, 2013 at 4:41PM    

Last year, instead of going to NAHBS, we made the decision to spend that time looking at and improving everything we do; from how we take care of our customers, to making new tooling and working out smarter ways to build and paint. After a solid year of working on the foundation of Vanilla things are really humming; the way they always should have been, hindsight being 20/20 and all.

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I wish I could talk about massive changes, but in truth we’re talking about little things like creating QC checklists so that we not only have a dialed process, but we stick to it. Things like easy to use diagrams to help a customer get accurate measurements off of their current bike. Little things like making a holiday card to send some love to our Speedvagen and Vanilla family; something that I’ve wanted to do for the last 13 years of business, but never got around to. We also developed new features and technology to better suit our frames like our cross stem with integrated brake line, Di2 battery integration with our seat mast and using carbon in our Speedvagen frames where it really makes sense.

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Launching our US/Japan cyclocross team in 2012 was really special for me. Our Japanese brethren came here for a week to race, party and work on our new team vehicle. Later the US half of the team went to Japan for a life changing couple of weeks and there was a ton of racing in between. A stellar season, all capped off by one team member, Kohey, racing the Cyclocross World Championships in Louisville, KY.

We’re looking forward to 2013. We won’t be at NAHBS in Denver this year but we will be hard at work. Thanks for reading, now, back to the bench.

Best,

Sacha

Feb 18  |  I get it now.

Posted by , February 18th, 2013 at 1:48PM    

For as much brain capacity as I devote full-time to bikes, sometimes it sure feels like I don’t ride them much anymore.

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lonely, trapped in a cold, dark room (more…)

Feb 7  |  It’s the Pits

Posted by , February 7th, 2013 at 2:36PM    

The Super Fans of the cyclocross world are the pits. I mean that in the most admirable way. The pit crews at events like last weekends UCI Cyclocross World Championships in Louisville, KY are a dynamic mix of personalities and skill sets but two things are constant; one, your crew is 100% there for you and two,  you will enter filthy and heavy and leave clean and light.
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As I flipped through the photos I took last weekend I saw a lot of muddy national champions on run ups. The same photos we see all over the front pages and Instagram, and yes those are the athletes and the focus of the day. But, I noticed the anticipation and focus of the pit crews too and wanted to take a minute to recognize the unsung heroes of ‘cross without whom every national champ on the course would be carrying a heavy, mud covered bike with a jammed or sheered rear derailure over the finish line. Thank you!

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Feb 5  |  Quantifying

Posted by , February 5th, 2013 at 4:12PM    

Making is sexy.  Building, forming, shaping, creating.  There’s romance in that.

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Planning, researching, and documenting, however…  These things, I would wager, do not hold the same appeal for most.   (more…)