Dear Delta 7,
I am so excited about your incredible innovation: The Arantix Mountain Bike, featuring IsoTruss technology! I will post a picture below, so that everyone who reads this open letter can have their minds as thoroughly and completely blown as mine:
Yes, it’s true: your bike frame is teeny tiny threads of carbon fiber and kevlar, making tubes that are mostly air.
Awesome. Hey, let’s take a closer look at that frame, shall we?
I swear, all of us cyclists who really like our bike tubes to double as cheese graters are just going to flip over this thing, Delta 7. And it’s so elegant-looking, too! If I don’t miss my guess, that top-tube is no thicker than my thigh. And the downtube is quite possibly thinner than my waist!
Anyway, Delta 7, I just wanted to write you a letter describing all the ways I think your bike is really cool. You should feel free to use any of these ideas in your marketing material.
Reason 1: Price!
Delta 7, some people might find the $12,000 you’re asking for a complete bike somewhat exorbitant. Well, that’s just because they’re not used to the amount of money one must expect to spend on an extremely well-made bike. For example, one could expect to pay $3300 for a Gary Fisher SuperFly, another top-end carbon fiber bike.
Which means, I guess, for the cost of your bike I could buy three SuperFlys and still have enough money left over for a Rig or two. So I guess that didn’t make my point very well.
OK, then, how about we compare the Arantix to the Orbea Alma. Now there’s a high-end, custom-made, expensive carbon hardtail…which, now that I look at the specs on the website, tops out at around $4600. Which means I could buy one and still have enough money to buy an Orca. And an Opal, for days when the Orca’s in the shop.
But I’m sure, Delta 7, that most any cyclist, like me, would much rather have an Arantix than two or three top-of-the-line bikes from any other manufacturer.
Reason 2: Awesome Parts!
As you no doubt know, Delta 7, I could buy the Arantix frame all by its sad, lonely self for a paltry $7,000. But why would I do that when I could spend another $5000 on:
- Fox F100 RLC fork
- Shimano XTR drivetrain and wheels
- 2 Crank Brothers Ti Egg Beaters pedals
- RaceFace Next SL carbon fiber handlebar
- 2 LizardSkins Lock-On grips
- L.H. Thomson Masterpiece handlebar stem and seatpost
- Chris King NoThreadSet headset
- Selle ItaliÃ¡ Kit Carbonio saddle
- complete LizardSkins Arantix frame skinset
Now, some people might call that spec pedestrian, and some might call the price for that spec “price gouging” or “completely insane.” But those people clearly don’t have any idea of how much a “complete LizardSkins Arantix frame skinset” costs. I mean, think about it for a second. That frame — you know, the one I’m going to pay $7000 for — is full of holes, so I’d darn well better cover it up with a big ol’ condom, so nobody can see it. And making a frame condom can’t be cheap.
Either that, or you’re thinking I won’t mind paying a little bit more than full retail for each individual part in that build, in spite of the fact that I’m buying it as part of a complete bike.
And you know what, Delta 7? You’re absolutely right! I’m perfectly happy to pay as much for your parts kit as I would for a complete, handmade, Titanium mountain bike from Seven Cycles.
Reason 3: Weight!
With all those triangle-shaped holes in the Arantix’s tubing, I’d expect this to be one light frame. And I’d be right! That frame, in fact, ways just 2.75 pounds, which is really, really light.
And you know what? It doesn’t bother me a bit that pretty much every carbon fiber MTB frame ways that about that much, and quite a few weigh less.
I’ve got a great marketing slogan for you, Delta 7:
Arantix: Pretty light is light enough
Feel free to put that in your brochures.
Reason 4: Hours and Hours and Hours of Fun!
As the owner of a $12,000 bike, I am not going to want to ever have it look anything but pristine. However, I must be honest with you, Delta 7: as the owner of a $12,000 bike, there is no way I am going to hide it with a LizardSkin condom. I want people to see how wealthy I am when I ride.
So you know what I’m looking forward to doing, Delta 7? Riding my Arantix in the mud, and then cleaning it. I figure that in order to keep it looking good, I will need approximately two soft-bristle toothbrushes and 497 Q-tips per cleaning session.
And a quart of Windex.
And about nine hours.
But you know what, Delta 7? It’s going to be totally worth it, because I’m sure that by putting that much work into it, the completely visible interior of my bike’s tubes will never get dusty or grody.
Reason 5. Hyper-Portable
Of course, I’ve been keeping my favorite thing about the Arantix for second-to-last. You see, when I first saw the Arantix and found out that the weave of the tubes doesn’t make it any lighter, I was confused. Sure, I saw your site copy talking about how strong it is, but the truth is, I only need it to be strong enough to hold me, not me plus a satchel full of anvils, or a human pyramid.
“Hmmm,” went my reasoning. “The bike’s not lighter, but it is bulkier-looking, incredibly expensive, and almost certainly an all-day job to clean. Where’s the benefit?”
And that’s when I realized: the IsoTruss strength argument is a red herring. The real reason the Arantix has that wild shape is because it must secretly work just like the Hoberman Sphere!
The resemblance is compelling, isn’t it?
Yes, I posit that just like the Hoberman Sphere, the triangles in Arantix are hinged, so the whole frame folds down to fit neatly in my pocket. I’m guessing the spokes on the wheels have a locking, telescoping mechanism, so they fold down to practically nothing. I’ll bet the whole bike fits in a briefcase by the time it finishes, right? Like in the Jetsons opening montage.
That is going to be so cool.
Delta 7, this is a major selling point. I know that so far you haven’t mentioned it in any of your marketing material and just want it to be one of those cool little surprises that will make the new purchaser extra-glad he bought the bike, but I think this is significant enough that you should hammer it as a big selling point.
Or, if it doesn’t do that Hoberman Sphere thing, maybe you could defray some of the outrageous sticker shock of this bike by doing a “buy one, get two free” promotion.
Reason 6: Rideability!
Um, actually, I haven’t been able to find any independent reports on how the Arantix rides. But at $12,000, it’s got to be good. Right? Just give me your assurance this $12,000 bike — your company’s first bike design ever — rides close to as well as a Specialized Rockhopper, and we’re all set.
Congratulations on a compelling innovation in cycling, Delta 7! I can hardly wait to meet someone actually riding one of your bikes.
Or at least see it mounted on the back of his H2.
The Fat Cyclist
PS: Thanks to the GeekCyclist, who yesterday emailed me and said, “Hey, you should write something about that new IsoTruss bike.” So I did. I didn’t realize I take requests, but evidently I’m happy to!
PPS: Delta 7 is a local company, so I expect to be beaten to death very soon. The police will, no doubt, be able to find my killers, due to the highly unique markings left all over my broken body by the club. “The weapon can be only one of two things,” Detective McNulty will say. “A cheesegrater, or an Arantix downtube!”
PPPS: If there’s someone out there who has plunked down their $1000 in order to get into the Arantix queue, I’d love you to send me an email explaining why you want this bike so badly that you’re happy to spend $1000 to get in a line to buy a $12,000 bike you’ve never test-ridden (unless you have test-ridden it, in which case your ride should be a huge part of your rebuttal). I will publish your response without revision. My only condition is, you must also reveal what kind of car you drive.