Shimano’s Coasting fights uphill battle

Manufacturer scales back due to lack of public demand

Three years after launching a massive marketing campaign for the Coasting brand, Shimano has slowed production to align with decreased demand.

The user-friendly pedaling system was built into stylish cruiser-like bikes from several of the nation’s top manufacturers Trek, Giant and Raleigh, but it failed to motivate enough ‘non-cyclists’ to warrant further investment.

“The overall volume didn’t ultimately meet the expectations of the Original Equipment Manufacturers,” said Devin Walton of Shimano. “There are bikes that are still made with the same concept in mind, which, if nothing else, is the biggest success of it. But, the actual Coasting branded product is something that is pending on how much is being sold at this point.”

The goal of the Coasting brand was to add simplicity amongst the high-tech machines sold in bike shops. Coasting   came in the form of a cruiser or a commuter type bike. They were designed to be comfortable, fun, affordable and easy to use with three gears that shifted for you and a coaster brake.

“The overall concept of Coasting and the reason for branding it was to create a pre-packaged experience,” said Walton. “Most bike shop employees are geared toward selling to enthusiasts and the bike shops are set up to sell to enthusiasts. I think it was a challenge for bike shops to integrate it.”

Coasting debuted in 2007 with Trek, Giant and Raleigh bikes and gained an additional seven manufactures the following year with Fuji Bikes, Electra Bicycle Co., Jamis Bicycles, K2 Bike, Phat Cycles, Schwinn Bicycles and Sun Cycles. The Trek Lime gained popularity for its customizable color scheme.

Walton believes there is a small possibility of the Coasting bikes making a coming back, but not any time soon. He added that for the concept to survive it needs a bigger push from other members of the market.

“While we don’t have any new products specifically coasting branded we have not abandoned the concept,” said Walton. “The whole area of transportation and comfort bikes with internal hubs is something that we continue to innovate.”

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