Amazon’s prototype drone for same-day deliveries (below) has been all over the news lately. It is probably just a publicity stunt, and I am amazed that so many newscasts and newspaper articles fell for it, and then gave the company what amounts to free advertising. Our innovative idea is to use randonneurs on porteur bikes for deliveries! In fact, we already do that for some in-Seattle deliveries, like the load shown above.
That delivery by drone would be taken seriously illustrates to what length companies go to provide ever-faster service, since the products they sell otherwise are all the same. Ebay introduced “same-day delivery” in several cities recently, using messengers on bikes and in cars to pick up products at local stores and deliver them to customers, usually within an hour. If it really comes down to the minute for you, you can track the courier on your screen!
For the last-minute shoppers among you, here’s the bad news: we don’t offer same-day delivery at Compass Bicycles. We don’t offer overnight shipping, either, and it’s not because we don’t care about customer service. Our emphasis is on the quality of the product rather than the speed of delivery. We do use Priority Mail through the U.S. Postal Service for most shipments, so you usually get your parcels within a few days.
Our focus is on providing you with the best products possible. We design products, make prototypes, test them, assemble components (René Herse cranks), and even modify them (decaleurs). For our books and magazine, we do actual research, seek out hard-to-find sources, and photograph rare bikes, rather than rely on press releases and ready-to-go publicity shots. That is where we allocate our resources.
We are cyclists and if we don’t answer the phone, we may be out on a ride, in the machine shop, or discussing a project with our engineer. Those rides are important, because they make our products special: They inform our no-compromise philosophy. We know from experience how frustrating it is to have products perform less-than-optimally when you are in the middle of nowhere. We also know how mesmerizing it is to ride on a wonderful bike equipped with supple tires that hum over the pavement. In fact, those experiences led us to start Compass Bicycles in the first place.
Yes, you’ll have to plan ahead a few days if you want one of our products by a certain date. And when they arrive, you can be sure that the components have been tested extensively on the road, that the books and magazines bring you careful research and wonderful story-telling, and that they all reflect our passion for cycling. We think it’s worth the trade-off.