When I started Kogel Bearings, I thought long and hard about what drives a customer to a business.
Just a good product is no guarantee for a consumer to slide their card through the slot nowadays. I wanted to start the company that I would love to do business with. Four years down the line, let’s see if that worked out well:
Making the best bearings for bicycles
Just claiming that you make a great product, is no guarantee that you actually do (are you listening, weight and hair loss supplement companies??). Since our pre-launch days, we have been working with local riders and mechanics across the US to build a product that would stand the test of time. If a company makes great claims about clean room lab test results but does not hold up to your Sunday mud fest, that would be kind of disappointing, wouldn’t it? Kogel believes in real world testing, our #terrainlab is not just a marketing word.
In our first year after launch, we did the biggest field test we could imagine: The 32 riders of the UnitedHealthcare team put our bearings through a total of 600.000 kilometers over the 2015 season. Three bottom brackets were serviced, none replaced. Road lab test: passed
Helen Wyman is a cyclocross institution. We came into contact with her husband Stef, who is also her mechanic. He was frustrated with their current bearing quality. Helen did not have a sponsor and they were buying the bearings at that time. They went from new bottom brackets for every race to one bearing failure in the entire season. CX lab test: passed.
- Helen gets to ride in the mud all day and Stef does not work into the night servicing bearings. Everybody's a winner!
We share our products with athletes at the top end of all cycling disciplines and invite them to kick the living daylights out of their Kogels. When products add performance and hold up to pro level abuse, they will also serve amateurs and recreational cyclists. Once you open that blue box, you should feel confident that the parts you just spent your hard-earned money on are going to live up to your expectations.
Very few questions asked warranty
Nothing is perfect and that includes our bearings, bottom bracket and pulley wheels. Every Kogel bearing is built by hand, bottom brackets are assembled by hand, all packaging, cleaning and shipping are done by humans. No matter how many checks a company builds into their production line, mistakes are going to happen somewhere.
At Kogel, we went out of our way to create the best product for you. If something is not up to standard, we will replace it if the product fails within the first year. A bearing service adds a second year to your warranty. This even covers your mechanic having a bad day when he or she installed your parts. It also covers if your forgot to clean your bike after a muddy ride and found out that things aren’t working smoothly when you get to the bike shed a week later. Kogel is the only company I know that offers an umbrella warranty on bearings. When you think you are due for a warranty, pick up the phone or email us. We usually have a few questions or will ask you to perform a bearing service, but in case of any failures, we have your back.
We pick up the phone
Don’t you hate it when you call a company and you go straight to a voicemail, or worse, get stuck in a phone tree? I have been caught many times yelling ‘OPERATOR’ at a voice recognition computer.
We are a small team of five at the time of writing. Everyone on the team knows that if a phone rings, it is a customer with an order or a question. In both cases we want to speak to you. We do miss calls (refer to previous comment that nothing is perfect), but make a point of calling back any number on the screen. On any page of our website you will find a button that allows you to send us an email or Facebook message for less-urgent questions. I personally have a rule to leave no email unanswered and trust that this rubs off on the people around me.
In the end, we love talking bikes and we love to hear from you, don’t be a stranger!
Seriously, we could talk about bikes all day long. Ben is waiting for your call.
Education, Education, Education
The fact that you are reading this blog, means that our efforts are paying off and you found us. When our customers understand our products better, they will have a better experience. For this reason, our website contains a ton of information about bearing service, specific bearings for different riding conditions and a lot more. If you have any questions about bearings, chances are good that we already wrote a blog about it. If not: ask and we will be very happy to answer. We do not shy away from many topics.
I hope you enjoyed this little look behind the scenes of Kogel Bearings. If you have any suggestions to how we can improve your customer experience, please contact me directly. email@example.com goes straight to my inbox.