May 22, 2009, 12:00 AM

Backcountry takes to the road with two new sites for cycling

RealCyclist.com targets road cyclists who ride and race on paved surfaces. A second e-commerce site, HuckNroll.com reaches out to mountain bikers.

Katie Evans

Managing Editor, International Research

Backcountry.com has expanded its growing portfolio of niche web sites with the launch of two new sites for specialty bicycles. RealCyclist.com is dedicated exclusively to selling road cycling bikes for recreational cycling and racing on paved surfaces, and HuckNroll.com markets mountain bikes.

RealCyclist debuted with more than 6,000 products from 130 brands and real-time product inventory. Product pages feature detailed specifications, sizing charts and images. Backcountry notes that orders are shipped from its own distribution warehouse rather than drop-shipped from the manufacturer.

User-generated content will play a key role in supplying product information to shoppers on the site, according to Backcountry, with the site offering consumer product reviews, an ask-and-answer feature and the ability for customers to upload their own photos. HuckNroll.com follows the same format as RealCyclist with the main difference being the product offerings.

The two new sites join two other bicycle-focused sites also operated by Backcountry, the one-deal-at-a-time Chainlove.com for mountain bikers and Bonktown.com for road riding. The new sites, like Backcountry’s other sites such as Tramdock.com for skiers and Dogfunk.com for snowboarders, follow the same formula of staying close to the target audience by finding staff who are avid sports enthusiasts themselves and adopting each activity’s tone and lingo for site content and messaging.

Backcountry.com is a subsidiary of Liberty Media Corp.`s Liberty Interactive Group. Mike Fried, director of strategic analysis at Backcountry.com, is speaking at the Internet Retailer Conference & Exhibition, June 15-18 in Boston, in a session entitled Getting deep into analytics-if you can understand what your analytics program is saying.

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