Don't Be Fooled By The Kona Count

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Don't Be Fooled By The Kona Count

This is the time of year when I see many manufacturers touting their products as high or number one in the "Kona Count," or the highest number of "x" products used in the Ironman World Championship.  Taking this small sampling for marketing purposes is a convenient way to boost sales, but I believe it can be largely deceptive to the consumer.  For starters manufacturers may give their products away to Kona qualifiers, and of course anyone is happy to receive free stuff.  Only catch is that they use this (sponsorship) on race day.  Or they may so steeply discount their products it is hard to pass up.  In the case of some components, the count only reflects what was original OEM parts on the more or most popular bike models.  In one case a more popular tri bike brands choose a very poor aerobar brand/model for their bikes (in my opinion) that had low adjustability and a high failure rate.  Yet the brand touted their brand as #1 in the Kona count.  Again, in my opinion this was not because it was a good aerobar, in fact the opposite was true, it was simply because it became standard on one of the most popular bikes.  

As a retailer I don't sell products that I don't believe in.  Fortunately for me the ones I don't believe in are usually not the best selling products.  I recommend as a consumer that you take some and do some real research, read reviews, compare models, and ignore the hyperbole of the Kona count.     

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