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Built to Order

Roll reinvents the perfect ride Imagine buying a car that just didn’t fit—one that was cumbersome and uncomfortable to drive and didn’t even come in the color you wanted. That’s precisely the challenge many riders find in choosing the right bike. And that’s what prompted Stuart Hunter, the founder of Columbus-based bike shop Roll, to [...]
J.R. McMillan

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Roll reinvents the perfect ride

Imagine buying a car that just didn’t fit—one that was cumbersome and uncomfortable to drive and didn’t even come in the color you wanted.

That’s precisely the challenge many riders find in choosing the right bike. And that’s what prompted Stuart Hunter, the founder of Columbus-based bike shop Roll, to design a better bicycle from the ground up.

Roll Bicycle Company’s innovative modular design gives customers anywhere the ability to create a custom bike from three base configurations specially assembled for the right balance of flexibility and performance. Delivered to Kickstarter supporters late last year, the bikes are now available for anyone to order.

One of the most memorable parts of buying a bike in your stores is the Fit system. Standing in that giant plastic portal getting scanned provides detailed data on how to adjust each bike for the individual. (For those who haven’t, it’s sort of a Star Trek experience.) How do you accomplish the same precision with online bike orders?

It’s always been my belief that the correct fit is fundamental. If the bike doesn’t fit, you aren’t going to be comfortable, and you aren’t going to ride. As a bike company, ensuring customers could get the right fit was non-negotiable.

That’s why we took the Perfect Fit system we use in our stores and distilled it down to three simple measurements. Customers enter them on the website, and we can select the right size frame and adjust the contact points like saddle height, setback, and handlebars. By doing that, I think we were able to reduce the fear of buying bikes online, and in general. We wanted to remove the barriers that keep people from riding. As a designer, the bike’s function and appearance are extremely important to me. A great ride and a comfortable ride are the cost of entry. It’s so engrained in our business. But the bikes have to look great. They have to make you want to ride.

How did servicing bicycles from other manufacturers affect the design of your own bike? Did you decide, “These are all of the things our bike must have”—or did you do it in reverse order, “Let’s take these problems away, and what we’re left with is a better bicycle”?

The question really started with the customer, not the bike. We’ve been in business 10 years now, every day talking with customers. That’s where the insights came from to launch the bike company. One of the comments we hear constantly is, “I love it, but is it available in any other color?” The answer is typically no, but their expectations are shaped by experiences where personalization is the norm. I wanted that same ability to customize, and I just couldn’t find what I was looking for either. I couldn’t find my everyday bike that I could ride, have pride in, and have fun with—so we decided to build our own.

RollBikes3

Now that Roll is making its own bikes, in addition to selling those from other vendors, will you every move beyond online and in-store sales? If I owned a bike shop in another market, would I be able to buy Roll bicycles to sell to my customers as well?

We are focused on creating a complete customer experience. Obviously, there’s a connection between the stores and the bicycle company. But I often describe them as two kids with the same parents —they have the same values and ideals, but they are different businesses. The traditional bike store is disappearing. I don’t believe it’s going away entirely, so the question becomes “How does it serve its community of riders?” The way people shop and interact with brands is evolving. Our challenge is to make sure we are best serving the rider wherever and whenever they want to engage with us—whether that’s online or in-store, at home or in the community.

Bike-friendly neighborhoods are increasingly in demand for businesses and homebuyers. But most American cities and towns revolve around automobiles for access. Why was Columbus the right place to launch Roll bike shops, and Roll Bicycle Company?

Columbus is very supportive of bikes, certainly evidenced by events like Pelotonia. It raises the profile and visibility of bike riders. It improves safety and creates the impetus for infrastructure. I see that as an indication Columbus is becoming a more connected community.

The most fantastic thing about biking is that it isn’t a team sport or an individual sport —it’s both. For some, the social aspects are an intrinsic part of why they ride. Others ride alone, to have time for personal reflection. Obviously, people ride for health and wellness, or transportation —but we have a lot of families who ride together.

I always describe myself as a bike rider instead of a cyclist. I think bike rider is a more embracing and inclusive term, perhaps less intimidating. Columbus is a community of bike riders.

Details on the designs behind Roll Bicycle Company’s Adventure, City, and Sport configuration bikes are available at rollbicycles.com

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Health & Fitness

Truth or Trend: 30 Day Challenges

Becca Kirian RD, LD, CNSC

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@DietBetch, a popular Instagram account with over 213k followers, tends to post memes that subtly poking fun at our diet culture. But recently, I was disappointed to see a post about a "30 Day Challenge" that reinforces the unhealthy, fad diet-obsessed world we live in.

This "30 Day Challenge" prohibits participants from consuming foods that many people often associate with being “unhealthy” like soda, candy, and doughnuts.

As a dietitian, I’m not going to disagree that the foods listed do tend to be higher in nutrients of concerns—like added sugars and salt, and overall calories—but, I absolutely believe they can be part of a balanced diet.

By completely removing foods from the diet with a 30 Day Challenge like this, one will simply think, “No…for this month." This purge-style challenge won't teach healthy sustainable eating habits like intuitive eating or portion control.

Take-away: Instead of tagging a friend for a restrictive diet challenge that doesn’t set either of you up for long-term success, try implementing a small sustainable change. Maybe instead of going out for fast food every day of the workweek with a friend, you both could try packing once a week and share recipes and meal ideas!

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Health & Fitness

Truth or Trend: “His” vs “Her” portions

Becca Kirian RD, LD, CNSC

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It’s not uncommon to scroll through Instagram and see beautiful plates of food labeled “his” and “hers.” Typically the “his” plate is larger in all portions of proteins, carbohydrates, and fats.

But, this depiction of portioning is inaccurate and can be damaging to the way women satisfy their hunger.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BmBjeBnB5jb/

Gender does not determine the quantity of food people “should” eat. From a science perspective, there are so many variables that affect metabolic rates that are not specific to sex, such as amount of muscle mass, fat mass, location of these deposits, physical activity, and more. 

For example, a very active, self-identified woman with high lean body mass can have significantly higher maintenance caloric needs compared to a more sedentary male identifying person. 

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bxnh7yaFftA/

Take-away: Don’t let social media tell you that gender determines the amount you deserve to eat. Listen to your body and your hunger cues. Fuel your body for what you need!

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Health & Fitness

Truth or Trend: Late night eats at Steak ‘n’ Shake

Becca Kirian RD, LD, CNSC

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Waist trainers, crash diets, colon cleanses—all things touted as the next miracle solution for weight loss. With the help of our new Registered Dietitian columnist, we’ll sort out the truth from the trash when it comes to health trends on your social media feeds, and provide healthy, sustainable alternatives for those to-good-to-be-true fixes. Welcome to Truth or Trend.

Steak ‘n’ Shake; a long-standing staple for a greasy, late night bite to eat. While "Eat This, Not That!" calls their signature items “two of the most precarious foods on the planet” on Instagram, is their fear mongering all it claims to be? Stick with me as I explore the truth behind a post by the account comparing the healthiness of two popular menu items: a Single Steakburger with Thin 'n Crispy Fries v. Portobello and a Swiss Steakburger.

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bw_IR1_h2Ol/?igshid=1s0nzocal4f4w

First, the nutrition information provided for the two options shown in the post is inaccurate (click here to see more). Additionally, the caption claims most shakes are more than 500 calories and most salad options are 600 calories or less which is an incorrect generalization.

And while the Single Steakburger with Thin 'n Crispy Fries is the lower-calorie option like "Eat This, Not That!" says, what the post doesn’t account for are some other important nutrient factors that set the two options apart.

The Single Steakburger with Thin 'n Crispy Fries combination has 1380 mg sodium, which is 60% of the maximum recommended daily intake (2300 mg) in one meal, compared to just 890 in the Portobello and Swiss burger. The “Not this” option also boasts a higher protein content of 29 g compared to 17 g in the combination and about half the carbohydrates at 36 g v. 62 g.

Take-away

There are pros and cons to each of the menu items here, so saying to “Eat this, not that” is painting broad strokes. If you’re a patron of fast food chains, remember to review and weigh all the nutritional facts before making a decision about which one is "healthier." Or, if you’re out for a special late night treat, choose the option that is going to satisfy you!

Becca is an Ohio native and University of Cincinnati graduate who works as a traveling consultant dietitian, currently living in Juneau, Alaska. She owns Centum Cento Fitness LLC, a company dedicated to using evidenced-based practice to help empower clients to build sustainable and healthy lifestyles through nutrition and fitness.Follow Becca on Instagram!

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