The Pull: James Winchester

On this week’s show, my guest is James Winchester, the product manager for Masi Bicycles [Update: he is now at Giant]. The role of a product manager at a bike company is, perhaps, one of the most visible expressions of what it is to work for a bike company. They are responsible for determining what a bike is, who it is meant to serve, how that bike will handle, and ultimately, what parts go on the bike. It’s the role most second guessed by bike shop staff. I wish I had a dollar for every time I heard shop staff say, “I wouldn’t have spec’d those wheels.”

And while being a product manager may seem like a fun job, what with picking out what group goes on a bike or what colors that frame will be painted, it’s a stunningly difficult job. A single color of a single pricepoint of one bike model can require several hundred cells in Excel just to capture every relevant detail of a bike. Because Masi is one of the smaller brands out there, Winchester’s duties represent the full range of what a product manager does, which is why I wanted to get the inside scoop from him.

To learn more about James Winchester’s work, visit Masi Bikes.

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