5.25.2006

bikes for everyday...

I am always amazed at people's notion of what a bike should cost
there is no logic to it
they just feel that a bicycle should cost X amount of dollars
which is usually a few hundred dollars less than a bicycle actually costs

these same people may buy a hundred dollar tie, a several hundred dollar sweatshirt, or think nothing of a several hundred dollar dinner for two
at times you can reason with this type of shopper
talk of name brands, quality, you get what you pay for... that sort of think
then they can pull out the Gold Card and make a purchase... maybe even after some slick kid with some shop speak talked them up to a level that they do not need
but... what about the common consumer.... the everyday person looking for the everyday bike
the person lured into the sub hundred dollar purchase because that is all they can afford
what about them?

I think that the bicycle manufactures should be more considerate of the consumer when designing bikes for this market
all of these dual suspension bikes for a hundred buck could have put their energy elsewhere
rather than weighty suspension systems
these bikes could have been simple machines with utilitarian design
as these riders are not looking for a mountain bike
they are looking for a way to get to and from work

why not offer them a bike with less gears?
zero suspension?
a rack and some fenders?

why not a single speed with moderate gearing and these commuter features?

are the people on the flashy Huffy Bikes and Paciffic Bikes drawn towards the look of these machines or are they drawn to the price of these machines
I think it is the price
if the dual suspension bike was removed from the market and a more sensible craft were in its place
well, the low end buyer would be riding a bicycle instead of a rocking horse
energy would be going into forcing the bike to roll forward rather than boucing back and forth
there would be less to break
there would be less un-needed weight

the low end market is a vital market
so many people need an affordable bike

but... why is the affordable such a piece of crap?
a mountain bike that can not be taken mountain biking?
why not an around town bike that can be ridden around town?

www.pacific-cycle.com
www.maxway.com
www.huffybikes.com

another morning blog entry created while my little blonde monkeys splashed in the tub
they got five more minutes
I got to blog for five more minutes
they got to splash all the water out of the tub
I got to finish my entry
we each got what we waneted
well... I wanted them TO KEEP IT IN THE TUB
but... that may be asking too much

3 comments:

pedalmaniac said...

have you seen this project by Kona? Cheap bikes that are dependable and effective http://www.konabiketown.com/

Tim said...

Great argument for practical bikes, but it has two major flaws: logic and common sense.

I remember reading a lengthy newspaper story a few years ago about the Huffy company and how they operate. They simply copy the look of whatever's hot in the real bike market, because they know that's what sells when Mr. and Mrs. Beerbelly take little Mullet to Sprawl-Mart on his birthday.

The kid (and often the adult) wants what he sees other people riding, and too many consumers aren't sufficiently knowledgeable about bikes to see any real difference between a bike-shop ride and the disposable junk in the department store.

I've had co-workers mention to me as "the office bike guy" that they went out on the weekend and bought nice bikes for their kids.

"Oh, yeah, it's fancy. Shock absorbers and everything. Crazy thing cost me $150! Can you believe that?"

It's sad.

alberto said...

Good blogging, G. As a new rider – just 4 months – I went through a lot of the questions you ask and it’s not as easy as it seems. Luckily I had my niece’s Purple Pig to get out a couple of times before it just started falling apart. But I still had very little knowledge – still do, I guess – about what is good or decent and especially good and just decent for me. Not planning a Tour de France any time soon I settled for a beginning bike that would get me around to work and to ride with the kids. It didn’t turn out too expensive for what I “needed” because I must first learn and determine whether those needs will increase – which I hope will. Thus far money very well spent.