Re: [CR]Mike Kone's rene Herse Announcement

(Example: Production Builders:LeJeune)

Date: Tue, 19 Jun 2007 07:06:50 -0700 (PDT)
From: Jerome & Elizabeth Moos <>
Subject: Re: [CR]Mike Kone's rene Herse Announcement
To: Dan Kehew <>,
In-Reply-To: <>

Well, I think both Rivendell and Herse are a bit more than "badge engineering". Grant is involved in Rivendell design, designing lugs, selecting tubing, angles, etc. Now granted, on a full-custom Rivendell frame from Mark Nobilette or another builder, these designs are mostly just advisory, and the customer can probably specify pretty much anything he wants, as long as it is lugged steel (I think Grant would balk at a carbon fibre Rivendell).

In the same way, I presume the Herse venture will make use of traditional Herse frame designs, as well as designs of Herse componets, not just slap a "Rene Herse" decal on a Nobilette frame. Now could Mike and Mark copy the Herse designs without having to acquire and use the Herse name? Possibly, since most Herse frame designs could probably not be patented, and any patents on Herse components have probably now expired. But I think the final product will be sufficiently influenced by the legacy and ideas of Rene Herse that it is appropriate to label the bikes as such, just as it is appropriate to label a Nobilette-built Rivendell a Rivendell. In fact, one might argue that acquiring and using the Herse name is a more honest course of action than just "ripping off" the Herse designs to build a line of Nobilette constructeur bikes.


Jerry Moos Big Spring, TX

Dan Kehew <> wrote: > me stupid, if you want, but twenty-four hours and goodness kno
> ws how many emails on this subject later, I still don't get the plot. It mu
> st have something to do with the American psyche !

Not strictly American, just consumer psyche. It's marketing. Brand identification. People placing value and finding value in intrinsically valueless concepts.

At NAHBS this year, I sat across a table from Mark and heard him discuss building frames for Rivendell. Well, I'd rather spend extra to buy a Nobilette than a Riv, but that's me--plenty of people buy into the Rivendell marque. And Riv does a good job of supporting that brand identification, and Mark's a great builder for them to whom they can affordably contract frames, and there's that much less time/money he needs to spend building on his own marque. Righteous, in my book -- more good bikes in the world and another great builder finding full employment in his field of expertise.

So the Rene Herse marque has a following. It represents something greater than an individual person despite the fact that (in a language sense) it is made up of a first name and a last name. A lot of things, and many people's efforts, have gone into the marque's development. And just like the name Masi still sells bikes, so will the name Rene Herse still sell bikes.

Let's take another angle: Must Mark only sell bikes called Mark Nobilette? Why? If not, why not call them Rene Herse if he has permission to use that marque and, strictly as a bonus, aspires to a comparable standard?

Just me, but I'd love to see the new Rene Herse bikes come with a Mark Nobilette signature transfer. It's not like Mike and Mark appear interested in hiding who's actually doing the fabrication, nor should they need to given who's doing the fabrication!

Less talk, more brazing.

-- Dan Kehew, Davis (a city with "Bike Town" brand recognition) California, USA