[CR]RE: Classicrendezvous Digest, Vol 62, Issue 56


Example: Framebuilders:Alberto Masi

From: Jimmy Livengood <jimmylivengood@hotmail.com>
To: <classicrendezvous@bikelist.org>
Date: Wed, 13 Feb 2008 19:59:05 -0600
In-Reply-To: <MONKEYFOODjjdMsrq6h00000c1a@monkeyfood.nt.phred.org>
References:
Subject: [CR]RE: Classicrendezvous Digest, Vol 62, Issue 56

Mark,

Great questions for discussion/thought! There are several issues that I thi nk need examining, and I certainly don't have the answers. See my replies s pliced with your original post below.> > Date: Wed, 13 Feb 2008 22:04:17 -0 000 (GMT)> From: mpetry@bainbridge.net> To: classicrendezvous@bikelist.org> > So I think it is wonderful that there\u2019s so much innovative thinking an d> fresh talent devoting time and attention to the craft of the bicycle.> W hile there were a couple dozen old school builders at the show (Gordon,> Sa chs, Baylis, Nobilette, to name a few) the proliferation of new names> and new designs tells me the market is ripe for new products and novel> approac hes to old ones.
> Or is there ? And even if there is, maybe that isn\u2019t the place where ar e> sport needs to go. We\u2019re into vintage bikes here, but bear with me for a > moment.> > My opinion is that the bike and the industry have so much t o contribute to> things like reducing congestion, good health, environmenta l benefits,> dependence on foreign oil etc etc and my comment on the NAHBS is that,> while an interesting exercise in metal sculpture, most of what\u2019 s on view> there has little to do with addressing any of those market oppor tunities.

I believe by getting people dreaming about and excited about riding their b ikes, this type of show is doing a great service by keeping cycling in the public consciousness in a way that isn't doping or racing. Besides, the sh ow's name says it all. This is not meant to be the place where someone intr oduces a $60 city bike for the masses -though if it could be done by a buil der eligible to attend NAHBS I would believe in miracles! The city bikes ha ve everything to do with addressing the market oportunities -showing people desireable bikes that are not meant for racing, puting commuting and runni ng around town on par with racing is a huge triumph.
> I think the fundamental challenge facing the bicycle industry is to> attr act more riders new to the sport, getting them on bikes for an> exciting an d not too strenuous ride, so that they too \u201cget the bug\u201d and> start rid ing to work, school, or for fun. I think referring to cycling as a sport is a disservice to the goals you ta lk about. "Sports" have implications of winners, losers, pain, sweat, and all sorts of things that people associate with activities they don't want t o participate in.
> Unfortunately the industry in general seems to be focused on the quest fo r> ever lighter carbon fiber components with a \u201cracing uber alles\u201d appr oach,> and (along with the stuff on view at NAHBS) continuing along this pa th> will in my view just make the industry more irrelevant to the needs of the> marketplace. A $7000 city bike with laser-cut dropouts is an exercise> in metal sculpture \u2013 it is not the thing that will bring new riders and> customers into the sport.> > > Mark Petry> Bainbridge Island, Wa US of A

I agree that these are not the things to bring new people to cycling. Shima no is trying their darndest with the Coasting group. I do think the cycling industry might be out of touch with the needs of the marketplace, but they are VERY in touch with the wants of the marketplace. The needs of the mark etplace are being met by department store bikes.

I still think the $7k city bike is a great thing, if only because it makes cycling an OK thing to be into. No one bats an eye at home entertainment de vices costing that much which are specifically designed to sit you on you b utt all day!

A couple of other notes to ponder, questions I've been mulling over with no conclusions:

How does the fact that the UCI limits racing bikes to diamond-frames limit cycling/the development of bikes?

If NAHBS was subtitled: "We are not the show for inventors and companies wi th huge engineering resources" would people still complain about the lack o f "innovation"?

Anyhows, good food for thought! NAHBS has brought up some great discussion of design, aesthetics, form/function, social responsibility, can't wait for next year.

Jimmy Livengood
Seattle, WA