Hi, a recent look at the bicycle business tells me they have already charged down this road on carbon fiber frames, flashy jerseys, and ten sprocket rear hubs. The last few years road bike sales have taken a huge decline as new riders are totally turned off by the price, look, and culture of modern road bikes. When it gets to the point where we are going to custom frame builders for bikes that will carry a rear rack, won't kill our backs, and won't send us to our physical therapist after a hundred mile ride, I'd say the business has already gone off the deep end.
San Francisco, Ca.
> Date: Wed, 13 Feb 2008 22:31:08 -0800
> From: email@example.com
> Subject: Re: [CR]NAHBS – Is it really about the bike ?
> To: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
> Mark,=0A=0A<rant on>=0A=0AThis immediately made me think of what happened w
> ith snow skiing to recruit "the masses" or as you say "attract new riders".
> That sport had stagnated because of the macho competition between the best
> & strongest recreational skiers to show off their skills to each other on
> ever longer (and more "exotic") boards. I don't know who but someone decide
> d to bring new blood into the sport by introducing the concept of SHORT SKI
> S! OMG, blasphemy when we 1st heard of the idea and then to see these loser
> newbies actually on them was too much - we all snickered & winked. But you
> know what? They WERE easier to learn on and it worked and it was called GL
> M (graduated length method of) learning. And then it was a victim of it's o
> wn success - too many people on the mountain that didn't belong there: weak
> skills, no consideration, no more yodeling! So - is this what we all want
> for cycling? A ton of newbies swerving & dodging in front of us on the edge
> of a busy
> boulevard? Isn't it hard enough just to make it to your destination in the
> morning without getting T-boned by a car? I don't know about you all but I
> love the fact that I'm the only one in town racing down the hill for the t
> rain in the morning. But I do agree that with ever more frame builders taki
> ng up the torch we need to make lugged steel more attractive to the masses.
> Personally, I think we are just ahead of the curve right now. As oil reser
> ves deplete and we rediscover our own health as a priority cycling will bec
> ome more popular again. Low price points will help. Marketing does work. Mo
> re expensive hand built custom bikes will become status symbols - just as i
> n France after the war...=0A=0A<rant off>=0A=0AEric Meddaugh=0Awindy San Ca
> rlos, CA=0A---=0A=0A----- Original Message ----=0AFrom: "mpetry@bainbridge.
> net" <firstname.lastname@example.org>=0ATo: email@example.com=0ASent: W
> ednesday, February 13, 2008 2:04:17 PM=0ASubject: [CR]NAHBS – Is it
> really about the bike ?=0A=0ASo I think it is wonderful that there�
> �s so much innovative thinking and=0Afresh talent devoting time and atten
> tion to the craft of the bicycle.=0AWhile there were a couple dozen old sch
> ool builders at the show (Gordon,=0ASachs, Baylis, Nobilette, to name a few
> ) the proliferation of new names=0Aand new designs tells me the market is r
> ipe for new products and novel=0Aapproaches to old ones.=0A=0AOr is there ?
> And even if there is, maybe that isn’t the place where are=0Aspor
> t needs to go. We’re into vintage bikes here, but bear with me for
> a =0Amoment.=0A=0AMy opinion is that the bike and the industry have so muc
> h to contribute to=0Athings like reducing congestion, good health, environm
> ental benefits,=0Adependence on foreign oil etc etc and my comment on the N
> AHBS is that,=0Awhile an interesting exercise in metal sculpture, most of w
> hat’s on view=0Athere has little to do with addressing any of those
> market opportunities.=0A=0AI think the fundamental challenge facing the b
> icycle industry is to=0Aattract more riders new to the sport, getting them
> on bikes for an=0Aexciting and not too strenuous ride, so that they too �
> ��get the bug” and=0Astart riding to work, school, or for fun.
> =0A=0AUnfortunately the industry in general seems to be focused on the ques
> t for=0Aever lighter carbon fiber components with a “racing uber al
> les” approach,=0Aand (along with the stuff on view at NAHBS) contin
> uing along this path=0Awill in my view just make the industry more irreleva
> nt to the needs of the=0Amarketplace. A $7000 city bike with laser-cut
> dropouts is an exercise=0Ain metal sculpture – it is not the thing
> that will bring new riders and=0Acustomers into the sport.=0A=0A=0AMark P
> etry=0ABainbridge Island, Wa US of A=0A=0A=0A_____________________________
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