Helpful ReplyHot!So,what is the future of the'bent market?

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bentman1953
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Re: So,what is the future of the'bent market? 2017/05/15 01:50:16 (permalink)
To Doc Dan,
 
"Do you really think you're going to get kids to give up the maneuverability and low cost of a Walmart DF to flip to a recumbent?"
 
Does anyone remember the popularity of Big Wheels?  (Basically a recumbent trike.)  Kids loved them, so I think that the maneuverability issue is not an issue at all.
 
Anyway, you are right about cost.  Recumbents for kids would have to be cost competitive. (Think China for manufacturing.) Yet after that, I stand by my thoughts. Kids think that Recumbents are cool now, they are safer and I believe that kids could outright fly on a recumbent because of their power to weight ratio.
 
Do I think that there is a chance that anyone or any company could pull this off? Not likely. A large company like Trek or Specialized might be able to. A company like Bacchetta or any other recumbent manufacturers just don't have the resources, advertising might or the network capability.
 
Yet, the idea is worth at least consideration.
 
 
 
 
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wesm
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Re: So,what is the future of the'bent market? 2017/05/15 06:00:17 (permalink)
Kids market will be very tough to enter.  $100 or so at Walmart vs $1500(?)+ for a quality recumbent?  I know which way most will go with their kids.  
 
My son has a reasonable quality Cube geared bike.  If the shifting on a $400 kids bike is as crappy as it is, the recumbent would have to have decent specs like the kids fat bike Specialized puts out thus increasing costs dramatically.  I wanted him on a BMX for the durability but he insisted on having gears 'like dad does' so ... who am I to turn down a bike request?  I wanted one as well to recapture my youth but ...  People seem rather amazed that my son and I show up in town (three or so miles away) on bikes.  You'd think we'd done the RAAM.  Much of this comes from the very specialized bikes that don't allow much use other than riding a bicycle for leisure or sport.  
 
Most people see bikes as toys, pure and simple.  Most kids want to ride what their parents do.  If you ride a bike as an adult without kids, you are already seen as being a bit different unless you are fully kitted as a road rider or as a mountain biker ... or a rich, older white (usually) male on a trike whose wife is tolerating his hobby.  Can't imagine the effect on some but I imagine that most around here think that I am rather eccentric when they see my bike on major roads.  Already I have people slowing and gaping. 
 
I had a Yuba Mundo (long tail cargo bike) before I got back into sport DF riding.  It was great and climbed a bit slower than I do on the recumbent now.  However, I could have two kids ride on back or strap things to it or transport things EASILY.  It was long but once moving pretty awesome.  Needed a truck to move it due to length for the most part but it was an entirely useful bike.  Once my son outgrew riding on the back however, it didn't serve me well as I cannot commute to work by bike.  Now I know that electric bikes are a thorn for many but the Yuba electrified would do more to get people to use bikes for practical purposes than anything else.
 
Now, I ride my Giro to go fast over longer distances and I use my fat bike to ride with my son and to run errands in town.  Not quite right yet but pretty good.
 
 

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bentman1953
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Re: So,what is the future of the'bent market? 2017/05/21 17:46:28 (permalink)
Interesting discussion on kids recumbents. I fail to see, however, why a recumbent should cost much more than any other bike.  A Schwinn banana seat is every bit as sophisticated as a recumbent seat.  The chain is definitely longer but that is not a price breaker.  Anyway, as I addressed earlier, recumbent manufacturers do not have the economy of scale, or the dealer network to create a cultural shift that would cause a demand by kids for recumbents.
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bentman1953
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Re: So,what is the future of the'bent market? 2017/05/21 17:54:32 (permalink)
On the waning popularity of 2 wheel recumbents;
 
Initially, recumbents solved comfort problems that have plagued upright riders.  Than two events happened in the market place at about the same time to dethrone recumbents as the answer.  
 
First, upright manufacturers came out with more relaxed frames. Now upright bikes have become comfortable to ride. (Once you break in your sit bones.)
 
Secondly, as discussed, trikes came along and are a better answer in many cases to the problems that two-wheel recumbents used to solve.
 
Another problem is that the best recumbents, the high-racers, are not suited-fit-wise for a majority of riders in this country.  It is helpful to be tall or at least have long legs.  Now I'm 5'5" but I convert all my Bachettas to underseat steering, so have no problem with my height. It is easy to pull yourself upright, feet firmly planted on the ground at a stop with USS. (Would it really be too much for Bachetta to add another head tube on one of their models to facilitate USS?)
 
Perhaps Bachetta needs to offer an S-frame for shorter riders who want the efficiency of the 700 wheels. I own a couple of, s-frame, Serian SL II's, USS and they do not take a back seat to anything that Bachetta offers. (I actually converted them from 650's to 700's.)
 
I live in an area where adults frequently ride bicycles and it is considered a normal activity for adults.  Now what is troubling is that many riders in this area have tried recumbents and found them lacking. Almost everyone has gone back to uprights.
 
I asked one fellow today who rode a Bachetta Corsa for about a year why he went back to uprights.  First, he said,  it was a back ailment that caused him to purchase a Bachetta in the first place.  After that he told me that even though he rode the Corsa more days than not for over a year, he never got used to the unsteady feeling he had while riding the Corsa in slow traffic.  He never liked the hills on his recumbent but had special dislike for trying to start on a hill. Anyway, he can afford to ride whatever he likes and said that he just prefers uprights.
 
In summation, I do not believe that there is a slam-dunk answer to improve declining sales.  Selling to kids or making USS recumbents are not likely to do more than create additional niche markets.
post edited by bentman1953 - 2017/05/21 18:37:07
#24
SkySaw
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Re: So,what is the future of the'bent market? 2017/06/24 04:42:22 (permalink)
The problem would be solved by an entry level Bacchetta priced around the $700-$800 mark with the same geometry as the Giro.
 
I live in Canada, where Bacchettas are as rare as unicorns. With the exchange rate, a Corsa is around $3,000, if you can find one, and a Giro isn't much less. For someone who is pretty sure they want a bent, and has decided that a Bacchetta is a great way to get into it, there is still a real risk that after a few weeks it just won't work out. That is a huge investment for something that risky, and I suspect that very few people are willing to take that chance. So they find a used bent for an affordable price, and it turns out to be so good that they just keep it.
 
 
I realize that it might be impossible to make a $700 Giro-style Bacchetta, but if you could, it would provide that first time buyer a low risk option (the absence of which is what drives the first time buyer to the used market), and opens the door to a whole range of buyers who are otherwise considering a mountain bike or a hybrid. Furthermore, that first time buyer would realize how great a Bacchetta feels, and would probably quickly upgrade to a Giro, or Corsa, and then the $700 entry level Bacchetta would be the used entry level bicycle that is the gateway for a whole new generation of buyers. It would also be less of an inventory hardship for dealers to stock, and that would get more buyers in front of their first Bacchettas.
 
 
 
 
 
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