Mass-market(as in bikesdirect, perf bike) with S&S couplings
I've been riding and travelling with my S&Sed soma travel bike for a few months and I love it. Unfortunately, even with the cheapest possible components the bike ended up costing a lot. It's also a little on the heavy side, being steel and all.
So a couple of questions.
1) Why not build S&S bikes in taiwan, surely that'd reduce the price considerably. I'm sure people would buy coupled bikes even if they don't travel much, just for the possibility of fitting the bike into their puny car or for the occasional trip.
2) Also, why not build al bikes with S&S? I understand that modifying an existing frame is a next to impossible idea, but why not build S&S bikes by cutting the tubes to the right size before assembly.
Surly makes the Traveler's Check, which is an S&S coupled Cross-Check as OEM. Co-Motion makes S&S coupled bikes OEM also, tourers and road bikes. The Dahon and Ritchey bikes also use the breakaway couplers.
All of these still cost substantially more than the non-coupled version, partly because they are buying the couplers and license from S&S Machine and because the installation requires more hand work, four brazes per frame.
Surly is way too expensive. Last time i looked at it was cheaper to buy the crosscheck and get someone to slice it for you. I wouldn't call surly a mass market brand. Dahons aren't fullsize. I can't imagine volume S&Sing would be as expensive as individual custom jobs.
the 26 and 700 C Dahons I have in stock are pretty big ..some frames are too big for me as they come in various frames sizes ....
whats full size?
maybe weight ? I am not aware that S&S coupler equipped bikes have a higher weight limit than Dahons
For the same reasons that folding bikes in general are niche products. Most people aren't interested in the "perfect" bike for all needs. They just want a bike to get around with... maybe for exercise... maybe for transport.
The folks on a forum like this are the outliers. We represent the people that are interested in finding the right bike for the right job... Whether you're a roadie or a commuter or a winter cyclist it doesn't matter.
In this case, you're looking for people that actually care about transporting their bike via car or some other mode. I think you'll find that for most people that's a "nice to have" not a "need to have".
The difference in price = $665 is less than what Bilenky charges $470 [S&S] + $300 [repainting frame] = $770 [depending on paint options] to install S&S couplers - plus you'd have to add in shipping to and from Bilenky if you bought a normal Cross Check and had it modified. You'd also void the warranty from Surly. So by getting a factory S&S Cross Check you save $200-$250 depending on shipping & paint option and get a warranty. That seems reasonable.
Surly sells thousands of frames a year built in a production line overseas through their parent company Quality Bike Parts which deals with virtually every LBS in North America. They may not be a huge company like Trek, but they certainly have all the elements of a mass market brand.