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  1. #1
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    Frame/Bike Design: What do you want?

    Hello all,

    I'm an industrial design student at Metro State College of Denver in Colorado working on my last year there. For one of my classes, we are working with Advanced Sports Inc (Kestrel specifically) on designing something new for them based around their RT 900 and 800 series bikes. However with the liberties of the class, this includes anything that relates to their bikes as well (components, frames, accessories, etc).

    And because of this, I need research on what actually the market looks like, and I'd like your help.

    I'd love to get some feedback from you Road race/TT/Tri guys and girls on your preferences.

    If you wouldn't mind, please tell me a little about what you like/dislike in your bike, the market, the trends....whatever. Something specific you'd like to see in the 2011 models? Road bike with more aero? Tri with more stiffness? Integrated cup-holders for a Big Gulp? Full ceramic bearing sets standard? Accessories? Shapes? New geometry?

    I mean be as broad as you like, and don't limit your response to hardware. Maybe you want new colors of carbon? Or a burlap sack covered saddle?

    I'm just trying to get a feel for what people want/don't want. Because i'm kind of at a loss since I'm only a weekend rider with an old steel frame (1977 Falcon Olympic for those interested), so my experience/knowledge is very limited.

    So please have at it. I'm looking for honest answers from real riders so that I know where to start.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by MoclovFlop View Post
    I'd love to get some feedback from you Road race/TT/Tri guys and girls on your preferences.
    If you wouldn't mind, please tell me a little about what you like/dislike in your bike, the market, the trends....whatever. Something specific you'd like to see in the 2011 models? Road bike with more aero? Tri with more stiffness? Integrated cup-holders for a Big Gulp? Full ceramic bearing sets standard? Accessories? Shapes? New geometry?
    I mean be as broad as you like, and don't limit your response to hardware. Maybe you want new colors of carbon? Or a burlap sack covered saddle?
    So please have at it. I'm looking for honest answers from real riders so that I know where to start.
    Just racers and tri geeks, or can "real riders" who just ride contribute? I raced years ago (1970s), before everybody did it, but these days I'm just a late-middle-aged recreational rider and occasional tourist. FWIW, seems to be you're aiming at a pretty limited market, and one that may become more limited as the population ages. Ceramic bearings, for instance, are an answer to a question I'd never ask. I have standard old mid-range Shimano bottom brackets that cost 10 or 12 bucks and are still smooth after 20,000 miles, and I've never worn out a set of hub bearings (I spread about 3500 miles a year over four bikes these days, so it's not like I'm hammering one set of them).
    A few of the riders I know who are about my age (60ish) are serious enough and wealthy enough to pay for stuff like that, but most are pretty casual and just want to get on and ride. They hate flat tires and they hate butt pain--I know a guy who hasn't ridden in a year because his bike has a flat and he's either not sure how to fix it or is just unwilling to do the job. To me, flats are a part of cycling, and I expect one or two a week, but it's knocked him out of the sport. So that would be a problem to address.
    Saddles might be another. I have Brooks B17s on all four of my bikes, and my butt never hurts, but I hear people complaining about that all the time.
    Indexing has eliminated a lot of *****ing about shifting, but that's still a major source of mystery for many people, too. My wife's ridden 1000-1500 miles a year for 25 years, and she still turns to me frequently and asks, "What gear should I be in?" Personally, I don't think shifting has to be any better than it is, or even COULD be much better than it is, but plenty of people seem to need help.
    Finally, I've never ridden a "crank forward" bike, but as we baby boomers get older, I wouldn't be surprised to see rising demand for something like a comfort bike, but with at least some performance potential. Sort of a cross between an Electra and a Bike E, maybe. The world doesn't need any more racing bikes and wannabe racing riders
    Last edited by Velo Dog; 09-13-09 at 06:03 PM.

  3. #3
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    Perfect, I'm seriously looking for any input whatsoever, from anyone who rides (except MB/SS/Unicycle). So you fit perfectly into that category .

    Thank you very much for that detailed response. The limited market thing seems spot on, and aiming at a different demographic with a similar interest as the current aim sound like something I should look into. I think you're right in the sense that if limited to the younger "hardcore racer/rider" crowd, it would be a thin scope. And with the population living longer, and the values of living green and healthy getting stronger, a range of bikes for the "older" generation of riders sounds like a market to look at.

    I also appreciate your input on the components, Our class has noticed a bit of echoing from people about the lack of need for crazy parts for the average crowd.

    And a comfortable performance bike.... you might be on to something there.

    Thanks again.

  4. #4
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    The hardcore racer/rider crowd will not be trying a new name- They will go with bikes that get results in the hands of the Pro riders.

    But as we get older- and wiser-We want better equipment. I too am one of the older rider group and I have some good bikes. For me to go out and do a 100 mile ride- I want to be able to do it as easily as possible. That does not mean a bike with inferior parts or weighing in heavy. Most of my bikes are bought as a frame and forks deal and then built up with parts I know are good for my use. I have no objection to buying a Low grade bike in a respectable range as I know the frame will be the same right the way through the range. What will differ is the components. Groupset is one thing but wheels- I do not want a pair of machine built wheels on inhouse hubs and cheap rims. In fact I will not buy a bike that has them fitted. Last bike I bought with inhouse wheels- had the wheels left at the shop and I used my spare pair of handbuilt wheels. Same on other components. Bars- saddles- stems etc will not be up to my standard.

    This is why I buy frame and forks- but one UK supplier sells you a complete bike but you literraly choose everything within a range of parts that he can supply on a particular frame and at the end- he tells you how much the bike will cost. You like the spec of his XYZ model but don't want the stock bars- then pay extra (Or less) for the ones you do want. Want a particular Crankset- then you can have it. Or you can specify every part from his list and know as you go along how much the bike will cost.

    But even my LBS will do this. I did not want the standard crank as fitted so at no extra charge- they changed it to a compact. The wheels I left at the shop and they gave me an allowance for them- Saddle and I know which saddle I like so I paid extra for the one I did want.

    It is not so much the product that is required- it is the flexibilty to be able to adapt a large purchase-like a bike- to get it to your exact needs.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


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    I see, So you're basically saying that you're happy with the things that are out there spec wise, but would be happy to see a market(or brand) that allows for more customization all the way down to a bare frame and fork?

    So perhaps a new brand direction? (Granted, this model already exists with other brands, a la Trek's "Project One")
    Last edited by MoclovFlop; 09-13-09 at 04:17 PM.

  6. #6
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MoclovFlop View Post
    I'd love to get some feedback from you Road race/TT/Tri guys and girls on your preferences.
    Have you posted this in the Road forum and Tri forum? The riders from those forums rarely frequent the General Cycling forum.


    Quote Originally Posted by MoclovFlop View Post
    I see, So you're basically saying that you're happy with the things that are out there spec wise, but would be happy to see a market(or brand) that allows for more customization all the way down to a bare frame and fork?
    There are a lot of companies who build custom bicycles ... maybe you should ask who the main companies who build custom bicycles are.

    Mine is a custom bicycle which I have customized ... it's a Marinoni.
    http://www.marinoni.qc.ca/IndexEn.html

    If I can afford it, my next bicycle could very well be a Velosmith: http://www.velosmith.com.au/ My husband and I are good friends with the guy who builds the bicycles, and he builds the type of bicycles we'd like to add to our collection next.

    But you might want to look up the sites for Seven Cycles, Waterford, etc.

    In a recent poll in the Road forum, a lot of cyclists expressed interest in Seven:
    http://www.sevencycles.com/

    Here's Waterford: http://waterfordbikes.com/now/home.p...ommand=showall

    And you can't improve on the Brooks saddle ... there's a reason they've been around as long as they have!!

  7. #7
    Bianchi Goddess Bianchigirll's Avatar
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    well as a former wannabee racer and fastish recreational rider and bike lover. what I want in a bike/ the bike industry is more steel frames and beautiful ornate lugwork. bikes should be more of an expression of art meetes transportation rather then just a commodity.
    Bianchis '87 Sport SX, '90 Proto (2), '91 Boarala 'cross, '93 Project 3, '88 Trofeo, '86 Volpe, '89 Axis, '79 Mixte SOLD, '99 Mega Pro XL Ti, '97 Ti Megatube, , '90 something Vento 603,

    Others but still loved,; '80 RIGI, '80 Batavus Professional, '87 Cornelo, '86 Bertoni (sold), '09 Motobecane SS, '98 Hetchins M.O., '09 K2 Mainframe, '89 Trek 2000, '?? Jane Doe (still on the drawing board), '90ish Haro Escape

  8. #8
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    Brooks.... I know, I'm still rocking the original one on my Falcon, fits like a glove.

    And Seven does looks interesting, I'll look into what they're doing, looks good.

    well as a former wannabee racer and fastish recreational rider and bike lover. what I want in a bike/ the bike industry is more steel frames and beautiful ornate lugwork. bikes should be more of an expression of art meetes transportation rather then just a commodity.
    See that would be an interesting design, artistic performance....

    I'm digging the feed back guys. Thank you

  9. #9
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    Upright ride. Rolling ease of the Bianchi Premio. Sturdiness of the Giant Cypress. Lacking the somewhat squirrelly handling of the Bianchi. Hands-free rideability of the Cypress. Panniers set back far enough that I don't kick them when running errands.

    then = sequence
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    Too often I would hear men boast of the miles covered that day, rarely of what they had seen. Louis L'Amour
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  10. #10
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MoclovFlop View Post
    See that would be an interesting design, artistic performance....

    I'm digging the feed back guys. Thank you
    But not what real racers want.

    Go to the Road Forum and ask what the racers want ... you'll get a different response from what you'll get here: http://www.bikeforums.net/road-cycling/

    Oh, before you post anything there, put on a very thick skin. They don't take kindly to people trying to sell them stuff. Maybe hang out there a while before you post to get a feel for what road cyclists like and want and for how they see the world before leaping in with a post.

    Don't forget to go to the Triathlon forum as well ... they're another different group with different responses.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    But not what real racers want.

    Go to the Road Forum and ask what the racers want ... you'll get a different response from what you'll get here: http://www.bikeforums.net/forumdisplay.php?f=41

    Oh, before you post anything there, put on a very thick skin. They don't take kindly to people trying to sell them stuff. Maybe hang out there a while before you post to get a feel for what road cyclists like and want and for how they see the world before leaping in with a post.

    Don't forget to go to the Triathlon forum as well ... they're another different group with different responses.

    Well I'm not trying to sell anyone anything, I literally want to know what they know. Good, bad, up, down, Im just looking for feedback on what they've experienced doing what they love. I'm well versed in the automotive world, and if somestudent came to me asking what I'd like to see different or what I like, I'd be more than happy to help them out, while maybe helping change the world I love (cars) for the better.

    But if the cycling world is perfect and they are in heaven with how everything currently is, then that's awesome, and I'll sway my focus accordingly.


    But it helps that, yes, I do have thick skin...

  12. #12
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Well, go into the Road Forum and have a look around. There are changes being made to bicycles every year and there are threads about those changes. They might give you an idea of the direction the bicycle is going.

    You might ask questions like:

    -- Can you tell me all the custom bicycle builders you know of? And get a list of the common ones anyway, then you could read over those sites and see what they are building now compared with what they used to build.

    -- If you could change anything about your current bicycle, what would it be? And then you might get some idea what they would really like.

    A tip: Don't start the question with all that bit about being an industrial design student ... and don't mention that you're a weekend warrier on an old bicycle. Just simply ask your question as briefly as possible. Over here you can tell us all that ... over there you'll be picked apart.


    I've started a thread over there, some time ago, which is about the most recent cycling-related purposes. It has had a lot of responses which might give you an idea what cyclists are buying. I think it's on the second page now.
    Your Most Recent Cycling-related Purchase

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    Good call, I suppose it is a different world than i know, so I may be better off following your advice. Thanks for the heads up.

  14. #14
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Well, for example, asking a racer if he/she would like a place to put his/her Big Gulp will get you mocked right out of the forum. They won't take you at all seriously, they'll call you a troll, and there will be lots of laughter at your expense.

    Racers want bicycles that are light ... the lighter the better. The frame must be light, the components must be light.

    Pretty much all bicycles come with braze-ons for water bottle cages. Many racers will buy carbon cages in order to get the lightest cage possible. And racers don't drink "Big Gulps", they drink water and their choice of many sports drinks on the market.

    So if it is really the race market you're after ... go lurk in the Road Forum and its Racing Sub-forum and see what road riders and racers talk about. Get a feel for what sort of things they are looking for. Participate in a few threads. Ask some questions within existing threads.

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    Hmm, my jab at obscurity wasn't as sharp as I'd hoped, the reference of the big gulp was to simply show that I'm looking for all suggestions, no matter how far fetched it may seem...

    Sorry it wasn't clear, but laughter is the only type of response I would hope to get from that bit

    I'm really not that dense to the biking world, sorry if it seems as such, just trying to add some humor to what seems like an always too serious of a topic
    Last edited by MoclovFlop; 09-13-09 at 11:51 PM.

  16. #16
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Is this a classmate of yours?

    Design Student Looking for Answers

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    Is this a classmate of yours?

    Design Student Looking for Answers
    Yep, sure is.

    Seeing as how this forums has 150,000+ worldwide members, it is a great prodding ground for our target market.

  18. #18
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    Y would you want to put a "Big Gulp" on a bike frame? Cyclists do not go to 7 eleven. They drink sports drinks and Fosters. If you want to design a better bike frame you need to ride a bike for more than 2 miles to school, what are they teaching you at Metro?

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