Or is it???
Another Bike Company Declares Bankruptcy.
I drink your MILKSHAKE
Oligopoly! The most common market structure in most industries. It seems like a movement, where bike companies merge, until a few bike companies are left. I'm having my economics paper at A Levels real soon. Merger can be seen with Trek taking over Klein and Bontrager. Oh well... due to the high economies of scale that can be reaped, blah blah... ha, yeah. Bankruptcy.. too bad I guess, that's what happens in the world. Huffy bikes? Not sure about it.. but if Trek ever gets bankrupt in the next few years, I'd be really surprised. Perhaps Huffy only has a small demand in the industry for its bikes.
Huffy was no longer a bike company. Its bike operation was simply to order communist Chinese bikes on behalf of Wal-Mart and K-Mart.
Trek and Cannondale still make bikes in the USA. The majority of their bikes priced over $1,000 are made in America. The U.S. bike industry has gone from building over ten million bikes every year each year to building less than one million in the USA...thousands of American jobs have been "exported" to communist China.
Huffy, Schwinn, GT, Columbia...just about any bike "brand" specializing in bikes priced under $300 has become simply a sticker put on bikes made in communist Chinese factories. The "Pacific" company orders these bikes from China, and tells them which decal to put on.
Most of my bikes are Treks, not just because Trek makes good bikes. I want to support one of the two major companies fighting to keep the bike industry alive in America. Of course, there are dozens of smaller companies, such as Rivendell and Waterford making great bikes here in America. But, small "custom" makers can't supply enough bikes for every American who is serious about riding on a high quality bike.
There is something to be said for inexpensive bikes. I see immigrant workers using huffys, roadmasters, mongoose everyday. They actually _use_ their bikes (albeit the bikes are crap). Some of these folks are clearly aware of this and ride old bikes instead like schwinn travelers from the 80's.
I wish that "huffy" or whoever they are would import utilitarian bikes from China instead of crap.
How much would a simple bike with reasonably light straight gauge tubing and no-frills basic components cost? I bet such a bike would cost less than a crappy Next with "fake" suspension. I also think there is a significant market for such bikes.
Many of the immigrant workers who live and work in my neighborhood buy their bikes at local pawnshops. The pawnshops sell an old Huffy for $50, while a similar bike is selling new at Wal-Mart for $75. Even that $25 in savings is important to people who are on a tight budget.
Originally Posted by H23
The problem is, these bikes are often "one size fits all", and have amazingly poor imitations of brakes. Barely safe to ride.
When I was a kid, (and President Truman was President), Schwinn stores would let a family come in and put $10 down on a bike. Take the bike home, and every two weeks, pay another $10 on the bike. It allowed families with little money and lots of kids bring home a safe, well made bike.
Trek currently has several models that stores in my area sell for $199.99. It would be "cool" if those stores brought back the old Schwinn deal. Let folks pay $75 and take the bike home. Come in in two weeks, and pay another $50. This would make it possible for people on a budget to buy a solid, safe reliable bike that will provide years of good use. Sometimes, the "old" ways of doing business are the best way of doing business.
I read recently that a small furniture store in Los Angeles had become a huge furniture store, by selling immigrants furniture on credit, even though they had no bank accounts or credit history. Maybe bike shop owners can learn from that example.
why do you feel the need to emphasize "communist china", in fact, in the current reform, they are becoming communist no more..
Originally Posted by alanbikehouston
Originally Posted by g3ck0
I think the view of China as some substandard communist state is becoming increasingly outdated.
They have whole cities which are nothing but factories producing all kinds of low-tech and high-tech goods. Many savy educated chinese are becoming rich even by western standards. Last year, the chinese put their first astronaut (taichonaut) in space.
American companies would be foolish to not use this resource.
Custom framebuilding is about the only type of bicycle manufacturing that can be performed in the united states. It is a good business for very small companies and individuals.
I would be surprised if any more than a small fraction of Treks were made in the USA.
Hear! Hear! A bike which doesn't look like an Peter Max painting with rather mundane but rather solid engineering manufactured on a Huffy/Pacific production scale and available at, say, Wal-Mart, Target, Big 5, et al in the $100-120 range could not miss. I have a fantasy that these bikes could be made in such a way that they are sold in the box with explicit instructions for assembly and the tools to put it together in the box like an Ikea desk, and available in small, medium and large sizes.
Originally Posted by H23
I don't know how it is where you are, but around my part of the world just plain folks are picking up bikes like crazy. A really boring, but solid and cheap bike would be a sales leader in no time. Even my local Target has 24 feet of shelf space dedicated to cheap bike goodies. I'm not so bold as to recommend getting one's flashers and helmet from Target, but it's a start.