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Old 05-08-08, 07:04 AM   #1
bikesdirect_com
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Best Spec on a $4000 To $5000 FS AM Bike?

I would love to hear what anyone thought were the best specs on all mountain full suspension bikes that runS $4000 to $5000.

I know everyone has opinions on best brakes; cranks; der; shifters; fork; rr shox; wheels; even cockpit stuff. I would really like to hear about that

Also if anyone thinks they know what the current best deal in a AM FS upper end bike is

thanks

mike
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Old 05-08-08, 07:31 AM   #2
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Since I know this is for research, I want to weigh in.

I want DB to offer a good XC full suspension bike. Like 3" inch travel at both ends and maybe 23-24lbs. The dual you have now is more like 3,4 or 5 inch rear with 4 or 5 in the front. It is a bit closer to AM t in my mind.

I would think a XC and a bigger travel bike might do better than a single one in the middle. However, that bike is never in stock so maybe is sells like hotcakes. And to be clear, I do not run a business nor do I sell bikes. I just buy them. From you.
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Old 05-08-08, 07:58 AM   #3
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Off topic, but maybe not:

Has BD ever considered going to a Dell Computers type approach for its bikes? Allow buyers to select specific frame and component combinations insead of just selecting pre-spec'd bikes?

I think it would be an interesting approach but I don't know if it's something BD could accomodate. There's a lot of changes to pricing models, supplier contracts, etc. that would have to be considered.
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Old 05-08-08, 08:44 AM   #4
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For $4-5k AM it could have:
Fox TALAS
Hope Pro II hubs
Cane Creek headset
DT rims
2.3" Kevlar-bead tires
Fox RP23 shock [or whatever the fancy one is]
Thomson post and stem
Easton bar
ODI grips
Avid Juicy 7 brakes
XT or X.9 shift/der
XT or similar crank
saddle du jour
no pedals
weight: under 30 pounds

IMHO, you don't need XTR/X.0 on a bike like this. Bear in mind that you will be in competition with companies like Titus, Turner, Yeti and other "boutique" brands at this price point. Brand image counts for a lot, so you had better come to the table with more than a great parts pick. My $0.02...
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Old 05-08-08, 08:54 AM   #5
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Lets be 100% clear - There is no way Bikesdirect is going to try to sell a $4k bike. What he is looking for is what you would expect on a $4k bike. Then he will see how close he can get on a bike he will price at $2k.
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Old 05-08-08, 09:58 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris_F View Post
Off topic, but maybe not:

Has BD ever considered going to a Dell Computers type approach for its bikes? Allow buyers to select specific frame and component combinations insead of just selecting pre-spec'd bikes?

I think it would be an interesting approach but I don't know if it's something BD could accomodate. There's a lot of changes to pricing models, supplier contracts, etc. that would have to be considered.
I think the majority of people buying from BD don't know how they would ideally want a bike spec'd.
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Old 05-08-08, 10:26 AM   #7
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I think the majority of people buying from BD don't know how they would ideally want a bike spec'd.
That could be accomodated by offering a couple default models for those without the know-how. And these default models could be changed real-time depending on what parts inventories are excessive that day and need to be moved. There are a couple of challenges to the business model but once they're worked out it can be a real advantage.

Dell is the ultimate example. They have some default models which you can customize a number of ways. They vary their pricing based on what parts they have to move (if they're overstocked on nVidia graphics cards they just bump the price down on that option to get them to move, or offer it as a new part of one of their default package models). They have deals with parts suppliers so that the suppliers own the inventory on-site at Dell until Dell needs it for their customers. Customers get whatever they want, Dell has a couple of powerful tools for managing inventory that others don't, and Dell also gets a dream cash flow, wherein they get paid for selling things before they have to pay their vendors for the parts.

I think it would work well for bikes.
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Old 05-08-08, 10:54 AM   #8
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While I think your idea has some merit for sure, I think the difference is in demand for product. I think BD could pull off a model like that if they sold a hell of a lot more bikes.

It would take a great deal of infrastructure and overhead that they do not have now.

How they do it (as I understand it, and Mike please correct me) they essentially come up with a bike they want to sell. Lets say road bikes or MTBs. They design/copy/make a frame. Some are clearly models that were OEM at one point. That is made in Taiwan.

He gets parts. He buys those in bulk - they are also either made in Taiwan or somewhere close. He buys that stuff in bulk. He starts to setup levels of parts . . . essentially he groups stuff together.
So now he wants to do road bike. He has his upper level package of stuff (Ritchey WCS gear across the board). He puts that with a frame and then adds a level of Shimano. He sells the DA bike at $1500, Ultegra at 1200 and 105 at 1000. He has 3 different bikes with very little work.
Then he has some frames. A carbon frame is just like above, but at $200 more per level.

Same with MTB. The fly team, fly ti, and the high end FS bike all are essentially built the same.
The Fly 9357 is equipped like a FS bike as well.

You ca start to see the patterns he has. These are setup and assembled all overseas. 5 months later they are in TX or FL and ready to ship. BD does not open these (I am sure they do some for QA, etc). I am nearly sure when I let air out of a tire from BD that it is actually Taiwan air.

Mike is usually very open about his model, and is happy to discuss it.

His model right now is done with very little in infrastructure from an internal point of view. In the states he has a warehouse or two that requires very little in staffing - just take a box put a label on it and go. His technology costs are almost nil. His webpage (subject of many jokes) is not costing him a ton. His money is in ads.

Now, in case you get the wrong idea - I think this is a F***ing GREAT MODEL FOR BIKES. There is a segment that I am part of that is different. Many first time buyers. We buy like we would buy a thousand other things in our lives - research it and make the best choice on a balance of price and quality. We want a great deal and we are okay with not having exactly what we want. We want it fast and easy. Fitting is not hard and many do not need to be helped.

I love that I got a 17lbs full DA bike for $1500. A 21lbs MTB nicely spec'd for $1300 or whatever it was. I know this model is not for everyone. I personally would not be any happier if I had options on these bikes but ended up paying 20% more. Not saying that would be how much more it would be.
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Old 05-08-08, 11:18 AM   #9
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How they do it...
You're right, they simply aren't setup to support the Dell type model right now. Unless they could find a way to have the bikes built in Taiwan (or wherever) custom to individual order, and that would probably be a no-go. If they were buying Taiwan frames and putting them together in the US then it could work, but not with the way they do it now.
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Old 05-08-08, 12:41 PM   #10
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I think the best of the breed in that price range right now are the Yeti 575 and the Santa Cruz Nomad. One can niggle over the bits-and-pieces specs; but those, IMO, are at or near the top of the heap.
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