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Utility Cycling Want to haul groceries, beer, maybe even your kids? You don't have to live car free to put your bike to use as a workhorse. Here's the place to share and learn about the bicycle as a utility vehicle.

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Old 08-24-13, 11:59 AM   #1
bwhite829
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Long time no post but have a great idea....

I have an interesting idea for a business plan, but if this topic is off limits I apologize. I am not advertising anything..

Here it goes: This year will be my first year hunting. I'll be on public land where there is no ATV and dirtbikes allowed but bicycles are allowed. I'm wondering if I could learn how to build, and then build a custom bike specifically for hunting and fishing crowd, how do you think that'd work? in my experience alot of them are financially frugal, just as apt to get a next bike and clamp some pvc on it for rod holders than to have much more money tied up so I think its a tough market. I am thinking about signing up for frame building classes and learning how to build one, and then just going from there and building my own within a couple years and just building to order until i work my way to a full time gig with it.

Any ideas on this as I've seen some custom frame builders charge up to $5k for their regular frames so I just don't know if the market allows such a high end price point, especially with the current econonmy.

Thanks!
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Old 08-24-13, 03:29 PM   #2
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Most of the hunters I know are quite fond of their gas-consuming hunting accesories (4x4's, quads, boats, etc). I know guys that "hunter special" slide in truck campers, but that is sort of where frugality ends with them.

I think you've got an intriguing idea, but $5000 also buys a quad.
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Old 08-24-13, 05:39 PM   #3
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Apparently someone else thinks like you do! I just happened to see this today.
http://www.bicycletimesmag.com/conte...imed-sportsmen
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Old 08-24-13, 05:44 PM   #4
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By the way, considering the cost of custom frames, maybe a better way to get into it would be designing custom bike accessories, like racks and things. I'm thinking you could probably bikes that are already more or less suitable.
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Old 08-24-13, 07:10 PM   #5
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well i think thats the company that makes surly....so I don't think I'd be able to compete...and yes, I agree that for the cost of a frame you can get a good used atv, but my thinking was those who use public land cannot use atvs on them....i'll mull the ideas of racks around in my head. that might be the best way to go. also i grew up fishing so a surf fishing bike on sand would be a good specialty product. thanks fr the input!
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Old 08-25-13, 03:46 PM   #6
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Keep us updated on your progress. Like PennyTheDog noted, you must be on to something !

The only other thought that popped into my head (and maybe you've got a solution) is what do you do on your bike if you kill something? Are you thinking trailer?
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Old 08-25-13, 06:17 PM   #7
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Keep us updated on your progress. Like PennyTheDog noted, you must be on to something !

The only other thought that popped into my head (and maybe you've got a solution) is what do you do on your bike if you kill something? Are you thinking trailer?
Maybe trailer. Maybe trike(think pedicab w/ gun rack and deck for game....maybe completely custom to fit the customer's needs(smaller trails would need a pull behind trailer, other larger trails could be better suited for trike)

also w/ the trailer I'm thinking about a pop up blind from a box, like the diamond plate truck toolbox type boxes or a blind just to conceal the bike/trailer while they are on the tree stand.
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Old 08-25-13, 06:31 PM   #8
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Nice. Some good ideas there, and that's the kind of custom stuff guys will pay big $$ for.
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Old 08-25-13, 06:57 PM   #9
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Nice. Some good ideas there, and that's the kind of custom stuff guys will pay big $$ for.
I was hoping so. One thing I have over the large bike manufactures like the one on the link is I'm not too big to be out of tune with the customer base. I have never dealt with them but am very service oriented and think I can beat their customer service hands down....
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Old 08-26-13, 01:14 AM   #10
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I'm a hunter:

Its how I stock my freezer with meat that isn't pumped full of all kinds of junk and hormones and stuff. I hunt on a mountain bike, I use a custom sling to hold the gun so its safe and works while riding. I've been thinking of building a custom frame (I weld my own from steel, usually stainless, heavier then store bought but strong and works and I get what I want) that holds a large scoped hunting revolver right in the frame behind the head tube and a rifle or shotgun in a scabbard like you would carry one on a horse and the drag rope point built right into the frame, but the sling and my drag hitch adapter (more on that below) work fine for now so its one of those projects that I "still haven't gotten around to".

As to when you shoot something I made myself a custom pull rig that attaches to two BMX style trick pegs on the rear nutted axle and is a simple metal triangle that snaps over the pegs with torque levers under the chain stays and puts a hook right behind the rear wheel held at the right height to give a slight uplift with a short rope and pull down on the rear wheel for max traction without being too high to lift the front wheel up. Just drop it into granny gear wrap about 8' long rope around the deer's front hocks and neck with a self tightening loop just under the base of the head and make a small non-self tightening loop on the other end and drop it over the hook point on the back of the bike. Drop it into granny gear and start pumping, if the deer is really big and is well over 100 pounds and there isn't some snow, frost, or damp grass then it can be tough going but smaller animals and or good conditions for the game to slide well and you can drag-em out easy with the bike just drop it in granny gear and start pumping dude, no trailer needed.
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Old 08-26-13, 06:29 AM   #11
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I'm a hunter:

Its how I stock my freezer with meat that isn't pumped full of all kinds of junk and hormones and stuff. I hunt on a mountain bike, I use a custom sling to hold the gun so its safe and works while riding. I've been thinking of building a custom frame (I weld my own from steel, usually stainless, heavier then store bought but strong and works and I get what I want) that holds a large scoped hunting revolver right in the frame behind the head tube and a rifle or shotgun in a scabbard like you would carry one on a horse and the drag rope point built right into the frame, but the sling and my drag hitch adapter (more on that below) work fine for now so its one of those projects that I "still haven't gotten around to".

As to when you shoot something I made myself a custom pull rig that attaches to two BMX style trick pegs on the rear nutted axle and is a simple metal triangle that snaps over the pegs with torque levers under the chain stays and puts a hook right behind the rear wheel held at the right height to give a slight uplift with a short rope and pull down on the rear wheel for max traction without being too high to lift the front wheel up. Just drop it into granny gear wrap about 8' long rope around the deer's front hocks and neck with a self tightening loop just under the base of the head and make a small non-self tightening loop on the other end and drop it over the hook point on the back of the bike. Drop it into granny gear and start pumping, if the deer is really big and is well over 100 pounds and there isn't some snow, frost, or damp grass then it can be tough going but smaller animals and or good conditions for the game to slide well and you can drag-em out easy with the bike just drop it in granny gear and start pumping dude, no trailer needed.
And all the wind just left my sails. lol.
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Old 08-26-13, 11:33 AM   #12
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well i think thats the company that makes surly....so I don't think I'd be able to compete...and yes, I agree that for the cost of a frame you can get a good used atv, but my thinking was those who use public land cannot use atvs on them....i'll mull the ideas of racks around in my head. that might be the best way to go. also i grew up fishing so a surf fishing bike on sand would be a good specialty product. thanks fr the input!
I agree with others, that maybe not starting with the entire bike might be a good idea. XtraCycle didn't start by making bicycles. They made an adapter kit. Make what you can produce rapidly and in numbers and work your way up. Honda started out making piston rings. Nintendo started out making playing cards.

The Cogburn is nice. It shows that there is a market out there.

If I were going hunting, I'd probably first be thinking of how can I adapt that ole mountain bike I bought years ago. One thing that I notice is missing on the Cogburn is that there is no way provided to secure anything that they shoot. Maybe have a kit that can carry a deer, or a several ducks as well as weapons. Since the seasons rotate, you can feature different kits at different times of the year. That kind of flexibility will be harder for Cogburn to imitate.
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Old 08-26-13, 11:37 AM   #13
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And all the wind just left my sails. lol.
Maybe you just found your business partner. He can do the R&D. You do the business plan, marketing etc.
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Old 08-26-13, 01:19 PM   #14
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If I were going to start out making accessories the first accessory I would make is some kind of combination hitch/drag line unit like I use that would fit Almost ANY mountain bike. Dragging a deer out with a MTB in granny gear is certainly possible (I've even skidded out fire-wood logs cut to 6-12' lengths with a MTB using it as a single short log skidder) and the bike has enough pulling power. The problem is a good point to attach the rope for maximum pulling power without lifting the front wheel and without tangling up or rubbing against the rear wheel. That was my main problem I had to solve for using my MTB to drag stuff on a rope whether deer or firewood log lengths.

Obviously good secure and safe ways to carry guns and bow-&-arrows on a bike would come next or concurrently and possibly a small folding or collapsible trailer with a single or double small solid wheels like a larger version of a shopping cart wheel on the back of the trailer for towing out stuff too big and heavy to drag out whole (like Elk or large trophy size deer that approach or exceed the 200-lb mark).

Another good and very simple accessory to offer concurrently is a front fork "de-limpi-fier" which is just a couple of small brackets and a spring that are hooked up between the rear of the front fork and the frame of the bike so that the front wheel is spring loaded to straight and won't flop around limp like. They already make and sell such an accessory for cargo bikes which helps them stand better on their kick-stands without tipping over when loaded. For a hunting bike it really helps so that you can stop and put your feet down and let the bike just stand between your legs leaning slightly to one side against one of your legs and take the shot just like that without having to fully dismount and not have the bike front wheel twist to the side and the bike try to wiggle out from between your legs while your trying to take a steady shot. Often when your working your way along a narrow trail or even going cross country where there is not even a trail and spot game if you try to fully dismount before taking the shot you will spook them off but if you just come to a slow stop and stand still with the bike still between your legs and slowly swing into position for the shot you don't spook them and can get that good broad side standing optimal shot.

Also, a rear wheel freewheel assembly that does not use a "click, click, click . . ." conventional freewheel but rather uses a silent sprag roller clutch would be really nice as well. I've had to train myself to hardly ever freewheel and always continue to pedal and keep the freewheel from clicking even when braking to a stop for maximum hunting stealth capability. I've looked into making or having made a custom rear wheel hub with a silent sprag roller clutch but its too expensive for my taste for a "one off" and the only way to get that kind of specific accessory within a reasonable price range is to buy a whole bunch of them at once to get the individual price down to reason.

Last edited by turbo1889; 08-26-13 at 01:30 PM.
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Old 08-26-13, 04:40 PM   #15
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More folks doing this than you might think. Texas bowhunters in particular brought this to my attention. Have a friend who rides 'deep' into a Park where the lazy city boys don't bother going and brings his deer out alot easier than on foot. Doesn't use a cart because he says the bike works well on trails where the cart won't fit. He's not that young either.

Google it...
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