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Start up cleat bicycle business

Old 02-04-11, 06:53 PM
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JD Dixon
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Start up cleat bicycle business

Looking for advice on starting up a bicycle business and funding. Currently working on a cleat positioning tool, and have the patent process started. Doing a 3-D cad rendering so can get the tool manufactured, but running into cost issues. Has anyone seen a forum thread that may be helpful? Ideas good or bad, just trying to get some feed back.
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Old 02-04-11, 08:48 PM
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Cost issues with manufacturing or with getting advertising out to the bicycling public?
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Old 02-04-11, 09:35 PM
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What sort of issues do you have? A more detailed question will garner more detailed answers.
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Old 02-05-11, 01:38 AM
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Find an MBA student who needs a subject for a term project. Have them do a business plan for you.
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Old 02-05-11, 02:38 AM
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Taipei Trade show next month on Taiwan, thats where the Investment in the bike industry has shifted.
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Old 02-08-11, 06:24 PM
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Originally Posted by HillRider View Post
Cost issues with manufacturing or with getting advertising out to the bicycling public?
Manufacturing the tool is the problem. Doing the advertising I was going to start out small with local bike club newsletters because they're usually just a hundred or so, and then as the sales, and word of mouth spread, I could move on up to like Velonews and Bicycling.
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Old 02-08-11, 06:33 PM
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Originally Posted by blamp28 View Post
What sort of issues do you have? A more detailed question will garner more detailed answers.
It's a cleat tool that can position the cleats mt. or road to any bicycle shoe. It has adjustable arms and indicators, for like a neutral position, or you can adjust it so that your heel rides out more or in more by degrees. But the big advantage is that once you are set up for your left and right shoe, the mounting will be the same for any style cleat and pedal system. So you get "New shoes", the numbers are already dialed in. No fumbling all over again. The same numbers will work even if you change pedals because the center placement you use on your shoe would be the center of a Look or SPD cleat. Ideas? Money to invest???? Working on this step by step, but it's time consuming doing the patent, drumming up investment, etc....
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Old 02-08-11, 06:35 PM
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I have a better question? Why would you need a cleat positioning tool? It is not rocket science to position cleats but it is extremely variable depending on what you want to do for the rider There isn't only one way to do it. It is going to be a tough product to sell. Roger
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Old 02-08-11, 06:37 PM
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I think there was a thread about this in the road forum in the last few weeks. there is a very nice system out there already. it is or was part of the "Fit Kit" fitting system
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Old 02-08-11, 11:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Bianchigirll View Post
I think there was a thread about this in the road forum in the last few weeks. there is a very nice system out there already. it is or was part of the "Fit Kit" fitting system
https://bikefitkit.com/fit_kit/rad_kit.php
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Old 02-08-11, 11:35 PM
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Gotta love people who don't even bother doing basic market research before attempting to introduce a new product.
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Old 02-08-11, 11:36 PM
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Originally Posted by rhenning View Post
I have a better question? Why would you need a cleat positioning tool? It is not rocket science to position cleats but it is extremely variable depending on what you want to do for the rider There isn't only one way to do it. It is going to be a tough product to sell. Roger
No it won't.

This is a tool that is valuable to bike shops that do many (as in one FT position for purely fits), as you can easily clone a cleat position onto a new shoe, or a different pair of shoes. It's very useful to record and be able to replicate these settings.
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Old 02-09-11, 01:17 AM
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Cleat positioning is a very competitive field, I know you need at lease a doctor's degree to practice, but I hear the money is good once you get established.
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Old 02-17-11, 08:38 AM
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Originally Posted by operator View Post
Gotta love people who don't even bother doing basic market research before attempting to introduce a new product.
No, the research has been done. I've even been to the patent office to look over what is out there. The RAD system does work, but it's expensive and takes two to get it done. I've used it for my Look pedals. The tool is $1,250.00 and my system is simpler and will sell for about $49.00 and you can do it at home.
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Old 02-17-11, 09:05 AM
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This reminds me of a story back in the 80's when the Fit Kit came out. All the teams were using them. Everyone was getting dialed in. And when it was done, a lot of the pros would change everything around to fit them the way they liked it cause "it felt better".
The old trick with cleats, (yah, been riding a long time, back when we used to NAIL the cleats in) was to keep them slighty loose. Tight enough to go, loose enough to force it to move. Do some miles, let you feet do its thing, and when done, remove carefully, then tighten. (sharpie around the edges before removing and putting new ones works too, cheap, only a few bucks)
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Old 02-17-11, 10:53 AM
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Manufacturing the tool is the problem
In what way is this a problem? Manufacturing costs for small runs of anything will be far more expensive than for large quantities where economies of scale come into play. Setup time + manufacturing time + material costs/number of units= manufacturing costs. If it takes 1 hour to set up a job on a machine and 10 minutes to make that part out of a $2 piece of aluminum, cost will be $72 at many precision shops at thier typical burden rate of $60 per hour. Make 100 of the same part and price each is $12.60 using the same math. Make 1000 and it's $12.06 each and begins to flatten out.

Is that what you are asking? How can you establish a selling price without first knowing manufacturing cost?

As an individual, I have spent a total of 20 minutes on cleats in the past few seasons so I'm still failing to see the value to the end user. To a shop, perhaps there is a better market but even then, if you sold to every shop in my state, you wont recoup your initial investment. It's rather expensive to "build a better mouse trap" and build a business.
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Old 02-17-11, 11:27 AM
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I very rarely use any device aside from my eyeballs and experience when mounting cleats for my customers. I have the R.A.D. for use in certain cases but it hasn't been used in years. A few simple observations of, and questions to the rider make this a big non-issue.

I can't see shops being interested unless the tool is very inexpensive, and saves time. Perhaps shops with inexperienced fitters would find it helpful.

As far as the enthusiast cycling public goes, this is a group that seems to think $5 for a tube is highway robbery. Good luck selling them a tool they'll likely use once. After you know where your cleats go, all you need is a Sharpie.

Lastly, if it's a huge hit, the Chinese will copy it and flood the market with product that retails for less than your raw material costs. They couldn't care less about intellectual property.

All that said.... I hope you make a million bux!

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Old 02-17-11, 12:18 PM
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Originally Posted by BikeWise1 View Post
All that said.... I hope you make a million bux!
I hope so too. I always like a good success story. If there really is the market you beleive there is for this product, go kick som A$$ and make a fortune.
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Old 02-17-11, 12:27 PM
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Generally manufacturing anything isn't an issue. Getting the money to FUND the manufacturing is. To get money out of a bank or other investors you need a business plan as already suggested above. Generally a business plan includes the results of a market survey of the intended customer base and their feelings on the proposed product and how much they are willing to pay for it. From there other cost factors are included and a balance showing some profit potential is the bottom line.
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