Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Folding Bikes
Reload this Page >

BikeFriday possible sale. Not a bike, the company.

Notices
Folding Bikes Discuss the unique features and issues of folding bikes. Also a great place to learn what folding bike will work best for your needs.

BikeFriday possible sale. Not a bike, the company.

Old 10-18-19, 03:35 PM
  #76  
Jarlybart
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2019
Posts: 31
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 12 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Originally Posted by Pahana View Post
I haven't read the whole topic but I don't know if anyone noticed the large number of preloved bikes for sale. There are a lot of vintage models that may have been sitting around the factory.
We called it the graveyard. Lots of nice frames, some broken or rusted and some that still had a little life in them. Most were not functional bikes as-is but with a little love and some new parts they could be fully-functional or at the very least a nice wall hanger for a shop or collector. I am personally glad to see them start to let go of those old bikes as they were doing no good gaining dust and sooner than later will have to be cleared out of that space anyway. Hope they all find good homes soon.
Jarlybart is offline  
Old 10-18-19, 03:36 PM
  #77  
CliffordK
Senior Member
 
CliffordK's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Eugene, Oregon, USA
Posts: 27,273
Mentioned: 216 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 17020 Post(s)
Liked 3,859 Times in 2,861 Posts
Originally Posted by Pahana View Post
I haven't read the whole topic but I don't know if anyone noticed the large number of preloved bikes for sale. There are a lot of vintage models that may have been sitting around the factory.
I didn't look at that page.

But I did see a note about selling off what was supposed to be the BF "Vintage" collection, but most bikes appeared to be 10 to 20 years old. Still, it sounds like they're trying to dig up some cash without a significant amount of added parts and labor.

Looking at their stock offering, I think they were losing about $200K per year, which would become hugely problematic after a couple of years.

They need knowledge as much as they need cash.
CliffordK is offline  
Old 10-18-19, 03:55 PM
  #78  
termv
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Posts: 64
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 20 Post(s)
Liked 3 Times in 3 Posts
Affirmative

Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
I didn't look at that page.

But I did see a note about selling off what was supposed to be the BF "Vintage" collection, but most bikes appeared to be 10 to 20 years old. Still, it sounds like they're trying to dig up some cash without a significant amount of added parts and labor.

Looking at their stock offering, I think they were losing about $200K per year, which would become hugely problematic after a couple of years.

They need knowledge as much as they need cash.
Yup

Yup

Yup

This did not come overnight.

Sad, but true.

My hope is that the bank will put in a sincere effort to find a buyer for this company.

Something in me says that the company will be going to China.

Nothing we can do!

This train has been left the train station some time ago, and now it is quite difficult to stop it.

I would not be surprised if some other 3rd party would like to do something particular, but .......

Basically, I have great doubts about the feasibility of any plan to keep this company American.
termv is offline  
Old 10-18-19, 04:31 PM
  #79  
linberl
Senior Member
 
linberl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 3,392

Bikes: 2017 BF pakiT & Dahon Mu Uno (both for sale); current ride - Trident Spike trike w/ e-assist

Mentioned: 25 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1284 Post(s)
Liked 313 Times in 248 Posts
Many of those older bikes now for sale are part of Alan Scholz's personal collection. There's a story about him selling off his own collection on BF's website.
linberl is offline  
Old 10-19-19, 09:43 AM
  #80  
Jarlybart
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2019
Posts: 31
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 12 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
I didn't look at that page.

But I did see a note about selling off what was supposed to be the BF "Vintage" collection, but most bikes appeared to be 10 to 20 years old. Still, it sounds like they're trying to dig up some cash without a significant amount of added parts and labor.

Looking at their stock offering, I think they were losing about $200K per year, which would become hugely problematic after a couple of years.

They need knowledge as much as they need cash.
"They need knowledge as much as they need cash."...this...so much this!
Jarlybart is offline  
Old 10-19-19, 03:48 PM
  #81  
mlau
Full Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Alameda
Posts: 436

Bikes: Xootr Swift

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 127 Post(s)
Liked 46 Times in 36 Posts
I have been mulling over this thread for the past week, as I am a bike Friday fan (even though I don't own one).

Brompton has it easy: one frame, one size. very limited variation of parts, very minimal real innovation or need to update tooling, high profit margins, very enthusiastic user base. Very distinct niche.

Brompton is extremely limited, and IMHO an overpriced factory bike (but I still love mine)

Bike Friday:. Multiple very different models. Bespoke only. Multiple tooling and skills needed to accommodate very different models (haul a day, vs pakit, vs osata, vs pocket rocket, etc). Higher skill welding needed. Higher labor costs. No marketing. Very limited profit margins

IMHO, very inexpensive for a bespoke bike. Comparing bike Friday to Moots, Waterford, or Sevens makes more sense.

Bike Friday has multiple challenges it will need to address:
- marketing/demand.
The bike market has softened considerably, even as costs have gone way up. Yan had a thread on this a few months ago.
Bike Friday doesn't market. Everyone knows a brompton, or Dahon, or Tern....bike Friday gets me blank stares from patients.

- cost/labor/logistics
Frankly, skilled American labor is expensive. As a small family business, my guess is that they are paying people that they can't justify/afford, at cost to the bottom line.
I know this because my business is the same way. I tend to be too soft on my staff
In contrast, no such problems at Dahon, tern, downtube, brompton, Ries en Muller, Pacific cycles...

- too many models
Unless they constantly sell all the models at equal amounts, I would recommend cutting some of them.

- pricing too low
IMHO, there's a strange position in the middle where you're not Walmart cheap or Nordstrom. You're in the middle like Macy's or Sears.
This is a horrible place to be.

When my practice fees were in the middle, we were treated like crap. We had low demand (they must be bad if they charge so little). Conversely, we had people complain about pricing (why are you more than Western dental).
To survive, we had to do a massive price adjustment three years ago...or close.
The insurance companies were paying us 30% or our fees from 2010. Things were not sustainable.
After correcting our fees, we were in Nordstrom territory. We still provide Nordstrom quality. However, now our patients value is more.

- Lack of strategy from management
We will have a very nasty worldwide recession very soon. Bike Friday will be hit extremely hard, and won't be able to rely on non-American markets to shield them.
If management has their head in the sand, bike Friday will be doomed despite whatever capital investment is given

In contrast, my tiny dental practice has prepared for the recession for the past 4 years. We are also bracing ourselves for the chicanery that insurance companies are increasing pulling.

At least every 3 months, we try to assess if we are doing the right thing.


I wish bike Friday the best, but they will need to dramatically change things
mlau is offline  
Old 10-19-19, 04:47 PM
  #82  
CliffordK
Senior Member
 
CliffordK's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Eugene, Oregon, USA
Posts: 27,273
Mentioned: 216 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 17020 Post(s)
Liked 3,859 Times in 2,861 Posts
Originally Posted by mlau View Post
- too many models
Unless they constantly sell all the models at equal amounts, I would recommend cutting some of them.

- pricing too low
IMHO, there's a strange position in the middle where you're not Walmart cheap or Nordstrom. You're in the middle like Macy's or Sears.
This is a horrible place to be.
I don't agree that their pricing is too low. Perhaps on a couple of models such as their OSATA.

But, start with the base price, add a few options, and it is easy to get to > $2000. And, I think they'd hurt with much higher.

They do seem to be selling bikes. According to their stock offering (linked above) a couple of years ago, they had annual gross sales of $2 to $3 Million. At say $1000 to $3000 per bike, that equates to somewhere around 1000 to 2000 bikes, I think. Or, a few bikes a day. I think their materials cost was about 40%. General Adminstration, Sales, Customer Service, & Marketing was a big chunk (an additional 40%). The basic manufacturing was a bit less than 20% of the gross.

Your dental practice likely has a benefit of getting customers in year-around. Perhaps a few busy times at the beginning and end of the year.

But, the cycling business likely gets hit with too much business spring/summer, and too little business fall/winter.

The question should be what the real cost of different models/sizes/colors/etc.

There is a lot of similarity between say the Pocket Rocket, and a few other models, although 406/451 tire sizes and brakes make some difference.

Anyway, if a greater variety would increase sales, I'd go for the variety.

I think someone above mentioned a long turnover rate. So, this time of year, they may be waiting for the orders to come in, but in the summer, they can't ship the bikes out fast enough.

So, some work on pushing bikes out the door quicker (which should have a lot of overall benefits including customer satisfaction).

I would target order to shipping of a full custom bike in 7 days.

Day 1: Pull parts, welding of any missing subunits.
Day 2: Powder coating.
Day 3: Assembly & Decals.
Day 4: Shipping
Day 5: Extra Day
Day 6/7: The sabbath.

To hit that, they'll need a stock of common parts ready for assembly. And, of course, having adequate facilities to do their powder-coating.

And, of course, "Just in Time" with outsourced components, and perhaps a secondary or tertiary source for those that just don't quite make it in time.

Pre-manufacture of parts is complex, but they should have an idea of sales from prior years to get prepared for the next year.

Assuming the $1 Million in cost of goods is say 1/3 steel, 2/3 components, then they should be able to stockpile 1/2 year's worth of steel in various finishing states relatively easily.

I think their bikes are relatively simple.

Main Frame (perhaps 3 sizes).
Seatpost Mast (couple of sizes)
Fork 16", 406, 451 sizes/styles. Otherwise one size fits all.
Rear triangle, same as fork.

Some shared between models, some not.

Anyway, 50 sub-assemblies may well cover just about every bicycle they make.

Yes, quite a few, but say one made them in batches of say 50 of each at a time, then efficiency should still cover a lot of models.

If prices will support it, I'd bring back a couple of their former models. Especially if they can get whole different classes of buyers (a recumbent buyer might not compete with a pocket rocket buyer). Likewise one might get one buyer buying both the pocket rocket and haul-a-day, but the two aren't directly competing with one another.
CliffordK is offline  
Old 10-20-19, 05:15 AM
  #83  
Joe Remi
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: NorCal
Posts: 1,345

Bikes: Haibike Sduro Trekking SL, Rivendell Appaloosa, Concinnity singlespeed, KHS mini velo (Japan market), Trident Spike trike

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 612 Post(s)
Liked 46 Times in 40 Posts
I think the market for what BF does has simply reached the end of its term. A handbuilt American bike that could be folded/disassembled into a suitcase was unique and interesting in 1989; today in cycling's VERY soft market overrun with cheap Chinese bikes that are easier to fold, there just aren't many buyers left. And the ones with money are buying Bromptons.
Joe Remi is offline  
Likes For Joe Remi:
Old 10-20-19, 07:31 AM
  #84  
ladi
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Posts: 38
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 22 Post(s)
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by Joe Remi View Post
I think the market for what BF does has simply reached the end of its term. A handbuilt American bike that could be folded/disassembled into a suitcase was unique and interesting in 1989; today in cycling's VERY soft market overrun with cheap Chinese bikes that are easier to fold, there just aren't many buyers left. And the ones with money are buying Bromptons.
I don't quite understand the focus on "US built" discussing BF. If you exclude the frame, there are quite some manufacturers that produce in higher wages western countries. Especially if one also considers cargo bike manufacturers. What fraction of a Bike Friday's price is determined by the frame? And what fraction of this could be reduced by building the frame somewhere else?

I'd guess that would not be more than 10-20%. And if you know how to sell your product it won't make a big difference. The difference to Brompton is really in marketing and in "product mangement". They have / had bikes that are exciting for urbanites: Haul-a-day and Tikit. If they would reduce costs and improve marketing for these bikes they could sell them at higher prices and make a good profit.

PS:
From a German perspective, "US built" does not mean anything. Quality and transport costs are probably similar to if it was produced in Taiwan.
ladi is offline  
Old 10-20-19, 09:29 AM
  #85  
linberl
Senior Member
 
linberl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 3,392

Bikes: 2017 BF pakiT & Dahon Mu Uno (both for sale); current ride - Trident Spike trike w/ e-assist

Mentioned: 25 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1284 Post(s)
Liked 313 Times in 248 Posts
US made means something to many Americans. There's a movement of people who want to save jobs here and return manufacturing, especially with skillsets. I, along with the 3 other people within a 1 mile radius, bought BF bikes primarily because they were US made. Bikes are really not that complicated and there are many good folding bike options so it is either price, origin, fold/ride, or customization that differentiate. BF excels in ride, has no competition in customization. BF is not super competitive on price. BF has not really made an effort to be an international bike, thus it means nothing to someone in Germany that it is US made - the shipping costs alone are prohibitive. If they no longer make them in the US, then they will lose a part of the market they already have - they will have to find some other way to pick up that market. We don't need more cheap folders, there are plenty. We don't need more Brompton clones. Customization and US manufacture matter. Otherwise BF no longer is BF - it's another folding bike from China. They could easily make ONE frame - the OSATA - and use it on every model while retaining the ability to size the bike for each individual. That also would make every bike packable and adjustable to every person in the family. That's something no other bike can offer. Imo, the Osata frame is truly the most unique thing BF has to offer. It can be marketed to parents as bikes that grow with their kids, as cargo bikes that fit both parents, and as packable travel bikes. They could make 4 models: an Osata road bike, an Osata off-road, an Osata cargo bike, and an Osata urban 16" wheel. 4 models, all the same frame, customizable in terms of components (which they don't make anyway). Optional electric assist for each.
linberl is offline  
Old 10-20-19, 11:01 PM
  #86  
CliffordK
Senior Member
 
CliffordK's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Eugene, Oregon, USA
Posts: 27,273
Mentioned: 216 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 17020 Post(s)
Liked 3,859 Times in 2,861 Posts
What exactly is advertising in the modern world?

Paying Google for page rankings?

If one searches for "Bike Friday", then BF pops to the top of the list.
But, if one searches for "Folding bike", then Bike Friday is nowhere to be found.

I did find a couple of review articles:None of the review articles seems to mention Bike Friday.

We know that Bike Friday has riders here on Bike Forums, but no regular company presence, even in the Folding Bike subforum.

It just seems that if Bike Friday wasn't a local Eugene company, I just would not know where to look for them.

I don't think random popup ads are the answer to sell the 2000 or so new Bike Friday bikes sold each year. Possibly some targeted ads on a site like Bike Forums. Or, perhaps the company could sponsor the Folding Bike subforum.

One has to make sure they get included in reviews like those by Cycling Weekly. And, if the review agency has issues with the bike, then address those issues. A small company should be able to be responsive to customers and reviewers.

I thought I was on the Bike Friday mailing list, but I seem to have gotten purged sometime around the spring of 2017. Good e-mail addresses are hard to come by, and there shouldn't be any reason to purge names. Ok, so I'm a used bike cyclist, but could potentially use parts & accessories.

And, I would be interested in what's new.
CliffordK is offline  
Old 10-21-19, 06:49 AM
  #87  
himespau 
Senior Member
 
himespau's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Louisville, KY
Posts: 13,153
Mentioned: 32 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3670 Post(s)
Liked 2,473 Times in 1,471 Posts
Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
What exactly is advertising in the modern world?

I did find a couple of review articles:None of the review articles seems to mention Bike Friday.
Advertising in the modern world is paying to get included on one of those lists. It's a pay to play world in top X lists these days.
himespau is offline  
Old 10-21-19, 08:51 AM
  #88  
CliffordK
Senior Member
 
CliffordK's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Eugene, Oregon, USA
Posts: 27,273
Mentioned: 216 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 17020 Post(s)
Liked 3,859 Times in 2,861 Posts
Originally Posted by himespau View Post
Advertising in the modern world is paying to get included on one of those lists. It's a pay to play world in top X lists these days.
I did manage to find a review that included the Pakit.

NY Times, Wirecutter: The Best Folding Bike

But, unfortunately, they weren't particularly enthralled with the Pakit, and disliked the Bike Friday fender solution.

One thing, it is easy to look at say the top 10 largest companies, and forget the 1000 smallest companies.

An exhaustive list of all the bicycle manufacturers could get pretty long (although probably less so in niche markets).

Perhaps one thing a small struggling company needs to do is hunt down the reviewers before they write the reviews, and make sure that they at least send a test bike (gift/loaner). Hard to review something that one doesn't have. And, sending out 5 to 10 review bikes/sample bikes could cost some serious cash... $10K to $20K, but could ultimately be worth much more in advertising (assuming they get a good review).
CliffordK is offline  
Old 10-21-19, 09:33 AM
  #89  
linberl
Senior Member
 
linberl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 3,392

Bikes: 2017 BF pakiT & Dahon Mu Uno (both for sale); current ride - Trident Spike trike w/ e-assist

Mentioned: 25 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1284 Post(s)
Liked 313 Times in 248 Posts
I get several cycling magazines in the mail (scored some free promos). I've seen ads in them for Brompton. I have never seen a print ad for BF. Given the # of Brompton owners out there compared to BF owners, the presence online of various Brompton blogs/insta, etc., far surpasses BF. The old saying "it takes $ to make $" is somewhat true - you have to be able to pony up bikes if you want product placement in movies and tv shows. You have to be able to cover the cost of attending Sea Otter and other bike events to show off your bike and develop a presence. BF has always relied on word of mouth for business - and unfortunately, that isn't enough in the modern world. You need to get celebrities and influencers behind your product, you need an online presence that goes beyond your own website and facebook page (preaching to the choir). It's interesting to me to watch OneMotor (my electric drive) as they go through the beginnings of this struggle - do they spend $ on marketing/media or put it back into the business, which means essentials right now? They've got little to no online presence and are also a niche product like BF - with the right marketing they could actually blow up but then they'd not be able to handle the orders. I suspect BF faced this at one point as well and made decisions that led them to today. A crystal ball would be nice. BF will never be able to compete with the cheap folder market (Dahon, Citizen, etc.) and they need some serious marketing help if they're going to go up against Brompton and the other "luxury" folders.
linberl is offline  
Old 10-21-19, 10:47 AM
  #90  
tcs
Palmer
Thread Starter
 
tcs's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Parts Unknown
Posts: 7,594

Bikes: Mike Melton custom, 1982 Stumpjumper, Alex Moulton AM, 2010 Dawes Briercliffe, 2017 Dahon Curl i8, 2021 Motobecane Turino 1x12

Mentioned: 31 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1231 Post(s)
Liked 1,018 Times in 619 Posts
Interesting. Trek started in a barn. Dahon started in a garage. Brompton started in an apartment. Specialized started in the back of a VW microbus. None were flush with capital or had anything that would pass as marketing.

Originally Posted by linberl View Post
BF will never be able to compete with the cheap folder market (Dahon...)
Bike Friday Pocket Rocket: USA msrp $1875
Dahon MU LT 10: USA msrp $2099
tcs is offline  
Old 10-21-19, 11:05 AM
  #91  
linberl
Senior Member
 
linberl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 3,392

Bikes: 2017 BF pakiT & Dahon Mu Uno (both for sale); current ride - Trident Spike trike w/ e-assist

Mentioned: 25 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1284 Post(s)
Liked 313 Times in 248 Posts
Originally Posted by tcs View Post
Interesting. Trek started in a barn. Dahon started in a garage. Brompton started in an apartment. Specialized started in the back of a VW microbus. None were flush with capital or had anything that would pass as marketing.



Bike Friday Pocket Rocket: USA msrp $1875
Dahon MU LT 10: USA msrp $2099

The majority of Dahon's bikes are cheaper, you've picked a high end one out of their line up. BF doesn't really offer anything under around $1200 starting, my pakiT ended up over 2 grand. Dahon sells folders in the $500-600 range ( and some even cheaper). In any case, Trek, Specialized and Brompton ALL have advertised and done consistent marketing; BF has not.
linberl is offline  
Old 10-21-19, 11:11 AM
  #92  
CliffordK
Senior Member
 
CliffordK's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Eugene, Oregon, USA
Posts: 27,273
Mentioned: 216 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 17020 Post(s)
Liked 3,859 Times in 2,861 Posts
Originally Posted by linberl View Post
they need some serious marketing help if they're going to go up against Brompton and the other "luxury" folders.


That brings up a question of what exactly is a "Luxury" folder?

The Air Friday has been discontinued.

My Pocket Rocket came equipped with Ultegra 9s, but I have to wonder what proportion of the bikes being sold are built with Ultegra, or even 105.

Looking at Craigslist today, I don't see any Pocket Rockets for sale. No Air Fridays. Nothing appears to be 105/Ultegra/Dura Ace/Campy/SRAM RED/Rival/Force.

Of course, what is being offered for sale doesn't indicate what is out there being ridden (and not sold)

Looking at the BF page:
Base Price NWT: $1350, bunch of options (including trailer), $4207
Base Price Pocket Rocket: $1875. Getting Ultegra, trailer and a few options, $8500

Whew!!!

The Pocket Rocket is a nice bike, but I'm not sure it comes up to $8500.

I think their website has evolved so less picking and choosing of individual options, but rather "packages".

Do they go with a straight across the board... Parts+Labor = 50% final cost, and 50% of the cost is markup (overhead).

So, if the NWT is $1350 to $4207, then it costs $675 to $2100 to build.
If the Pocket Rocket is $1875 to $8500, then it costs $940 to $4250 to build.

Whew!!!

Still, I have to wonder if there are some extra markups on the bike.

It looks like one can buy a bare Pocket Rocket Frame:
https://www.bikefriday.com/bicycles/configure/2334

Base price: $1095
About $1353 with basic frame, ultralight, titanium mast.
Still, that is a pretty big jump to get to the $8500. It does, however, give an idea of where the money is. Especially if the basic construction of the frame is about half that, so about $500 to $700 for the basic Pocket Rocket frame.

A LOT OF MONEY IN THE COMPONENTS AND THE BUILD.
CliffordK is offline  
Old 10-21-19, 11:18 AM
  #93  
CliffordK
Senior Member
 
CliffordK's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Eugene, Oregon, USA
Posts: 27,273
Mentioned: 216 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 17020 Post(s)
Liked 3,859 Times in 2,861 Posts
I noticed on their Bike Model page:

https://www.bikefriday.com/folding-bikes/bike-models


" Production spots are out to December 2019
Contact us to secure one for Your bike!"


Today is October 21.

So, mid fall/winter, and they have a waiting list that is taking them out 1 1/2 months or so.

That would indicate to me that they are still selling an adequate number of bikes. But, that they must have some production bottlenecks.

I still think they should target a full custom build in about a week.

How many sales would be people wishing to simply find a bike and ride it away?
CliffordK is offline  
Old 10-21-19, 11:51 AM
  #94  
2_i 
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Michigan
Posts: 3,490

Bikes: Trek 730 (quad), 720 & 830, Bike Friday NWT, Brompton M27R & M6R, Dahon HAT060 & HT060, ...

Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 744 Post(s)
Liked 278 Times in 208 Posts
My BF experience is with New World Tourist and their suitcase trailer. Both products might be fine for a diehard bike enthusiast but not for a person who has no interest of getting into technical issues. If I take Dahon or Brompton, Radical Design trailer, they are products ready for an interested general consumer. My wife would go nuts if she were to take apart NWT for travel and even loading NWT into a car is a bit of a nightmare. Incidentally, this was when I earned my Brompton - we were loading her Brompton into a car and my NWT and she looked at that and concluded that I should be getting a Brompton too - I couldn't be happier to comply.
2_i is offline  
Old 10-21-19, 12:04 PM
  #95  
linberl
Senior Member
 
linberl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 3,392

Bikes: 2017 BF pakiT & Dahon Mu Uno (both for sale); current ride - Trident Spike trike w/ e-assist

Mentioned: 25 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1284 Post(s)
Liked 313 Times in 248 Posts
Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post


That brings up a question of what exactly is a "Luxury" folder?

The Air Friday has been discontinued.

My Pocket Rocket came equipped with Ultegra 9s, but I have to wonder what proportion of the bikes being sold are built with Ultegra, or even 105.

Looking at Craigslist today, I don't see any Pocket Rockets for sale. No Air Fridays. Nothing appears to be 105/Ultegra/Dura Ace/Campy/SRAM RED/Rival/Force.

Of course, what is being offered for sale doesn't indicate what is out there being ridden (and not sold)

Looking at the BF page:
Base Price NWT: $1350, bunch of options (including trailer), $4207
Base Price Pocket Rocket: $1875. Getting Ultegra, trailer and a few options, $8500

Whew!!!

The Pocket Rocket is a nice bike, but I'm not sure it comes up to $8500.

I think their website has evolved so less picking and choosing of individual options, but rather "packages".

Do they go with a straight across the board... Parts+Labor = 50% final cost, and 50% of the cost is markup (overhead).

So, if the NWT is $1350 to $4207, then it costs $675 to $2100 to build.
If the Pocket Rocket is $1875 to $8500, then it costs $940 to $4250 to build.

Whew!!!

Still, I have to wonder if there are some extra markups on the bike.

It looks like one can buy a bare Pocket Rocket Frame:
https://www.bikefriday.com/bicycles/configure/2334

Base price: $1095
About $1353 with basic frame, ultralight, titanium mast.
Still, that is a pretty big jump to get to the $8500. It does, however, give an idea of where the money is. Especially if the basic construction of the frame is about half that, so about $500 to $700 for the basic Pocket Rocket frame.

A LOT OF MONEY IN THE COMPONENTS AND THE BUILD.
Based on my experience purchase and configuring with BF, the extra $$$ comes first in the frame. You can get lighter better frames (triple butted, etc.) at a premium. Then, you get lighter bettter components (from standard Acera-level up to DuraAce). Add in titanium masts. Full custom stem. You can easily get there. The pakiT, for example, starts out at around 22-23lbs. For twice the basic price, mine is 19lbs. You can get one down to 14-15lbs if you are willing to pay for it. Alan apparently got one down to 12 lbs! Clearly this is not going to sell to the average customer. Also, BF doesn't stock a lot of components although they will install anything you want; in my case, they purchased from my list, probably got maybe 20% off as a reseller, so I paid msrp and got very little credit for the stock units. Yes, in retrospect, I could have ordered the stock model and just replaced the components and probably come out close to the same price, but I didn't want to bother.
But that is the whole point of BF - you CAN get exactly what you want if you're willing to pay for it, right from the factory. Consider Brompton, for example, most of the lighter better parts are all aftermarket. You can't really configure much from the manufacturer. So you either pay a shop to upgrade everything, if you can find one, or do it yourself....or more commonly, just ride it as is. I suspect the tweakers on here are the minority; the Brompton riders I see daily are riding standard configs. I think they were really smart to come out with a sub-$1000 model, too. There are two different folder markets - one knowledgeable high-end oriented, and one utilitarian, lower-cost oriented.
linberl is offline  
Old 10-21-19, 03:05 PM
  #96  
CliffordK
Senior Member
 
CliffordK's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Eugene, Oregon, USA
Posts: 27,273
Mentioned: 216 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 17020 Post(s)
Liked 3,859 Times in 2,861 Posts
Originally Posted by 2_i View Post
My BF experience is with New World Tourist and their suitcase trailer. Both products might be fine for a diehard bike enthusiast but not for a person who has no interest of getting into technical issues. If I take Dahon or Brompton, Radical Design trailer, they are products ready for an interested general consumer. My wife would go nuts if she were to take apart NWT for travel and even loading NWT into a car is a bit of a nightmare. Incidentally, this was when I earned my Brompton - we were loading her Brompton into a car and my NWT and she looked at that and concluded that I should be getting a Brompton too - I couldn't be happier to comply.
I bought a Tikit that needs a bit of tuning, but I haven't really been too excited to ride it. But, I think that should be quick to get the basic fold, although I'm not sure it fits into my older Samsonite.

I'd love to try their new Pakit.

But, yes, I agree the Pocket Rocket is good, but not perfect. Packing it for transport in the suitcase requires a lot of disassembly and reassembly. Just getting the clamp for the rearend and seatpost lined up is always a slight hassle.

Still, you're right, the Brompton double fold looks very compact.
CliffordK is offline  
Old 10-21-19, 03:39 PM
  #97  
CliffordK
Senior Member
 
CliffordK's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Eugene, Oregon, USA
Posts: 27,273
Mentioned: 216 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 17020 Post(s)
Liked 3,859 Times in 2,861 Posts
I watched the Bike Friday "tour" video.


Hanna seems to indicate that the process is to first get the order, then purchase the components.

That likely is oversimplifying things a bit. But, it could be a source of the delays. I have to wonder if it also costs them extra. So, rather than purchasing 1000 hubs, they are purchasing them a few at a time.

It reduces cost of stock, and dead stock, but also likely increases wholesale and shipping costs.
CliffordK is offline  
Old 10-21-19, 06:01 PM
  #98  
linberl
Senior Member
 
linberl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 3,392

Bikes: 2017 BF pakiT & Dahon Mu Uno (both for sale); current ride - Trident Spike trike w/ e-assist

Mentioned: 25 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1284 Post(s)
Liked 313 Times in 248 Posts
Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
I watched the Bike Friday "tour" video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=exM-X9JD2CI

Hanna seems to indicate that the process is to first get the order, then purchase the components.

That likely is oversimplifying things a bit. But, it could be a source of the delays. I have to wonder if it also costs them extra. So, rather than purchasing 1000 hubs, they are purchasing them a few at a time.

It reduces cost of stock, and dead stock, but also likely increases wholesale and shipping costs.
My understanding is they have the basic model components on hand. But many customers spec out the components they want as it is a custom build. I had certain parts on my pakiT they hadn't sold with a pakiT before but I knew I wanted them - they got them, yes it delayed things - and now they actually offer one as an option. For example, I ordered Velocity A23 wheels with silver Velocity race hubs; BF called to let me know the silver hubs would be about a month delay so I went for black Velocity hubs instead. I wanted 105 brakes and Super SL levers; they had to acquire them. One thing they were not comfortable doing was installing a 9 speed rear derailleur on their 8 speed bike - they simple refused to do it, so I ended up pulling the cheap Claris rear derailleur and installing my own 105 NOS short cage once I got the bike. They said it was a compatibility question and they weren't comfortable installing the 9 speed, yet it works wonderfully with better clearance.
They had the standard Claris rear der on hand, they had the FSA gossamer brakes on hand, they had the cheaper wheel sets on hand, etc. But I think any higher end parts are acquired AFTER the order is placed specifically for that order. Not a quantity buy at all.
linberl is offline  
Old 10-21-19, 06:20 PM
  #99  
CliffordK
Senior Member
 
CliffordK's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Eugene, Oregon, USA
Posts: 27,273
Mentioned: 216 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 17020 Post(s)
Liked 3,859 Times in 2,861 Posts
Originally Posted by linberl View Post
One thing they were not comfortable doing was installing a 9 speed rear derailleur on their 8 speed bike - they simple refused to do it, so I ended up pulling the cheap Claris rear derailleur and installing my own 105 NOS short cage once I got the bike. They said it was a compatibility question and they weren't comfortable installing the 9 speed, yet it works wonderfully with better clearance.


It sounds like a little too much "by the book".

I can understand why a company wouldn't wish to experiment, but I think all the bike part companies made some confusion with the 8/9/10 numbering.

Obviously 10 MTB and 11s are different.

One would think they would have 105 or Ultegra, at least on the Pocket Rocket, and could put it on other bikes.

I'm wondering if drop bars are being used on several models now.

Obviously lots of different hub choices (although they don't all have to be offered).

Shifters, derailleurs, etc are all pretty standard, and I'd expect them to all be stocked (except like I said, I've never seen them list Campagnolo). Even so, they could stock perhaps a few Chorus or Athena parts.

Cranks have a couple of different lengths, but they could have say 170/175 standard for all models, and order other lengths special. Also special order tandem sets.

Last edited by CliffordK; 10-21-19 at 06:27 PM.
CliffordK is offline  
Old 10-21-19, 07:23 PM
  #100  
Nemosengineer 
Hair Ball
 
Nemosengineer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Murrieta Ca.
Posts: 431

Bikes: Teledyne Titan, Bob Jackson World Tour, AlAn Record Ergal, 3Rensho Katana.

Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 177 Post(s)
Liked 342 Times in 161 Posts
The build is interesting, in the video see how the folding rear triangle is fabricated with the frame then aligned as a unit... no interchangeable parts, each unit is unique unto itself, and it moves very quickly for two men building a frame. Yes Bike Friday is a high end bicycle in a very old tradition and you would have to redesign the product to mass produce it, however it would lose all its character and most of its value as something really special. I am really glad I own one.


: Mike

Last edited by Nemosengineer; 10-21-19 at 08:27 PM.
Nemosengineer is offline  
Likes For Nemosengineer:

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2023 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.