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Bike question

Old 03-20-20, 04:23 AM
  #1  
waddo
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Bike question

Hi all,

I am thinking about doing some paid bike touring/camping adventures. To start with I would only take two people as we have enough camping gear already. However, I would need to buy two bikes and we are perpetually broke! So the main thing is each bike must be suitable for a variety of riders short to tall by moving the saddle up and down. I am thinking that a bike with an angled cross bar would be best so that shorter riders can still step off the saddle at traffic lights with no problems. The picture below is something like I mean. Can anyone give me any other information about this? I know this is not ideal but the fact is there are plenty of bike rental places where you get what you get; and I have no other choice.

Cheers

example
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Old 03-20-20, 05:28 AM
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you might could get more size option with a folding 20" bike.
would certainly be easier to transport a folder.

https://cn.bing.com/th?id=OIP.m4Bf5C...8&pid=Api&rs=1
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Old 03-20-20, 06:13 AM
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Actually we already have two folding bikes but the I think riding long distances on them is not very nice especially for a paying customer.
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Old 03-20-20, 07:38 AM
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I do a lot of touring but self contained since 1995 or so. I did one tour with Backroads. And a few with a small company, The small company was four days and bring your own bike. They did accommodations and made sure the route was OK. Mainly looking for road construction.

my question is have you considered all the models available in the bike touring business? Perhaps there is one where you do not need to provide bikes that would reduce your cost of entry?
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Old 03-20-20, 04:30 PM
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I live in Japan so I can only target foreigners for these trips, he wold not have their own bikes. That's why I am mainly thinking about using the airbnb experiences thing. It seems quite popular and after the virus is over I think the idea of riding around the Mount Fuji 5 lakes for 3 days could be quite popular.
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Old 03-20-20, 05:49 PM
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I do believe that riding around Mt.Fuji is an attractive trip but I also think You should do it right and invest in great bikes and equipment. After all the type of tourist who can afford to vacation in Japan and be interested in athletic activity will not want to ride some klunker while their bike at home costs 5K.

Maybe take out one of those zero interest loans governments now offer to counteract the flu impact.



Originally Posted by waddo View Post
I live in Japan so I can only target foreigners for these trips, he wold not have their own bikes. That's why I am mainly thinking about using the airbnb experiences thing. It seems quite popular and after the virus is over I think the idea of riding around the Mount Fuji 5 lakes for 3 days could be quite popular.
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Old 03-21-20, 12:53 AM
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"I also think You should do it right and invest in great bikes and equipment. After all the type of tourist who can afford to vacation in Japan and be interested in athletic activity will not want to ride some klunker while their bike at home costs 5K."

Exactly. I have a friend that operates a small touring company that puts on 4 tours a year and the clients are all wealthy people. The bikes must be of excellent quality and correct for the job at hand to satisfy this level of customer.
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Old 03-21-20, 01:19 AM
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Perhaps you can make arrangements with an established bike rental company and pass the cost to the client.
At least until you can get some funds to purchase your own bikes.
Agreed with the others, you need to have some nice bikes, not only to impress the client, but the bikes and their components will be more reliable
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Old 03-21-20, 01:43 AM
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Originally Posted by waddo View Post
I live in Japan so I can only target foreigners for these trips, he wold not have their own bikes. That's why I am mainly thinking about using the airbnb experiences thing. It seems quite popular and after the virus is over I think the idea of riding around the Mount Fuji 5 lakes for 3 days could be quite popular.
good to have some more detail. otherwise since most members are us-based would have made us-centric suggestions.

have you considered the competition? what do they offer, and how are you going to compete with them? what do you have that's unique? lower cost or something else? do you have any tour guiding experience?

https://www.tourradar.com/i/japan-bicycle

now that the stock market has dropped 30%, with another big drop or two expected, who do you think is going to have $5K to drop on a bicycle tour? with paper (or real) 401K losses approaching 50%, how long until people are willing to shell out that much again for a vacation? that's assuming international travel recovers, and assuming japan opens their borders to foreigners.
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Old 03-21-20, 04:25 AM
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There is no competition for the kind of trip I will offer and which can be seen in my youtube videos. The idea of a better bike is something to think about later; at the moment I have no idea if I would even have any customers. And the question remains: what kind of bike is best so the shortish and tallish people can all ride it with comfort. That's the question I am really asking. The folding bike answer is good, but I am not sure riding them for 50km or so in a day would be very fun for paying customer. I only ride bikes and don't know anything about them and am not really interested in them, which is why I am asking this question.
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Old 03-21-20, 05:05 AM
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So, basic bike manufacturers make 3 sizes (s,m,l) and good manufacturers add at least 2 sizes.

What logic would make You think there is a magic bike that would make PAYING customers comfortable on back to back 50K days ?
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Old 03-21-20, 06:17 AM
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Originally Posted by waddo View Post
... I only ride bikes and don't know anything about them and am not really interested in them, which is why I am asking this question.
Makes me wonder how wise it is to start a business venture for which you have no passion.
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Old 03-21-20, 06:42 AM
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I live riding. I love touring. Check my youtube channel (waddo). I am not interested in bikes. I play piano. I love music. I am not interesting in piano manufacturers. I want to start this to make some money and share my unique knowledge of touring in Japan. I am also not interested in money. I just need to eat and pay rent.
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Old 03-21-20, 08:22 AM
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As somebody who occasionally takes that kind of trip, I think it is a reasonable idea, but I think the problem could be the bikes.

The ones I have been on, in Asia as well as Central America , use middle of the road hard tail mountain bikes, presumable because they are easy to source and fairly robust. The tour operators usually have some kind of arrangement with a rental company that has a large number of bikes in various sizes, sometimes you can ride different bikes and choose the one you want. Sometimes they have a bike specially prepared for you.

For a small operator , I can't see how it would be economic to have a stable of bikes to fit various sizes of people, and some kind of generic medium size bike that must be adjusted, might be a fairly mediocre solution for a person that has paid a lot of money to ride them. I dont think the bikes have to be high end, but they have to fit and be comfortable to ride.

I presume the clients will be people who are more interested in touring/cultural aspects than riding long distances. Some of the European tours cater to wannabe racers who want to recreate the classic races, and that is a different kettle of fish.Those kind of trips, clients usually bring their own high end bikes. A friend was telling me of a trip in Italy, where the client's bike was delayed in arriving and the tour operator offered the guy a classic steel 80s vintage road bike to ride and the client freaked out.
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Old 03-22-20, 03:04 AM
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Originally Posted by waddo View Post
I live riding. I love touring. Check my youtube channel (waddo). I am not interested in bikes. I play piano. I love music. I am not interesting in piano manufacturers. I want to start this to make some money and share my unique knowledge of touring in Japan. I am also not interested in money. I just need to eat and pay rent.
in that case, not sure you're a good fit to go into the cycle touring business.
not in good times, and especially not in bad times. to be successful, you
need the passion. not interested in bikes? pass.

i looked at one of the shorter videos, skipped through one of the longer ones.
seems like you have fun, but actually kinda boring....to me at least.
the music put me to sleep.

there are no major barriers to entry for cycle touring. just about anybody with
a couple bikes can do it. i saw nothing in the videos that would differentiate
you from the competition. load some stuff, ride bike, set up camp.
lather, rinse, repeat - with some selfie stops along the way.

once we get through the pandemic, and hopefully international tourism starts
up again, there will be a large number of established, passionate, hungry
tour operators ready to go. they have the clientele, the resources, the
contacts, the online ratings history, and proven tours. that'll be hard to beat.
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Old 03-22-20, 08:53 AM
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What logic would make You think there is a magic bike that would make PAYING customers comfortable on back to back 50K days ?
Err.....one that's properly fitted???

Trouble is......there isn't one for every body geometry. Best choice for Keith is to buy 4 . One small,one large,and two medium framed bikes.


Makes me wonder how wise it is to start a business venture for which you have no passion.
not sure you're a good fit to go into the cycle touring business.
His passion is for cycling,as is mine.
I'm not a tour guide but that doesn't stop me from occasionally pretending to be one for sheep that come to these bowels.
Trying my best to keep them from getting jacked as we pedal around the DMZ and making some scratch while doing it.
I ain't aiming to be a Fortune 500 company...he ain't either. Just getting some extra, to be able to mash again tomorrow a bit more comfortably.
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Old 03-22-20, 11:00 AM
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Originally Posted by waddo View Post
I live riding. I love touring. Check my youtube channel (waddo). I am not interested in bikes. I play piano. I love music. I am not interesting in piano manufacturers. I want to start this to make some money and share my unique knowledge of touring in Japan. I am also not interested in money. I just need to eat and pay rent.
I don't have a bike recommendation for you but would echo the suggestion to really try to find a rental provider you can work with. If your passion is not mechanical, trying to maintain your (albeit small) fleet will be an issue. If you could fins a rental Co. then you can focus on the trip details (your specialty) and let them focus on the mechanical.

Investing in depreciating hardware may not be that ideal. You have to maintain them, replace them, store them and transport them. Being able to let someone else do all that could be better.

I ran a small landscaping/renovation company for years and did a similar thing in terms of supplies. I basically charged for my labour and had transparent pricing for products. I bought from the building supply store and passed that along, as is. If I needed a machine I rented that and passed the rental along. Made my job pretty easy, kept my investment costs down and let customers pick whatever product they wanted.

Last edited by Happy Feet; 03-22-20 at 11:03 AM.
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Old 03-22-20, 01:05 PM
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Originally Posted by waddo View Post
There is no competition for the kind of trip I will offer and which can be seen in my youtube videos. The idea of a better bike is something to think about later; at the moment I have no idea if I would even have any customers. And the question remains: what kind of bike is best so the shortish and tallish people can all ride it with comfort. That's the question I am really asking. The folding bike answer is good, but I am not sure riding them for 50km or so in a day would be very fun for paying customer. I only ride bikes and don't know anything about them and am not really interested in them, which is why I am asking this question.
Going to have to get more interested if you want this as a business, as others mentioned, working out a deal with a rental company is a good way to go. Barring that I would try to open an account with a bike brand; you want to start off with quality items to begin with. An 800.00 trek FX or C-dale quick or any other brand equivalent is the least I would offer to paying customers who are going to do a 3 day ride or 50k a day and you're going to need multiples. A couple might need 2 different sizes but might not and if they do that's no assurance it will be 2 med and not too small. You're also going to need to know how to fix them, adjust them and make sure parts are replaced as needed otherwise you're losing money to someone doing it for you and getting extra headaches from things going wrong.
Other question is who will be doing this with you? Will you be having people's stuff hauled along or making them carry it? Obviously you won't be carrying everyone else's on your bike, this will also impact the bikes you go with and how you set them up.
Maybe you can get away with a couple to begin with but expect to have to put some effort into it or get angry customers, poor reviews and people demanding chargebacks.
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Old 03-22-20, 07:09 PM
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Thanks for the reply. Also your points are very valid and I think this is something to look into.

Cheers
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Old 03-22-20, 07:13 PM
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Thanks for the reply and this is why I posted on here. You have given me plenty of food for thought. I have made a file of some replies so U can refer to them later when the virus thing is over.

Cheers
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