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Old 01-14-2011, 09:53 PM
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scottmanesis scottmanesis is offline
Motorized Bicycle Elite Member
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 107
Default Re: Wally World Huffy Vs Schwinn

Originally Posted by bairdco View Post
my opinion towards huffys, new schwinns, and every other cheaply made china bike is well known, so i'll give you my opinion on your "business venture."

the problem as i see in making "entry level" bikes, is in order to compete with everyone else doing it, you end up making the same piece of junk as everyone else, with all the same crappy parts that cause all the problems, and in the long run, you'll do more harm than good for the future of motorized bikes.

essentially, you're building a toy that someone can beat on and then dump it off to the next sucker on craigslist. it'll just be another fad to most of those people, like gopeds, pocketbikes, etc.

you're also not gonna make much money doing it. i figure your target price would be around $400 for an entry level china doll on a huffy, right? leaving it bone stock and adding a motor kit puts your cost around $250, and a day of labor. sounds good at first, but add in the extra time and hassle when chain tensioners fail, coaster brakes break, fenders fall off, gas tanks leak, etc, etc, etc.

you're turning that entry level customer into a one time, dissatisfied buyer, who'll never move onto the next level.

then in your mid-level bikes, if you're still using a cheap bike but upgrading the parts, all you have is a cheap bike with a heavy duty wheelset.

my biggest gripe about trying to make this a business, is never before have bicycles been sold so cheap, and made even cheaper. and the alternatives are few, and much more expensive.

20 years ago if you walked into a bike shop and asked for a 69 dollar complete beach cruiser, they woulda laughed you out the door. that's what a set of tires and tubes woulda cost. the first bike my mommy bought me in the 70's was a schwinn mag scrambler. if i remember correctly it was 200 bucks. and it was a low-end bmx bike back then. nowadays, for that same 200 bucks, you could buy at least 3 low end bikes from walmart, and they'd never last as long as my old scrambler.

sorry, ranted a bit there...

in a nutshell, what i'm trying to say, is everyone i've run into that bought a complete bike from a so-called "company" that was based on a cheap bike, either doesn't ride it anymore, has it up for sale, or wants me to fix it.

in my book, that's not good business.

my final advice, if you're serious, is to set yourself apart from the guys selling cheap toys. build something you're proud of, and something that's safe, functional and fun, instead of just another junky bike with a kit slapped onto it.
I don't think your ranting at all and I respect your opinion. I don't want to sell "junk" bikes and I have seen the same issues that you have. I see motor bikes that are 69 dollar specials with 100 engines slapped on them being sold in the area all the time for 5-600 dollars.

I wouldn't care if I just broke even on the entry level builds and my thoughts are my "entry level" bikes will be better than anybody else in the area is putting out and have my full support and service and not even be much more expensive. I see the value of a customer over a lifetime not on a single sale.

The city of Austin has it's own rather "unique" problems with the speed of growth. There is NO PLACE to park a car, the traffic is horrible and unless you are in really good shape the hills in the city make riding a bicycle only for the athletes.

I personally believe a little attention to detail, some better quality motorbikes along with some good marketing and PR that the city of Austin could actually become more motorized bicycle than cars, it makes sense in a city like this but people are just no aware that these things even exist.

I think the city would actually support the venture if someone took the reigns and worked with them to ensure safety, epa mandates etc. Parking and traffic are HUGE problems in our city. The price of gas is about to skyrocket and I really in my heart just believe it is the right time at the right place.

I could be wrong but I would never know if I didn't try! Oh and we also have pretty darn mild weather making the bike practical 11 months of the year.
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