Originally Posted by bairdco
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.