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BikeFriday possible sale. Not a bike, the company.

Old 10-23-19, 09:35 AM
  #126  
Joe Remi
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I'm not sure discussions of the tikit are relevant now, they don't make them. I've owned several BFs similar to ones they're still building - including the PakiT - and am not convinced they are marketable options in 2019. Which is the crux of my argument, I'm certainly not saying they are bad bikes or that current owners shouldn't be happy with them. I'm talking business.
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Old 10-23-19, 09:46 AM
  #127  
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Originally Posted by Joe Remi View Post
I'm not sure discussions of the tikit are relevant now, they don't make them. I've owned several BFs similar to ones they're still building - including the PakiT - and am not convinced they are marketable options in 2019. Which is the crux of my argument, I'm certainly not saying they are bad bikes or that current owners shouldn't be happy with them. I'm talking business.
I think it depends on who you are marketing the bikes to and for what purpose. Their cargo bike is very marketable. I know you had a pakiT and you prefer your brompton, but they're really not the same and that's my point. Is there a market for a great riding 20" or 16" bike that packs for travel or is fold so much more important than ride quality? There's different markets - there's the travel market, the urban commuter market, the utility market, etc. Maybe the big problem is BF has tried to hit all those markets, where Brompton just focuses on one. It's a great commuter bike (assuming it fits you) which also can be used for some travel purposes. Maybe BF tries to be too many things and would have done better focusing on a narrower market, but then again, they did that with their NWT/Rockets and obviously felt they needed to branch out to make ends meet, so the travel market isn't big enough to sustain. I do think their cargo bike (HAD) is brilliant and a single OSATA model would be a winner (with options for flat bar, road bar) and they both use the same framing.
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Old 10-23-19, 10:05 AM
  #128  
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Originally Posted by Joe Remi View Post
I'm not sure discussions of the tikit are relevant now, they don't make them. I've owned several BFs similar to ones they're still building - including the PakiT - and am not convinced they are marketable options in 2019. Which is the crux of my argument, I'm certainly not saying they are bad bikes or that current owners shouldn't be happy with them. I'm talking business.
If they deemed a retired model could be resurrected to be profitable, they could do it. Although the Tikit needed a pause in production in part to help the Pakit gain traction.

We need details why BF is running with a 2 month lag time in the middle of the winter, and still struggling.

@linberl does make an argument for too many models. Some are highly related, so the Pocket Rocket and NWT share many features. Others are less related.

Nonetheless, I'm not convinced a variety costs them, although they might be able to concentrate on streamlining production some if they only had a single model.

Nonetheless, there are buyers of say the Pocket Rocket that wouldn't necessarily purchase other models, perhaps not at all. Perhaps going to an S&S bike over other folders.
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Old 10-23-19, 10:23 AM
  #129  
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They apparently aren't outwardly "marketing" to anyone, instead relying on (an antiquated) word-of-mouth method within a very small segment of bicyclists who might be potential customers. Reaching forward to interest and capture NEW BF customers is what marketing is all about. I'm in sales and as we say "it's a contact sport".

Marketing isn't necessarily costly in todays internet/forum/instagram age....but somebody HAS to actively do it.
Brompton is pretty good at their marketing this way.

Additionally, super-slicing that very small market-space (folding & travel bikes) with so many models means they don't manufacture any of them with any economies of scale, and inasmuch from a business/numerical standpoint and of course that's a BIG issue in any manufacturing concern of any size, boutique or otherwise.
Brompton has this figured out...yes FEWER model(s).
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Old 10-23-19, 11:38 AM
  #130  
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Well, they could do fewer models easily. One basic frame, the Osata. Fully adjustable to any length. From there it's pretty easy to do a drop bar or flat bar, a 20" or 16". Same frame on the HAD cargo bike. But marketing just a compact cargo bike and a single adjustable length folding bike would simplify and clarify marketing. The customization options on this single model could then incorporate the flat/drop/wheel size options. That would make it incredibly unique and yet allow economies of scale, I would think. I would have loved the option of the Osata frame on my pakiT to make it usable by other riders.
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Old 10-23-19, 12:05 PM
  #131  
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Originally Posted by linberl View Post
The recall fixed the problem the tikit had mechanically...
Did it? There was a report of one of the new 'fix' stems failing, complete with pictures of the injured rider. Within two weeks the YAK (BF's forum) was shut down and the tikit effectively discontinued.
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Old 10-23-19, 12:21 PM
  #132  
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Originally Posted by linberl View Post
One basic frame, the Osata. Fully adjustable to any length. From there it's pretty easy to do a drop bar or flat bar, a 20" or 16".
Interested in how either 16" or 20" wheels could be put on the same frame and result in two viable bicycles. Example of another manufacturer already doing this?
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Old 10-23-19, 12:35 PM
  #133  
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I don't have one in production, however I have a sample on order that will accept three different wheel sizes, 305,349,406.

Thanks
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Old 10-23-19, 12:47 PM
  #134  
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Originally Posted by tcs View Post
Interested in how either 16" or 20" wheels could be put on the same frame and result in two viable bicycles. Example of another manufacturer already doing this?
OSATA is simply an abbreviation that Bike Friday came up with... One Size Adjusts to All. So, their sliding frame technology could be used on a diverse number of models.

Many of the current generation of OSATA frames are non-foldable, and wouldn't make sense with 16" wheels. But, for the folding bikes, there are 3 separate components, rear triangle, main frame, and fork. It would be possible to use a common main frame with different forks/rear triangles.

Nonetheless, the Bantam isn't simply a smaller NWT
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Old 10-23-19, 12:48 PM
  #135  
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Since the bike friday frame is basically just a "top tube" with a fork/headset opening and a seat mast opening, I don't see why it can't easily be done. Wouldn't the rear triangle and the front fork determine what wheels are used? Or am I badly confused? As to tikits, I personally know 3 riders still riding theirs after the recall repair without any incident.

Bantam is a radically resized bike, and probably not something that makes them much money so it would not survive the adjustable frame alteration.
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Old 10-23-19, 01:52 PM
  #136  
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I think OSATA on NWTs would drive those buyers away. Most people don't need an adjustable length frame, and the 'take apart' feature isn't necessary with the fold/take-apart already extant for that style. It works for the HAD which uses that feature as the only way to downsize for travel.
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Old 10-23-19, 02:11 PM
  #137  
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Originally Posted by Joe Remi View Post
I think OSATA on NWTs would drive those buyers away. Most people don't need an adjustable length frame, and the 'take apart' feature isn't necessary with the fold/take-apart already extant for that style. It works for the HAD which uses that feature as the only way to downsize for travel.
I think so too. The "performance bike" sales argument does not really work any more if you have to carry extra weight just so the factory saves some bucks.

But I think in the medium price range (up to 2500$ for non-electric) it could totally work to reduce configuration option. Something like 3 model lines with 5 frame sizes in 5 colours and maybe 3 gearing options. Still some choice for customers, but it would allow to streamline production a lot. In the area of cargo bikes there are a lot of expensive ones that are not really configurable.
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Old 10-23-19, 03:36 PM
  #138  
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I think Osata works for a couple reasons. One, you can share the bike amongst family members. Now remember, we're talking about trying to get into the less-tech bike market, the family market, so this is a selling point if you're trying to expand your business. Second, it makes the resale so much easier! I remember having to search months to find a used BF in my size. And I ended up selling one instead of giving it to my son because it was too small for him. An adjustable frame makes any used bike an option, easier to sell or to gift to a family member or friend. Another bonus point for increasing the market is that it's also a bike you can buy for your kid and it can grow with them through college and beyond (and bike fridays easily last 20+ years).
If they are going to try to keep to the limited market they have, sure....the slight weight addition is a drawback. If they are going to continue to just market to travelers then sure, the Osata isn't needed. But they're not going to survive if they just do what they've always done.
An Osata based system can still be US made and customizable, keeping the nature of BF intact.
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Old 10-23-19, 03:49 PM
  #139  
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
OSATA is simply an abbreviation that Bike Friday came up with... One Size Adjusts to All. So, their sliding frame technology could be used on a diverse number of models.

Many of the current generation of OSATA frames are non-foldable, and wouldn't make sense with 16" wheels. But, for the folding bikes, there are 3 separate components, rear triangle, mainframe, and fork. It would be possible to use a common main frame with different forks/rear triangles.

Nonetheless, the Bantam isn't simply a smaller NWT
This concept is already in the works. We were calling it the Oregon Traveller or Folding Traveller if you needed it to fold. It is false advertising to say it's actually quicker to pack...trust me...I have tried it a few times and it was not faster in any way at all. Easy, yes...but not faster. I think the O.T. could be a great bike for any rental program be it a university bike program, rental program at any lake in Germany or anywhere in the world for that matter that has a nice scenic ride around a lake. I put together a little thing for the university programs and wanted to call it the Collegiate which could be sold to the university in its school colors which of course would have been easy for BF. Hanna kept stalling the process because she really wanted to do a fundraising effort like she did with the Haul-a-Day and pakiT bikes. Needless to say...the bike has still not been released though we shot photos and video of it in use for promo...I even built a page for the website to start selling them. There is money to be made in that company, profit even after you dig the company out of the huge hole it's in. I hope someone will step-up and buy it...DON'T INVEST...BUY IT! If you buy it, and I mean everything...read the small print...ask all the questions(yes that is a huge hint) and make sure you are buying the company, tooling and all the tools to build the bikes...ALL OF IT. If you do this...and the team is still there, you will be able to hit the ground running with products to sell and new projects or much-needed updates quickly after Alan leaves the building. You got this...just do it quickly.
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Old 10-23-19, 04:31 PM
  #140  
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Old 10-23-19, 06:34 PM
  #141  
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Originally Posted by Jarlybart View Post
There is money to be made in that company, profit even after you dig the company out of the huge hole it's in. I hope someone will step-up and buy it...DON'T INVEST...BUY IT!
I do think the company can be profitable.

But, based on the 2015/2016 disclosures, my guess is that the free and clear buyout price would be about $3 Million.

Moderately less if one wished to assume a mountain of debt.

The disclosure also stated that they have no patents.

If one wishes to have a bike business, one would have to weigh starting new from scratch vs buying an existing company. Although, I wouldn't choose to do direct competition with a local company.
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Old 10-23-19, 07:16 PM
  #142  
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Hi All. I currently work at Bike Friday. I've been following this thread with interest and it really seems like there should be an official response. First, thank you all for caring about Bike Friday and our bikes. We've been able to hand build custom bikes for people as long as we have because of the passion of our community. Thank you!

It's upsetting to me that one of our ex-employees has been misrepresenting internal matters on this thread. The user 'Jarlybart' has been venting in a number of Social Media platforms after leaving Bike Friday - even after being requested to stop. Seeing that they seemed to have joined Bike Forums for this purpose is very disheartening.

I believe in honesty and connecting with the community so I or someone else at Bike Friday will be frequently checking this thread to answer everyone's questions. We've also put up a blog post on our website: Bike Friday Looks for a New Business Partner Bring on your thoughts and questions!
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Old 10-23-19, 07:47 PM
  #143  
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Originally Posted by Enthusiast View Post
Hi All. I currently work at Bike Friday. I've been following this thread with interest and it really seems like there should be an official response. First, thank you all for caring about Bike Friday and our bikes. We've been able to hand build custom bikes for people as long as we have because of the passion of our community. Thank you!

It's upsetting to me that one of our ex-employees has been misrepresenting internal matters on this thread. The user 'Jarlybart' has been venting in a number of Social Media platforms after leaving Bike Friday - even after being requested to stop. Seeing that they seemed to have joined Bike Forums for this purpose is very disheartening.

I believe in honesty and connecting with the community so I or someone else at Bike Friday will be frequently checking this thread to answer everyone's questions. We've also put up a blog post on our website: Bike Friday Looks for a New Business Partner Bring on your thoughts and questions!
hey bike friday!

come to south america! Argentina, Uruguay e Brazil will greet you with open aarms!
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Old 10-24-19, 12:39 AM
  #144  
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Originally Posted by Enthusiast View Post
Hi All. I currently work at Bike Friday. I've been following this thread with interest and it really seems like there should be an official response. First, thank you all for caring about Bike Friday and our bikes. We've been able to hand build custom bikes for people as long as we have because of the passion of our community. Thank you!

It's upsetting to me that one of our ex-employees has been misrepresenting internal matters on this thread. The user 'Jarlybart' has been venting in a number of Social Media platforms after leaving Bike Friday - even after being requested to stop. Seeing that they seemed to have joined Bike Forums for this purpose is very disheartening.

I believe in honesty and connecting with the community so I or someone else at Bike Friday will be frequently checking this thread to answer everyone's questions. We've also put up a blog post on our website: Bike Friday Looks for a New Business Partner Bring on your thoughts and questions!
TBH, I could literally taste the sour grapes in his posts. Bad mouthing a former employer is always a bad idea.
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Old 10-24-19, 12:49 AM
  #145  
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Originally Posted by linberl View Post
TBH, I could literally taste the sour grapes in his posts. Bad mouthing a former employer is always a bad idea.
I'm fine with a former employee having his thoughts on stuff, but the personal "opinions" about the owners is pretty weird.
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Old 10-24-19, 06:49 AM
  #146  
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There are two sides to every story.

Glad that BF is “officially” joining this conversation (although in reality, the status of their family business isnt any of ours....the tone of this thread has been partially out of genuine interest in a legendary and unique product and its makers, and partially out of pure voyeurism. The “train wreck” effect)

Here’s hoping there is “nothing to see here” and BF and its family ownership and extended family of employees weather this storm so everyone wins. This is American small business....warts and all.
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Old 10-24-19, 09:29 AM
  #147  
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Originally Posted by Joe Remi View Post
I'm fine with a former employee having his thoughts on stuff, but the personal "opinions" about the owners is pretty weird.
Yeah, we've all disagreed with things our bosses have done, I'm sure. Jarly seems to have taken it personally (and who knows, maybe there was a personality conflict). I'm just interested in the company surviving without losing their soul, regardless of who is at the helm. I know it can't happen, but I would love to see a worker co-op! There's a super successful pizza company here where the owners literally gave the business to the workers when they retired (I know, different situation) and now they have 4 more locations; the owner/employees work their butts off and reap the benefits. Even an investor/owner who would sell partial ownership in the company to the employees would be pretty cool.
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Old 10-24-19, 09:33 AM
  #148  
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My interest is primarily in seeing a product they can market successfully in a shockingly different cycling world from the one they entered in 1989. I think the NWT/Llama design is still viable as packable bike that rides "normally", but the fiddly and incomplete fold is not. The stem needs to be hinged, and the whole product needs to fold down fairly quickly and lock into place. With this, the "made in USA" feature and the electric conversions they provide, I think it's workable.

Bike Friday makes wonderful bicycles - I've owned 4 or 5 of them including HAD and PakiT - the product line just needs some updating and streamlining to keep rolling into the new decade.
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Old 10-24-19, 12:28 PM
  #149  
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I just hope that BF keep doing their business.We own two bikes and we really love them.We been so many places in the world as you can see https://lococoupleonabike.com/ and never had any problem

The one thing I don t like is that they don t have anyone to import the bikes to Europe. This means every time I needed something I had to pay the shipping plus the custom and this is really expensive. Shortly they replaced my rear rack and I was lucky that I didn t have to pay customs taxes .If not the folding rear rack would have cost me more then 200€.

This happened to a guy from France. He contacted me over my blog and I helped him to get his BF. He forgot about the custom taxes. So he got his bike last week and he almost died when he saw the numbers. He needed to pay almost half of the bike price. It cost him really very expensive. People in Europe think twice before buying a BF therefore and often check other alternatives.


All the best for BF, and I hope they enter the European market soon!!
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Old 10-24-19, 12:28 PM
  #150  
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Originally Posted by Joe Remi View Post
My interest is primarily in seeing a product they can market successfully in a shockingly different cycling world from the one they entered in 1989. I think the NWT/Llama design is still viable as packable bike that rides "normally", but the fiddly and incomplete fold is not. The stem needs to be hinged, and the whole product needs to fold down fairly quickly and lock into place. With this, the "made in USA" feature and the electric conversions they provide, I think it's workable.

Bike Friday makes wonderful bicycles - I've owned 4 or 5 of them including HAD and PakiT - the product line just needs some updating and streamlining to keep rolling into the new decade.
I have mixed feelings about making it more "foldable". Hinges are not compatible with good rigid riding quality imo. Even good hinges. So frames, stems, etc. that fold via hinges are going to be less rideable and more problematic in terms of maintenance, too. My Dahon Mu rides well, with a frame hinge, but I do feel the difference and my pakiT is definitely stiffer and, of course, there's no hinge to maintain. BF had a hinged stem available for a while and had problems with it. Maybe that was an issue with the source, I don't know. So IF they could make a folding stem that did not flex and did not require extra maintenance that would be ok - but my pakiT stem detaches and reattaches really fast. i don't think that's a deal breaker for most folks - I think the deal breaker for folks who want that tiny fold is that all BF will be rectangular, longish, not square, because the frame does not have a hinge. As a result, it is never going to be the compact folder for people who proritize fold. If you're packing it to travel, i don't know that a folding stem matters that much.
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