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BikeFriday possible sale. Not a bike, the company.

Old 10-16-19, 10:47 PM
  #51  
CliffordK
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Originally Posted by FolderBeholder View Post
Partnering in some form with Rivendell, in terms of cooperatively farming out their frame builds to the same Taiwanese firm which crafts Rivendellís frames is a potential option.
I didn't mean overseas manufacturing. That might preserve "intellectual property", but would destroy a small company.

Just the opposite.

Contract to build frames here in the USA for another small company that otherwise would be importing from overseas.

Or, perhaps increase the "custom" options for Rivendell as they are apparently going to cookie cutter imports.

Ideally one would find a market which one would be able to build frames when builders are idle without a full-time commitment. But, that might bring one back to stock sizing.

Unfortunately, I fear that the differences between Rivendell and Bike Friday (for example) would make such a partnership difficult.
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Old 10-16-19, 10:48 PM
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Originally Posted by tcs View Post
You appear to be ill-informed on the BikeFriday tikit debacle.
Oh, I hadn't heard about the TiKit problems. I'll have to dig around a bit to try to determine how to differentiate repaired frames. Of course, one could likely simply send in the serial number.
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Old 10-17-19, 04:05 AM
  #53  
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Marketing

They need to market to the young hip urban crowd, not to a bunch of old hippies.

Tweak there market focus. Great product I own a TIKIT.
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Old 10-17-19, 07:47 AM
  #54  
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
Oh, I hadn't heard about the TiKit problems. I'll have to dig around a bit to try to determine how to differentiate repaired frames. Of course, one could likely simply send in the serial number.
Ha! That's presupposing the tikit in question has a serial number. When I couldn't find a serial number on mine, I contacted BF and they admitted they'd built some tikits without marking a serial number.
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Old 10-17-19, 07:52 AM
  #55  
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Originally Posted by downtube View Post
They can print titanium as large as 14"*14" pieces. It's happening.
Connect the pieces with hydroformed tubes and Bob's your uncle:

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Old 10-17-19, 09:37 AM
  #56  
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What makes Bike Friday...Bike Friday, is that is US made and custom sized. Lose both of those and it's not BF anymore, maybe a good company, but not BF. IF they advertised and had bikes in dealer showrooms, they could make a good run with both the Haul A Day and the pakiT (with some minor revisions). I'd put the adjustable OSATA frame on the pakiT as well - no one makes a frame size adjustable bike that can be ridden by both parents AND kids except BF. That's something really unique. Frame size is what kept me from buying a Brompton. An adjustable frame on a bike kids can grow into college with is easily worth what BF charges. Going to OSATA frames would really cut down on the cost of building different frame sizes and having stock on hand as well. And the OSATA frame is packable, too. If I had a bunch of money and I bought them, that's what I would do....one frame that's adjustable, two or 3 models with available electric assist, and bikes in dealer showrooms and advertising with the $ I save on not making multiple sized frames.
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Old 10-17-19, 10:14 AM
  #57  
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Originally Posted by zebede View Post
They need to market to the young hip urban crowd, not to a bunch of old hippies.

Tweak there market focus. Great product I own a TIKIT.


So, what do the youngsters want... other than controlling the whole bike with an iPhone? Self riding bikes?

One of the things that Brompton has done is a very well built quick fold which maintains some maneuverability of the bike. So easy to fold that many cyclists like to kick the rearend forward every time they park the bike.



I don't think any of the Bike Friday bikes pack as quickly and as smoothly as the Brompton.

And, for the fully folded bikes, the Bromptons are COMPACT



And, once folded, the bike can still be rolled down the street like luggage.

Bike Friday has used powdercoating since the inception. Their semi-custom allows color choices, but these things limit them a bit including bad decals, and limited color schemes. Do we need brighter colors? Two-Tone?

It does look like they are offering E-Assist in many of their bike models, but it does look like a clumsy addon.
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Old 10-17-19, 11:13 AM
  #58  
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Originally Posted by linberl View Post
What makes Bike Friday...Bike Friday, is that is US made and custom sized. Lose both of those and it's not BF anymore, maybe a good company, but not BF.
Indeed, thats what they've been.

But when a businesses entity hits the tipping-point; "evolve" is the key. Otherwise their legacy is just that, one of what is fondly remembered as what once "was" when they are all but gone.
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Old 10-17-19, 11:18 AM
  #59  
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post


So, what do the youngsters want... other than controlling the whole bike with an iPhone? Self riding bikes?

One of the things that Brompton has done is a very well built quick fold which maintains some maneuverability of the bike. So easy to fold that many cyclists like to kick the rearend forward every time they park the bike.



I don't think any of the Bike Friday bikes pack as quickly and as smoothly as the Brompton.

And, for the fully folded bikes, the Bromptons are COMPACT



And, once folded, the bike can still be rolled down the street like luggage.

Bike Friday has used powdercoating since the inception. Their semi-custom allows color choices, but these things limit them a bit including bad decals, and limited color schemes. Do we need brighter colors? Two-Tone?

It does look like they are offering E-Assist in many of their bike models, but it does look like a clumsy addon.
The pakiT kicks the rear end under exactly the same way and same speed. I can actually fold my pakiT faster than my friend can his brompton. However, my bike is rectangular and not square when folded so there's that. And I can roll it folded on the front wheel. The real difference is marketing - Brompton does and BF does not.
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Old 10-17-19, 11:20 AM
  #60  
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Originally Posted by FolderBeholder View Post
Indeed, thats what they've been.

But when a businesses entity hits the tipping-point; "evolve" is the key. Otherwise their legacy is just that, one of what is fondly remembered as what once "was" when they are all but gone.
Yeah, I guess what I'm saying is that sometimes if you change things that make something what it is, then the changed thing is not saved. It's an entirely new company, with a different mission and method. So if BF is "saved" by changing the essentials, then it's not saved, it's replaced. In which case, what's the point in buying it? Just start something new.
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Old 10-17-19, 11:57 AM
  #61  
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Originally Posted by linberl View Post
Yeah, I guess what I'm saying is that sometimes if you change things that make something what it is, then the changed thing is not saved. It's an entirely new company, with a different mission and method. So if BF is "saved" by changing the essentials, then it's not saved, it's replaced. In which case, what's the point in buying it? Just start something new.
Well, if you care to look at it that way (glass half empty) you could, but if market demands/business climate changes leads you to achieve the same goal differently (steel frames, hand brazed...just not on OUR shores) and you survive an ever changing business by evolving than you've approached the problem and evolved to survive.

Would any of us KNOW the difference between a steel frame brazed in Eugene Or., vs one brazed in Taiwan?

(of course longevity is yet to be introduced into this convo but the lifetime warranty is potentially a part of an overlying problem. Warranty might have to become more realistic and in tune with the rest of the industry. 5 yrs frame?)
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Old 10-17-19, 12:06 PM
  #62  
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Originally Posted by FolderBeholder View Post
Well, if you care to look at it that way (glass half empty) you could, but if market demands/business climate changes leads you to achieve the same goal differently (steel frames, hand brazed...just not on OUR shores) and you survive an ever changing business by evolving than you've approached the problem and evolved to survive.

Would any of us KNOW the difference between a steel frame brazed in Eugene Or., vs one brazed in Taiwan?

(of course longevity is yet to be introduced into this convo but the lifetime warranty is potentially a part of an overlying problem. Warranty might have to become more realistic and in tune with the rest of the industry. 5 yrs frame?)
It's not glass half-empty, lol. It's acknowledging that what is unique has value. MANY of the people who have purchased BF bikes have done so because it is made in the US. We like that it supports US jobs and skills that are disappearing from our shores. Same reason I support Seven bikes. Off-shoring BF would change an essential part of the business. And remove a major reason some of us have made purchases. As another imported folding bike, it would disappear in the mix.
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Old 10-17-19, 12:06 PM
  #63  
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
And, once folded, the bike can still be rolled down the street like luggage.
Without a rack Bromptons roll miserably even on a smooth surface. On a rough surface, Brompton rolls poorly even with a rack. Interestingly during my few day observation of streets in London, I am not sure I saw a single Brompton with a rack. You hardly have any offering of Bromptons with a rack on UK Ebay and Halfords, now a major seller of Bromptons, does not carry them. People just fold the bike and carry it into the train. Compact size, comparable to the seat size, yes it matters.
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Old 10-17-19, 12:21 PM
  #64  
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Originally Posted by FolderBeholder View Post
Indeed, thats what they've been.

But when a businesses entity hits the tipping-point; "evolve" is the key. Otherwise their legacy is just that, one of what is fondly remembered as what once "was" when they are all but gone.
Originally Posted by FolderBeholder View Post
Would any of us KNOW the difference between a steel frame brazed in Eugene Or., vs one brazed in Taiwan?


One has to be very careful with changes.

Say the company throws them into the same group of Chinese/Taiwanese builders. Would they lose the marketing?

Would a person choose to buy a $2000 Bike Friday or a $600 Dahon Curve, or perhaps even a cheaper no-name import?

My guess is that Sears hit the same issue. They likely had major issues making price competitive tools in the USA. Still, they had loyal customers that would come and buy their Made in the USA tools for a premium price.

Then Sears chose to move their tool business to China. And, suddenly nobody wanted to pay premium prices for Made in China Craftsman tools (long advertised as made in the USA), especially with a number of other equivalent competitors at cheaper prices.

Of course, by the 2000's, the tools had become just a little corner tucked away in most of the stores.

But, I believe that Made in the USA Craftsman was a critical part of their company. Sure, they may have sold more jeans than ratchets, but the ratchets may be what actually brought the customers in the door (or appealed to both husband and wife).

A few years ago I wanted to buy some nice tools for my nephew. I just walked into Sears, then walked out the door empty handed... and about 6 months later the last local Sears store closed (while Bike Friday remained).
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Old 10-17-19, 01:42 PM
  #65  
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post


One has to be very careful with changes.

Say the company throws them into the same group of Chinese/Taiwanese builders. Would they lose the marketing?

Would a person choose to buy a $2000 Bike Friday or a $600 Dahon Curve, or perhaps even a cheaper no-name import?

My guess is that Sears hit the same issue. They likely had major issues making price competitive tools in the USA. Still, they had loyal customers that would come and buy their Made in the USA tools for a premium price.

Then Sears chose to move their tool business to China. And, suddenly nobody wanted to pay premium prices for Made in China Craftsman tools (long advertised as made in the USA), especially with a number of other equivalent competitors at cheaper prices.

Of course, by the 2000's, the tools had become just a little corner tucked away in most of the stores.

But, I believe that Made in the USA Craftsman was a critical part of their company. Sure, they may have sold more jeans than ratchets, but the ratchets may be what actually brought the customers in the door (or appealed to both husband and wife).

A few years ago I wanted to buy some nice tools for my nephew. I just walked into Sears, then walked out the door empty handed... and about 6 months later the last local Sears store closed (while Bike Friday remained).
Yes, one has to be very careful with change...but that includes when knowing that its time to make some. I'm just suggesting that BF might/may have have other options vs. selling the place lock-stock-barrel. Looking into dramatically cutting its manufacturing costs while STILL producing their hallmark brazed, steel frames could be one of those changes. It doesn't mean their bikes would then be on par with a $600 Dahon. Thats a ridiculous presumption.




I think there''s a much bigger risk in the company being sold as a whole, and the entire she-bang starts being outsourced. Then you have a problem and nothing left but a once glorious name, with none of the substance (Schwinn comes to mind)




I own a Eugene Oregon designed and built teardrop trailer...a very highly regarded one within the Teardroppin' world. The builders select Russian Baltic plywood they use in the construction of their products for a number of reasons known to them. Does that mean it isn't a US made product? Or if, for some reason they started using "local" plywood, would it no longer be the same trailer product? I don't see the logic.




Sears' problems began and end with Lanpierre. Chinese-made Craftsman tools are but a victim of Eddie gutting the place from the tool department, into every other Department in Sears. He's cleaned it out. You used to be able to buy a kit home from Sears too...most of us prolly don't remember that but as an evolution in their company history Sears did sell them, then they didnt. And then many generations later a corporate raider came in and decimated that once giant American concern.




Seems like I struck nerve among some of us, not trying to...just suggesting that BF could consider following another boutique bike builder's lead and having a small, trusted source off-shore produce to spec. some of the costliest portions of their product, but at least they'd retain control of the end product, their bottom line, and their longstanding and well earned reputation.
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Old 10-17-19, 01:56 PM
  #66  
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Move BF to Redmond, Oregon; I'd love to do a turn-around..I am experienced in manufacturing, operations, sales and finance. Let me know if you're interested in discussing further.
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Old 10-17-19, 01:58 PM
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Originally Posted by FolderBeholder View Post
Sears' problems began and end with Lanpierre. Chinese-made Craftsman tools are but a victim of Eddie gutting the place from the tool department, into every other Department in Sears. He's cleaned it out. You used to be able to buy a kit home from Sears too...most of us prolly don't remember that but as an evolution in their company history Sears did sell them, then they didnt. And then many generations later a corporate raider came in and decimated that once giant American concern.
Sears problems may well have been building for decades.

But, I think there is also a risk of having managers that are simply good with moving money, without a deep understanding of the company and customers.

No doubt one needs both, a money person and a business insider. And that dichotomy may be part of the issues that many small bicycle companies face.
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Old 10-17-19, 02:02 PM
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Originally Posted by I.B.Roots View Post
Move BF to Redmond, Oregon; I'd love to do a turn-around..I am experienced in manufacturing, operations, sales and finance. Let me know if you're interested in discussing further.
Obviously you will need to discuss any such ideas with the company, not Bike Forums.

Moving East would be a major change, but perhaps they would be open to a discussion for the right proposition.

Also, consider the impacts to the current staff, for better or worse.
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Old 10-17-19, 02:21 PM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
Sears problems may well have been building for decades.
I wholeheartedly agree.

Let's hope BF finds a solution before it's too late (unlike Sears did) as I don't think there's anyone here who doesn't want them to survive/flourish.
In this day of super-corporation and big-boxes we need more companies like Bike Friday, Rivendell etc. not fewer.
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Old 10-17-19, 03:30 PM
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Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
Obviously you will need to discuss any such ideas with the company, not Bike Forums.

Moving East would be a major change, but perhaps they would be open to a discussion for the right proposition.

Also, consider the impacts to the current staff, for better or worse.

Thank you! All true, but I'm almost sure they are watching this thread. If they are not, well...they should be...
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Old 10-17-19, 03:54 PM
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Originally Posted by I.B.Roots View Post
Thank you! All true, but I'm almost sure they are watching this thread. If they are not, well...they should be...
Perhaps.

A few of us own Bike Friday bicycles.

I live about 15 miles from their factory/store/office.

I think one former employee chimed in.

I don't remember seeing anyone identifying themselves as Bike Friday management ever posting regularly on this forum. Perhaps that is an issue in itself.

If you are serious, contact them directly, don't assume they'll simply reply to a post on the net.
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Old 10-17-19, 04:01 PM
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Is this accessible?

It appears to be the "Financials" of the stock offering a couple of years ago.

https://d19j0qt0x55bap.cloudfront.ne...d_Offering.pdf

It appears as if a couple of years ago they valued the company at around $3 Million, with about $3 Million in annual sales, but also were claiming a moderate annual loss.
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Old 10-18-19, 12:20 PM
  #73  
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Originally Posted by I.B.Roots View Post
Thank you! All true, but I'm almost sure they are watching this thread. If they are not, well...they should be...
I can assure you...nobody, at least in upper-management, is on this forum or reading this. I do agree though...they should be. I asked many employees to join this forum and be actively involved and they all said it was a waste of time. My families business made lots of money from being actively involved in forums lik ethis and I wish just one there would be. I don't have the technical knowledge of all the parts and pieces that went on every single Bike Friday sold so I was just not a good fit to take that on, but there were many who could.
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Old 10-18-19, 12:21 PM
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I know someone who wanted to do just this(move the company to Bend) with BF but move it to Bend. He has the money and the passion to make it happen. Any questions...please let me know.

Last edited by Jarlybart; 10-19-19 at 09:45 AM.
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Old 10-18-19, 03:32 PM
  #75  
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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.
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