Sunday, August 31, 2008

Bike marketing

Quick thoughts, decided I'd post before I forgot about it.

Since biking seems to be taking off again now and people are buying bikes based as much on comfort as on anything else as evidenced by sales of city bikes...shouldn't hti be the perfect time for recumbents to take off?

Recumbents are, by all reoports, the ideal bikes for the new craze. Ultimate comfort, great speed, they can carry cargo as well as a delta frame bike (excepting cargo bikes, which there are also recumbent alternatives to). The only place where I see a definite lack of superiority is in price. Let's face it, there's no such thing as a cheap recumbent. People also talk about their lack of climbing ability, but I imagine they don't climb any worse than the 50lb Dutch commuter bikes that everyone seems to love right now.

Is it an image thing? Do people still for some reason think they look "dorky"?

The most compelling argument I've seen for recumbents not catching on is that there's more demand for delta frame bikes because that's what the professional bike racers use. That's both ridiculous and terribly, terribly plausible. Most of the hobbies I've been in, people tend to go with what's popular, whether it be flying a radio controlled Edge 640 instead of a Sughoi (so yesterday) or using foil-like wushu steel broadswords in kung fu because they move faster for competition, regardless of the fact that yoiu can't really do a form right without a properly weighted sword.

What's it going to take for recumbents to catch on?

*Note that I don't have a recumbent. I'm planning on getting one within the next year though--finances are not allowing it just now. Of course, I also need an Xtracycle. We'll see which wins.


SiouxGeonz said...

What would it take for recumbents to catch on?

Maybe...You gotta learn to ride a bike all over again, you gotta pay a it's-not-popular-yet price, and lots of 'em are even harder to get parking for than diamond frames.

Get the Xtra :)

HopmasterSpankyJ said...

You getting an Xtra will make for some great blogging, especially from those of us who want one themselves but can live it thru the blog. Mrs. Hops and I did the Beavercreek/Yellow Springs thing yesterday, I thought about ya.

I am doing a Englewood/Braumbaugh Fruit Farm (Tour de Donut supplier/host) ride tomorrow AM. An Xtra would haul a lot of donuts.....

Get the Xtra :)

Jared said...

I don't own a recumbent...but I've done about 200 miles on one. Which was enough for me to not want to get one. It was very comfortable...and it moved very nicely. However it's not a bike I would feel comfortable riding every day...especially in the city. The problem I have with recumbents is that you can't easily look around which would make them bad in traffic. I do agree that they're pretty much superior everywhere else...but not being able to see what's going on behind me or easily looking over my shoulder before changing lanes is a big negative for me! If it was mostly country riding that would be completely different.