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Yeah, but what about the LSU-Alabama game?

Should be interesting to see if the Copenhagenize market is big enough (and "spendy" enough) to support a bike shop long-term.

One of the reasons most shops cater to racers and/or commuters is that they buy a ton of accouterments--and keep buying.

I'm not a hipster but I do have to say that the Yakkay helmets look nice. Probably not enough ventilation for a serious training ride, but it could be nice for a casual sightseeing ride around the area.

The kids helmets don't look like "bike helmets" either. Maybe that could convince more kids to wear helmets.

The fact that every "tweed" ride gets hundreds of participants suggests that DC might be able to support at least one transportation-oriented, "European style" bike shop.

When I bought my Breezer Uptown 8 (sort of an Americanized Amsterdam bike) from Rollin cycles on 14th street, I had the distinct feeling that the person who sold it to me had no clue as to the virtues of the product he was selling. The same comment applies to Big Wheel Bikes, who also carried that model. I prefer to buy from people who understand what they are selling.

@JK,

Sure, of course there are lots of tweed Riders out there--or "Citizen Cyclists" as Mikael would term it--and they'll likely buy a bike here. Unless they find one cheaper elsewhere. Either way, a bike shop doesn't survive by selling the bike, but by selling accessories, parts, and service.

The whole point of Copenhagenize is that you don't ever buy any specialized equipment. Putting aside cycling subgroup infighting, the reason most bike shops don't cater to that demographic is that it's likely to make what's already a precarious business even more
so.

@oboe:

Levi's Commuter line. All the variations on SPD-compatible Chuck Taylors. (Crappy) fixed-gear bikes at blah-mart. A million plus trips the first year of CaBi operation, and all on non-enthusiast bikes, mostly without a lick of lycra or other bike wear. Bikeshare programs popping up all over the country, bike commuter subsidies, biking as a political football in major national debates... That has nothing to do with catering to old fart enthusiasts like me or young turk racers like you (heh!), that's the Copenhagenize market penetration playing out against little-c conservatism.

"Urban cyclists" may spend less annually, but there are soooo many more of them out there, and if there's no LBS that carries the things they want then all that local cycling support goes online and elsewhere.

(IMHO, the whole point of Copenhagenize is that you don't NEED to buy specialized equipment just because you're biking around town. Took me a couple of decades of riding to figure that out on my own...)

JK,

If you already understood why you were buying your Breezer Uptown 8, why care about the guy selling it?

"The whole point of Copenhagenize is that you don't ever buy any specialized equipment."

Copenhagenize, which I support, is as much an exercise in marketing as every other idea that is being pushed. Sure, you don't _need_ a ton specialized equipment, but there is still plenty of gear that can be sold to the Copenhagenize crowd. I know I've bought more than my share in the past two years.

I once heard Performance described as "a clothing store that sells bicycles." Following that approach (and I'm just thinking out loud here), a utility-oriented bike shop could sell Levi Commuter jeans, similar (and better) trousers by Swrve, an array of messenger and other bags, those folding baskets by WALD (is anyone else selling them?). They could even offer dynamo-hub-light upgrades to existing bicycles. And tweed. They could sell tweed if they want.

@dayglo

Dollars are like votes. I'd rather vote for someone I like at the same time that I vote for the product I like.

Copenhagenize seems to be a concept to get non-carbon-obsessed and non-spendy-commuter to be accepted on an overpriced bike. This "transportation-oriented" cyclist is perfectly happy riding in duds purchased from Walmart.

Since my extended jeremiad got ate by the comment engine, just wanted to note that this $200 bicycle would make an excellent substitute for the Breezer 8 for many a low-information bicycle buyer:

http://reviews.walmart.com/1336/15382686/cycle-force-tour-de-france-stage-one-elite-55cm-road-bicycle-reviews/reviews.htm

Note the 5-star review!

(Apologies if the original comment comes back..)

It's a different part of town, but Bicycle Space is going after the stylish cycling crowd quite heavily. Their sign says "Style matters." Not only did they host a Tweed Ride stop, it's possible to buy a tweed-patterened helmet, a polka-dot frame, and a striped saddle. All at the same time. I believe one of their display bikes was set up in that manner.

@I Forgot:

But that's contingent on a misconception on the part of Mikael (from Copenhagenize): the reason everyone rides a omafiets in Copenhagen is that there are a million of them laying around, and can be had for a song. They're the equivalent of the 10-speed Pugeuats you see all the hipsters riding around on.

If all the chic urban folks in Holland and Denmark had to buy one new, and there were 6 million steel-frame mountain bikes and 10 speeds on offer on Kraigslist.dk, it's not hard to guess what they'd be riding around town.

(That's not to make any claim on the relative merits of a 10-speed, versus Trek Antelope, versus omafiets for day-to-day use. Just saying if the difference in price is $600, the benefits of an omafiets need to be pretty damned obvious.)

DC is not Copenhagen. We have real hills,horrible drivers(and peds),and they throw down a ton of salt when it snows. I have zero interest in a steel framed/accessorized bike with limited gearing and meh brakes.

@oboe: +1 from this retrogrouch

@dynaryder,

Sounds like you might as well be talking about CaBi. Perfectly sufficient for my needs. If I could pick up a omafiets for $50 I'd do it in a heartbeat. Of course, my wife would probably kick me out, so maybe it's a good thing.

@oboe:
Gotta call you on this one.

...excellent substitute for the Breezer 8... The Breezer Uptown 8 is a step-through frame with fenders, integrated lights, and rack. The Elite is a fenderless, lightless, rackless road bike with drop handlebars. Not the same at all.

...this $200 bicycle... Shows as $499 for me.


Note the 5-star review! Based off of one review.

@eevee:

Damnit, all my careful research was blown away when my comment got ate!

This is the bike I was trying to link:

http://www.walmart.com/ip/Cycle-Force-Tour-de-France-Advantage-43cm-Trekking-Bike/15383066

While looking for the original, I came across this one, too:

http://www.walmart.com/ip/Hollandia-New-Oma-24-Cruiser-Bike/16539716

Kidding aside, I totally agree with you, the Breezer is a great, high quality bike that these other two can't even hold a candle to. But at the end of the day, the mass market of non-cyclists who we want to get onto bikes are the same folks who are most likely to look at a Breezer or a Gazelle, then look see the "same bike" at WalMart for $800-$1000 less.

http://www.mydutchbike.com/bicycles/gazelle-omafiets-and-opafiets/

(I'll refrain from commenting on the absurdity of the name "Cycle Force Tour de France Advantage Trekking Bike")

Oboe,

Thanks for the links. Walmart's fake plastic Eurobike clearly demonstrates that the 1-percenters (aka People In Charge) think that a sizable market for Eurobikes exists. I don't like the PIC all that much, but I don't think they're a bunch of morons.

Hopefully when the cranks fall off the Walmart bike, the aspirational cyclist (if they're still alive) will then head to "The Daily Rider" for the real mccoy...

Hmm, two comments so far have gotten eaten...

1. Three boutiquey, "Euro-style" bike shops opened within a mile of one another in Chicago in 2009, and two are still around, so evidently it's a sustainable business model.

2. I've spent way too much money on accessories at stylish, boutiquey bike shops in London, Minneapolis, Toronto, etc. Besides, clothes/accessories are where the margins are; bikes are competitively priced since everyone comparison shops on those.

3. Copenhagenize might understate how much bikes cost in CPH. Perhaps due to lower theft rates than in Amsterdam, people in CPH seem to ride much nicer bikes. Plus, everything's expensive, since wage rates are high; the locally built Christiana Bike bakfiets (I assume they don't even pay tax, since they're in the anarchist commune) are still a few thousand dollars, but they're fairly common around town.

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