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AustinBike

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AustinBike last won the day on February 4

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  1. This is clearly the best strategy. Make it stand on its own from a design, supply chain, financial and marketing sense. The worst case scenario is a company letting eMTB bleed over into their product line where they start making bad decisions on their 98% bike line in order to enable their 2% gamble. As soon as you have accepted that 46 pounds is reasonable for a bike, it becomes harder to resist the "you know, if we just make this little modification on the Tallboy, it only adds an extra pound and then we can use some of that design on the e-Tallboy.."
  2. Just replaced my crank and now have an FSA Comet crankset (175mm) available. Also have a set of 3 Shimano rings, a 42, 32 and 24. Worn but still have some life in them. PM me if you want either.
  3. Actually the difference between a fat bike and an e-bike is pretty stark. You can build regular bikes and throw a fat bike into the lineup with minimal extra work. 90% of the bike is the same. Larger wheels, wider geometry. Same handlebars, same drive trains, same brakes, you get the picture. I have to think that there are some significant differences in both the design and supply chain that makes adding an e-bike a huge effort for manufacturers.
  4. Fat bikes. Remember when that was all the rage? Every manufacturer got into them. Fat bike advocates told you this was the only way to ride. Fat bikes would be the future. Everyone would have a fat bike and a regular bike. Then regular bikes got boost and plus wheels. Fat bikes became a niche for snow areas only. Probably lots of rental opportunities from resorts, but how many fat bikes to you really see any more?
  5. I would say that "for the masses" is a sub $1,000 bike and I don't see how you get there in an eMTB. If you look at the stratification of the market (I did a marketing project on this), you'll find that as you move up closer to $4K in spending, people *generally* tend to fall into 2 categories (look at your friends): 1. I spent a ton of money on my bike and it is my only bike, all in on this one. I ride it on the streets, walnut, city park, brushy, etc. 2. I spent a lot of money on a primary bike, but I am investing in the sport. I have a FS bike, a gravel bike, a singlespeed, a road bike. I will not put all of my eggs in a single basket, but I will have a bike that I spent more money on (primary) but I don't skimp on the others. For the first group, they are a one bike person, they won't get an e-bike because of some of the limitations we've discussed. The second group would totally get an e-bike, at the right price. The problem, is that #2 is a sliver of the overall market. It might be almost everyone you know, but you know a sliver of the market. The other challenge is getting the bike to the right market price to add it to the collection. This is not a bike, technology or (possibly) even a trail access issue. This is an addressable market issue. Anything, with a large enough addressable market, can be successful. Look at Taco Bell - mediocre, cheap food, huge market, huge success. And then look at all of the "artisanal taco" shops that Austin had that went under. The addressable market for a handcrafted $4 taco is tiny, $1 tacos rule the world.
  6. A little over a year old, 20 miles on the odometer. Yep, that checks out with my theory...
  7. Vizio sounder and subwoofer https://www.vizio.com/home-theater-system/s4221wc4.html PM me if you want it and I will leave it on the front porch for you.
  8. Now the tech folks are weighing in: https://www.wired.com/review/specialized-mens-turbo-levo-comp While I agree with 99% of what is in this article, the $10-12K price tag means that few, if any will buy this bike. While my wife did not have an issue with my last $4K bike purchase, I have to think a $10K+ purchase will not be as easy to justify, especially if the trail choices are limited.
  9. I'll take this bet. At $4500 for an entry level bike with low end components, it's gonna be a tough draw. I think you are 100% correct that e-bikes are here to stay. But not eMTBs, I think those are going to be a marketing failure, but I believe that electric urban bikes will have a big opportunity and could eat a third or more of the "upscale commuter" market. I can see a future where anything over $1,000 is electric with only a tiny sliver of expensive pedal-only commuters. 29ers went from niche to 80% of the market and would probably have been 100% <scooby doo criminal voice> if it wasn't for those meddling 27.5ers</scooby doo criminal voice>.
  10. I would argue that not everyone has the same heart conditions so this could be a stretch. Most can but I don't think we can make a blanket assumption.
  11. Having done product development for many year, you have to assume that there are two business models today, and companies will need to do both (just look at 29ers and the "toe clip" problem for a modern day bike example): First, you run fast to exploit a market opportunity. That means you take existing OEM models, slap your name on them and market them. This buys you market share, but more importantly, time, while you are working on the "real" designs. Second, after you have established your position in the market, you bring the new, internally developed bike to the market. Basically the OEM model enables time to market. Where these guys are falling down is thinking that if you fill the market with ~4-6K eMTBs for the next 24 months while they get their designs ready, that they can flip the original buyers to the new designs. This fallacy has 2 huge holes: While this happens all the time on mountain bikes, there is an established resale market and top end bikes *generally* hold their value to some degree. You can buy a 2020 SC Tallboy today and sell it a year from now for ~70% of what you paid. Because there is a large resale market. Now take a look at the addressable eMTB market and you'll see that round 1 of OEM bikes saturated the market. So you really don't have a resale market to sell into. The other huge hole is the price. Today's $5K OEM eMTB is a stiff pill to swallow, but after you make that leap, how quickly do you ditch that for a more expensive bike? Odds are you ride it on fewer trails, so it takes a lot longer to mentally amortize that purchase. I see doom.
  12. This is a viable business model. e-MTB could remove the need for lifts, and a 46 pound bike is not a problem, that used to be the DH weight back in the day. I could see a huge opportunity for a place like Whistler or with someone renting these at a bike park.
  13. These are 5 distinct use cases all of which would be fine for e-bikes (because, let's face it, we should not have a position on what people ride.) But I will make 2 counters to this: 1. These use cases are a pretty small niche and the number of people in each of the groups is pretty small. Really too small for the big brands to continue to develop/market e-MTBs (commuters will be a viable alternative). 2. Land usage rights will be an issue for these bikes. It is already hard to justify dropping $4K on a bike to ride trails around here. Imagine the math of adding ANOTHER $4K for an e-bike. And if your contention is that this will supersede the MTB and become someone's only bike, imagine the difficulty in shelling out the $4K for a bike that they can only ride on SOME trails. So, that being said, #3 is unlikely to happen because your kid can ride anywhere and will say "OK boomer" when you tell them they can only ride on some trails. #4 is a great use case for a rental. I see a business model around renting being more viable than a business model around buying. I just see 1, 2 and 5 as not large enough sectors of the bike economy to merit developing/marketing. Just like the industry said we can only have 2 wheel sizes and 26" was killed because there was no longer enough support, they are going to have to decide if, based on their thin margins and tough business environments, they can support 2 completely different bike choices. One is larger and less expensive to maintain and the other is a niche and very expensive to have a presence. Let's also consider that the global economy is starting to sputter, and in economic downturns businesses cut product lines, they don't expand. Laugh all you want, but coronavirus might be the death of e-MTBs. The majority of the supply chain is in China today, think that is on the front burner right now or the back burner?
  14. That is one of my main contentions on e-bikes. I can't even get my goddamn Garmin to connect to my phone all the time, so do I want to ruin my sport by bringing more technology in? Ultimately, if I ever get to the point where I can't ride this can be an alternative, but that is a long time from now and I am pretty sure that e-bikes will be huge for commuters in the future but will be DOA in the mountain bike world. As a technology person by trade, sometimes too much technology actually takes you backwards.
  15. That's cool, didn't know that. Will be interesting to see the comments if that feature ever fails 😉
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