Friday, June 5, 2009

American Xtracycle dream....

I should clarify my thoughts on Xtracycles. Here's my WHOLE thoughts and worries list.

1) The rising trade and operation costs for an American company that's getting stuff made in Taiwan is making it possible for an American made product to compete in both price and delivery. I'd like to see manufacturing come back to America. Rising transport and foreign labor costs are making this fantasy look more realistic.
My answer - With the closings of all these auto manufacturing plants, it'd be great if somebody sunk money into a large bicycle frame/fork/component manufacturing plant that can make nearly anything you want in the realm of frames, forks, Xtracycles, trailers, racks, handlebars, wheels, etc.....This could be a profitable venture and put people to work. Companies like Surly, Kogswell, Xtracycle, Rivendell, and even biggies like Trek and Kona could contract product to be built there. Way less than one percent of bikes and bike parts sold in America are made in America so there's a large market share to gain. Some major tax breaks for the environmental goodness of manufacturing bicycles would also be helpful!! We could do it!

2) I'm a lil' embarrassed when somebody asks me the cost of my Xtracycle because it's usually someone that doesn't spend a whole lot on bicycles. I'm actually philosophically opposed to spending so much for snap things and snap decks But I already have my own answers for this problem. ;-) The other pieces are worth it but now Xtracycle is making it harder to buy individual components/replacement parts. This is usually a typical problem that comes with growth and/or changes in management. If I'm not mistaken....Both of these have happened recently.
My answer - I'd love to make everyone realize bicycles are an investment and worthy of their money. They replace cars and make us healthier and friendlier folks. Back when the Wright Brothers were building bikes, it was common for people to spend half a year's wages on a bicycle. Some spent more and some spent less but nowadays that'd be equal to people NOT FLINCHING at $15,000 dollar bikes. That sounds great to me!