Monday, February 23, 2015

A letter to the NEW owners of Rans Recumbents!


As has been previously reported, Rans Recumbents now has new owners and I want to surly wish them the best of luck; along with a little possible… advice!Winking smile I have never been one to tell anyone how to run their business; but I have been known to offer a few mere considerations; especially if it concerns a product, that I have owned and really like.Thumbs up Through out my recumbent bike history, I have purchased at least 15+ recumbents; with “5” of them being a Rans Tailwind!Surprised smileFor some reason, I have always been drawn back to that bike and my present one is clearly a forever keeper!


It’s basically a medium sized recumbent and basically represents the very reason as to why recumbents were made in the first place. It’s a “Comfort” bike, that’s designed for the older cyclist consumer, period.Thumbs up

To the new Rans owners, here’s some of my suggestions, I hope you will at least think about.

1.) First and foremost, LOSE the go fast recumbent marketing aspect.Thumbs up I honestly continue to be amazed as to why, bent manufacturers fell into this trap in the first place.Wilted rose The go fast industry is a short lived industry, especially consumer wise. You need only look at pro cyclists and see how short lived their racing history is. Everyday, consumers arrive at the conclusion, that they are getting along in years and perhaps it’s time to find a more comfortable bicycle platform. Older consumers is not hot and sexy; BUT… it’s a constant sustainable market, that will never dry up.Open-mouthed smile

2.) Perhaps some retooling of various bikes, (Or new bike designs) to make them more (Older) consumer friendly.Thumbs up

3.) Hire someone who is VERY knowledgeable in marketing techniques. R & D and marketing departments are two totally different animals. Just because you designed and built a novel product; does not make you a novel marketer of it.

3a.) Don’t try and sell your product directly; if you do, you are doomed from the get go and you might as well close up shop NOW and not waste your time. The majority of consumers want a local shop / business to take their bicycle to for service and parts. You need to establish dealers for your bicycles and then direct any interested customers to THOSE dealers to purchase them. I can’t tell you how many bike shop owners I have talked to over the years, that were initially receptive to selling recumbents in their stores; only to end the relationship immediately; upon finding out consumers could purchase the same product (In their store) from the manufacturer, for a cheaper price.

3b.) Offer them some trial bikes or at a very minimal cost, to see if they will sell. If not, they can return the bikes to you. Remember, you are coming to them with hat in hand, hoping they will give up some valuable floor space, to  market your product.

3c.) Go to trade shows and events that cater to an older generation and allow test rides on your bikes. Provide a list of local dealers that carry your products.

4.) Admittedly, I’m NO fan of e-bicycles; (Electric / battery powered) BUT they will ultimately replace the hpv (Human Powered vehicle)Surprised smile and thus, serious consideration should be given, to integrate the technology into your bike line; if you plan on staying in the business long term.

As I said at the beginning; these are merely “friendly” suggestions for consideration. Here’s wishing the Rans bicycle\s owners a happy, lucrative success story!Open-mouthed smile