spencer blog thread

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Last post
newellbt
(Reply to #15051)

iwillbe wrote:
So basically the spencer industry is trying to pivot to being the "bicycles and also electronic motorbike"

the only two categories within the spencer industry showing any signs of growth in the past couple years are eBikes and "gravel/allroad/bikepacking" sooo ya

Tue, 09/12/2017 - 16:34
iwillbe
iwillbe's picture

yup, those and family biking.

I totally don't get the spencer industry at all. It seems like there are these basic mis-matches between the impossibly huge numbers of people who want to ride a spencer sometimes and the apparently razor-thin margins almost all shops, manufacturers, and workers labor under. At the same time, huge PE funds keep snapping up brands- I don't get what they're seeing in terms of the landscape those brands operate in.

But then, this is probably why I post anonymously on an internet bicycle message board instead of managing an alternative recreation brand for a private equity group...

Tue, 09/12/2017 - 16:55
crabbi
crabbi's picture

there's a difference between margins that a bicycle company has on their units and what an lbs has. the spencer company does such large volume that they can take a significant loss in profit from the 50 units of xxx they have left over in inventory from 10000 units vs the shop that still has bikes that are 2 years old and won't sell at 5% over wholesale. the industry is profitable, the retailer is not.

Sneaky Viking wrote:
if you're here, you probably fucked up somewhere along the line.

Tue, 09/12/2017 - 17:11
iwillbe
iwillbe's picture

Even when sales are down across the board? I get that the shops are basically being crushed to death between companies that control production and logistics chains and consumers who would rather just buy everything off of eurocheappartsdotcom, but I can't imagine that the kinds of shrinkage that have happened in the last few years have been good for anyone upstream from brick and mortar retail.

Tue, 09/12/2017 - 17:21
eric_ssucks
eric_ssucks's picture
(Reply to #15055)

iwillbe wrote:
Even when sales are down across the board? I get that the shops are basically being crushed to death between companies that control production and logistics chains and consumers who would rather just buy everything off of eurocheappartsdotcom, but I can't imagine that the kinds of shrinkage that have happened in the last few years have been good for anyone upstream from brick and mortar retail.

Nope, it's pretty shitty for everyone. The economy has been in the shitter for long enough that the people who would buy bikes are don't have any money for toys.

Tue, 09/12/2017 - 17:50
Tail Hook Lengthener
Tail Hook Lengthener's picture

On the manufacturing side, the industry is broadly still profitable, but the signs are extremely worrying. The industry grew up around selling road and MTB to boomers with Lance fever and disposable income, but they have absolutely saturated that market, which is the only place where they made real profit, not squeeze a few dimes out in volume. With that market dried up, consumers flat broke for a variety of reasons, and incoming competition from online brands with no brick and mortar ties, they are absolutely quaking in their boots.

As I understand it, the only spot of growth in the past two years has been gravel/all-road and MTB, due to he popularity of enduro. They are pushing HARD, but even e-bikes aren't moving, not in the volumes they need to keep the profit margins they are used to. For anyone who is sincerely interested in this, the trade publication Bicycle Retailer covers the industry in depth, and is actually brutally upfront and surprisingly well written.

Sneaky Viking wrote:
when you look back at your life sometimes you see a set of hands on your keyboard and a set of paws, but sometimes there's only a set of paws and that's when Tarckbear was typing for you.

Tue, 09/12/2017 - 17:58
Tail Hook Lengthener
Tail Hook Lengthener's picture

As for shitting on the trails, I am a vegetarian, so surely no one minds if I dump my plant matter turds all over the trail, right?

Sneaky Viking wrote:
when you look back at your life sometimes you see a set of hands on your keyboard and a set of paws, but sometimes there's only a set of paws and that's when Tarckbear was typing for you.

Tue, 09/12/2017 - 18:00
Rentable Faxmachine
Rentable Faxmachine's picture

I stopped by one of the shops that are part of a big local chain, and nearly every ebike was on sale.

Tue, 09/12/2017 - 18:04
lukasz
lukasz's picture

Wintage Townie wrote:
As for shitting on the trails, I am a vegetarian, so surely no one minds if I dump my plant matter turds all over the trail, right?

just start pooping next time you see a horse person

Tue, 09/12/2017 - 18:04
cheese
cheese's picture

Tue, 09/12/2017 - 18:59
johnnyraja
johnnyraja's picture

These posters are all over the Tsali trail system in western NC. Fuggin horse people

miguelaron wrote:
obese and unamerican
is your name Fat Albert Queda by any chance?

euclid wrote:
If you never open packages or slice fruit, is life really worth living?

Tue, 09/12/2017 - 20:06
emor
emor's picture

Anyone who says "horse poop on the trsil isn't a problem" obviously hasn't hiked on a trail pounded two feet deep into the earth by pack horses and coated in a thick layer of horse shit on a 90 degree day and breathed in clouds of pulverized horse dung while excercising vigorously.

"my main life goal is to have a dirtbag camper van with a bunch of bikes on it, go camping every vacation forever" -- me

Tue, 09/12/2017 - 20:21
mander
mander's picture

Top quality post ^^^

Wed, 09/13/2017 - 01:11
kmcdon
kmcdon's picture
(Reply to #15064)

I wonder if they have permission to use the pictures of the biker and hiker. The poster does have a copyright.

Wed, 09/13/2017 - 01:59
Viggen
Viggen's picture

So glad we don't have horse people on our trails up here.

Whippin Skidz wrote:
This is tarck, there is a complicated solution to everything and we will endlessly discuss until an agreed upon solution has been tabled. This is out of your hands now.

Wed, 09/13/2017 - 09:10
fixed
fixed's picture

sounds like the LBS is getting squeezed the same way as the car dealer. except the car dealers have 60 years of legislative protections from 38 state governments keeping the competition down. and they're often the most politically powerful organization in many small towns.
maybe i should get into bicycle industry consulting.

Wed, 09/13/2017 - 09:23
fixed
fixed's picture

richard sachs being utterly ridiculous on instagram
https://www.instagram.com/p/BY-iulWjIZ7/?taken-by=therichardsachs

he was at rochester cx with his team, pedaling around on one of the team cx bikes wearing adidas slide sandals and RS team socks and cargo shorts.

Wed, 09/13/2017 - 12:45
NOVELTYNAME
NOVELTYNAME's picture

http://landlordscycling.com/2017/09/nw-touring-pt-1/

Heiney shows up on landlords
Bikedorks shit pants

"Folks want options!"

Wed, 09/13/2017 - 13:00
newellbt
(Reply to #15069)

fixed wrote:
richard sachs being utterly ridiculous on instagram
https://www.instagram.com/p/BY-iulWjIZ7/?taken-by=therichardsachs

he was at rochester cx with his team, pedaling around on one of the team cx bikes wearing adidas slide sandals and RS team socks and cargo shorts.

sachs will be sachs my man, enjoy it while it is!

Wed, 09/13/2017 - 13:07
Viggen
Viggen's picture

That's a fuck ton of filing and it's not even nearly as nice as Eric's stuff, fucking Sachs man.

Whippin Skidz wrote:
This is tarck, there is a complicated solution to everything and we will endlessly discuss until an agreed upon solution has been tabled. This is out of your hands now.

Wed, 09/13/2017 - 16:21
that guy
that guy's picture
(Reply to #15071)

iwillbe wrote:
So I'm not at all in the spencer industry, and am thus not privy to b2b marketing, dealer camps, and all that stuff. I'd love to hear from people who are though, about the weird tone of Ebike articles like this one:
http://dirtragmag.com/shimano-goes-electric-first-ride-on-the-e8000-steps-e-spencer-drivetrain/

It has the same weird passive aggressive, "deal with the motor, you snobby elitist" tone that almost every article, across about a decade and dozens of publications has had. Is this just the line that the ebike industry feeds people? If so, why?

Also, I'm not al all happy about the idea of mopeds getting snuck into backcountry this way.

Former spencer industry media slimeball checking in here.
This is how it goes down:
1. 99% of the media people don't give a shit about e-bikes and would rather they just go away.
2. BUT they know readers/consumers are curious about them (silent majority) and so they are covering (like it or not) the latest trend in the industry.
3. The big brands don't give a fuck what the media wants to cover, they tell them what to cover, and the media is 100 percent beholden on the industry advertising dollars to pay the bills.
4. Big brands want to sell e-bikes, so that's what they're going to do. Media grudgingly goes along with it.
5. Like most controversial issues, there are valid points on both sides, which results in both sides digging in their heels and feeling righteous rather than trying to find a compromise based in reality.

Bikes suck. Don't ride one.

Fri, 09/15/2017 - 16:48
Rentable Faxmachine
Rentable Faxmachine's picture
(Reply to #15072)

that guy wrote:
iwillbe wrote:
So I'm not at all in the spencer industry, and am thus not privy to b2b marketing, dealer camps, and all that stuff. I'd love to hear from people who are though, about the weird tone of Ebike articles like this one:
http://dirtragmag.com/shimano-goes-electric-first-ride-on-the-e8000-steps-e-spencer-drivetrain/

It has the same weird passive aggressive, "deal with the motor, you snobby elitist" tone that almost every article, across about a decade and dozens of publications has had. Is this just the line that the ebike industry feeds people? If so, why?

Also, I'm not al all happy about the idea of mopeds getting snuck into backcountry this way.

Former spencer industry media slimeball checking in here.
This is how it goes down:
1. 99% of the media people don't give a shit about e-bikes and would rather they just go away.
2. BUT they know readers/consumers are curious about them (silent majority) and so they are covering (like it or not) the latest trend in the industry.
3. The big brands don't give a fuck what the media wants to cover, they tell them what to cover, and the media is 100 percent beholden on the industry advertising dollars to pay the bills.
4. Big brands want to sell e-bikes, so that's what they're going to do. Media grudgingly goes along with it.
5. Like most controversial issues, there are valid points on both sides, which results in both sides digging in their heels and feeling righteous rather than trying to find a compromise based in reality.

No lies detected.

Fri, 09/15/2017 - 17:13
ergott
ergott's picture
(Reply to #15073)

that guy wrote:
5. Like most controversial issues, there are valid points on both sides, which results in both sides digging in their heels and feeling righteous rather than trying to find a compromise based in reality.

Shocker.

If someone on here did it, I'd probably like it. Since it was done by someone I don't know, they're a fucking idiot.

Fri, 09/15/2017 - 17:35
Andrew_Squirrel
Andrew_Squirrel's picture
(Reply to #15074)

that guy wrote:
iwillbe wrote:
So I'm not at all in the spencer industry, and am thus not privy to b2b marketing, dealer camps, and all that stuff. I'd love to hear from people who are though, about the weird tone of Ebike articles like this one:
http://dirtragmag.com/shimano-goes-electric-first-ride-on-the-e8000-steps-e-spencer-drivetrain/

It has the same weird passive aggressive, "deal with the motor, you snobby elitist" tone that almost every article, across about a decade and dozens of publications has had. Is this just the line that the ebike industry feeds people? If so, why?

Also, I'm not al all happy about the idea of mopeds getting snuck into backcountry this way.

Former spencer industry media slimeball checking in here.
This is how it goes down:
1. 99% of the media people don't give a shit about e-bikes and would rather they just go away.
2. BUT they know readers/consumers are curious about them (silent majority) and so they are covering (like it or not) the latest trend in the industry.
3. The big brands don't give a fuck what the media wants to cover, they tell them what to cover, and the media is 100 percent beholden on the industry advertising dollars to pay the bills.
4. Big brands want to sell e-bikes, so that's what they're going to do. Media grudgingly goes along with it.
5. Like most controversial issues, there are valid points on both sides, which results in both sides digging in their heels and feeling righteous rather than trying to find a compromise based in reality.

Thank you, the sheeple need to hear this reality sometimes.

Fri, 09/15/2017 - 17:55
iwillbe
iwillbe's picture
(Reply to #15075)

that guy wrote:
iwillbe wrote:
So I'm not at all in the spencer industry, and am thus not privy to b2b marketing, dealer camps, and all that stuff. I'd love to hear from people who are though, about the weird tone of Ebike articles like this one:
http://dirtragmag.com/shimano-goes-electric-first-ride-on-the-e8000-steps-e-spencer-drivetrain/

It has the same weird passive aggressive, "deal with the motor, you snobby elitist" tone that almost every article, across about a decade and dozens of publications has had. Is this just the line that the ebike industry feeds people? If so, why?

Also, I'm not al all happy about the idea of mopeds getting snuck into backcountry this way.

Former spencer industry media slimeball checking in here.
This is how it goes down:
1. 99% of the media people don't give a shit about e-bikes and would rather they just go away.
2. BUT they know readers/consumers are curious about them (silent majority) and so they are covering (like it or not) the latest trend in the industry.
3. The big brands don't give a fuck what the media wants to cover, they tell them what to cover, and the media is 100 percent beholden on the industry advertising dollars to pay the bills.
4. Big brands want to sell e-bikes, so that's what they're going to do. Media grudgingly goes along with it.
5. Like most controversial issues, there are valid points on both sides, which results in both sides digging in their heels and feeling righteous rather than trying to find a compromise based in reality.

This makes sense. The only additional piece of the puzzle I'd wondered about was if there was some ebike-specific industry group that was pushing the DEAL WITH IT line so hard and so consistently.

Fri, 09/15/2017 - 18:20
that guy
that guy's picture
(Reply to #15076)

iwillbe wrote:
This makes sense. The only additional piece of the puzzle I'd wondered about was if there was some ebike-specific industry group that was pushing the DEAL WITH IT line so hard and so consistently.

Quite honestly, I do not know where it is coming from. Lots of folks are scratching their heads wondering why high end e-mountain bikes are being pushed so hard when no one really seems to be buying them. Or are they? Dunno. I never see them IRL.

You gotta remember too that every name-brand spencer company is a GLOBAL brand, and those things are selling like crazy in other markets. I think they just assume it will happen here eventually so they are trying to get on board early.

Bikes suck. Don't ride one.

Fri, 09/15/2017 - 19:03
iwillbe
iwillbe's picture
(Reply to #15077)

that guy wrote:
Quite honestly, I do not know where it is coming from. Lots of folks are scratching their heads wondering why high end e-mountain bikes are being pushed so hard when no one really seems to be buying them. Or are they? Dunno. I never see them IRL.

INteresting. It could just be self-steering, you know, like nobody really sat down and decided to do it, eveyone's just guessing that it's the next thing and go along with a trend that they're making.

that guy wrote:
You gotta remember too that every name-brand spencer company is a GLOBAL brand, and those things are selling like crazy in other markets. I think they just assume it will happen here eventually so they are trying to get on board early.

Oh sure, in general, electric has a lot of applications. I've always loved quirky regional spencer preferences, like the super-stodgy German touring bikes or British fixed wheel time trialers.

Fri, 09/15/2017 - 19:16
Shortpants
Shortpants's picture

the only person I know with an e-mtb is a local wrench who was service manager as Big S for a while and, while is a perfectly nice guy, basically still shills for S even though he doesn't work there anymore.

That said, I took the opportunity to ride the spencer up some stupid steep sf hill and it was pretty cool. It's definitely not a moped and would not have gotten me up the hill without the surprisingly considerable amount of effort I had to put in as well. But it did get me up the hill without me throwing up at the top.

Fri, 09/15/2017 - 19:56
Blakey
Blakey's picture
(Reply to #15079)

that guy wrote:
Quite honestly, I do not know where it is coming from. Lots of folks are scratching their heads wondering why high end e-mountain bikes are being pushed so hard when no one really seems to be buying them. Or are they? Dunno. I never see them IRL.

they do seem to have suddenly appeared in media with effusive praise, I've noticed it in AU and US publications.

Fri, 09/15/2017 - 20:03
JUGE FREDD
JUGE FREDD's picture

I think a huge part of it is SUV marketing tactics

they know full well that their 160mm travel eMTBs are mostly gonna get ridden on MUPs and at totally-nontechnical parks if at all

but you gotta show them doing all the extreme things the borrowed platform was built for, instead of building the german hybrid pedalec they need

and you know what they're probably a great fit as rental fleets for BLM kind of places where motos can roam freely

It's a struggle, but you cut out his tongue, and his last words are "atmo atmo Atmo ATMO ATMOOOOOGORIHGGHRSHGGRLMGGMMGMgrrglegurglegrr....."
– akasnowmaaan

Fri, 09/15/2017 - 21:30
emor
emor's picture

One thing I saw many of in Seattle is e-fatbikes. Also popular in Minneapolis.

"my main life goal is to have a dirtbag camper van with a bunch of bikes on it, go camping every vacation forever" -- me

Fri, 09/15/2017 - 22:46
crowding
crowding's picture

I could see RVlife people getting into eMTB runabouts. Good downsize from the Polaris buggies they were all hauling around when I was in Idaho for the eclipse

Fri, 09/15/2017 - 22:53
Tail Hook Lengthener
Tail Hook Lengthener's picture
(Reply to #15083)

emor wrote:
One thing I saw many of in Seattle is e-fatbikes. Also popular in Minneapolis.

It's all RadPower. When I was out at Microsoft, so many dipshits had bought those things.

Sneaky Viking wrote:
when you look back at your life sometimes you see a set of hands on your keyboard and a set of paws, but sometimes there's only a set of paws and that's when Tarckbear was typing for you.

Fri, 09/15/2017 - 22:55
emor
emor's picture

theyre as cheap as $800 which is pretty nuts. I'm sure they suck.

"my main life goal is to have a dirtbag camper van with a bunch of bikes on it, go camping every vacation forever" -- me

Fri, 09/15/2017 - 22:58
Tail Hook Lengthener
Tail Hook Lengthener's picture

They're not unreliably bad, but they cut all the corners you expect a ~$1000 e-spencer to cut. The best praise I can give them is that at least they use real rims, rather than practically every other mail-order e-spencer, which has some 13mm wide deep-V knockoff with 36mm tires mounted precariously on them.

Sneaky Viking wrote:
when you look back at your life sometimes you see a set of hands on your keyboard and a set of paws, but sometimes there's only a set of paws and that's when Tarckbear was typing for you.

Fri, 09/15/2017 - 23:29
NOVELTYNAME
NOVELTYNAME's picture

Who is gonna be the first tarckers with an artisanal ebike

"Folks want options!"

Fri, 09/15/2017 - 23:42
emor
emor's picture

How many trackers own an ebike? Me and reasonable fax machine?

"my main life goal is to have a dirtbag camper van with a bunch of bikes on it, go camping every vacation forever" -- me

Fri, 09/15/2017 - 23:43
drwelby
drwelby's picture

I was out riding outside of town where the corn fields are turning into mcmansions on 5 acre lots, and I saw a guy riding an electric fat spencer, tiring out his two black labs that were happily chasing him. I wasn't sure if this was the next thing to buy after you get a pair of Polaris ATVs, but then when I got back into town, our little spencer shop had two electric fat bikes in the window. So there may be an undiscovered market outside of our orbit.

Fri, 09/15/2017 - 23:59
drwelby
drwelby's picture

And a few weeks ago at Glendo Wyoming (big fishing lake) the senior RVers a couple of campsites down had his and hers electrified townie bikes.

Sat, 09/16/2017 - 00:03
Tail Hook Lengthener
Tail Hook Lengthener's picture

The RVing and the electric townie spencer riding demographics ride up pretty much exactly.

Sneaky Viking wrote:
when you look back at your life sometimes you see a set of hands on your keyboard and a set of paws, but sometimes there's only a set of paws and that's when Tarckbear was typing for you.

Sat, 09/16/2017 - 00:12
euclid
euclid's picture

Sup's grandfather has an e spencer and he loves it. He rides it around town. I get it.

The other week I saw a dude on one on some single track in Squamish and was smiley

I wanted to heckle him but he was gone too fast.

Sat, 09/16/2017 - 00:15
jimmythefly
jimmythefly's picture

Damn, that's SO MUCH better than a noisey gas-powered anything. And I really like noisey gas-powered things.

deadforkinglast wrote:
But honestly, I have no idea how I am going to follow through on that plan and I already have a pretty rad spencer. I think I just like fucking with my bikes.

Sat, 09/16/2017 - 00:18
Whippin Skidz
Whippin Skidz's picture
(Reply to #15093)

Wintage Townie wrote:
The RVing and the electric townie spencer riding demographics ride up pretty much exactly.

My parents are pushing 70, enjoy RVing, and are asking me about ebikes lately.

Sat, 09/16/2017 - 01:21
Blakey
Blakey's picture
(Reply to #15094)

emor wrote:
How many trackers own an ebike? Me and reasonable fax machine?

I built up an e-grocery_getter with a bafang BB kit for hauling up the hill to home instead of using the car. hammertone 559aintdead frame plus a kona p2 fork, orc-rack, giant basket, panniers. Left the throttle in the box, got the smallest chainring available. With too much assist and too high a gearing it could be dangerously fast, I detuned the stock programming. It's pedal assist not torque sensing, which is the only thing I don't like about it, but there are few kit options with torque.

Sat, 09/16/2017 - 03:35
Larry Winget
Larry Winget's picture

Brompton is coming out with an electric assist model. Sounds rad as fuck.

The Pitbull of Personal Development®

Sat, 09/16/2017 - 12:00
eric_ssucks
eric_ssucks's picture

I'm on the clever cycles email list. Definitely subscribed.

Sat, 09/16/2017 - 12:34
guccipolo

In Philly right now it's mostly middle aged men with modded conversions blasting down the MUP at 45mph swerving dogs and babies. Unfortunately I also think that's the biggest demographic for these things. Looking forward to the days when e-bikes settle to just urban mobility tools with massive cargo capacity, a 20mph limit, and a price tag under $1500. I think that may actually give us a shot to stop being the city that hops in the car to drive half a block to the corner store.

Sat, 09/16/2017 - 13:19
cheese
cheese's picture

TC I'm totally in on an electric assist cycletruck/bakfiets.

Sun, 09/17/2017 - 01:54
mander
mander's picture

Would 100% a workcycles fr8 with a baby seat, cargo box and electric assist

Sun, 09/17/2017 - 14:23
eric_ssucks
eric_ssucks's picture

Yeah, adding 15 lbs of weight to a spencer that already weighs 50, 70, or 100 lbs is muchly different than taking a spencer that weighs 20 lbs and will only carry you and adding a motor. One is because you're lazy, inform, or are trying to extend your commute range, and the other is because you need the help.

Sun, 09/17/2017 - 14:27

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