It Must be Real If There’s a Market for it

The Wall Street Journal reported on Friday on a new trend in bicycle sales: commuter bikes.

Oh my:

A radical idea is sweeping the world of American bicycle manufacturing: building bikes that people will use for actual transportation.

8 responses to “It Must be Real If There’s a Market for it”

  1. This is great news. Aside from the tongue-in-cheek comment about it being a radical idea to build bikes that people will use for actual transportation (there is, of course, nothing new about this idea), it is great news that bike manufacturers are now focusing on commuter bikes as a specific category to design towards, just like mountain bikes and road racing bikes have been for years.

    I’ve wanted to get on an Amsterbike again ever since I first visited Amsterdam in 1996. Those things were so comfy and easy to use, I’ve always been confused as to why you didn’t see more of them somewhere stateside, especially in a place like Portland.

    Speaking of which, the Trek Portland also made this list! …but it has the traditional road-racing style drop handlebars. Why is this? How many commuters are really going to get down on the drops on the way in to work? Why not put in mustache-style handlebars instead, since most commuters likes would prefer the more comfortable/relaxed/in command upright riding position anyways?

  2. A statement to all bikers from a person who supports the need for expanding our roads and highways.

    Your contribution to providing more capacity to our roads and highways is very important and to me often under stated.

    People like me get a lot of benefit from all of the bike riders who use this mode to commute to work.

    Every car that is eliminated from the roads is dearly needed space gained at a very low cost in our transportation system. I think that we get a great “Return on Investment” from all who bike to work.

    The big think is for the biking community to start working the the freight committees this can be a win – win.

  3. The big think is for the biking community to start working the the freight committees this can be a win – win.

    Paul –

    I agree. The trick is going to be to get the freight community to look realistically at its needs separate from automobile capacity. And to develop a political base for freight oriented improvements that don’t serve commuters.

  4. To Ross’ point, here’s an illustration of the change in culture we need to foster.

    Here in Portland, the freight community has been strongly opposed to adding bike lanes in freight districts. Some of this is concern about safety, some is concern about capacity.

    When we visited the Netherlands last year, I had a chance to ask some freight folks if they had bike lanes in their freight districts. The response: “of course, how else would our employees get to work.”

  5. Thanks Paul for your endorsement of bicycles as real transportation option.
    On Swan Island…served by the busiest freight arterial in the region with a very high percentage of heavy duty trucks…20+% of employees do NOT drive alone to work. Transit, carpools and vanpools are the preferred alternative, but bike commuters are a big part of this as well. At Freightliner Corp HQ, 56 employees (3%)participated in the Bike Commute Challenge in September, including the Sr. VP for Engineering.
    Going Street is not congested and is not expecte to be in 2030 according to the City’s Freight Masterplan analysis. Transportation options do make room for freight every day on Swan Island. Why can’t we do this throughout the region? It is the one and only low cost solution to moving freight and people.
    PS I ride a Specialized Globe…a wonderful commuter bike, that I believe they discontinued.

  6. Wow, bike industry actually looking at making bikes for people to commute with? This is such an underserved market. I have struggled for years to find commuting gear to the point where I have considered opening a mail order/ online commuting
    store. So much could be done for commute clothes.

    P.S. I ride a Trek 750 Metrotrack which was manufactured in the early ’90’s with integrated Union generator, fenders, rear rack, and upright handlebars. I have checked out the Trek Portland, it looks like a fun and fast bike, but I am not sure I want to go to 1/2 fenders in Oregon. ANybody ride them in the rain- do they work?

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