people ask us this question: how do your bikes compare to XYZ brand
name bike which has similar components? Well, the short answer is
that there is no comparison - there is no comparison in terms of quality
and workmanship and there is no comparison in terms of value.
On the quality and workmanship issue, one
probably has noticed that our bikes share the same components with
brand name bikes. This is the key to understand today's high-end
bikes. There is no such thing as "Specialized derailleur"
or "Cannondale front shock", all high-end bikes today
use the same components made by a few companies such as Shimano,
RST, SRAM, etc. The only component that is likely to be genuinely
made by any bike company is the frame. Today, most of brand name
bike companies have their frames cheaply mass-produced in China.
In contrast, our frames are made in our state-of-art factory in
Japan by the most dedicated and skilled workers in the industrialized
world. Part-for-part, our bikes are at least equal or better than
most brand name bikes.
On the value issue, a simple math exercise
will help us to make our case. First, let us lay out the facts:
Cannondale used to be a public traded company
until it filed for bankruptcy a few years ago. From its latest financial
statements filed with SEC, it showed that its branding and marketing
costs accounted for 25% of its gross sales revenue. This percentage
is probably low compared to other brand name bike companies (because
Cannondale was under financial distress and they had to trim marketing
expenses), however we will use it in our example as a conservative
When a brand name company sells its bikes
to dealers, the industrial norm is that 30% of the retail price
is offered to the dealers as their retail profit margin.
Let's assume a brand name bike is selling
for $1000 in a store. Of the $1000 listed price, 25% or $250 are
for the brand name bike company's branding and marketing overhead
costs. 30% or $300 are for the store profit. That leaves $450 value
for the bike! In other words, for most of us who work for a living,
let's say we use 10 days' worth of pay to buy this brand name bike.
Of the 10 backbreaking days, 3 days are given to the store as its
profit, 2 and half days are given to the brand name bike company
for its marketing costs. That leaves less than half of the 10 days
for the bike. Any way you look at it, it is a lousy deal. In comparison,
at Bikewind.com since we do not have any overhead and we sell direct,
the same bike would have been sold for $450.
Of course, if you can't resist your herd
instinct, then our bikes are not for you. Choice is yours.