As you might notice bicycles are expensive in Ireland I’m not talking about hi spec. racers or professional mountain bike, I’m talking about regular “A-B” bike, be it ladies or men’s bike, you will be looking long and hard to find anything decent under €399 hell I have seen indecent bikes for more than that and there is few reasons why bikes are pricey here of course I’m talking about prices in bike shops, not in bicycle supermarkets or toy stores, these mass produced, made to brake, improperly assembled things only resemble bicycles but have very little in common with the original concept of bike, which was simple to use machine that had to be in the first place suitable for use and reliable, I’m also not talking about online purchase, since after the bike boom everyone who had some spare cash laying around, trading companies, online toy shops alike with no expertise in bikes have had container of cheaply made bikes delivered, only to realize that they are unable to provide the expertise, spare parts, or even warranty. You can still buy these machines online flat packed ex delivery for around €250 only to find out that the best on the whole bike is its color, none of these bike sellers stick around longer than the warranty on the bike.
When I established the company in late 2008 the aim was to sell bike that could take you comfortably in upright position from A to B while being elegant and extremely simple, simple in any machine equals reliable( we can learn that from courier bikes-Fixies) all of this for €150 like they do in USA for example. We have soon realized that it will be impossible to do here, mainly because the fact that unlike US there is around 80% tax on bicycles imported from China here. So if bike costs €100 delivered to Dublin port you will pay additional €80 in taxes so before it even lands in shops the price has almost doubled €180 is now our cost, then there is overheads such as assembly, marketing, but the biggest overhead of them all is rent for your shop, that can come to €100 per day and that has to reflect in the price of the bike, if you sell many bikes it will project little into the cost of individual bike but if you sell only few a week let’s say 7 you should add €100 rent cost per bike into the price, so so far we have paid €100 for bike + €80 in taxes + €100 rent+marketing+ mechanics salary and the bike that originally cost €100 costs €280 and that does not include our profit, so we add another €100 for profit and to give our self some room for discount, now we have a bike that was made and delivered to Dublin from China for €100 costing €380 in the shop I repeat it again you are sold €100 bike for €380 what kind of value for money you think you are getting? Dont get me wrong I Have nothing against China, they can make decent products relatively cheap, look at your iPhone for example(you are most likely reading this post on one) and now imagine if someone put 80% tax on it, do you think you would get the same quality/features for the same cost?Now thats a food for thought!
This post will be split and in the part 2 we will focus on the Cycle to work scheme and how it is making bikes more expensive and how do we do thing differently to offer you maximum value for money. Don’t forget to share this post and let me know what you think in the comments below.