Restoration Hardware and Peak Used Bikes

I was looking at a Restoration Hardware catalog and thought, bikes from NAHBS should get featured in here with the same nostalgic flare

This is the bike that reminds you of grandpa’s house or the aunt that gives you cookies.

This basket was found in a dust bin of a long-since shuttered textile factory and for this limited edition newsboy bike, we’ve found a cache of stove piping!

With props for the craftsmanship and dedication, I also wonder how bikes will grow from an enthusiastic niche with such a determined focus on the past and the old. What other industry puts so much energy into ancient designs? Gary Fisher said it to me last week in a call, “We’ve reached Peak Used Bikes.”

Gazelle

Could place this bike in the pages of a Restoration Hardware. This one too.

Gary was admitting there’s not much compelling about a new old bike when you can get an old bike and that old bike is far more authentic. Furthermore, there’s no growth in old bikes. Builders are just taking market share from each other; especially, when the big companies get into the urban or city bike market. Where innovation drives other markets and companies, what drives a mixte, Dutch, or cargo bike? Don’t get me wrong, as the name of this blog implies, we love the bike, but also are concerned about the lack of innovation and stagnant marketshare. In the 5 years we’ve been blogging urban cycling, we’ve yet to see anything really move the needle with a new, hit bike (that excludes racing bikes).

@bicycledesign asked recently if the bicycle industry need new ideas. Well, sure it does. Last week in @fredcast’s Spokesmen 61, I said, “Safety Bike 3000.” What I meant was we need to challenge the industry to innovate and focus on safety as a core design objective. I don’t think there’s a significant milestone in bike design since the safety bike saved people’s heads from the penny farthing.

The reason I focus on safety is people get hit by cars and die and the number one thing potential cyclists say to me is that they’re afraid to ride on the streets and wonder how I do it. You know how. So do I, but they’re still afraid. We could take a queue from the car industry, where safety is in every marketing statement they make.

Really, what does a mixte or single speed from any company offer a cyclist that a bike from a pawn shop doesn’t? Certainly nothing with built-in running lights, proximity sensors, GPS locators, or run flat tires.

Finally, if builders are going to relive and recreate the past, please do it with some marketing flair like Restoration Hardware does for yogurt bottles.

A Hungarian scientist introduced yogurt to the United States in the 1940s. It is no surprise that the Hungarians also handcrafted the perfect yogurt bottle. We rescued these hand-blown glass vessels from 60 years of retirement, giving them new purpose as vases or decorative accents for home and garden.

Prod1677270

Swap out the word yogurt for bike and there’s a catalog from NAHBS.