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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
There's been a lot of speculation about this on the boards over the past weeks. Here's something a bit more concrete as to IH's plans.

http://www.bicycleretailer.com/news/newsDetail/1533.html

07/01/2008 5:00 PM MST
Iron Horse Pulls Line From IBD

HOLBROOK, NY (BRAIN)-Iron Horse Bicycle Company is discontinuing sales of its middle and lower priced bicycles through independent bicycle dealers and will sell its high-end bikes exclusively through Randall Scott Cycle Company in Boulder, Colorado.

Cliff Weidberg, chief executive officer of World Wide Cycle Supply and Iron Horse Bicycle Company, said Iron Horse made the changes "to protect its market share from tough competition from companies like Trek and Specialized, who are asking their dealers to make these brands the number one or two brands sold in their stores."

As of September 1, low- and mid-priced Iron Horse bicycles will be available in chains such as Dick's Sporting Goods, The Sports Authority, REI, LL Bean, Toy's R Us, Wal-Mart, Performance Bicycles and the Forzani Group in Canada.

Additionally, Iron Horse will be the number one brand in Randall Scott's retail store in Boulder giving it the ability to control the customer experience and offer better service, pricing and overall value to the consumer, Weidberg said.

Iron Horse will be the first major brand to allow bicycle sales both in store and online, recognizing the importance that on line bicycle sales will play in the future of the industry, he said.

Because Iron Horse has long been a leader in racing technology, the company intends to maintain this high end racing focus through its partnership with Randall Scott Cycle.

Tani Walling, owner of The Path Bike Shop in Tustin, California, has been carrying Iron Horse bikes since 2004 and said the brand made up about 20 percent of the shop's complete bike sales.

Walling has pulled his remaining Iron Horse stock from the sales floor and will liquidate the product.

"It's a big disappointment for us. We have a lot invested in the brand and we have for a number of years supported the brand in terms of how we represented it in the shop and how our sales staff sold the brand," Walling said.

Iron Horse has been an IBD brand throughout its 20-year history and Weidberg thanked its customers for their support.

"In these difficult economic times, Iron Horse and World Wide Cycle are taking the lead in creating a new business model that will secure the continued success of its many brands," according to a press release issued by World Wide. World Wide's other brands include Jeep, K-2 and Columbia.

For more on this story, be sure to read the August 1 issue of Bicycle Retailer & Industry News.

-Nicole Formosa
 

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Really strange move by IH. How many "high end" $3K bikes are they going to sell if customers cannot actually see or test ride the bike at a local dealer? This business model makes sense for low end bikes that compete on price like Ibex, but it no sense if you want to sell high end bikes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
puckhead said:
Really strange move by IH. How many "high end" $3K bikes are they going to sell if customers cannot actually see or test ride the bike at a local dealer? This business model makes sense for low end bikes that compete on price like Ibex, but it no sense if you want to sell high end bikes.
Dunno... I think they're missing something.

I haven't purchased a mountain bike from a bike shop since my '01 NRS. Since then, I purchased 8 bikes/frames for me and my wife online.

I'm pretty sure there are a lot of people like me, but we amount to a very small percentage of the overall "high end" bike buying public (I'm figuring $1,500+ is IH's definition of "high end").

And another thing: the dw-link was my primary attraction to the IH Hollowpoint I purchased. Value was a strong #2, but without dw, I may not have noticed the brand. So I'm doubtful of their prospects now that their bikes will be missing that key element.

This is a strategy that works for a small brand, but I'll be watching Iron Horse curiously to see how they manage.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Mikekune594 said:
I Bought my 2006 Yakuza Bakuto off Randall Scott for 600 bucks half off. this could be good?
For you, right now, yeah, sure, good!

But this highlights the problem with the brand over the past few years.

If RS can sell current model bikes at near the cost that independent bike shops are *paying*, how can IH build dealer loyalty? Imagine your customers walking in the door with a printout of the RS website, asking them to match that price.

I don't get it. IH/World Wide has expended a tremendous amount of time, energy and money - all valuable resources - into building the brand into a recognizable and respectable name since 2003. Everything in the past few months - Todd leaving, Dave walking away, these latest rumors and announcements regarding retailers - all strikes me as very regressive. I'd expect this if the IH brand was down on its luck, but this is more akin to blowing a hole in a ship that's afloat and making headway.

Time well tell, I guess. I'm sure there's a mad plan (or sound reasoning) behind all of this.
 

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Speedub.Nate said:
Dunno... I think they're missing something.

I haven't purchased a mountain bike from a bike shop since my '01 NRS. Since then, I purchased 8 bikes/frames for me and my wife online.

I'm pretty sure there are a lot of people like me, but we amount to a very small percentage of the overall "high end" bike buying public (I'm figuring $1,500+ is IH's definition of "high end").

And another thing: the dw-link was my primary attraction to the IH Hollowpoint I purchased. Value was a strong #2, but without dw, I may not have noticed the brand. So I'm doubtful of their prospects now that their bikes will be missing that key element.

This is a strategy that works for a small brand, but I'll be watching Iron Horse curiously to see how they manage.
The difference is that if you buy a Turner or Ellsworth or Titus on line you can go to a IBD and actually see the bike, check out the quality and maybe test ride the bike before you shell out money for it on line. With IH, you're buying the product sight unseen, and that's a big leap of faith when there are so many good products out there.
 

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puckhead said:
The difference is that if you buy a Turner or Ellsworth or Titus on line you can go to a IBD and actually see the bike, check out the quality and maybe test ride the bike before you shell out money for it on line. With IH, you're buying the product sight unseen, and that's a big leap of faith when there are so many good products out there.
One strong point with two of those brands (yes, I'm excluding one based on my observations) is the fairly good advice one can get on the brands from the members here or the consumer base at large in real life. Much of the customer base researches carefully and buys based on the specs, not of the appearance, so trusted technical advice can be obtained quite easily.

Dilution has occurred with the third and with the marketing direction IH has made, there is less credible the opinion of the technicality of the frames, not due to any fault of the customers, but simply due to the fact that this is the consumer base IH was targeting. An argument can be made about the DW bringing in more seasoned and seriously educated riders, but with all, there's a limit to how much it will make a difference.

So this could make a huge difference, leaving LBS's, or it could make no difference. Depends on their marketing and it seems at this point IH is just a marketing marque now.

PS-what are they doing with K2?
 
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