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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello MTBR Forum,

After talking with Francis at MTBR about this 'spam', he assured me that as a 'sponsoring' member of the MTBR forum, it would be okay to post a direct post such as this. I won't do it very often, but I'm asking for your help.

Firstly, many of you know me as the co-founder of Niner Bikes, and it was well reported that I left Niner in 2011 to branch out into new things. I spent the better part of two years designing the now award winning Factor Vis Vires road bike (Factor Bikes - home of the new Vis Vires). During that time, I still wanted to get out and play on the dirt, and so Domahidy Designs was born. Slowly, but surely, I designed bikes and built prototypes and refined them yet again. I worked on graphics and color schemes, always with a goal to launch a new boutique bike brand, but with no pressure on time frames. It would launch when it was good and ready, and that was fine by me.

Once my work on the Factor started coming to a close, I was able to turn my attention back on Domahidy Designs, and so I spent my time finalizing everything and building the web site and Kickstarter campaign. Kickstarter, it seemed to me, was really the right way to get some of the funding I needed in place to make the first production run. It would allow me to get the word out about the company, and to pre-sell the first batch of production frames.

I think there might be some hesitation from the public about 'pledging' to the Kickstarter campaign, and even some out there that probably think I walked away from Niner with enough cash to take care of this myself. Without going into details, that simply isn't the case. Domahidy Designs needs your support to launch. I have spent everything I currently have on putting the pieces in place to insure that Domahidy Designs is successful. I've done all of the prototyping and testing, I've built the web site, solidified my partnerships in Asia to insure the best possible quality, approved the painting facility to make sure the bikes look amazing and designed packaging to get these amazing looking frames to your door undamaged. I've put the infrastructure in place and am just ready to pull the trigger on the first production run.

I've put together what I think is an incredible product. Although there is nothing 'revolutionary' about these bikes (at the end of the day, even I recognize that they are ti and steel hard tails), it's really the complete package that I believe makes a difference. It's the full length cable housing, the super small and beautiful cable guides for the brake line, the removable cable guides for the derailleurs, the versatility to run single speed or geared and even the belt drive compatibility, the actual tapered head tube rather than the large 'can' with the oversized lower headset cup, it's all of these combined things that makes a Domahidy Designs special. It's also the Kickstarter pricing:

For the Reynolds 853 frame, regular price: $1099, Kickstarter price: $899

For the Titanium frame, regular price: $2099, Kickstarter price: $1799

For the complete XX1 bikes with Industry 9 wheels, these bikes are discounted significantly from their suggested retail prices.

Reynolds XX1, regular price: $5699, Kickstarter price: $4999
Titanium XX1, regular price: $6699, Kickstarter price: $5799

Keep in mind these prices are the final prices, there is no additional tax or shipping (for US shipments) required, so the savings is even greater.

In addition, I've just release information on the Kickstarter campaign that could save you up to $300 on your frame or complete bike: Purchase a frame or complete bike, and then spread the word. For every friend who also purchases one under the Kickstarter campaign, you will receive $50 off of your purchase up to $300 (to be refunded to you at the end of the campaign). So get together amongst yourselves, MTBR, and socially save yourselves money! (only one person can be claimed once as a friend though, so be strategic and fair to all).

Lastly, I've also just announced two new pieces of news: Firstly, the frames come with a LIFETIME WARRANTY against defects. That's right, I'm standing behind these bikes 100% and offering a limited lifetime warranty (to the original purchaser only). Secondly, size SMALL AND XS will be available in 650b and have been added to the Kickstarter campaign.

So if you're in the market for a new hard tail, please consider these bikes. I have so many amazing ideas for the future of Domahidy, but it's the present that I'm asking for your support. I have a little more than a week to make up the remaining funds to launch this company and place the first production order, but it won't take that much to put this campaign over the top. 10 people who buy a complete bike, or three of you get in on the amazing travel opportunity to Kenya or Ecuador. If 1000 of you just buy hats, I'm nearly there. It's simple and easy to pledge and I'm reaching out to you now for your help.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1328290268/domahidy-designs-bicycles

Thanks in advance,

Sincerely,

Steve Domahidy
 

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I'm not quite sold on using Kickstarter to promote yet another seemingly unremarkable hard tail bicycle design which sources a frame from Taiwan and components that anyone could buy and assemble themselves for much less cost.

What is your reasoning for using Kickstarter in this way? I would understand if there was something new and innovative about the bike, say a new suspension design, unique materials, or a new manufacturing process.

I've seen your ads on MTBR and have read though your Kickstarted campaign, nothing I read would compel me to place an order on Kickstarter rather than to just go down the street and purchase at my local bike shop or assemble a bike myself from select components. I think you would need to come up with a bit more to stand out from the hundred other mainstream and boutique companies on the market.

Kickstarter continues to get watered down with campaigns that are not unique or innovative, I've seen campaigns from established companies wanting to create a new version of something the same company is already selling or another campaign selling something cheap out of China that I've seen on Alibaba.com. Makes no sense to me.

Maybe this is more of commentary about Kickstarter, knowing that they get their cut if the campaign funds regardless of the true nature of the product. Ultimately, I think crowd funding is a good idea, just not for anything and everything that someone wants to sell. I suppose Kickstarter is just another marking tool, if people like the product then they will pledge.
 

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Good luck sir.... Pleasure to meet you in Charlotte

Great luck to you....
I'm not quite sold on using Kickstarter to promote yet another seemingly unremarkable hard tail bicycle design which sources a frame from Taiwan and components that anyone could buy and assemble themselves for much less cost.

What is your reasoning for using Kickstarter in this way? I would understand if there was something new and innovative about the bike, say a new suspension design, unique materials, or a new manufacturing process.

I've seen your ads on MTBR and have read though your Kickstarted campaign, nothing I read would compel me to place an order on Kickstarter rather than to just go down the street and purchase at my local bike shop or assemble a bike myself from select components. I think you would need to come up with a bit more to stand out from the hundred other mainstream and boutique companies on the market.

Kickstarter continues to get watered down with campaigns that are not unique or innovative, I've seen campaigns from established companies wanting to create a new version of something the same company is already selling or another campaign selling something cheap out of China that I've seen on Alibaba.com. Makes no sense to me.

Maybe this is more of commentary about Kickstarter, knowing that they get their cut if the campaign funds regardless of the true nature of the product. Ultimately, I think crowd funding is a good idea, just not for anything and everything that someone wants to sell. I suppose Kickstarter is just another marking tool, if people like the product then they will pledge.
 

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Epic_Dude Kickstarter is the way that someone with an idea can get it out with zero marketing budget and let the world decide if it was a good idea or not. Before crowd funding, huge amounts had to be spent on market research, advertising, etc. to try to launch a new product. Those costs were spent whether the product ultimately got launched or not and many ideas died because they could not fund this initial investment.

Even in the worse case scenario that you sited: a product available on alibaba that is then sold on kickstarter. I won't shop on alibaba because there are too many horror stories. If they have a product that many people want and someone does a kickstarter project for that and it is a success then the people that get the product are happy, the person who did the kickstarter project is happy and kickstarter is happy. If it fails then the loss is almost negligible to all concerned. Because of this reason, crowd sourcing is the most efficient way to bring new stuff to market and it is only going to grow in the future. And yes, even large corporations that could fund projects themselves are using it because it is way more efficient.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I'm not quite sold on using Kickstarter to promote yet another seemingly unremarkable hard tail bicycle design which sources a frame from Taiwan and components that anyone could buy and assemble themselves for much less cost.

What is your reasoning for using Kickstarter in this way? I would understand if there was something new and innovative about the bike, say a new suspension design, unique materials, or a new manufacturing process.

I've seen your ads on MTBR and have read though your Kickstarted campaign, nothing I read would compel me to place an order on Kickstarter rather than to just go down the street and purchase at my local bike shop or assemble a bike myself from select components. I think you would need to come up with a bit more to stand out from the hundred other mainstream and boutique companies on the market.

Kickstarter continues to get watered down with campaigns that are not unique or innovative, I've seen campaigns from established companies wanting to create a new version of something the same company is already selling or another campaign selling something cheap out of China that I've seen on Alibaba.com. Makes no sense to me.

Maybe this is more of commentary about Kickstarter, knowing that they get their cut if the campaign funds regardless of the true nature of the product. Ultimately, I think crowd funding is a good idea, just not for anything and everything that someone wants to sell. I suppose Kickstarter is just another marking tool, if people like the product then they will pledge.
Then clearly this bike is not for you.

I made a calculated decision to try and offset the costs of the first production run with frames that were already sold to customers who would be very stoked to get one of the first ones off the production line and at a discount. While I don't believe these first two offerings are earth shattering, I would argue that they are anything but unremarkable. Enough people show up on the group ride on a Specialized or Yeti, or Niner for that matter, and some people might want to show up on something different. This is not an open mold, off the shelf frame from Taiwan, it's something designed by somebody (me) who has more experience designing 29" wheel bikes than almost anybody on the planet (save for some of the custom builders who were doing it longer and Gary Fisher himself). The current SIR 9 was one of the final bikes I worked on before leaving Niner, and I really wanted to put a split on that bike for belt drive capability, but in the end, I didn't (and neither did George Perry, the current engineer who took my design to production after I left the company). I have made improvements in ride quality, too, with a stiffer and better tracking front end and I like the attention to detail I've poured over on this frame. While you think it's 'mundane', I don't share that view. We'll see if others buy in or pass, I guess, but in the end, I very much believe in these bikes and this brand. I wouldn't have launched it if I didn't. For sure, I've got a lot more up my sleeve, but innovative usually costs more money, so I needed to start with the basics, but do them exceptionally well.

Steve
 

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Since this is a forum, my intent not to start an argument but an intelligent conversation. I understand that creating a new bicycle company is not easy, particularly in a market where there are so many names on the market. Seems like anyone who has a few connections in Asia suddenly is in the bike business.

I would like to hear more about innovation, ideas, new designs. Just seeing another AL or Ti bike is just not very exciting but I don't mind seeing what's next so more power to you, hope you sell some bikes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Since this is a forum, my intent not to start an argument but an intelligent conversation. I understand that creating a new bicycle company is not easy, particularly in a market where there are so many names on the market. Seems like anyone who has a few connections in Asia suddenly is in the bike business.

I would like to hear more about innovation, ideas, new designs. Just seeing another AL or Ti bike is just not very exciting but I don't mind seeing what's next so more power to you, hope you sell some bikes.
Epic_Dude, I definitely don't want to get into an argument either, but just to set the record straight, I've been in the bike industry for over 25 years, I am the founder of Niner and designed every single Niner bike up until the Rip 9 RDO (the last bike I worked on before leaving the company) and have won numerous awards for my innovation including three IF gold awards. Last year, at Eurobike, I won the gold award for the Road Bike category AND the mountain bike category (with the RIP 9 RDO). So I would hesitate to say that I'm just anyone with a few Asian connections. I also know that although these two bikes don't scream innovation, Domahidy Designs is and will be an important company in the future of innovation, but we all have to start somewhere, and these two bikes are still incredibly fun to ride!

Steve
 

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Good to see someone who has been in the industry 25 years work on something new and again, with all of your experience I will be looking forward to seeing what you have in store once the company has launched. I have been in product design and development myself for almost 24 years and have been part of bringing many new designs to market, even have a few patents. It's very rewarding to develop something new and see it being used or in your case, enjoyed in the field. Again, good luck to you.
 

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Kickstarter is the way that someone with an idea can get it out with zero marketing budget and let the world decide if it was a good idea or not.
Based on that the world has decided that it is not a great idea. I think you hit the nail on its head for kickstarter being a validator for new enterprises.

There are many bike companies delivering awesome bikes in any configuration you can imagine, as well as many US and offshore small frame builders. People on kickstarter are looking for innovation that will capture their imagination. Something new that has promise. This product is just another entry of a mostly standard product into a saturated market. I would guess that 10 years ago you would get much more traction for a metal hardtail.
Like others said, if there was something new and interesting, like a new suspension design (or a new wheel size, 28"! :) ) there would be more interest.

I think for such businesses kickstarter is the wrong place. But any other place (small business loan, professional investors) would have the same reservations.

But at the same time, I am little surprised you raised that much money. Which in some way shows that there is interest and validation of the idea.

Good luck, and when you have a full susser I will check it again :)
 

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I thought the point of kickstarter was to allow people with a new idea and no budget to get something started and the backers got something out of it. You have a permanent ad on this site, that's right next to text box in a forum sponsored by Niner, your old brand.

While the bike looks good, this kind of enterprise shouldn't need kickstarter considering the person starting it. I think the problem is that at 900 someone is making a decent margin on a frame. If I had to guess I would say it was a Giant made frame. It's a mass produced hardtail and kickstarter is being used to maximize profitability and open marketability. Everyone knows that the market is saturated with brands and despite this saturation, bikes are still very expensive. Hence the apprehension of yet another made in asia "boutique" brand, that people should buy just to have something different.

If you have 25 years in the business, and have already created a very successful brand you shouldn't need kickstarter. You don't have credit with manufacturers you already use and know? Kickstarter is clearly being used outside of the context to which it was created and some people are picking up on that. Nothing that special about the frame, materials, or price from a technical standpoint.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I thought the point of kickstarter was to allow people with a new idea and no budget to get something started and the backers got something out of it.

While the bike looks good, this kind of enterprise shouldn't need kickstarter considering the person starting it. I think the problem is that at 900 someone is making a decent margin on a frame. If I had to guess I would say it was a Giant made frame. It's a mass produced hardtail and kickstarter is being used to maximize profitability.

If you have 25 years in the business, and have already created a very successful brand you shouldn't need kickstarter. You don't have credit with manufacturers you already use and know? Kickstarter is clearly being used outside of the context to which it was created and some people are picking up on that. Nothing that special about the frame, material, or price.
GTR-33, I appreciate your observations, but I do want to set the record straight on this, nothing ever good comes from 'guessing'. This is definitely not a 'Giant' made frame. To my knowledge (and I've been to Giant's factory several times), Giant doesn't even have the capability to weld titanium. These are hand made frames from a very small factory, not 'mass produced'. Kickstarter is not being used to 'maximize profitability'.

There is no 'outside context' here. As stated in this post, for reasons I'm not going to go into, I didn't walk away from Niner a rich man and this Kickstarter campaign is being used for the very real reasons that Kickstarter is needed: to raise capital to help pay for the first production run. I have sunk every dollar I have into getting the business set up and doing everything right before launching the brand and the Kickstarter campaign, to give people every confidence that Domahidy Designs is here to stay and that the Kickstarter campaign is a means to pre-sell frames (at a discount) to those interested in a killer new hard tail. In your world, this kind of product 'shouldn't' need Kickstarter, and I wish it didn't. But the reality is I thought it was a great way to get the word out, to raise some much needed capital and to help pre-sell some of the first batch of frames to meet minimum order qty's from the factory. I'm not sure why these threads have to spiral into negativity and guessed accusations, but to suggest I'm anything but an honest entrepreneur is just not okay. I've created a new brand, and that's no small task. I've spent a significant amount of money on it's development, and am certainly not living 'high on the hog' as a result of my experience. This is my love and passion, and I'm passing that experience on in a very cool product. Yes, as agreed, there is nothing revolutionary going on with these frames, but there are very few hard tails that tick all the boxes, and I believe these two from Domahidy Designs do just that.

Steve
 

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I met and enjoyed talking to Steve at NAHBS this weekend. Good guy who certainly seems to believe in his product. Kudos for that. I got to see his prototype Ti version and it certainly looks the part of a nice frame - good welds, good paint, attention to detail, etc. If I were in the market for a new frame, I'd give it a serious look.

As for Steve's use of Kickstarter, no one on here knows his situation or background. Personally, I have no issues with Kickstarter being used in this manner. Isn't Singular using it to introduce new frames like the the Buzzard and their new 29+ frame? Here you have an established company with assumed capital on hand using it to fund new products. What's the difference?
 

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I met and enjoyed talking to Steve at NAHBS this weekend. Good guy who certainly seems to believe in his product. Kudos for that. I got to see his prototype Ti version and it certainly looks the part of a nice frame - good welds, good paint, attention to detail, etc. If I were in the market for a new frame, I'd give it a serious look.

As for Steve's use of Kickstarter, no one on here knows his situation or background. Personally, I have no issues with Kickstarter being used in this manner. Isn't Singular using it to introduce new frames like the the Buzzard and their new 29+ frame? Here you have an established company with assumed capital on hand using it to fund new products. What's the difference?
Like I said, even large companies with capital are using crowd funding because it is more efficient. To the other questions I would say that I think the belt compatibility, the nice dropouts and the cable systems are not very common. Also, even Niner seems to be getting away from bikes that can be geared or SS since they now only have 3 bikes in their entire line that have the famous Biocentric EBB (one is a total race SS that is $2200 that almost nobody will ever run geared, and the ROS that has a very small market and is heavy as a truck and material wise should sell for half, and the other is the famous Sir probably the only Niner that will ever be run both going forward).

I personally would rather have an eccentric BB and the belt compatibility and nude ti. And therein is the main problem I see. These frames look nice have a unique and valuable feature set and anyone would be proud to own one, but they are approaching the price level of a custom frame. If this doesn't get funded then that means the market as a whole either agrees with this point or has some other reason (which, Like I said I can't see much other reason not to like these frames/bikes) to not buy in.

Yea, the Giant thing is totally bogus because they only do contract manufacturing for huge volume. And like Steve said, I have never seen Giant Ti.
 

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I'll only chime in to say this...Maybe people would be more willing to step up with funds for this if a few known and trusted MTBers/reviewers were to be able to get their hands on one of these frames and say that yes, they ride great, because honestly, while not super expensive for a custom Ti frame, you can pick up the TITUS Fireline EVO Ti frame for around a grand AND there are "trusted" people who can attest to the ride quality and build of the frame. Personally I wouldn't be giving anyone that sort of cash unless I could read/hear from others about how the frames handled and rode.
 
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