What ever happened to the promises of cheaper new Taiwanese made Sandman bikes, and US sales/distribution, or worldwide sales/distribution.
I saw one post showing their fork with the Taiwanese maker's labels on it at some Asian bike show. Maybe if Sandman doesn't get things going, the guys making the bikes in Taiwan now can go ahead and tweak the designs a little and sell them to a big name bike company in the US.
Suggesting companies that invest in R&D to make better products should be ripped off by a vendor in Taiwan just because they aren't moving at the speed we'd like isn't going to result in a longterm gain for the fatbike community.
There won't be much interest in developing new fat products if that happens.
...unless they manufacture in-house.
Originally Posted by vikb
(I agree, IP theft is still theft)
As little bike as possible, as silent as possible.
Latitude: 57º36' Highlands, Scotland
My sandman in México
I wouldn't suggest they violate any laws or contracts, just that if they can make the product in greater quantities than what Sandman can move them, then they should be able to produce something different enough as to not be infringing on any IP rights that Sandman has(I don't see anything that is patent pending in their frame designs).
If they are able to produce and sell more fat bikes, it will be good for the fat bike community no matter who's name is on it.
I don't agree. I think that's an extremely shortsighted perspective. R&D and customer service/support is expensive. Nobody will invest in those things if they are getting ripped off and undercut.
Originally Posted by autodoctor911
Tweaking a well researched and developed design so you can't sued is lame. It costs nothing.
At the moment we've got a lot of choices for fatbike products because companies like QBP [Surly/Salsa/45N], Fatback, 907, Sandman and On One have taken the time and risk to invest in new products for us to use.
If you steal their hard work and undercut them they'll stop making new products and the Asian companies that ripped them off aren't going to invest in R&D so you'll kill the progression of the market which is bad for all of us.
Not to mention that when your Taiwanese Sandman copy breaks you aren't going to have a reputable company there to back you up with a warranty.
Which is why when Surly designed and manufactured the Krampus I didn't complain about cost or availability I just appreciated the efforts at Surly and bought one from my LBS when I could.
If you want the fatbike market to grow in a healthy way support the companies that are doing good things for us.
Alright, I'll agree with your principals, but I don't think there is much there to steal as far as fatbike design. It is the same technology that's been in use for a long time. You can't claim the rights to a head tube angle or a chainstay length, or even an axle width, or offset frame.
There aren't really any great innovations in fatbike design. It is just a matter of working out a few details to make the frames fit fatter tires, which any bike frame maker can do. The slight variations in geometry can have a significant effect on a bicycles handling, but it's not a huge technical challenge.
Most of the "innovation" people talk about is just a matter of applying existing technology that is public domain. The ones who have done so first are taking risks by making a product that is not mainstream and trying to market it, but I doubt the development and R&D of the basic frame design are as challenging, or expensive as developing the manufacturing process for high volume production. Designing the concept and prototypes is definitely a more glamorous, artistic challenge, but there are many people that can do that, but few that can actually produce a high volume product. Any skilled bicycle frame builder, of which there are probably thousands of professionals and many more hobbyists just in the US, can build a top quality fat bike frame that performs as well as any out there in a small volume. There aren't that many facilities in the world that can produce really large volumes of bikes of that quality.
This can be good, in that it does force small firms, like Sandman to develop more new products to bring to market once the older ones are widespread. They can't rest on what they've done already, so they have to move on. If something is a significant breakthrough, they may be able to patent it, and hold on to the prophets long enough to recover the cost of developing a truly innovative product.
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