Specialbike

John the Monkey

Frivolous Cyclist
Location
Crewe
Not really sure where to place this, as it doesn't really seem to belong to any of the forum categories (if café is wrong, I hope the admins will feel free to move it).

Anyway, I happened across this site via an ad on Google;

Specialbike

and thought it might be of interest given the discussion of bike recycling, and the number of bikes that get tipped whilst still having some useful life in them we had a little while ago.

I find specialbike interesting because of the way they position the restored bike as a premium object, "We build beautiful, one of a kind bikes" and can't recall any other bike reuse scheme doing so.

They have a flickr gallery of their restorations too, which is here.
 

Keith Oates

Janner
Location
Penarth, Wales
The photos are really impressive, there must be hours of painstaking work gone into those machines!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

Landslide

Rare Migrant
A laudable concept, but I fear it'll not work out economically, no doubt due to the amount of work they put into these machines.
£245 for a 20" wheel kids bike? It's gonna take some serious tugging on the eco-heart strings for someone to pay that sort of premium.
 

Arch

Married to Night Train
Location
Salford, UK
Landslide said:
A laudable concept, but I fear it'll not work out economically, no doubt due to the amount of work they put into these machines.
£245 for a 20" wheel kids bike? It's gonna take some serious tugging on the eco-heart strings for someone to pay that sort of premium.
They've been going for a couple of years, I think. And I suspect there are plenty of people who would spend that much on a bike that could last their kid for 4 years (it says 7-11), if it's decently put together.

They may not be in it for the profit, it might be a hobby pocket money job...
 
OP
John the Monkey

John the Monkey

Frivolous Cyclist
Location
Crewe
It'll be interesting to see what happens - most bike recycling schemes I'm aware of either rely on volunteers (because the work is labour intensive) or subsidy, or both, and are pitched at producing solid, reliable, and cheap bikes for people who couldn't otherwise afford one.

This is the first one I can think of that has the end result as a premium product[1] - I doubt their margins are huge, but if they can turn a profit, all to the good, and they should be less reliant on the vagaries of local government etc (I think one local recycling scheme to me had to close when the council stopped funding it). Plus, the bikes are really pretty spiffy - I wonder if I could persuade the missus to go for one of those wicker basketed ones (she's got a hankering for one to transport the dog around in).

[1] No doubt there are thousands out there, and I have the wrong end of this particular stick, as in so many cases.
 

Landslide

Rare Migrant
Arch said:
They've been going for a couple of years, I think. And I suspect there are plenty of people who would spend that much on a bike that could last their kid for 4 years (it says 7-11), if it's decently put together.

They may not be in it for the profit, it might be a hobby pocket money job...
I can only hope that my cynicism is proven wrong!

Like you say, it's not a bad price over 4 years.
 
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