- How to buy a boutique brand bike?
I mentioned a slightly rare brand I was considering to my LBS who immediately responded that they could get them in. So it’s worth asking, just because a shop doesn’t hold stock doesn’t mean they don’t already have a business relationship with the distributor – and most distributors cover many brands and may have demo bikes which their dealers can borrow.Posted 4 years agobikeneilMember
+1 for using your local bike shop. At least your money would be going to your local economy and not lining the already full pockets of some shareholders somewhere. I always try my lbs before anywhere else. I’d rather pay more for stuff and keep small shops open (not just bike shops).Posted 4 years agorasputinMember
DanW – That La Ruta belongs to a friend of mine and it is an awesome bike. We did Porcupine rim last summer and he rode the hell out of it. It is light but no way is it a weight weenie toy. It is stiff and pedals perfectly. So much so I am hoping to buy it off him and bring it back to England…Posted 4 years agobuzz-lightyearMember
If you’re buying boutique, empty your wallet properly and get exactly the right build for you. Go to your LBS (the proper one) and get to know them. Get some test rides. Set a realistic budget then spend time with the builder eating biscuits and working out the build and taking their advice. Then get them to build it.Posted 4 years agoclubberMember
I am very disappointed in STW.
This thread is full of ridiculous advice about functional choices on buying a boutique brand.
You’ve all got it wrong. Function is irrelevant (unless accompanied by dubious pseudo-scientific ‘data’ to back it up and ideally several TLAs)
1. Decide what group of niche cyclist you want to fit into, be it the fatbikers, the beards, the eye-wateringly expensive bike group or whatever. If you don’t fit into one then there’s no point having a boutique bike after all…
2. Do lots of research to make sure you understand the niche and then start narrowing down the choice of bike accordingly. Make sure that you’re likely to be able to look down on more common brands and ideally even the cheaper/more common end of the boutique spectrum.
3. Make sure you tell everyone on fb/twitter/instagram/here/everywhere what you’re doing. Ideally leave it a little crypic so that people feel compelled to ask for more about it so that you can tell them.
4. Finally, order the product. Ignore the end price being more than you expected becuase, well, you just have to have a matching platinum headbadge/etc, don’t you? Don’t forget to let everyone know that you’ve completed this step.
5. Get the bike, build it as though it was an F1 car with precision and tools that cost more than most peoples’ bikes because, well you know, there’s no point scrimping. Again, post plenty of pics of fb,etc.
6. Finally get the bike to the car park, photograph, admire (post on fb) and if all’s well, ride the thing.
7. Wax lyrical about how great/fast/interesting/etc it is, how it’s the best bike you’ve ever even heard of let alone ridden and how it makes you at least x times as fast for y fraction of effort and is z times more fun.
8. Choose a new niche and start again at 1.
Hope that helps.
🙂Posted 4 years agoSuiMember
ndg – Member
Show me the Knolly…. I’ve asked the distributor, but in case anyone in Surrey has an Endorphin or Chilcotin can I have a go please ?
Go see John is Sheffield (Shoreline) – it’ll be worth it!
have already had a mail back from them, Sheffield is a bit of a trek, but will see if I can engineer a “work trip”..Posted 4 years agoskidsareforkidsMember
I would have always defined a boutique brand as one which sells frames not bikes… I think Santa Cruz took a bit of a niche hit as soon as they started selling complete builds… I love my Santa Cruz, and would have another Yeti too.Posted 4 years ago
As far as I’m concerned, the bike industry is too competitive for there to be any complete turds any more (for the most part), so try as many as you can, stick to your choice and don’t let haters put you off 🙂DanWMember
DanW – That La Ruta belongs to a friend of mine and it is an awesome bike. We did Porcupine rim last summer and he rode the hell out of it. It is light but no way is it a weight weenie toy. It is stiff and pedals perfectly. So much so I am hoping to buy it off him and bring it back to England…
Yep, I understand via various forums that he is extremely happy with it. Very jealous too!
When you are creating frame custom modifications on top of custom geometry (like the beautiful and ingenious shock mount) with the frame builder, running hubs only few people like Christoph Sauser can get their hands on and ending up with a stiff and very functional 29 full sus frame lighter than the current 29er Scalpel/ Epic/ etc than that is pretty damn boutique 😀
I *accidentally* googled Funk La Ruta to look it up again and found they are now making a version with a custom CF front triangle 😯 I’d dearly love the Ti version though… just a shame the import taxes and so on add so much to the price!Posted 4 years agocookeaaSubscriber
I thought “Boutique” just meant really expensive, aspirational but still relatively accesible. To my mind SC, Yeti etc kind of qualify in that category, to hear you lot go on You’d think they were like the the Ford Focus’s or VW Golf’s of the MTBing world and every bugger owned one… But they ain’t Yeti’s and SC’s are pretty pricey aspirational bikes; Specialized, Kona Giant, those lot are run of the mill “Common” bike brands…
“Niche” is the whole limited run, only obtainable if your a mate of a mate of someone in the know, brazed together from unobtanium and kryptonite… not just overpriced but still “Cool” brands…
I reckon you lot are confusing Niche with Boutique…
IMO of coursePosted 4 years agoy0eddyMember
To answer the OP’s title question
How to buy a boutique brand bike?
Choose a brand, go visit them, make friends with the owner/frame builder, watch ’em weld atleast one part of your frame, add them to your christmas card list. That way you’re truly buying into your bike and have a smug anecdote to tell admiring strangers.
If you cant do any these then you’ve not really bought a true boutique bike IMO.
In my view boutique cant be out sourced. What was boutique 5 – 15 years ago isnt necessarily boutique today.
IMO of course 🙂Posted 4 years agomikewsmithSubscriber
I’d have to say DEMO!! SC has a great demo program in the UK.
the look at the numbers thing only goes so far, my mate’s shop has just picked up Santa Cruz here in Tasmania. He got a 5010 test bike (for himself) both him and his mechanic commented how it looked steep compared to other bikes in the shop and the usual short TT (just means he’s top end of med rather than bottom end of large) however once he took it out for a ride he couldn’t feel the HA making any difference at all so despite some of the numbers looking off it wasn’t and this is a guy who probably rides more bikes than most on here. I’m going to take it out for a spin when I can.
On the OP’s point buy a frame in a good colour (yes the colour should not be related to the spec level of the bike) and match the running gear to that 🙂Posted 4 years ago
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