"top flight ID from NYC"

Ok kiddies a bud of mine is a consultant on this project, he said the client went to “top dollar ID frim in NYC” and the result is this

We both said “top dollar dont mean top shelf”, but hey cavent empor doood.

First, I should say that I’m an architect, so I may not have much ability to speak with much depth about the ID, but this product looks pretty cool to me. I bike to work, and I’m just about to have my first kid, and this is exactly like something I would want to use. However, I’m sure there is huge room for improvement. There always is.

So, how would you improve on this? Also, did the firm that designed this also set up all the supply chain logistics? Safety testing? Marketing? Who did what?

This is the type of product that people look at and say “oh WOW, it does EVERYTHING!”, but then just like a Swiss army knife they find out that it doesn’t do any of the functions extremely well.

It’s hard to judge what the experience would be, but all the different mounting positions looks like it could get confusing. And does the bike have gears? If not this would certainly not be enjoyable to ride. In reality I see someone getting this thing and deciding what arrangement they like best and just keeping it like that until it winds up in the garage sale.

I’d wonder what the design brief was from the client, and how much influence they had on the final design. Some clients just get it in their head that they know this product will be a huge hit, and they just want someone to do the leg work. They have a vision and they get married to it way too soon, and then like most people who get married too soon…well you get the idea.

interesting, definitely not a product for me, but i don’t have kids


if you stick two kids in here and they decide to lean forward when the parent stops and gets off the bike, what keeps them from getting dumped on their face?

Again, i don’t have kids but if i did, i don’t think i would be comfortable strapping them to the front of my vehicle.

Zippy: Maybe your friend meant the website was done by a top NYC design firm?

I think the product is pretty neat. I live in urban Montreal and my wife and I don’t have bikes. One of the reasons is space in apartment. If my bike could be of use to me more often, I think I would have one. That’s exactly the kind of market niche that would be served here. To conclude, I think this thing is as usable as a Segway scooter.

As for design, I’m surprised by the results. The fabric around the child cockpit looks nice, but the rest of the bike looks like an existing fold up bike design from 30 years ago. Kind of disappointing if it is from a big studio. Having said that, the budget may have been just north of zero.

The website is nice though. It has a groovy urban parent look to it. The flash works nicely to illustrate the different configurations that one can create with the bike, but with clarity. How I wish that dawolfman had posted this site a few weeks ago instead of the motion-sickness site.

Lets look at this beastie, first is does have “gears” a 5 speed internal hub system so its some what rideable. The did get one thing right in that doing the market reasearch moms wanted their little darlings up front so they can see them, and first to the impact but hey thats a diffferent matter. The rear chain stay area is totaly bull, could be a simple extension of the main frame. The steering is a complex and expensive linkage system. The big problem is cargo carring bikes are common in the east, a simple redesign to carry the stroller pod would be the smart thing. There is so much wrong with this from a prodcution and use standpoint its hard to know where to start. The big one is that it will be priced far out of its competitive market nitche at~ $750.00 retail going up against bike and trailor combo’s that are 1/2 the price.

Nope the product was designed by a big firm and the budget was pretty damn large. You live in apt, know this…the stroller does not fold up, no does the bike…a bearcat to haul up stairs in any event and will not fit on any existing bike rack.

Top dollar firm. But in what, and how much was the contract for? Even the toip dollar firms will do small consulting work…simply brainstorming configurations and solutions…not nessisaraly the finished design. As I assume this project was. Bike component looks very engineered, where the stroller component looks more finished and refined. I would be willing to guess the bike design was done internally by engineering or by the firms engineering…design of this might not have been the bigest priority. I would be willing to bet that the terms “It’s just a dam bike” came out of someones mouth. Instead the design focus was on the stroller as this is the part with the most interaction as it goes were the parent goes…ie in the stores, resurants, zoos, and other walking places were the design can be seen at a slower pace and advertised.

Not nessisaraly the direction I would have pushed, but I can eisily see a marketing exec from the MFG pushing this direction.

But to be honest the bike I use to tow my son around after frame, components, and labor is about $820 and then the trailer was right around $250. Bike is on the high side as I also use it as my trail bike so it has slightly higher end components. But wifes entry level Specialized after swaping to lower gear set and stronger rear barrings was close to $400.

Also keep in mind this is a child company of SOMA a custom frame company on the high price side of the bell curve, and the aspects of the frame that you are calling out are very legacy of their designs. Hence why I said what I did in the previous post.

That is were your thinking is flawed. It is not intended to go against the bike and trailer combos. From what I gathered from the site and a couple of mags I have seen it in is that it is aimed at the catagory of people looking for more sophisticated option than the ccurent combos. Willing to spend the $$ to have the elight product. Also theyre are a lot of patent and trademake issues in this rem…many of which have not been produced. But I do agree this is far from an optimal design…but then so is the Dyson and dont even get me started on the usability of any of Rashid’s products.

So, this bike stroller combo is $700 + and up, right? That personally seems cheap to me. I spent $1700 on a mid range road bike. I really don’t think there’s a huge market for this bike, and yet I would still want this at this pricepoint offered. I’m actually thinking it must be more that the price mentioned above. Anyway, I’d hate to think of the hundreds of problems that would have to be solved for a bike that I would imagine only sells 10,000 per year maximum. It may take a long time to make back the money on this one. It’s a wee bit too specialized.

As with most bikes your pulling parts of of the shelf and my understanding is that the design firm did the whole beast, and were paid just over 200k for the “design”. The stroller is hack, look at it carefully note the width if you will.

that is my award winner from 1991

here is the rub, the wholesale COST of that thing is just over $600.00 and bike dealers live on keystone so its going to retail for $1200 and up. The point being that you can buy a cargo bike compleate from china bike for under $100.00 and that kiddies says that the designers and mfg people jumped the shark because if this is a desireable product they will be killed by lower cost knock offs.

True, and it most likely will be. But SOMA is a high end company, as is their market for this product. That is were they are justifying the price. Btw, you might beable to get a cargo bike in China for $100 US but have you tried the States? I have looked into such Rickshaw-esk for my fathers honey buisness. Cut down onb fule consumption from the atv’s. Most run $2000 and up. Single person +300lb cargo.

Also 200K for a complete ground up design of such a product by a top dollar firm is at most 2-3 weeks work… Furthure supporting my earlier claim. As well as the fact that with the exception of the frame there is not one non off the shelf component on that bike, nor would I expect one on such a niche market product. Costings just do not facilitate them.

As for the stroller being a hack…so the proportions and overall form factor is the same as most other jogging strollers…so what. This is probaly more a reluctancy on the clients part to change mentality more than the ID firm not looking into other directions. But as for strollers go it is a decent skinning on a very saturated product.

well the head is all custom because of the use of the idiotic steering system and its use of internal drum brakes. The whole steering system in fact is custom. The cargo bikes are available from any number of builders in china, min order is one container load though but for these donks it would have been a no brainer. If soma tries to maket that dreg to their up scale customer base, they are making a huge mistake, not all people with money are fools. For their 20k they got bent over and not even kissed imo.

Internal drum breakes…common on many “auto shifting” bikes. As well as a 1920’s era single speed solid rubber tired bike that my Grandfather still has in his garage. Lincage while not common on normal bikes is far from being proprietarily designed for this aplication… just adapted and neccisary hardware can be machined requiring little to no capital tooling investment in the bike atleast.

Final coment is null as of right now as I do not know of the overall weight of the product. Most SOMA frames are extreamly lite in regrard to the stifness and durability. If this holds true then the weight or lack there of and the quality of construction will still pertain to their client base. Keep in mind we are talking base frames with no other components in the $1K range for road and $800 for MTB.

One container load. Exactly shipping and import duties bring the cost per bike to $2K. That is why when dealing in small specialty products such as highly niche and/or medical products it is far cheaper to have domestic sorces handle the manufacturing. Fule of thumb anything less than 10k units a year stay domestic. Especially on larger component that can’t be UPS/FedEx/DHL cheap and easily.

Hey ceck the math these fools blew 200k ON GARBAGE. Imoort, shipping and duty only add about 30 bucks per bike btw so your 2k per is way off base. I was in the bike buis as a designer and engineer for 7 years, so I do know a bit about it.

Is that a fact:

So you are saying I could get a single cargo bike on shore for $135 wow. The forks on my bike cost that.

Perhapse you have not seen quality bike prices as of late. These are SOMA customers paying for these.


Whos prices are out of range?

idiots pay more for bmw branded bikes…fools abound. In looking at their unit volume and given amorzitation of that 200k bath they will be long time A HELL OF a long time before they see any black ink. The rule of thumb for retail price for asian bike landed in us is 2.5x the cost (70 x 2.5=retail in the shop of $175.00) that includes full keystone (double his cost) for the dealer.

Interesting product… a little clunky in the trailer side for 200k.

They do list 2 industrial designers out of an apparent staff of 5. (check the Company Bios page)

yup the one guy has some daft personal trailor the other nutting but rendering on a coreflot site. The company must have wised up after getting hosed by NYC and hired some folks in house.