31 August, 2009

Last of the US Porteur Racks, Updated



We have one last small shipment of the USA-made Porteur Racks. These are stainless steel and un-drilled. These are still hand made in a two man shop in Wisconsin Once these are gone we will not restock them. These racks typically sell out very quickly, which is why we are moving production to a factory with more capacity.

The Taiwan-made pre-drilled Porteur Racks should be here within a few weeks.


UPDATE: The shipment is all gone, but we found a few seconds in the warehouse that have either a minor blemish or were slightly bent in shipping (We straightened them). They are now on the site at a discount.

19 comments:

Joel said...

Thank you for the heads up. Just put in my order. Going to use it as part of a custom every day bike I am building along the lines of the classic French City bikes.

I already have a VO constructeur rear rack which was drilled for a Rivendell Homer Hilsen. I am hopeful the builder will be able to adapt it to the new bike.

I am pretty excited about the build. Will e-mail you some pictures when it is done.

Anonymous said...

will there be a price difference?

Yann G.S. said...

why not offer both, keep ordering from the small business (and those that want to wait to get one can), but order larger quantities to satisfy everyone else from taiwan

Nicholas Grieco said...

I don't understand this- superb racks, built by artisans here in the States, turn out to be very popular. You reward that excellence by moving production overseas? This is typical "corporate" behavior. We- society- have no future as long as this business model permeates every aspect of our lives.

If demand is greater than immediate supply, keep the production where it originated, and raise the price a bit. Customers will be patient, and there will be balance in the long run. Good products are worth the wait. Quality craftsmanship is worth paying for.

I can't be the only person who feels this way.

austin. said...

Chris,

Any idea how much the overseas racks will cost?

Best,

Austin

Anonymous said...

Will the fence from Taiwan fit the US made porteur rack?

Chris Kulczycki said...

The new rack will be less expensive, but we will not set the price until they arrive.

The US manufacturer of these racks is not interested in making anywhere near the quantities we need. If they wanted to open a larger facility, hire welders, and commit to making thousands of racks a year, I would be happy to work with them. But that is not what they are interested in and I honestly can't blame them. In fact I applaud their devotion to individual craftsmanship over production=line-manufacturing and all the hassles of running such a company.

Chris Kulczycki said...

Also, as to why not offer both types of racks, I simply want to keep thing as simple as possible here and not stock too many duplicate items.

Anonymous said...

that still really sucks.

Why not still offer the hand made racks in smaller quantitys?

If they think that they can still have a market without expanding then give them that market.

Anonymous said...

I think that you should somehow let customers know how to get one of the US made racks if you are not going to stock them. I have had items I actualy developed and manufacture myself copied and outsourced, which hurt a little bit. Its hard to keep up with entreprenuers with a bottom line when you have one as well.

Chris Kulczycki said...

It's not like we are abandoning this manufacturer. It simply makes more sense for them to concentrate on building those racks that sell in smaller quanities, like the models with integrated decaleurs. It's also a VO design, so it's only available at VO and at VO dealers. Finally, the new company is family owned and committed to high quality. I have visited their small factory and came away very impressed. They are, in many ways, like a larger version of the small shop in the US and just as deserving of the work.

Anonymous said...

Most of my involvement with bicycles in the past ten years had been buying old road bikes from Goodwill or the Salvation Army to give to Boy Scouts because the bicycle-shaped objects they buy new at Wal Mart so seldom last the 150 miles it takes to complete the Cycling Merit Badge. I first wandered in here looking for cheap parts. I decided it was cheaper just to find another bicycle that did not have a broken rear axle, but the parts I could not afford here are so pretty I keep coming back just to look.

I like to believe Chris when he says shipping production overseas is a good thing, and I am aware many of those old road bikes I bought were made in Taiwan; but it is hard to ignore that it sounds a lot like the guys at Wal Mart when they say shipping production overseas is a good thing. It may be a shame anyone is asking Chris to distinguish himself from those other guys, but they make a lot of sales and it looks like it could be easy to be attracted to their side.

Anonymous said...

Chris,

One more vote of support for your approach of finding reliable, reputable manufactureres abroad. I can't help think that these anti-trade posters would be singing a different tune if their families depended on their small business that sold its products mostly overseas and then found out that a customer switched suppliers because of a preference for domestic-made goods.

david_nj said...

They have to commit to making thousands of racks? How many of these are sold? I've never seen a bike other than my own with one of these racks. Can't be *thousands*!

I too value USA made items. All things being equal, leave the container ship out of it.

I'm glad I got a couple of these, because the pre-drilled ones just don't have much appeal to me. I don't want an extra hole there, and I don't want it it an approximately correct position. The whole point of this constructeur thing is to do a little handwork and make it right, no! Honestly, it was dead simple to drill holes in my VO rack tangs! It might be easier to just include a hardened drill bit in the package.

Chris Kulczycki said...

"Thousands" per year includes the five models they will be making (two new ones), not just the Porteur Rack. If there really is demand I can have some sent without holes, but for now the goal is to keep it simple and get the details right. And the extra hole makes it lighter!

Fred Zeppelin said...

Those who want a US-made porteur rack have options. Call up your preferred domestic constructeur and have at it.

Kudos to the US builder for having the strength to focus on what they do best. It's all too easy to fall into the trap of saying yes to everything that your COULD do, and in the process neglect what you should do.

Will the Taiwan racks be different, even slightly or with a stamping or logo? I predict that the US made racks will command a premium 40 years from now, and ebay values will reflect that. Maybe. :)

patates frites said...

CK, could you tell us about the two new models?

Chris Kulczycki said...

The new models will be a canti-mounted version of the rando rack and the "Rackaleur" I posted about a few months ago.

Joel said...

Mine arrived today. Much better looking in 3D than in the photos. My builder is going to have quite the challenge making a bike worthy of the rack.

Here is hoping the new manufacturer meets the high standards set by Ahren and friends.