Q: Why did you choose to manufacture bicycles in New York City? How is that working out for you?
A: My partners and I chose NYC because we live here and managing the manufacturing and launch of this project from anywhere else would have been impossible for us. The fact that the bikes have a certain NYC cache has been a definite benefit though.Our project really has the history of a cooperative effort that has ended up leveraging the skills and good-will of a dozen professionals (photographers, graphic designers etc.) that we had access to (many in our own building). There are only a few other places in the US where this could have happened.
NYC has allowed us to be very flexible and nimble in every respect except one. Commercial rental space is so prohibitive that it limits our potential as far as retail is concerned.Q: Describe your manufacturing facility and process, please.
A: We designed the bikes and were fortunate to find a small manufacturing facility in the heart of a West Indian neighborhood with many talented welders. I've said before that we aspire to be the Model T of American bicycle manufacturing and that remains true. Our manufacturing principles are: local, affordable, durable, and stylish.Q: How many bicycles do you make in an average month?
A: We have made 500 bikes in our two year experience. We are aiming to make and sell twice that in 2011. We also have accessories planned such as front racks, clothing and cycle caps.Q: Do you see areas for potential improvement, in terms of manufacturing? If so, what are they?
A: A friend once said that the ideal bike was cheap, strong and light and that we should pick two out of these three. Our bikes have not been light. The production we are presently preparing is lighter. Our bikes are relatively inexpensive and we make it a priority to keep it so. Our bikes have been and will be strong.We also hope to produce more and more of the components locally in the future, chain guards, fenders, racks and anything we can keep in house.
We will continue to innovate and learn keeping our principles in mind.
Q: Please describe your design inspirations.A: My wife and I visited Amsterdam in 2008. I've always been a cycling enthusiast, and the holiday, the city, the people, and the bike culture inspired me. We wanted to create a Dutch inspired bike that was NYC- street tough. Basically, if our bike can make it here, it'll hold up anywhere...
Q: When someone buys a bicycle from you, what do they get that they cannot get anywhere else?A: A hand built bike made in America, that's stylish and functional while remaining affordable.
Q: How are your bicycles equipped? What accessories are included?
Q: What is the price of one of your bicycles? Do you see that price changing in the near future?
Q: Where would you like to see Bowery Lane Bicycles in five years?A: I hope to have a five year plan in five years.
Q: What else would you like to say?
Q: What do you like for breakfast?A: 3 cups espresso, toast with peanut butter and honey from my own hives. Hope the girls (bees) are weathering the cold alright.