Sunday, October 4, 2015

Early October update

Early October update
Sorry if I’m not posting very much these days, I‘ve been moving and did not have too much time to gather information from all the usual sources.

My recent post of manufacturers and vendors websites appears to have struck a chord.  It is one of the most popular post I have made, it has generated a fair bit of traffic and many comments.  One of those came from Leo from Alligt who explained his situation.  I indicated that I would reply in my next post.  I wanted to provide a longer reply as well as highlight the comment.
Leo Visscher - September 26, 2015 at 2:12 PM
Great work you do. Sadly we don't live in a wold were people who maters as producers do have time enough to give all the consumers what they need. When I'm (Alligt) not able to write in my home language it make no sense for me to they to write my webpage in Englich. It would cost to much. Even in my home language it is difficult enough. Also communicating to het hole world would distract me to much of my core buisnis. Developing velomobiles and parts. I have enough customers and have no ambition to be the CEO of a big company. Everyone who make an effort to ring me know that I have in that moment the time. Not having business email is the best filter that I could think of.

First let me thank you for taking the time to provide a comment, it is good to hear your perspective.  I understand your situation; you are a busy manufacturer, a small enterprise and at the moment you have a sustainable amount of business and you are not actively trying to grow much larger. 

As I indicated in my blog post, manufacturers and vendors make choices on where they spend their resources. While it may be more difficult  and/or not as interesting for you to enhance your communication, it is often very difficult for a prospective client to get informed.  You have chosen not to publish your e-mail and concentrate on the communicating through the phone to provide a better customer experience.  You were probably receiving spam or just too many requests that you could not quickly answer.

Let me give you this as MY experience.  If you follow my Blog regularly, you will see that I had problems with my idlers.  I tried to phone your company 3 times during business hours and did not get an answer, I wanted to know about the availability of an idler that I could not find in your catalogue on your website.  With the time difference, it is hard to find a time when we are both available for a real-time conversation.  Someone told me that Dutch Bike Bits sold your idlers and I sent an e-mail and received an answer overnight, I would have preferred asking you because what I was looking for was not standard and maybe Alligt had a solution.  Like many potential clients, I do not have the ability to just drop-in so I have to rely on websites that may or may not be complete or up to date, and restricting communication is an issue for prospective clients, especially those who are not in Europe some would need to stay up very late or get up very early to have these phone conversations, not to mention that the cost of International calls can be high.  The business is going well at the moment with a steady stream of business but maybe in the long term it may have a negative impact on the long term.

Would it be possible to get external help to increase you web presence through a partnership with other velomobile manufacturers in your area to share the cost and/or maybe using interns from local schools who are looking for experience in the field?  We would all like to see the penetration of velomobile increase significantly.  To realize this, you play an important role in achieving this objective.


Velomobiel posted a video of the QuattroVelo where they show the suspension being activated and it appears almost complete.  The Velomobile appears to be rideable but we do not see it being ridden very far. 

Meanwhile, deliveries for Velomobiel products in September were very slim with only two velomobiles being delivered in September; one Quest XS and one Carbon Quest XS.

The order book is up to 47 velomobiles and 27 of those are QuattroVelos.  Since only 20 velomobiles other than QuattroVelos are on order, it would be easy for Velomobiel to clean their back log in a couple of months and concentrate on the delivery of the QuattroVelo when it is ready for production probably by year’s end.  I expect that the initial rate of production for the Quattrovelo is going to be initially one a week so it would take about 27 weeksor slightly more than 6 months for the Quattrovelo currently on order to be delivered once the production starts.


ICB hoods are being shipped to those who ordered them.  People who have received them report that GPS reception under the hood is significantly diminished.  A certain loss of signal is something I experienced with the hood sold by Wim Schermer however I was able to place the GPS in a position near the Lexan windshield that gave me adequate reception.  I hope that I will be able to do the same with the ICB hood. 

ICB is currently looking at producing a hood for the Quest/Strada/Mango based on the DF hood.  Daniel Fenn has asked for rider input for the new hood.  The goal is to provide a lighter, sturdier and maybe more aerodynamic hood for these velomobiles but also be able to accommodate a helmet while riding.  This is an issue for Quest/Strada/Mango riders participating in events where helmets are mandatory.  Since this is still not officially announced, I suggest you contact ICB if you are interested in this new product.

ICB delivered 10 velomobiles in September 3 DF and 7 DF-XL.  At the end of September there are 41 velomobiles on order at ICB but it is interesting to note that only 10 of these orders are for DF and 31 are for DF-XL. This means that the wait time is getting much smaller, certainly less than 6 months and probably closer to 4 months at the current production rate.

Australian Pedal Prix

Several new rider videos of the latest race have been posted recently.  Here are a few of them including one from the young the one from the young team Eric the Half Bee. Who dominated its category all year.  You can check them out on the Australian Pedal Prix Facebook page


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