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Friday, March 28, 2008

Folding Bike Supply Tightening

by Larry Lagarde

If you are interested in getting a very light, economical and well made folding bike (such as the $229 Superlite Nexus 3 speed 24 lb folding bike, the $209 Ultralite 6 speed 25 lb folding bike or the $189 Superlite 1 spd 22 lb folding bike), I advise you to act soon as quantities of these bikes are in very short supply and will not likely be replenished for some time.

Why? What's up?
The falling dollar, the US recession and increasing manufacturing costs are squeezing bike company profits, causing makers to cut production of low profit models and/or switch to lower cost components. Unfortunately, folding bikes are not immune to this trend either.

This week, Kent notified me that their diecast magnesium folding bike lines (the Superlite 1 spd, Superlite Nexus 3 spd and Ultralite 6 spd) are being eliminated or cut back due to sharply rising costs of materials and production. Hopefully, this will change when costs stabilize but there's no telling when that will happen.

Although Kent is cutting back on their magnesium bikes, they are excited as ever about alloy folding bikes. They will soon be testing 2 new aluminum alloy folding bikes but I have no details on components. We'll just have to wait and see.



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