A-bike photo courtesy of SlashGear, which has an extensive review
As has often been noted, selling expensive fancy bikes to passionate cyclists is where the bike industry excels. Expanding the pool of customers by reaching out to non-riders is much harder to figure out.
The Sinclair A-Bike was discussed in Cyclelicious and VeloVision in 2006, when the product first went on sale. What struck me in reading about the A-Bike again today was that its U.K. distributor is Mayhem, a gadget and novelty company more akin to Brookstone or Sharper Image than a traditional bicycle retailer. A big part of marketing bicycles to non-riders may be realizing that we need to sell bikes in the places that they shop. People who don’t think they want bikes don’t go into bike stores!
Sure Walmart sells bikes, but Walmart is where shoppers trudge to buy diapers and toasters, not fun toys and not transportation equipment. In order to promote the image of bicycles as hip fashion accessories, as seen in Bikes and the City and sac cycle chic and Velo Vogue, we need Electras in Ann Taylor and Stridas in Old Navy and Breezers in Starbucks. In order to promote bicycles as transportation, why not convince car dealers to sell them? Maybe someone who can’t quite qualify for a loan to buy a Prius would be interested in an Xtracycle instead.