nice shop bike

nice shop bike
Boulder Bicycle Lugged

Monday, February 20, 2012

Thoughts on the Rene Herse transfer to Compass Bicycles

So as you may have heard, Compass Bicycles now owns the Rene Herse name and brand! And it is very good news for all involved. In a sense, we've sold to Compass Bicycles "all the things that we do not do." And now Compass Bicycles can do some of the things they really want to do which we weren't.. The result is that things are nearly unchanged at Boulder Bicycle and the production of Rene Herse bicycle frames through Boulder Bicycle remains unchanged.

And most importantly - our passion and ability for making the finest bicycles possible, under the Rene Herse name, is not changed in any way! The dream lives on!

It is no mystery that there are things we do really really well - and some things that we don't do well. We are very inefficient when it comes to project management. Its probably due to our obsessing so much that we get nearly paralyzed into inaction. But we are extremly adept at obsessing over details and making top level bikes. And we are also, we like to think, very good at running a parts business that is quick and accurate and which provides customers with a high degree of customer service. Initially, I figured Rene Herse would be making components in addition to the bikes, but that always was pushed off. And I was starting to feel bad about that.

In the meantime, Jan Heine at Compass Bicycles wanted to get into the component end of things (such as the upcoming Compass Rene Herse crank). And since we had done nothing in that area, and since he was all fired up about it, he made an offer to puchase the Rene Herse name and remaining assets (from the original purchase we'd made from Lily) from us. We now license the Rene Herse name back from Compass Bicycles for use on the bicycle frames we make. Plus, we are able to do any custom fabrication of parts for complete new bicycles we sell, as needed, on a bicycle by bicycle basis. So nothing changes on the Rene Herse frames and bicycles that we produce.

What has changed is that we now answer the phone "Boulder Bicycle" and we can't use the Rene Herse name on T-shirts or Jerseys without getting approval and paying a license fee to Compass. And we can never make a component labled Rene Herse. And we've modified the Rene Herse logo we use when advertising the Rene Herse bicycles we sell to the one shown above.

Hopefully Compass Bicycles will enlarge their offerings to provide restoration parts for classic Rene Herse bicycles. And hopefully in time they will make components that we will purchase from them as a retailer (and to use on our own bicycles).

In the meantime, we are growing steadily. And at some point, as our project management skills get better, we'll even up the production rate of Rene Herse bicycle frames and complete bicycles. Its an exciting time in Boulder!

Mike Kone
Boulder, CO USA