Bowman cycles goes into liquidation

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.

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raggedtrousers
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by raggedtrousers

Fair enough.

I remain a big fan of the light, simple, affordable, alloy rim brake frameset. They make ideal winter trainers, semi-disposable crit bikes, or simply spare/second bikes. But then I agonised over mechanical vs electronic, and rim vs disc* for my latest build, whereas it appears for most people those decisions are now no brainers, so I've concluded I'm not representative of most people buying bikes in 2022!

*I went for electronic and disc, but in hindsight perhaps wish I'd have gone mechanical and rim...

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flying
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by flying

raggedtrousers wrote:
Mon Jan 17, 2022 12:02 pm
Ridley Helium SLA is very much worth a look (if still around) and I was very much considering picking up a CAAD Optimo, ditching most of the stock parts, and putting on my old but lightly used Chorus 11 speed gruppo.
I do not think that is available anymore afaik but agree it was a nice example

I liked Bowmans original frame but as others said read too many complaints later + the redesigned cables entering on one side was hideous IMO

As far as what is left (rim brake) I still love Fuji Elite Roubaix frames if found (now sold as Fuji SL-A LTD)
& Standert Kreissage looks good too but I have no actual experience with them

PS: I am only ever interested in Rim/Mechanical & have no plans to change

robertbb
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by robertbb

The SLA is let down by the PF30 BB unfortunately.

flying
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by flying

robertbb wrote:
Tue Jan 18, 2022 1:46 am
The SLA is let down by the PF30 BB unfortunately.
I don't think those SLA's are available here anymore?

But..Yes I of course would love it if all frames were threaded BB but I have to admit........

I have PF30 on my Fuji Elite Roubaix frame & since I built it in January 2019 I have 24,000 miles / 38,600 KM on it & not a peep
from the PF30 BB with Campy Record PF30 BB cups in it.

I did use the green thin loctite 609 so maybe that helped but yes no complaints
I do also pull the crank every few months to clean & lube but have done nothing with the cups

I wonder if some frames have problems due to their surface irregularity etc?

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MrCurrieinahurry
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by MrCurrieinahurry

@flying I'm also thinking a standert would make a great build for the reason that I haven't ever seen one in UK and they tick all the boxes but I don't know anyone who rides one to give a review etc

Basso Diamante super record EPS 12
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DHG01
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by DHG01

When first reading through this news I thought about Standert. Both Bowman and Standert started off as niche offerings; smaller in size versus the big brands. I wonder what's happened differently for Standert to leveraged growth during the pandemic whilst Bowman struggled.

mgrl
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by mgrl

Quite possible that brexit is a factor

Singular
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by Singular

DHG01 wrote:
Tue Jan 18, 2022 7:18 am
When first reading through this news I thought about Standert. Both Bowman and Standert started off as niche offerings; smaller in size versus the big brands. I wonder what's happened differently for Standert to leveraged growth during the pandemic whilst Bowman struggled.
Logistics, manufacturing and quality.

Bowman used a Taiwanese factory (with the complexity of being a small niche brand competing with much larger ones taking up capacity in the boom months of the pandemic, in addition to the shitshow that international shipping turned into) while Standert for (for example) the Kreissäge uses an Italian contractor (which I cannot recall the name of at the moment...) for the alloy while still having some Taiwanese production.

As mentioned - the QC of the already delayed products showing up from Bowman was less than stellar (which brings a ton of work, costs, delays and more). Shipping out an incorrect product really kills business. I can see them being stressed out to get the things out to customers (especially since this was right around New Year's when the Brexit leeway was running out), but it wouldn't have hurt to give the frames/forks a proper inspection. Hindsight is twenty-twenty...
robertbb wrote:
Tue Jan 18, 2022 1:46 am
The SLA is let down by the PF30 BB unfortunately.
Ah, yeah, good reminder - THAT is also why I took it off the list.

morganb
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by morganb

flying wrote:
Mon Jan 17, 2022 6:10 pm
raggedtrousers wrote:
Mon Jan 17, 2022 12:02 pm
Ridley Helium SLA is very much worth a look (if still around) and I was very much considering picking up a CAAD Optimo, ditching most of the stock parts, and putting on my old but lightly used Chorus 11 speed gruppo.
I do not think that is available anymore afaik but agree it was a nice example

I liked Bowmans original frame but as others said read too many complaints later + the redesigned cables entering on one side was hideous IMO

As far as what is left (rim brake) I still love Fuji Elite Roubaix frames if found (now sold as Fuji SL-A LTD)
& Standert Kreissage looks good too but I have no actual experience with them

PS: I am only ever interested in Rim/Mechanical & have no plans to change
I've got a Kreissage Second Cut (the bike that preceded the RS) and absolutely love it. If you ride a smaller sized frame the PC geometry works very well, although it requires a different cockpit/saddle position set up than normal to act as intended. Compared to the Allez Sprint and CAADs (I have only rode up to 10 so no comment on the newer ones), it feels a bit more like a grand tour frame. A little lower BB and more sedate handling, not quite as firm of a ride, but still a racey position.

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MrCurrieinahurry
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by MrCurrieinahurry

Any pics?

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BMC slr01 ultegra Di2

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DHG01
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by DHG01

Singular wrote:
Tue Jan 18, 2022 10:39 am


Logistics, manufacturing and quality.

Bowman used a Taiwanese factory (with the complexity of being a small niche brand competing with much larger ones taking up capacity in the boom months of the pandemic, in addition to the shitshow that international shipping turned into) while Standert for (for example) the Kreissäge uses an Italian contractor (which I cannot recall the name of at the moment...) for the alloy while still having some Taiwanese production.

As mentioned - the QC of the already delayed products showing up from Bowman was less than stellar (which brings a ton of work, costs, delays and more). Shipping out an incorrect product really kills business. I can see them being stressed out to get the things out to customers (especially since this was right around New Year's when the Brexit leeway was running out), but it wouldn't have hurt to give the frames/forks a proper inspection. Hindsight is twenty-twenty...


Ah, yeah, good reminder - THAT is also why I took it off the list.
Those are probably good reasons.

Perhaps I would add Bowman went a bit too far im competing in price. I think an aluminum Bowman is about ~40 % the price of an aluminum Standert.
Lowering the price has a hit on margin and that impacts all the things you say.

I thought they were made in Taiwan; my Triebwerk is. Perhaps the Kriess is in Italy. I don't see the location much of an issue; particularly one being Taiwan.

DHG01
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by DHG01

mgrl wrote:
Tue Jan 18, 2022 7:53 am
Quite possible that brexit is a factor
That didn't help. I was a big user of UK stores; had a few issues with Merlin since Brexit.

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TerryDi2C
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by TerryDi2C

Singular wrote:
Tue Jan 18, 2022 10:39 am
As mentioned - the QC of the already delayed products showing up from Bowman was less than stellar (which brings a ton of work, costs, delays and more). Shipping out an incorrect product really kills business. I can see them being stressed out to get the things out to customers (especially since this was right around New Year's when the Brexit leeway was running out), but it wouldn't have hurt to give the frames/forks a proper inspection. Hindsight is twenty-twenty...
Yeah... I had two of the orange Palace 3 framesets sent to me, and then asked for my money back.
(they were pretty good about that, and handled it perfectly.

The first frame was welded wrong, and you couldn't shift to the 11T without the chain rubbing on the seat stay.

The second frame was probably OK, but there were dents in the BB shell, and paint quality was really bad in places. Also, some other dents and bits that were off.

My first frame was delayed, because yeah... the factory closed due to Covid (... I think... this was a long time ago)... and when I eventually got the frame I was pretty happy. Until I completed building the bike ;-).
They responded to me on Instagram and via email, that was all good.

Sent the frame back, they send me a new one. Brought it to the LBS to have the BB shell faced, and LBS said this frame was worse than the first one. I thought I'd build the bike anyway, but after thinking about it for a while I agreed with the LBS.

Sent Bowman a nice (and polite) email, telling them that it wasn't going to work out and that I'd like to send the frame back and get my money back. They immediately agreed and everything worked out fine for me. Shame about the frame, because I loved the orange colour. I like my orange Cinelli even better though :D .

The main thing that I found frustrating though... if you send a customer (after a long delay) a frame and it turns out the frame is not ridable, that can happen. But then you better make sure the next frame you send that very same customer is a lot better.

It wasn't :(

Singular
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by Singular

TerryDi2C wrote:
Tue Jan 18, 2022 3:42 pm

The main thing that I found frustrating though... if you send a customer (after a long delay) a frame and it turns out the frame is not ridable, that can happen. But then you better make sure the next frame you send that very same customer is a lot better.

It wasn't :(
Yeah, that's it. A shame, really; stellar bikes, universally loved, in a strong position in the corner of the market, but failing on such a fundamental thing as QC.
DHG01 wrote:
Tue Jan 18, 2022 2:51 pm

Those are probably good reasons.

Perhaps I would add Bowman went a bit too far im competing in price. I think an aluminum Bowman is about ~40 % the price of an aluminum Standert.
Lowering the price has a hit on margin and that impacts all the things you say.

I thought they were made in Taiwan; my Triebwerk is. Perhaps the Kriess is in Italy. I don't see the location much of an issue; particularly one being Taiwan.
Yep, the price difference between the two was about 40%/70% in the end when Bowman credited a hundred because of the delays (a very nice gesture as it was in the offseason anyway). But with that said I think that the Standert is/was more of a bargain (cheap is the wrong word, despite it being cheap for what it is) - made in Italy with very fine Dedacciai scandium tubes (late nineties/early noughties crowd, rejoice!) it "should" be more than that. The site of manufacturing is solely a matter of logistics (as I have no illusion of the Italians making better bikes than the Taiwanese. But in this particular case, well...)

The Kreissäge (2nd cut and RS) made it to the final round for my tin rocket project, but had a few things working against it; not a fan of the short, stout head tube (both from an aesthetics and a fit perspective), DM brakes, T47 bottom bracket and officially only allowing 25mm tyres (subsequently 28mm on the RS).

I have a couple of Kreissäge around me that I ride with at least on a fairly regular base and they're stunning. Below is one of them in a fierce fight with age and treachery a couple of minutes before refreshments were cordially and liberally enjoyed at the season's very last crit.

Image

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ghostinthemachine
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by ghostinthemachine

mgrl wrote:
Tue Jan 18, 2022 7:53 am
Quite possible that brexit is a factor
Almost a dead certainty, there are billion dollar corporations with entire legal/import/supply chain management departments tearing their hair out tryinf to deal with the fall out from that.

So a couple of guys in a lock up, at the bottom of the pecking order have little to no chance.
Especially when a factory capacity is cut by a huge factor and they are only taking 0.5% of the line capacity in the first place!

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