Bulls Bikes USA consumer direct (3)

As a relative unknown to the U.S. consumer, Bulls Bikes is hoping to stake their claim here with consumer direct sales of performance oriented bikes. What first started in Germany in 1994 has evolved into a huge catalog of bikes of which only a few will initially be available here in the U.S. All of their current models are engineered in Germany and manufactured in Asia with bikes destined for the U.S. to be shipped to Bulls Bikes USA’s Los Angeles based warehouse. Initially planning to offer 20 different models here in the States, the first wave of Bulls will include only mountain and road bikes including their top of the line Wild Edge Team full suspension carbon 29er which will sell complete with XTR mechanical for $5,899…

Bulls Bikes USA consumer direct (4)

Bulls Bikes USA consumer direct (5) Bulls Bikes USA consumer direct (9)

Utilizing a simple modified single pivot suspension design, the Wild Edge frame sees 100mm of travel at the rear which is matched with a RockShox RS-1 at 100mm, both controlled with the Full Sprint remote lockout. The monocoque carbon frame employs the use of a tapered head tube, 12×142 rear axle, and Shimano press fit bottom bracket.

Bulls Bikes USA consumer direct (8) Bulls Bikes USA consumer direct (7)

The highlight of a particularly impressive build kit given the price is a full Shimano XTR M9000 mechanical 2×11 drivetrain and brakes. Name brand parts including an FSA K-force cockpit and Stan’s NoTubes Crest wheels finish off the spec. Complete weight is said to be 22.7 lbs. Currently only medium and large frame sizes are listed on the Bulls Bikes USA website which are given in road bike sizing with 46 and 51cm frames.

The Wild Edge will also be available in a lower spec for $3,799 along with the Black Adder and Copperhead hardtails, Harrier road bike ($1,299), and more. Pricing for the line will range from $649 to $5,899 for the Wild Edge Team. Each bike is said to arrive 99% assembled and adjusted and will ship with any tools needed to get the bike ready to ride.

bullsbikesusa.com

46 COMMENTS

  1. Compare it to a Trek Superfly 9.9 SL XTR or XX1 at $8600 and $9700 respectively…ouch. Its the way of the future I think.

  2. …wow…and at $12,000 the S-Works Epic 29 takes the cake…the retail on the Bull is less than what the wholesale on the S-Works is…double ouch.

  3. If your local bike store won’t fix it for you, you can’t blame them. Support your LBS or they won’t be there when you need them.

  4. +3 on the Canyon comments!!

    As for the local shop comment: thats ridiculous. Shops will fix whatever or the next guy will. This hostile defensive approach by some shops will simply put them out of business. You have to adapt or get steam rolled.

  5. At the Sea Otter I heard first hand that Canyon has one of the ex Competitive Cyclist people on payroll in Utah and the team is being assembled.

    DJ, the local bike shops will have plenty to do assembling / fixing YT, Canyon, Commencal, Turner, Franco, Fezzari, Canfield and who knows how many more in the future…. Just because the riders can buy direct does not mean that they know how to fix everythign on the bikes. Think of the VAST # of auto repair facilities, big and small in everytown USA, they ain’t dealerships for the brand. Some selling almost nothing but labor and ordering the parts needed for your repair and others with a wall of batteries and often used items like filters and belts. Who gives a sh*t about a selection of shoes to try on when companies like Pearl Izumi includes a pre paid return shipping label in the box in case what you orderd don’t fit

  6. We get Canyon here in Colombia. Costums charges 35% fee for nationalizing the product, plus 16% sales tax. So $5900 becomes $9240 … just go get the Superfly.

  7. The decent shops will fix the bike you buy direct or on the internet, and when they do fix it, they won’t charge any more than they would for any other kind of bike. If shop does charge more, they’re not worth your money. Gouging isn’t the way you adapt to a changing market.

    @Jared: ask all of the Canyon customers or even the BikeDirect customers. As for a place to support such a bike, any decent bike shop will do so, just as they would for any other bike.

  8. The likes of Trek and Specialized are demanding precious floor space. The service department is brand neutral. And a good service department brings is a good profit center.

  9. Good reason to learn to work on your own bike. Buy a good set of specialty tools for $500 and use the other $3.000 for something you enjoy doing with your family. I bet your wife will give you more ride time.

  10. +1 On Canyon. I’m moving to Asia next year and plan to buy Canyon’s Ultimate CF SL road. Comes with Ultegra Di2 for less than $3k shipped. Added bonus is that where I am moving does not tax the imports of road bikes.
    Never heard of Bull, but from the prices listed above, they are worth a look.

  11. I think that the ccomenters on this site have a biased view. The people reading these articles know their bikes and can probably take care of them. But from my experience working at a shop, the majority of people with the money to buy these big ticket bikes dont know what there talking about and would never be able to figure out how to order one of these online. Theres space for both companies. People on this cite see value in the machine so they will buy direct. Other people see value in salesmanship and servvice so they will buy from trek/specialized

  12. if ppl think its worth 6000USD to have a bike shop service ur bike for another 200USD (and obviousy have more money than they need) more power to them (and have specialized tell them the lifetime frame warranty doesnt apply because X Y or Z so you gotta buy a new one for 3000USD)

    meanwhile ill import my bikes and do the maintenance for 1h of youtubing, 50USD of tools and get to learn stuff in the process. and use the 6000USD on my rent/food.

    then again, almost any LBS will fix your canyon (and often be happy to see it!) for the 200USD…

  13. What i don’t like about our LBS (trek and Spec) here in town is that they try to push their products down your throat even when you ask for something else. So, i want a continental tire because i like them but the guy won’t even take it off the wall because he is too busy pushing the Spec tire in my hand. Needless to say, i left, bought my tires online and haven’t/won’t be(en) back.

    But good job LBS, your cool attitude is worth the extra 45% you charge for anything.

  14. As a bike shop owner I could care less what brand of bike we work on. However if you take away $1800 margin a week for selling just one bike I would have to bill 30 more hours just to make up for the revenue loss (if the work was there to bill) and hire an employee to do said work which means I really need to bill 60 hours… Anyway, do the math folks online retailers will put a lot of local shops out of business or said shops will need to increase their rates 2x to offset just a sale or two a week. You get what you pay for and with the industry racing to the bottom the customer generally gets left holding the bag. It’s the same with the Shimano shenanigans and the “pro-deals” for beginner and sport racers–the big companies are playing a margin game and cutting through their own distribution chain. As the manufacturers add less and less value to what is quickly becoming a cookie cutter product anyway, your LBS is really the one who can make the wrongs right and give customers more than just another carbon bike. Those who survive will win but the more consumer direct things go the bigger the blood bath on all sides.

  15. I see no problem with online retailers competing away some of the local bike shops. The bike shop model is evolving towards primarily service. Consumers can buy a lot of service with the 45% they can save by buying direct. Or buy more P&A, which enables new businesses to start and grow. The money still gets spent in the industry, the bike shops just get a different slice of it. The service is getting unbundled from the products, which lets those who need it purchase it and those who don’t to save and spend their cash elsewhere. For some people, your $1800 margin is bound to be money well spent (though I’ve yet to see $1800 “worth” of service to go along with a bike purchase), for others (most?) it’s not. A guy can buy a lot of tuneups and replacement parts for that cash.

    Business model shifts are inevitably rough for some individuals but the community as a whole is gaining.

  16. How many here are buying a $6k bike they’ve never thrown a leg over, from a brand they’ve never heard of?
    I didn’t think so.
    This is the problem with consumer direct.

  17. Well. The price tag on the bike might be low. One thing you have to consider ist service and spare parts. Ever had to replace a chain stay on the Canyon. For example: In Switzerland you have to box up your bike and send the bike back to Canyon to replace that part. They also do not send out (or did not do so in the past) these parts to have them replaced in a shop near you. Replace bearings – same story. Good luck with that during bike season. In times when many bikes use very unique headsets, shocks (Canyon), bb’s and bolts that would just be to much trouble for my taste. I don’t know what you do during summer, but I’d rather be riding than waiting for the mailman.
    Plus, it would cause me some nightmares to compare an S-Works Epic or Superfly FS 9.9 with some fancy painted open-mold china carbon frame. I’m not talking about canyon, but not everything that comes from germany is superengeneered. It’s the details that make a good bike.

  18. As far as i know is that shops don’t make much money on the bikes anyway, it’s mostly in the parts, accessories and services. That price pressure and market dominance of Trek, Specialized, Giant, etc is pushing Bulls, Canyon, Commencal and other into direct sales. I think it’s a win-win between those, not so much for the big brands of course.

  19. Also customer that buy bikes directly know exactly what they want, down to model level and colour. So what are the chances that even good bike shops have that in stock. Customers who need guidance and support in decision making are still happy to buy what’s in the stores.

  20. The bike shop owner who gives the margin figure is absolutely correct in everything he says. The consumer who isn’t mechanically inclined is the loser here. That said, we are moving toward this model, online purchases, more and more and like much with technology, including my own industry which has been nearly destroyed by the rise of the internet, there is no stopping it. The climate has changed and we are all dinosaurs in one way or another… we’re going to suffer and in some case go extinct.
    I have been dying to buy a Canyon. I do ALL of my own work and know that even among my racing friends I’m an outlier. I know guys who are national-level riders who can’t change a cassette or (and these are outliers too) adjust a derailleur. And 90 percent of bike owners can’t work on their bikes at all. But will buy online because that’s what people do.
    I don’t know what the future looks like but we all know that there is going to be accelerated change in the bike industry business models. It’s the nature of our times. I probably won’t like much of it, but there is almost nothing any of us can do about it.

  21. Shops cannot survive on service, people need a simple lesson in economics.

    Here is a simple bike shop model. If i do 40 tuneups a week at 70 dollars a tuneup that equates to $2800 per week . If I do that with one employee and we each earn $30,000 a year that amounts to $1200 in labor per week (with no fica or workmans comp included, with those it’s more like $1650). Any place you rent in a metropolitan area will cost $3000 a month in rent which means another $750 dollars a week (don’t say you can rent a cheap space outside of town-no one will drive that far for service all the time). Add in gas,electricity, internet, phone, insurance, and other expenses and you are spending more than you earn per week. That is assuming you do 40 tuneups year round (which is impossible). This also doesn’t factor in buildout, upkeep, tools, and stock you need on the floor (can’t order everything).

    For those of you who say that parts will provide the stop gap, here is a word of wisdom. If you are so “economically savvy” that you buy your bike direct you will also be walking into that shop knowing everyplace that has the parts you need on sale. If that shop is lucky then a $40 part they make $15 on they may make $5. However, if the shop is unlucky then the online seller is grey market and the parts are below their cost. So by ordering them and selling them to you they lose money.

    I know that this will release a slew of comments on how the model needs to change and destructive change is good but here are some simple facts. auto Dealerships are smart, new cars are more complicated and expensive. Dealerships survive because they work with the manufacturer to limit the ability of a consumer to fix their own car. Buy a new bmw and then call BMW about directions to change the alternator and see if you get anything but “go to the dealer” or better yet a dial tone. That is how they stay in business, they work as a team. Bike companies fight their dealers at every turn by grey market sales and by simple counter-intuitive logic. Does this sound familiar “our 2015 “blank” is the most sophisticated component we have ever made, but check our website for videos on how to install and maintain it. Shimano, sram, fox, Campy, etc… all do this. I can’t tell you how many botched installs I had to fix because someone thought “its just a bike and the installation videos are online”. Don’t say cars are the same, autozone and the like exist but many do not stock for new cars till they are 2-4 years old. My father has a 2005 dodge sprinter, he couldn’t buy replacement rotors outside of the dealer till 2009.

    The fact of the matter is the industry is collapsing. Ridership is down, New riders are not materializing, races are seeing abysmal registration numbers (I know this because every rep, industry person, and race coordinator I know talks non stop about it). Cycling is shrinking. Millennials don’t care about bikes. Some of this relates to bike shops closing. BIg box stores began this, when walmart opens a store in some small town parents buy their kids bike there instead of the lbs. That lbs closes, so does the one in the next town and the next etc…. If you look at a map of bike shops, most that are left are in destination areas like moab, or college towns, or big cities. With no bike shops there is no place to congregate, to immerse yourself in the culture and get into the sport. For all you naysayers, look at tennis- there used to be tennis shops everywhere, now they are gone. Who still plays tennis? It’s a sport for wasp holdovers and foreigners who think its upscale. At the same time where do you buy a tennis racket? Where do you go to learn about tennis? At least tennis players have courts to congregate in. All cyclists have is the side of the road/trail. If that the case then they are out of luck because the next cyclist to pass by cares more about his strava segment then a new riding partner. People use the internet as the end all be all of information, but its filled with repetitive articles. Every article on this site is also on bikeradar velonews pezcycling pinkbike etc… NO new info just re-posted news releases. People can’t find a restaurant in their neighborhood that opened months ago in the real world, but we expect them to learn and take up a lifestyle from a online blog.

  22. GP’s margin comment much be about a very expensive bike – 30% on a $6000 bike which seems to be what we’re discussing. I’ve always heard that the margin was more like 10% on the bikes, much like with cars and other big ticket items, and that the money is made on accessories and labor.

    In general the cycling industry’s prices are ridiculous compared to what they used to be…

  23. So, all you shop owners: why should the public be forced to choose from your slim bike offerings? There are a lot more bikes beyond Trek, Specialized, Giant, and Cannonade. Do you argue just as vociferously against customers buying custom bikes direct from the manufacturer?

  24. I certainly don’t think that having a direct to consumer model is bad. I mean, look at how much you get for the $3k bike, or even the $6k bike. A $12,000 S-Works is sickening. That’s just too much damn money for a bike! And I have been an outside rep for one of the big three – and the business tactics used to place these bikes on a retail level are maddening for the dealer, and don’t have the end consumer in mind – it’s more about the company. Which sucks for our industry. These guys, YT, Canyon and similar, allow a well-educated consumer(we are many!) to buy a bike with what they want for 1/2 of what a Trekalized costs.

    @PSI ; “Gouging isn’t the way you adapt to a changing market” So true – yet it happens all the time. I wish bike shop employees had a better attitude towards consumers. It’s a changing tide, but it will take time.

    Love all the competition coming on lately. Keep it coming, bike industry!

  25. Lukee. I wanted to address your comments and say bravo. You are spot on. While everyone likes good prices the direct to consumer in complete bikes and frames is not a great idea.

    Yes there are people that know what they are doing in assembly and working on their own high end bikes but for the most part many are clueless.

    People will not realize all of this until they don’t have local bike shops to go to to provide all of the little things that they take for granted.

  26. Lukee, sorry but that’s a shop’s financials, not an economics lesson. Like it or not, the economics, i.e. market forces, aren’t going towards direct web sales because it’s a bad deal for consumers. They’re going there because they’re giving consumers what they want and unbundling the service component. Unlike the auto industry, which has insane protections for outdated business models build into law, the bike industry is fairly liberal. Consumers want to buy hard goods at the best possible prices, and purchase service as they need it.

    If I was going to open a bike shop right now, this is what it would be:

    – Service only, P&A just enough to support the repair service
    – Be welcoming of people bringing their internet parts or bikes. Heck, feel free to have it delivered to our shop and we’ll build it up, install, glue it, etc. for you, just charging straight labor
    – Have a light, open, welcoming environment where every cyclist feels comfortable hanging out
    – Have a mini cafe with internet, coffee, beer. Meet pre-ride, hang out post-ride, and we’ll help you order the right parts for your repair and gladly build them up for you.
    – Have glass display booths for any local builders or reps who want to put their stuff up.

    That’s the future of the bike shop. Service & environment.

  27. Dude

    So I read your post and I would love for you to explain everyone how this shop / business would survive.

    Let’s take each of your points.

    1.) Service only. So how much per hour would you charge for service? $150.00 per hour? $250.00 per hour. Remember you only have service to work with. So while your mechanic or mechanics are doing repairs you do not have supplemental sales of bikes or clothing or shoes etc going on.

    2.) How much do you charge to put together a nice fully internally cable routed road or mountain bike or tri bike? Simple bikes are easy to put build taking maybe an hour. Many times that more expensive the bike the longer it initially takes to put together. So say 3 hours at $150.00 to $250.00 an hour. So $450.00 to $750.00 for a bike build. Does that sound far? Remember you do not have bikes or clothing or shoes etc to sell in your service only shop.

    Do you think a customer would pay $450.00 to $750.00 to put together that expensive and many times very technical bike?

    3.) A light, open clean environment I agree with but they are just hanging out watching the mechanic or mechanics repair and build bikes? So as there are no bikes or accessories or clothing to browse then what are they doing? Just talking with the mechanics? So remember tine is money and at the labor rates that shop will need to charge if you keep distracting the mechanics it takes them much longer to complete the repairs which are now much more expensive than they used to be. We are working on an hourly rate you see.

    4.) Mini Cafe with coffee and beer. Do you have any idea how expensive that is to get set up. We are talking food so the amount of permits needed plus proper plumbing which probably includes adding a double or triple sink, grease trap, possibly better ventilation, refrigeration, etc, etc, etc. I could keep going on about this but the cost to be able to serve a $4.00 Latte or a $5.00 beer is not really worth it.

    5.) Ordering the right stuff for your bike. So why would the customers buy parts from you instead of on line. Have you seen the deep discounting that goes on with for example Shimano where the online prices are many time lower than what a dealer can by them for. Remember the customer base is very comfortable going around the shop to buy a bike why would they not buy everything else that way? So do we get to charge buy the hour for the knowledge supplied to the customer on what they need for their bike?

    6.) Having a local builder display product is a great thing if there is one in your area so with that point no issue but why would a rep or reps put their products or even samples in the store as you are not buying from them as you are only doing service as you said.

    Not trying to be a jerk to you but your idea of the future of the bike shop will mean we will not have bike shops anymore.

  28. Consumer direct sales are coming, no matter how hard you whine. Very few people are willing to pay $2k extra just to support the current business model. LBS owners are smart businessmen, you’ll figure it out.
    Adapt or disappear.

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