I try to use this blog to keep people informed about ANT and to not use it to rant about my dealings with traffic, politics, getting hassled on the road etc… and to keep the post short so I can get back to work on bikes, but sometimes I want to let the s#%t fly. I am not a fast typer or a good speller or writer, so these post and my emails take me a long time to write.
So much has been going on and the interruptions to my frame building have been 10 fold, most of it good for the shop, just not exactly in the priority that had intended.
Any frame builders or new frame builders or people in the bike business, that have or plan to get in touch….I am sorry I just can not take the time to answer your questions. The calls I keep getting about someone wanting to buy me a cup of coffee/beer and pick my brain about their project or frame building knowledge they want from me, just keep growing and growing. Anyone that knows me or has had business with me knows that I enjoy people and talking and I do not like to say no, but I have a lot of very nice and patience customers that have paid a deposit for a bike and I really want to deliver.
The parts in the photo are of my binders for stems [takes 2 per stem]. My old distributor told me that this part was being discontinued [made in Japan], so I bought all they had. When I was getting low on them I went to my local machine shop to have them made….of course at a much higher price and in quantity. Turns out after I had these made that the original parts are not discontinued! All well I am always making a stink about made in USA, so this takes it to another level for me:) The shop is about 2 miles away and I picked up the parts with my bike. This shop also make my cone ends caps [that I used to make myself one at a time]. Nice shop and the owner rides a bike..not an ANT, but a cheap hybrid..none the less he and his wife do ride:)
My bike is equipped with a front flatbed rack and a rear pannier rack. I just can not get by with out both and I think everyone should have a bike with a front flatbed rack. Once you have one you will never go back. It will be a long time [if ever] before I can make a rack to be fitted to other bike forks, so I will suggest buying from either http://cetmaracks.com/index.html or http://www.passstow.com/index.html If I ever run out of bicycle orders I will get on it to provide racks for non-ant bikes too
My lease for my shop is up in October. I have been looking around for space to see what my options are. My rent goes up every year and just went up last month. My overheads are good I guess, but the cost keep increasing for me. I will probably end up staying in my space [of the last 5 years].
Many of you have emailed me about the price increase on the Light Roadster. Anyone that has placed an order with me is locked in at the price that was listed, so do not worry about that:)
This is only for new orders from now on.
I am not sure if I can eloquently convey all of the reasons for the price increase and I am not sure if I can, in one post, explain all the ins and outs of the bicycle industry and my life history in the business and the bicycle industries lack of adequate compensation. I will try and shed a little light on the subject. I love what I do and have been in the industry all my life and pretty much have accepted my low income life. I am industrious, happy and make the best of it.
Since my beginnings in bicycles I have been interested in providing and inexpensive, complete, but very well equipped Roadster commuter bicycle [long before I started ANT]. Over the years I have tried to come up with an ultimate complete bike that fits a lot of areas. I started with the original Light Roadster, then the Boston Roadster. The BR went through many changes based on customers feedback and my own discoveries. The first BR had the incredible low price of $1,200.00 with no options, but people keep treating it like a custom bicycle. I was not happy with the parts to keep at that price and people wanted other options on it. Over the years I improved it a lot and raised the price a little and ended up at the market barrier of $2K.
I still felt the bike should be better, but to make it better would put it out of reach for many people that could actually use it. I wanted to build the ultimate bike and squeeze it into the $2K barrier. It is just not possible. You can buy a Civia [made in Taiwan] for $2K, which is no where near as nice or equipped as well and is not custom fitted.
Over a short time with the newly introduced very well equipped Light Roadster, I realized that if I continued to take orders at that price ANT would cease to exist.
This also came about from feedback from many of my customers telling me that I need to raise my price…these are people that have placed orders.
I understand that this may push the bike out of reach for some people, but I just can’t bring myself to spec an additional bike in my line with less components and offerings than this bike I have come up with.
I hope this explains a little and hope that I stay in the position of providing really useful bicycles.
Sincerely Mike Flanigan