It is going to be one of the most important moments in this year’s part of recumbent history. Dana Lieberman, the owner of Bent Up Cycles recumbent shop in Hollywood and RAAM finisher, has bought the Bacchetta Bikes. In this interview, he is answering many questions you may have and opens the brand’s future.
Can you describe your general experience with the Bacchetta bikes?
I always tell customers, if you see a brand on my floor, there’s a reason. If you don’t see a brand on my floor, there is probably a reason. Bacchetta has been in my shop since I opened over 17 years ago. The reason? They build great bikes and provide exceptional customer service.
How did you realize that Bacchetta is for sale?
Mark Swanson contacted me in April to ask if I was interested. Given my history with them, along with my desire to move more towards the supply, distribution, manufacturing and design side of the bike world, it seemed like an obvious choice.
What is your motivation to buy it and continue developing it?
My friend and RAAM partner, Jim Verheul and I have discussed Bacchetta at length over the years and how we would improve their already stellar bikes. I see so much potential in this brand and in the two-wheeled market as a whole, and I look forward to growing and developing it.
Can you let us know something about the reason to sell it?
I think that is a better questions for Mark Swanson to answer. In his email to their customers, he stated: “ With mixed emotions, Mike, Jeremy, and I announce the sale of the Bacchetta Bikes to Bent Up Cycles. The twenty-year journey that we have been on has been one of the most fun and rewarding chapters of our lives. We have been blessed to have a profitable business over the years and honored to provide products that have positively impacted many lives. Covid has impacted many industries – autos, homebuilding, travel – and most significantly, bicycle parts. As distribution channels consolidate, we believed that one of our large regional dealers was a great candidate to take over the brand. We reached out to many of them and found a great partner to transition the Bacchetta line of business – Dana Lieberman of Bent up Cycles. We will be working on shipping our inventory and systems next week. As a result, we are pausing our online store at the end of the week until the end of the month.
Mike, Jeremy, and I sincerely thank our riders who have been so loyal and shared much with us. Each of us is excited to move on to new professional endeavors that we have lined up. To be clear, we are taking our Bacchettas with us … so if you see us on the trail or open road, wave, or better yet, holler at us to stop, and we can talk shop.“
[LONGER EXPLANATION: You can find it in the video interview here]
What everything have you bought? Inventory? Name? Website? Social networks? All the drawings? Other know-how?
The sale was an asset purchase, so I now own all of the tangible assets of Bacchetta, including the remaining inventory, jigs and fixtures in Taiwan, blueprints and design specs for all of their bikes and accessories, and social media and online outlets including their website. I am not obligated to cover any warantee issues, but I hope that customers would reach out to me if there was a problem so that we could resolve it.
Will you keep somebody from the current Bacchetta crew team? Or who will be part of the new team?
All of the owner’s at Bacchetta are moving on to different projects. Jeremy will be around to answer any questions I may have. Mark Swanson and I are looking forward to taking a trip together to Taiwan so he can personally introduce me to the builders and manufacturers.
Where will Bacchetta be located?
Bacchetta will be located in my store in North Hollywood. It will not be a separate company, but rather an in-house brand that also works through a worldwide dealer network. While we are awaiting the shipment of inventory from Florida, we are busy prepping the store – building walls, clearing out space, and installing a 20 foot container in the parking lot for storage.
When will be customers able to order from you? Parts and bikes?
People have already started ordering parts and bikes from my website. I have a full list of inventory that is coming in, so I can monitor the orders and let people know if it is something that will not be in stock. I haven’t had to do that yet. A large part of my work right now is building out a Bacchetta Store on my website to include all of the bits and parts that were on the Bacchetta site, and more!
Bikes are a different challenge. While I have over 300 frames arriving soon, along with some bits and parts, I have no inventory from Bacchetta that will allow me to build complete bikes. As a shop, I have stocked some components, but those won’t last long and will not be available to my dealer network. My hope is that dealers have enough parts to build up frames. In a year or so, complete bikes will be available again. [UPDATE: Dana has already received full truck of frames and parts few days ago. See the photos.]
I have lots of ideas for improvements. However, I really want to take a different approach to manufacturing.
Will you continue to supply also overseas customers? Customers from foreign countries?
I will continue to provide for customers worldwide. I have been shipping worldwide for 17 years, so I don’t anticipate this being a problem.
How about the CT 2.0 trike and the Pelso Brevet? Who will handle the warranty issues?
As stated previously, I am not responsible for any warantee issues that arose under previous ownership. Lars from CarbonTrikes has already stated that any warantee issues that arise from trikes sold by Bacchetta will be covered by them. I imagine any Pelso warantee would be covered directly by Pelso.
Do you plan to cooperate with Lars from CarbonTrikes.se or Adam from Pelso?
At this point, I would happily welcome CarbonTrikes into my shop, but it will not be in a distributor role. I will purchase them as a dealer in the same manner that any other dealer would make a purchase. The same goes for Pelso, although I do not foresee having them in my shop again for a variety of reasons.
Do you plan to keep the production of two-wheelers in Taiwan? Will it be the same producer, same quality we are get used to?
Production will remain as it is. I am already in contact with my manufacturers in Taiwan and look forward to working with them to continue building these wonderful bikes.
Do you want to know more about the future of wonderful Bacchetta bikes? In the next part of the interview, Dana will let you know more about his ideas and plans related to Bacchetta and any future development.