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Story with Bowman?



  • Registered Users Posts: 7,077 ✭✭✭CantGetNoSleep

    Never nice to see a company in trouble but the issue with the wheels highlighted in that article, together with the lack of responses to customers, are unacceptable in my view, even when the company is struggling.

    I've always fancied their bikes, just didn't buy one due to the thread on here.

    Can't be easy for a smaller brand with current supply chain issues.

  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 46,907 CMod ✭✭✭✭magicbastarder

    how big was bowman? doesn't seem that they made the frames themselves, so did they do paint or assembly, or did they outsource that also?

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,077 ✭✭✭CantGetNoSleep

    I know they only recently (maybe 2019 at a guess?) started to do full bike builds which probably couldn't have been worse in terms of timing, going back to basics and just doing frames might be the way to go.

    I'd actually love to invest in a cycling business, might drop them a note

  • Registered Users Posts: 505 ✭✭✭Mr. Cats

    Just had a look for their back story and the founder was a cycling journalist before setting the company up

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,701 ✭✭✭fat bloke

    Well "clusterfcuk" certainly describes my Bowman roller coaster. Still would be a shame to see them go to the wall as a result of external pressures outside of their control.

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  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 46,907 CMod ✭✭✭✭magicbastarder

    i'd be curious as to how the way brands come and go in cycling compares to other manufacturing industries. lots of bike companies don't do any actual manufacturing themselves - though that's similar to lots of other industries these days i guess.

  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 23,660 Mod ✭✭✭✭CramCycle

    Sort of related but the motoring industry is going (has gone, there are a lot more Skodas on the road than their badge insinuates) the way of the bike industry and simply "rebadging" variations of the same car. Everyone seems OK with this though, unlike the bike industry, which everyone knows this is how it is done but people get snooty when it is said out loud.

  • Wait is a Skoda a VW or is a VW a Skoda now or a Seat :D

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,077 ✭✭✭CantGetNoSleep

    I remember seeing a great video on here of how to start a wheel brand, think it was taking the piss out of Hunt.

    I do think / hope that Bowman were doing a certain amount of design / engineering (as opposed to just rebadging some generic frame), given their niche in the alu frames market

  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 46,907 CMod ✭✭✭✭magicbastarder

    Oh, I suspect they were designing the frames and having someone else build them to their spec, but based on fat bloke's experience they either weren't testing the product enough before putting them on sale, or there were serious QA issues during manufacture.

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  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 46,907 CMod ✭✭✭✭magicbastarder

    That said, unless you're a very big player, the only part (and to be fair, it's a fairly fundamental part) of a bike that a company would be able to make themselves is the frame.

  • Registered Users Posts: 800 ✭✭✭nicksnikita

    Maybe that’s because the price of a rebadged bike and a rebadged car is almost the same nowadays.

  • Registered Users Posts: 505 ✭✭✭Mr. Cats

    I think that Bowman were designing the frames and then having them made in far east. They had just introduced a new frame model when Covid hit and judging by fatbloke’s experience and other stuff posted on facebook there were quality issues with the new frame model’s manufacturing. You could imagine how covid hitting could impact everything from staffing and materials at manufacturers to travel restrictions limiting communication between Bowman and the manufacturer. My reading of it is the frames were very delayed, and when they arrived the quality wasn’t to expected level.

    Its sad to see as there’s no doubt the founder started out of a love for bikes and wanting to bring something fresh to the market. I don’t have the sense that it was a big commercial drive from him, more that he wanted to produce his idea of an ideal bike.

  • Registered Users Posts: 505 ✭✭✭Mr. Cats

    I remember reading before that there’s about 5 manufacturers producing most of the carbon frames. I think Giant and Merida make their own but all the other manufacturers rely on external contractors (including Giant and Merida).

    Bianchi are setting up a carbon frame manufacturing factory in Italy. It seems the gap in manufacturing costs between Far East and Europe is closing and presumably Bianchi will charge a premium price for the ‘handmade in Italy’ branding. It seems it’s not just manufacturing costs driving the decision though, also transportation cost have increased significantly, and Bianchi will have a lot more control over lead times, quality and avoid supply chain issues, on frame at least . It will put a lot of pressure on the likes of pinarello though as their premium pricing due to ‘heritage’ really isn’t justifiable the longer things are produced in Asia.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,049 ✭✭✭Jnealon

    Quest Composites make trek and Canyon while Merida, Specialized and Cannondale are all made under the one roof.

    This article explain it in great detail

  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 18,212 Mod ✭✭✭✭Weepsie

    3T are making there latest bike in their own factory. GCN did a behind the scenes on it.

    Guerciotti used to make some it's frames in Italy, or at least had Deddecai make them for them in Italy and I presume some of the other brands did too

  • Registered Users Posts: 116 ✭✭philten

    Glad I got a spare hanger for my palace 3c! Tales of frame issues and now this. Few thousand km on mine though and no far. Sad to hear they have gone to the wall. Seems it was a messy end for all concerned.

  • Registered Users Posts: 8 Backn5mins

    Bowman Cycles are no more. They were liquidated at the end of January 2022. It's a real shame, I've got a Palace:R with almost 10K km on it and its a real sweet bike. I would really like to know how to get my hands on a spare derailleur hanger - Anybody?

    B B VELO LIMITED overview - Find and update company information - GOV.UK (

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,961 ✭✭✭68 lost souls

  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 46,907 CMod ✭✭✭✭magicbastarder

    maybe that's where Backn5mins could get a spare hanger!

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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,858 ✭✭✭hans aus dtschl

  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 46,907 CMod ✭✭✭✭magicbastarder

    out of stock there, unfortunately.

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,077 ✭✭✭CantGetNoSleep

    Almost 100 frames in stock - must have been a case of wanting to sell full bikes

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,858 ✭✭✭hans aus dtschl

    Speaking with someone reasonably well informed, that's where they'll be when they become available again.

  • Registered Users Posts: 204 ✭✭Jimbo789

    Hambini is going to be doing a video on a Bowman frame.

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,505 ✭✭✭cletus

    I don't get the Hambini thing. He never seems to be happy with anything ever.

    If everything was made to the tolerances he wanted, nobody could afford to buy bloody bikes

  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Arts Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 46,907 CMod ✭✭✭✭magicbastarder

    he's an asshole, to be frank. he's gotten really personal about individuals on his channel before, i wouldn't give him the time of day let alone watch one of his videos.

  • Registered Users Posts: 505 ✭✭✭Mr. Cats

    Wow - was it Hambini that started the abuse?

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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,664 ✭✭✭Mefistofelino

    I believe so. He's had similar approaches in other fora such as weightweenies. When he's been challenged about the veracity of some of his test results or why he does not publish all the data & methodologies, he's become quite abusive (though nothing as bad as in the Michelle Arthurs-Brennan case). When the abuse of his critics fails he has, on occasion, resorted to claims of racism by posters & moderators.

    Technically, he appears to be quite good. Its just a pity it seems to be packaged with weapons-grade bellendery.