Why separate bicycles and scooters?

Bike StoreYou are unlikely to see footbikes in bicycle shops, but why is that? Are they so different?

The inmates of the local bike shop (LBS) are often fascinated by footbikes; my LBS proprietor, who had to take mine around the block, admitted he sees them at the international shows.

So why don’t said proprietors sign up for a few? Is it because the companies that market only footbikes are necessarily small to service the small numbers of existing kickers, and that keeps their costs – and therefore prices – too high?

What if big bicycle companies made (or had made) and marketed footbikes along with their other vehicles? Surely the modest requirements for building a scooter should be within the range of Trek, Raleigh, Schwinn etc.?

Maybe those same modest requirements are why tiny specialist companies are already in the game. But can they make a living? The prices necessary for these small companies to make a profit may be perceived by the general public, who see $99.99 bicycles in Wal-Mart, as too high.

A bicycle company rep need only say to the LBS, “Okay, you’d like X bicycles. Any tandems? Tricycles? Scooters?” Judging from the looks we get on our footbikes, what might happen if, say, a Raleigh scooter was on display in the bike shop next to the Internationals and Roadsters?

This is not to say there’s not a place for my good friends who make and distribute Kickbikes and Footbikes™ – there’s always a place for high-end and specialist bikes of any persuasion. But the general public needs a taste first.

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