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View Full Version : Is Serotta the only company to retain family ownership


dekindy
03-05-2009, 07:55 AM
The thread on "the bike fit question" provoked questions for me on the whole custom process that I did not have. It also brought to the forefront of my thoughts just how committed Ben Serotta is to his business.

I am not as knowledgeable about the industry as a lot of folks. However I am aware of several family owned bicycle businesses that have sold out their "larger" company and then started their own smaller business. Litespeed is now Lynskey, Moots or Merlin (not sure which) is now Eriksen, and there are probably several other examples that I cannot think of this moment. Dave Kirk and Kelly Bedford are two prominent key players that have left to form their own companies. Not that there is anything wrong with this.

Yet Ben steadfastly remains committed to his company. I am sure there are days, like yesterday for example, where he would like to get rid of all the headaches and just go back to building bicycles and a much simpler life. Thankfully he has not.

jpw
03-05-2009, 08:01 AM
Moots is Moots, and Eriksen is Eriksen. Kent started Moots and then ownership passed to Chris Miller (I think), and then Kent started Eriksen some time later.

I thought Ben Serotta sold Serotta, but then bought it back some time later.

97CSI
03-05-2009, 09:47 PM
Waterford bikes is owned by Richard Schwinn and is the Paramount factory of old. The Schwinn name was sold by the family in '92 and has probably had half-a-dozen owners since. But Richard has maintained the Paramount plant as Waterford ever since. They still put out an excellent product. Mr. Ellis worked there for a number of years after Serotta before going out on his own last year. Am guessing that the Schwinn Paramount, having been made for ~fifty years, is the longest lived bicycle product of all time.

cadence90
03-05-2009, 10:15 PM
Am guessing that the Schwinn Paramount, having been made for ~fifty years, is the longest lived bicycle product of all time.
I think there are several (family-owned) Italian companies that would dispute that.

Ken Robb
03-05-2009, 11:10 PM
Waterford bikes is owned by Richard Schwinn and is the Paramount factory of old. The Schwinn name was sold by the family in '92 and has probably had half-a-dozen owners since. But Richard has maintained the Paramount plant as Waterford ever since. They still put out an excellent product. Mr. Ellis worked there for a number of years after Serotta before going out on his own last year. Am guessing that the Schwinn Paramount, having been made for ~fifty years, is the longest lived bicycle product of all time.

True, but Richard has a partner, I think< Mark ??????? darn age-related amnesia.

Steve in SLO
03-06-2009, 01:30 AM
I think there are several (family-owned) Italian companies that would dispute that.

Yup. A De Rosa is still a De Rosa, for instance.

jpw
03-06-2009, 04:12 AM
The banks are into all of them :-)

One false move....

97CSI
03-06-2009, 05:29 AM
I think there are several (family-owned) Italian companies that would dispute that.Which particular model have they made for over 50 years? Didn't say the Schwinn name. Said the Paramount, a particular model. Not as long lived as the Brooks saddle(s), but can't think of another at the moment.

alancw3
03-06-2009, 07:46 AM
isn't lynsky is owned by the same family that started lightspeed? been around for several years now. what about rivendell? also bob jackson in england and up until recently eddy merckx.

not sure but is trek still owned by the original founder?

palincss
03-06-2009, 08:39 AM
Which particular model have they made for over 50 years? Didn't say the Schwinn name. Said the Paramount, a particular model. Not as long lived as the Brooks saddle(s), but can't think of another at the moment.

Yes, but "Paramount" today is nothing more than a model name. Today's "Paramount" has nothing but the name in common with the 1972 Paramount I owned, or with the match-built Paramounts. Contrast with Brooks, where the B.17 that Smiley will put you on today is the same saddle that appeared in the Brooks 1906 catalog.

There is one real old-timer that is still being made today, the Pedersen:

http://www.pedersenbicycles.com/images/randomgallery1.jpg

the same as it was in 1893. when it was first patented.

97CSI
03-06-2009, 08:45 AM
Yes, but "Paramount" today is nothing more than a model name. Today's "Paramount" has nothing but the name in common with the 1972 Paramount I owned, or with the match-built Paramounts.Yes, and, again, that is why it was around for ~50 years........from the introduction in the '30s to the end of Schwin in '92. Even the Match-built Paramounts, while a great frameset, are not 'real' Paramounts. Schwinn, like Raleigh and several other venerable builder-names of yore, are nothing more than marketing names for Chinese bikes these days.

goonster
03-06-2009, 05:07 PM
Contrast with Brooks, where the B.17 that Smiley will put you on today is the same saddle that appeared in the Brooks 1906 catalog.


Well . . . the company has changed ownership, and I keep hearing that the quality of saddles has suffered due to a push for more product out of each hide. :(

Ahneida Ride
03-06-2009, 05:21 PM
The banks are into all of them :-)
One false move....

and the Bank Notes were created via "fractional reserve"
IE created out thin air. Interest on nothing is infinite interest ... :crap:

Mutt
03-06-2009, 07:08 PM
Trek is still owned by the Burke family (Dick Burke passed away a couple of years ago) with a very small portion given to a certain bicycle racer. It's big, but it's still family-owned.

Mike in Asheville

K Bedford
03-07-2009, 11:20 PM
I own my own.