Raising Recumbents

Milwaukee Shop Promotes Laid-Back Bikes
CHICAGO–A Seattle maker of recumbent bicycles, so named because of the user’s riding position, is attempting to gain more mainstream recognition for the category and the brand with full-page magazine ads from Milwaukee agency Nelson & Schmidt.
Vision Recumbents is touting the comfort of its uniquely styled bicylces to attract the middle-aged bicylist, according to Ricky Comar, the company’s marketing director.
“The main concept is, they’re comfortable bikes and there are a whole lot of baby boomers out there looking for comfort,” Comar said.
Nelson & Schmidt had done local work for a Stevens Point, Wis., bike dealer that handles Vision Recumbents. The shop subsequently called Comar and offered its services.
“They just dug our bike,” Comar said.
Full-page ads break in the April issue of Bicycling magazine, Comar said.
The recumbent bike category is a small one, with the top manufacturers only selling a few thousand units each year, Comar said. Advertising by Vision, which opened for business seven years ago, has generally been limited to small print ads in the back of bicycle magazines and a recumbent bike newsletter.
Comar’s goal is to get the brand better known before the recumbent becomes a price-driven commodity.
“Whoever becomes the Kleenex or Band-Aid brand in the category” is going to win, Comar said.