Craig Calfee's side of the story

Discussion in 'Recumbent bicycles' started by Craig Calfee, Feb 13, 2004.

  1. Craig Calfee

    Craig Calfee Guest

    Yes, it is true that Freddy and I have parted ways. I am saddened by this turn of events and wish it
    did not happen. I had high hopes for our collaboration.

    Last year, Freddy came to me with the idea to have Calfee produce a carbon LWB recumbent based on
    the Easy Racers Gold Rush design. Freddy said if I can build it, he can sell it. I said that sounds
    like a great idea but I don't have much time to manage the project. I could do the design work and
    finance the project, but I would need someone to do the footwork. Freddy agreed to be that person
    and would be compensated on an hourly basis. We both saw Freddy's main value in the selling of these
    bikes. The real payback for him would come when we were in production and he would make a decent
    commission on every sale. The amount of that commission would be determined later, when we had an
    idea of what it was going to cost to make the bikes. Freddy had a certain figure in mind at the
    beginning. I said that I really hope that the profit margin would allow for such an amount. There
    was no agreement about the specific amount, just the idea that he would be paid on commission basis.

    I designed the bike using the Gold Rush seating position to start with. Freddy's contribution to the
    Stiletto design was to suggest Gardner Martin's classic seating position. I designed the new
    steering arrangement, the frame construction technique, the fiber orientation, the passive
    suspension, the fairing mount method, the modified aero fork and 80 mm spacing on the Phil hub, the
    production tooling and the handlebar arrangements. Freddy test rode the bike and declared it good.

    Just prior to Interbike in October, when we had to determine a price, Freddy and I sat down to
    negotiate the commission. We had most of the costs except labor figured out. It looke like we would
    have to raise the price of the bikes substantially if either of us was going to make any money. Even
    with a serious price increase, Freddy's commission was not looking like what he had hoped for at the
    beginning. He said he hoped to be able to at least make $X per year, which was a reasonable number.

    We continued to refine the production and supply issues and in January, shipped the first bikes. We
    had a good enough estimate as to the labor costs. In early February, we sat down again to negotiate
    a commission arrangement. Freddy insisted on his original amount and I proposed a lesser amount
    based on what a top level independant sales rep would make (but we would still pay his expenses,
    unlike real independant reps). That wasn't good enough, so I offered significant profit sharing of
    the whole business (not just in recumbents). Based on Freddy's own estimates of what he believed he
    could sell, my proposed deal was well in excess of the $X per year minimum figure he had in mind
    just before Interbike. If there was going to be any growth in sales, Freddy would get even more. He
    would be the most highly paid person at Calfee Design. But that wasn't good enough.

    Freddy walked out of my office and I assumed he was going to think about it. But instead, he decided
    to quit and take the tooling with him. Under threat of having him arrested, he brought the tooling
    back. To me, this demonstrated poor judgement and emotional instability on Freddy's part and I could
    not tolerate that in my business. As had been his pattern at other jobs, Freddy asked to come back
    and try to work things out. I decided against it.

    In prior times, I might have overlooked this behavior and figured something out. But I need to lift
    my business to a more professional level and not demonstrate to the rest of my employees that a
    person can behave like this and still remained employed here.

    There is a chance that Freddy and I can come to some agreement on an endorsement level, but I am not
    very optimistic about it at this point.

    We will continue with the Stiletto and eventually a SWB bike (which is why couldn't continue to sell
    components to Karl Swanson). We will continue to make the frames at the highest quality and with a
    full warranty. I am personally very excited about the Stiletto and it has replaced my Dragonfly as
    my favorite bike to ride.

    I have no personal animosity towards Freddy and wish him the best in whatever he strives for. I wish
    I could have managed his expectations better or somehow convinced him of the practicalities of this
    low profit margin business. This is a lesson I will not forget.

    Craig Calfee
     
    Tags:


  2. Matt C

    Matt C Guest

    "He said he hoped to be able to at least make $X per year, which was a reasonable number."

    "Freddy insisted on his original amount and I proposed a lesser amount based on what a top
    level independant sales rep would make (but we would still pay his expenses, unlike real
    independant reps)."

    So what started out as a "reasonable number" is now referred to as the "original amount." Did these
    figures change?

    What does the income of top level independent sales reps have to do with this? Have you decided that
    you should only make what someone in a position similar to yours should make?

    "my proposed deal was well in excess of the $X per year minimum figure he had in mind just before
    Interbike."

    You told him he was going to make more than the original agreement and he quit. Did you offer him a
    reasonable price on the Golden Gate Bridge too.

    There are inconsistencies in "Craig Calfee's side of the story." Your business is in fabrication and
    it seems that your explanation is fabrication as well.


    I



    "Craig Calfee" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Yes, it is true that Freddy and I have parted ways. I am saddened by this turn of events and wish
    > it did not happen. I had high hopes for our collaboration.
    >
    > Last year, Freddy came to me with the idea to have Calfee produce a carbon LWB recumbent based on
    > the Easy Racers Gold Rush design. Freddy said if I can build it, he can sell it. I said that
    > sounds like a great idea but I don't have much time to manage the project. I could do the design
    > work and finance the project, but I would need someone to do the footwork. Freddy agreed to be
    > that person and would be compensated on an hourly basis. We both saw Freddy's main value in the
    > selling of these bikes. The real payback for him would come when we were in production and he
    > would make a decent commission on every sale. The amount of that commission would be determined
    > later, when we had an idea of what it was going to cost to make the bikes. Freddy had a certain
    > figure in mind at the beginning. I said that I really hope that the profit margin would allow for
    > such an amount. There was no agreement about the specific amount, just the idea that he would be
    > paid on commission basis.
    >
    > I designed the bike using the Gold Rush seating position to start with. Freddy's contribution
    > to the Stiletto design was to suggest Gardner Martin's classic seating position. I designed the
    > new steering arrangement, the frame construction technique, the fiber orientation, the passive
    > suspension, the fairing mount method, the modified aero fork and 80 mm spacing on the Phil hub,
    > the production tooling and the handlebar arrangements. Freddy test rode the bike and declared
    > it good.
    >
    > Just prior to Interbike in October, when we had to determine a price, Freddy and I sat down to
    > negotiate the commission. We had most of the costs except labor figured out. It looke like we
    > would have to raise the price of the bikes substantially if either of us was going to make any
    > money. Even with a serious price increase, Freddy's commission was not looking like what he had
    > hoped for at the beginning. He said he hoped to be able to at least make $X per year, which was a
    > reasonable number.
    >
    > We continued to refine the production and supply issues and in January, shipped the first bikes.
    > We had a good enough estimate as to the labor costs. In early February, we sat down again to
    > negotiate a commission arrangement. Freddy insisted on his original amount and I proposed a lesser
    > amount based on what a top level independant sales rep would make (but we would still pay his
    > expenses, unlike real independant reps). That wasn't good enough, so I offered significant profit
    > sharing of the whole business (not just in recumbents). Based on Freddy's own estimates of what he
    > believed he could sell, my proposed deal was well in excess of the $X per year minimum figure he
    > had in mind just before Interbike. If there was going to be any growth in sales, Freddy would get
    > even more. He would be the most highly paid person at Calfee Design. But that wasn't good enough.
    >
    > Freddy walked out of my office and I assumed he was going to think about it. But instead, he
    > decided to quit and take the tooling with him. Under threat of having him arrested, he brought the
    > tooling back. To me, this demonstrated poor judgement and emotional instability on Freddy's part
    > and I could not tolerate that in my business. As had been his pattern at other jobs, Freddy asked
    > to come back and try to work things out. I decided against it.
    >
    > In prior times, I might have overlooked this behavior and figured something out. But I need to
    > lift my business to a more professional level and not demonstrate to the rest of my employees that
    > a person can behave like this and still remained employed here.
    >
    > There is a chance that Freddy and I can come to some agreement on an endorsement level, but I am
    > not very optimistic about it at this point.
    >
    > We will continue with the Stiletto and eventually a SWB bike (which is why couldn't continue to
    > sell components to Karl Swanson). We will continue to make the frames at the highest quality and
    > with a full warranty. I am personally very excited about the Stiletto and it has replaced my
    > Dragonfly as my favorite bike to ride.
    >
    > I have no personal animosity towards Freddy and wish him the best in whatever he strives for. I
    > wish I could have managed his expectations better or somehow convinced him of the practicalities
    > of this low profit margin business. This is a lesson I will not forget.
    >
    > Craig Calfee
     
  3. Tom Blum

    Tom Blum Guest

    Craig,

    I would like to thank you for the well reasoned and well written reply. I have often wondered
    about the tendency of people on this news group to jump to the worst case scenario when
    situations begin to develop.

    Most people don't realize how hard it is to "make a buck" as a small businessman. They think you
    open the door and live happily ever after.

    I'm sorry the Freddy thing didn't work out. But, "s*** happens". . Should I get rich in my
    self employment, I wouldn't hesitate to buy a bike from you. But for now, I'll continue to
    build my own.

    Tom

    Miles of Smiles "Craig Calfee" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Yes, it is true that Freddy and I have parted ways. I am saddened by this turn of events and wish
    > it did not happen. I had high hopes for our collaboration.
    >
    > Last year, Freddy came to me with the idea to have Calfee produce a carbon LWB recumbent based on
    > the Easy Racers Gold Rush design. Freddy said if I can build it, he can sell it. I said that
    > sounds like a great idea but I don't have much time to manage the project. I could do the design
    > work and finance the project, but I would need someone to do the footwork. Freddy agreed to be
    > that person and would be compensated on an hourly basis. We both saw Freddy's main value in the
    > selling of these bikes. The real payback for him would come when we were in production and he
    > would make a decent commission on every sale. The amount of that commission would be determined
    > later, when we had an idea of what it was going to cost to make the bikes. Freddy had a certain
    > figure in mind at the beginning. I said that I really hope that the profit margin would allow for
    > such an amount. There was no agreement about the specific amount, just the idea that he would be
    > paid on commission basis.
    >
    > I designed the bike using the Gold Rush seating position to start with. Freddy's contribution
    > to the Stiletto design was to suggest Gardner Martin's classic seating position. I designed the
    > new steering arrangement, the frame construction technique, the fiber orientation, the passive
    > suspension, the fairing mount method, the modified aero fork and 80 mm spacing on the Phil hub,
    > the production tooling and the handlebar arrangements. Freddy test rode the bike and declared
    > it good.
    >
    > Just prior to Interbike in October, when we had to determine a price, Freddy and I sat down to
    > negotiate the commission. We had most of the costs except labor figured out. It looke like we
    > would have to raise the price of the bikes substantially if either of us was going to make any
    > money. Even with a serious price increase, Freddy's commission was not looking like what he had
    > hoped for at the beginning. He said he hoped to be able to at least make $X per year, which was a
    > reasonable number.
    >
    > We continued to refine the production and supply issues and in January, shipped the first bikes.
    > We had a good enough estimate as to the labor costs. In early February, we sat down again to
    > negotiate a commission arrangement. Freddy insisted on his original amount and I proposed a lesser
    > amount based on what a top level independant sales rep would make (but we would still pay his
    > expenses, unlike real independant reps). That wasn't good enough, so I offered significant profit
    > sharing of the whole business (not just in recumbents). Based on Freddy's own estimates of what he
    > believed he could sell, my proposed deal was well in excess of the $X per year minimum figure he
    > had in mind just before Interbike. If there was going to be any growth in sales, Freddy would get
    > even more. He would be the most highly paid person at Calfee Design. But that wasn't good enough.
    >
    > Freddy walked out of my office and I assumed he was going to think about it. But instead, he
    > decided to quit and take the tooling with him. Under threat of having him arrested, he brought the
    > tooling back. To me, this demonstrated poor judgement and emotional instability on Freddy's part
    > and I could not tolerate that in my business. As had been his pattern at other jobs, Freddy asked
    > to come back and try to work things out. I decided against it.
    >
    > In prior times, I might have overlooked this behavior and figured something out. But I need to
    > lift my business to a more professional level and not demonstrate to the rest of my employees that
    > a person can behave like this and still remained employed here.
    >
    > There is a chance that Freddy and I can come to some agreement on an endorsement level, but I am
    > not very optimistic about it at this point.
    >
    > We will continue with the Stiletto and eventually a SWB bike (which is why couldn't continue to
    > sell components to Karl Swanson). We will continue to make the frames at the highest quality and
    > with a full warranty. I am personally very excited about the Stiletto and it has replaced my
    > Dragonfly as my favorite bike to ride.
    >
    > I have no personal animosity towards Freddy and wish him the best in whatever he strives for. I
    > wish I could have managed his expectations better or somehow convinced him of the practicalities
    > of this low profit margin business. This is a lesson I will not forget.
    >
    > Craig Calfee
     
  4. On Thu, 12 Feb 2004 22:47:01 -0800, "Matt C" <[email protected]>
    wrote:

    >There are inconsistencies in "Craig Calfee's side of the story." Your business is in fabrication
    >and it seems that your explanation is fabrication as well.

    I see no inconsistencies. There are items you may not agree with, but that doesn't make it
    inconsistent and certainly not to the point of calling a person a liar (the short form of your
    final comment).

    Curtis L. Russell Odenton, MD (USA) Just someone on two wheels...
     
  5. Geob

    Geob Guest

    > Your business is in fabrication and it seems that your explanation is fabrication as well.

    Unless you have explicit 1st-hand knowledge to the contrary, your comment 'seems' to be a reckless
    accusation to me.
     
  6. Geob

    Geob Guest

    > Your business is in fabrication and it seems that your explanation is fabrication as well.

    Unless you have explicit 1st-hand knowledge to the contrary, your comment 'seems' to be a reckless
    accusation to me.
     
  7. bentcruiser

    bentcruiser New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2003
    Messages:
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    I echo Tom's sentiment of thanks for the explanation too often we as a curious species take threads of truth and yards of rumors to make a lop-sided conclusion.

    I appreciate your candidness.
     
  8. GeoBs accusations are the stuff of backfence gossip. I don't know if jealousy or frustration fuel
    his polemics but to hurl that sort of invective without even having heard from from Freddie (who he
    is sure has been wronged) is the same sort of (lack of) mindset that gives rise to events like the
    Salem Witchcraft trials.

    A more reasoned approach would be to ask questions of all parties, if this is really anybody else's
    business, and then, maybe have an opinion. "GeoB" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > > Your business is in fabrication and it seems that your explanation is fabrication as well.
    >
    > Unless you have explicit 1st-hand knowledge to the contrary, your comment 'seems' to be a reckless
    > accusation to me.
     
  9. I am of course very sorry to see this come to pass, I had hoped for an amicable solution. I do hope
    that this doesn't diminish your new found enthusiasm for 'bents as you definately have the ability
    to produce some incredible bikes. I also wish Freddy the best, it is a sad day in recumbency
    :(

    Gabe

    "Craig Calfee" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Yes, it is true that Freddy and I have parted ways. I am saddened by this turn of events and wish
    > it did not happen. I had high hopes for our collaboration.
    >
    > Last year, Freddy came to me with the idea to have Calfee produce a carbon LWB recumbent based on
    > the Easy Racers Gold Rush design. Freddy said if I can build it, he can sell it. I said that
    > sounds like a great idea but I don't have much time to manage the project. I could do the design
    > work and finance the project, but I would need someone to do the footwork. Freddy agreed to be
    > that person and would be compensated on an hourly basis. We both saw Freddy's main value in the
    > selling of these bikes. The real payback for him would come when we were in production and he
    > would make a decent commission on every sale. The amount of that commission would be determined
    > later, when we had an idea of what it was going to cost to make the bikes. Freddy had a certain
    > figure in mind at the beginning. I said that I really hope that the profit margin would allow for
    > such an amount. There was no agreement about the specific amount, just the idea that he would be
    > paid on commission basis.
    >
    > I designed the bike using the Gold Rush seating position to start with. Freddy's contribution
    > to the Stiletto design was to suggest Gardner Martin's classic seating position. I designed the
    > new steering arrangement, the frame construction technique, the fiber orientation, the passive
    > suspension, the fairing mount method, the modified aero fork and 80 mm spacing on the Phil hub,
    > the production tooling and the handlebar arrangements. Freddy test rode the bike and declared
    > it good.
    >
    > Just prior to Interbike in October, when we had to determine a price, Freddy and I sat down to
    > negotiate the commission. We had most of the costs except labor figured out. It looke like we
    > would have to raise the price of the bikes substantially if either of us was going to make any
    > money. Even with a serious price increase, Freddy's commission was not looking like what he had
    > hoped for at the beginning. He said he hoped to be able to at least make $X per year, which was a
    > reasonable number.
    >
    > We continued to refine the production and supply issues and in January, shipped the first bikes.
    > We had a good enough estimate as to the labor costs. In early February, we sat down again to
    > negotiate a commission arrangement. Freddy insisted on his original amount and I proposed a lesser
    > amount based on what a top level independant sales rep would make (but we would still pay his
    > expenses, unlike real independant reps). That wasn't good enough, so I offered significant profit
    > sharing of the whole business (not just in recumbents). Based on Freddy's own estimates of what he
    > believed he could sell, my proposed deal was well in excess of the $X per year minimum figure he
    > had in mind just before Interbike. If there was going to be any growth in sales, Freddy would get
    > even more. He would be the most highly paid person at Calfee Design. But that wasn't good enough.
    >
    > Freddy walked out of my office and I assumed he was going to think about it. But instead, he
    > decided to quit and take the tooling with him. Under threat of having him arrested, he brought the
    > tooling back. To me, this demonstrated poor judgement and emotional instability on Freddy's part
    > and I could not tolerate that in my business. As had been his pattern at other jobs, Freddy asked
    > to come back and try to work things out. I decided against it.
    >
    > In prior times, I might have overlooked this behavior and figured something out. But I need to
    > lift my business to a more professional level and not demonstrate to the rest of my employees that
    > a person can behave like this and still remained employed here.
    >
    > There is a chance that Freddy and I can come to some agreement on an endorsement level, but I am
    > not very optimistic about it at this point.
    >
    > We will continue with the Stiletto and eventually a SWB bike (which is why couldn't continue to
    > sell components to Karl Swanson). We will continue to make the frames at the highest quality and
    > with a full warranty. I am personally very excited about the Stiletto and it has replaced my
    > Dragonfly as my favorite bike to ride.
    >
    > I have no personal animosity towards Freddy and wish him the best in whatever he strives for. I
    > wish I could have managed his expectations better or somehow convinced him of the practicalities
    > of this low profit margin business. This is a lesson I will not forget.
    >
    > Craig Calfee
     
  10. Avgrin

    Avgrin Guest

    It sounds like Craig went beyond reasonable to accommodate Freddy, but it just didn't work out. As
    far as bikes, it doesn't seem that Freddy would have a major impact on the design and finished
    bikes' quality; because Calfee's composite upright frames have great following and stellar
    reputation. So I wouldn't hesitate to buy a recumbent from him.

    Good luck, Victor, Houston, Texas.
     
  11. Evsolutions

    Evsolutions Guest

    IMHO Fast Freddie did the correct thing and I would support him in this and coming from me this has
    to be a pretty profound statement. Re: I had Fast Freddie blow a fuse dealing with me in 2002. Let
    us look at this from a different point of view and this may have been what was running through the
    mind of Fred Markham when he blew a fuse.

    Calfee makes really great DF bikes...but up till Fast Freedie arrived Calfee did not design and
    manufacture bents. I applaud Craig Calfee for having the balls to enter into this deal with Fast
    Freddie, but I also suspect that having a "Legend" heading up this new cycling product sweetened the
    deal in a big way. Imagine having Lance Armstrong call up TREK and offer to walk TREK through every
    step till a finished racing bike was ready for sale AND then publicly endorse the DF and tour the
    country promoting a Lance Armstrong TREK. TREK would kiss Lance's ass at every opportunity.

    Me thinks Fast Freddie was expecting some ass kissing from Craig Calfee and when none was
    forthcoming Fred blew a fuse and walked out....as he should have.

    Fact: **Fast Freddie was going to tour America and probably Canada promoting the new recumbent (and)
    Calfee. **Calfee DFs get promoted...even though this is all about bents, everytime Fast Freddie
    opens his mouth, the word Calfee comes out somewhere in the conversation. **DF riders will be seeing
    WHAT Craig is able to produce in a bent, they'll want to check out the DFs...thus increased DF sales
    by default. **On the road Fast Freddie is a spokesperson for Calfee (not just for the bent).

    ***Without Fast Freddie in the picture...IMHO this Recumbent is DOA***

    IF Fast Freddie died one second (before) he walked out on Craig Calfee, the Recumbent would sell
    well. One second (after) Freddie walked out, this bent died.

    Trust me it gets more convoluted here.

    What is a person buying WITH Fast Freddie still working at, with and for Calfee?

    Well it is a Gardner Martin design...so you are getting something Gardner had his hands into...this
    is good. You have a bent that Fred Markham believed in, this is HIS puppy...this IS Fast Freddie in
    Carbon Fiber. This is a bent Fast Freddie had to defend when I was critical of his black fairing and
    odd steering and he won...sorta. You are buying and putting your faith in what Fred Markham BELIEVES
    in. You are hoping to make a personal statement about who and what YOU are all about...you are what
    you ride (well some of us) You EXPECT a good resale value on this bent, afterall you are buying one
    of the 1st Calfee-Fast Freddie Bents ever made...WOW. You are helping to perpetuate the
    Legend...hero worship. You will want to join a Group of Calfee Recumbent owners and you WILL promote
    this bent and Craig and Fred will make a pile of cash. You will have Fast Freddie thankfull you have
    bought into HIS dream.

    What is a person buying WITHOUT Fast Freddie still working at, with and for Calfee?
    (.....................................................)

    IF Craig wants to make any money and boost the fine reputation of Calfee Designs, I suggest he
    Pucker Up and be nice to Fast Freddie Markham.

    As for Craig saying the amount of money Fast Freddie wanted would be way higher than his top
    independent sales rep. Well Craig just how many of your top independent sales reps are World Record
    Holders and amoung your top independent sales reps how many have devoted their lives to cycling,
    spent years working in the industry AND are willing to lay it all on the line for a bike they
    BELIEVE in????????????? ****The Stiletto is Fast Freddie*****

    Fast Freddie deserves more $$ and IF you want him to "ENDORSE" this Recumbent...your balls must be
    absolutely huge to even ask. **Without his Endorsement there is NO Calfee Stiletto Recumbent**

    PUCKER UP Craig....

    Joshua
    *****

    "Gabriel DeVault" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > I am of course very sorry to see this come to pass, I had hoped for an amicable solution. I do
    > hope that this doesn't diminish your new found enthusiasm for 'bents as you definately have the
    > ability to produce some incredible bikes. I also wish Freddy the best, it is a sad day in
    recumbency
    > :(
    >
    > Gabe
    >
    >
    > "Craig Calfee" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]...
    > > Yes, it is true that Freddy and I have parted ways. I am saddened by this turn of events and
    > > wish it did not happen. I had high hopes for our collaboration.
    > >
    > > Last year, Freddy came to me with the idea to have Calfee produce a carbon LWB recumbent based
    > > on the Easy Racers Gold Rush design. Freddy said if I can build it, he can sell it. I said that
    > > sounds like a great idea but I don't have much time to manage the project. I could do the design
    > > work and finance the project, but I would need someone to do the footwork. Freddy agreed to be
    > > that person and would be compensated on an hourly basis. We both saw Freddy's main value in the
    > > selling of these bikes. The real payback for him would come when we were in production and he
    > > would make a decent commission on every sale. The amount of that commission would be determined
    > > later, when we had an idea of what it was going to cost to make the bikes. Freddy had a certain
    > > figure in mind at the beginning. I said that I really hope that the profit margin would allow
    > > for such an amount. There was no agreement about the specific amount, just the idea that he
    > > would be paid on commission basis.
    > >
    > > I designed the bike using the Gold Rush seating position to start with. Freddy's contribution
    > > to the Stiletto design was to suggest Gardner Martin's classic seating position. I designed the
    > > new steering arrangement, the frame construction technique, the fiber orientation, the passive
    > > suspension, the fairing mount method, the modified aero fork and 80 mm spacing on the Phil hub,
    > > the production tooling and the handlebar arrangements. Freddy test rode the bike and declared
    > > it good.
    > >
    > > Just prior to Interbike in October, when we had to determine a price, Freddy and I sat down to
    > > negotiate the commission. We had most of the costs except labor figured out. It looke like we
    > > would have to raise the price of the bikes substantially if either of us was going to make any
    > > money. Even with a serious price increase, Freddy's commission was not looking like what he had
    > > hoped for at the beginning. He said he hoped to be able to at least make $X per year, which was
    > > a reasonable number.
    > >
    > > We continued to refine the production and supply issues and in January, shipped the first bikes.
    > > We had a good enough estimate as to the labor costs. In early February, we sat down again to
    > > negotiate a commission arrangement. Freddy insisted on his original amount and I proposed a
    > > lesser amount based on what a top level independant sales rep would make (but we would still pay
    > > his expenses, unlike real independant reps). That wasn't good enough, so I offered significant
    > > profit sharing of the whole business (not just in recumbents). Based on Freddy's own estimates
    > > of what he believed he could sell, my proposed deal was well in excess of the $X per year
    > > minimum figure he had in mind just before Interbike. If there was going to be any growth in
    > > sales, Freddy would get even more. He would be the most highly paid person at Calfee Design. But
    > > that wasn't good enough.
    > >
    > > Freddy walked out of my office and I assumed he was going to think about it. But instead, he
    > > decided to quit and take the tooling with him. Under threat of having him arrested, he brought
    > > the tooling back. To me, this demonstrated poor judgement and emotional instability on Freddy's
    > > part and I could not tolerate that in my business. As had been his pattern at other jobs, Freddy
    > > asked to come back and try to work things out. I decided against it.
    > >
    > > In prior times, I might have overlooked this behavior and figured something out. But I need to
    > > lift my business to a more professional level and not demonstrate to the rest of my employees
    > > that a person can behave like this and still remained employed here.
    > >
    > > There is a chance that Freddy and I can come to some agreement on an endorsement level, but I am
    > > not very optimistic about it at this point.
    > >
    > > We will continue with the Stiletto and eventually a SWB bike (which is why couldn't continue to
    > > sell components to Karl Swanson). We will continue to make the frames at the highest quality and
    > > with a full warranty. I am personally very excited about the Stiletto and it has replaced my
    > > Dragonfly as my favorite bike to ride.
    > >
    > > I have no personal animosity towards Freddy and wish him the best in whatever he strives for. I
    > > wish I could have managed his expectations better or somehow convinced him of the practicalities
    > > of this low profit margin business. This is a lesson I will not forget.
    > >
    > > Craig Calfee
     
  12. watsonglenn

    watsonglenn New Member

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    Me thinks Fast Freddie was expecting some ass kissing from Craig Calfee and when none was forthcoming Fred blew a fuse and walked out....as he should have.>>

    Talk about entiltlement. What a bizarre postion to hold. Why in the world would a businessman want to go to such lengths to placate a man who is not making him any money. The recumbent busineness is not a charity. If this Fast Freddy character is asking for more than the owner can afford to pay then thats the end of it, period. No one owes Fredy a living just because he is a fast bike rider.
     
  13. Bentbiker

    Bentbiker Guest

    the "truth" always lies somewhere in the middle. I'm only believing Mr. Swanson's statements, he
    has always been very forthcoming and helpful to anyone who asks questions etc. [Plus his bike is
    sweet looking!]

    Gabriel DeVault wrote:
    > I am of course very sorry to see this come to pass, I had hoped for an amicable solution. I do
    > hope that this doesn't diminish your new found enthusiasm for 'bents as you definately have the
    > ability to produce some incredible bikes. I also wish Freddy the best, it is a sad day in
    > recumbency
    > :(
    >
    > Gabe
    >
    >
    > "Craig Calfee" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]...
    >
    >>Yes, it is true that Freddy and I have parted ways. I am saddened by this turn of events and wish
    >>it did not happen. I had high hopes for our collaboration.
    >>
    >>Last year, Freddy came to me with the idea to have Calfee produce a carbon LWB recumbent based on
    >>the Easy Racers Gold Rush design. Freddy said if I can build it, he can sell it. I said that
    >>sounds like a great idea but I don't have much time to manage the project. I could do the design
    >>work and finance the project, but I would need someone to do the footwork. Freddy agreed to be
    >>that person and would be compensated on an hourly basis. We both saw Freddy's main value in the
    >>selling of these bikes. The real payback for him would come when we were in production and he
    >>would make a decent commission on every sale. The amount of that commission would be determined
    >>later, when we had an idea of what it was going to cost to make the bikes. Freddy had a certain
    >>figure in mind at the beginning. I said that I really hope that the profit margin would allow for
    >>such an amount. There was no agreement about the specific amount, just the idea that he would be
    >>paid on commission basis.
    >>
    >>I designed the bike using the Gold Rush seating position to start with. Freddy's contribution
    >>to the Stiletto design was to suggest Gardner Martin's classic seating position. I designed the
    >>new steering arrangement, the frame construction technique, the fiber orientation, the passive
    >>suspension, the fairing mount method, the modified aero fork and 80 mm spacing on the Phil hub,
    >>the production tooling and the handlebar arrangements. Freddy test rode the bike and declared
    >>it good.
    >>
    >>Just prior to Interbike in October, when we had to determine a price, Freddy and I sat down to
    >>negotiate the commission. We had most of the costs except labor figured out. It looke like we
    >>would have to raise the price of the bikes substantially if either of us was going to make any
    >>money. Even with a serious price increase, Freddy's commission was not looking like what he had
    >>hoped for at the beginning. He said he hoped to be able to at least make $X per year, which was a
    >>reasonable number.
    >>
    >>We continued to refine the production and supply issues and in January, shipped the first bikes.
    >>We had a good enough estimate as to the labor costs. In early February, we sat down again to
    >>negotiate a commission arrangement. Freddy insisted on his original amount and I proposed a lesser
    >>amount based on what a top level independant sales rep would make (but we would still pay his
    >>expenses, unlike real independant reps). That wasn't good enough, so I offered significant profit
    >>sharing of the whole business (not just in recumbents). Based on Freddy's own estimates of what he
    >>believed he could sell, my proposed deal was well in excess of the $X per year minimum figure he
    >>had in mind just before Interbike. If there was going to be any growth in sales, Freddy would get
    >>even more. He would be the most highly paid person at Calfee Design. But that wasn't good enough.
    >>
    >>Freddy walked out of my office and I assumed he was going to think about it. But instead, he
    >>decided to quit and take the tooling with him. Under threat of having him arrested, he brought the
    >>tooling back. To me, this demonstrated poor judgement and emotional instability on Freddy's part
    >>and I could not tolerate that in my business. As had been his pattern at other jobs, Freddy asked
    >>to come back and try to work things out. I decided against it.
    >>
    >>In prior times, I might have overlooked this behavior and figured something out. But I need to
    >>lift my business to a more professional level and not demonstrate to the rest of my employees that
    >>a person can behave like this and still remained employed here.
    >>
    >>There is a chance that Freddy and I can come to some agreement on an endorsement level, but I am
    >>not very optimistic about it at this point.
    >>
    >>We will continue with the Stiletto and eventually a SWB bike (which is why couldn't continue to
    >>sell components to Karl Swanson). We will continue to make the frames at the highest quality and
    >>with a full warranty. I am personally very excited about the Stiletto and it has replaced my
    >>Dragonfly as my favorite bike to ride.
    >>
    >>I have no personal animosity towards Freddy and wish him the best in whatever he strives for. I
    >>wish I could have managed his expectations better or somehow convinced him of the practicalities
    >>of this low profit margin business. This is a lesson I will not forget.
    >>
    >>Craig Calfee
    >
     
  14. Geob

    Geob Guest

    > GeoBs accusations are the stuff of backfence gossip.

    Now, wait just a gosh-darn minute here! I happen to know GeoB, and I have nothing but respect for
    him. His opinions are well-balanced, fair, and a product of an incisive and piercing intellect, if
    not humble. If he said it, you can take it to the bank!

    And besides, it appears that you are incorrectly attributing a comment to him that he didn't make.
    Aren't you refering to Max's comment that GeoB was eviscerating? GeoB's coment appears below:

    > > Unless you have explicit 1st-hand knowledge to the contrary, your comment 'seems' to be a
    > > reckless accusation to me.

    Yes, my post *did* appear twice, maybe that is the trouble. OK, my hand twitched. When yer my age,
    Sonny, yer hand may twitch once in a while too. I am trying to 'nuke' the extra message, but can't
    get the tool to come up. Er, that would be the nuke-tool from Google.
     
  15. Evsolutions

    Evsolutions Guest

    Many people (even bent folk) are caught up with buying a product with their hero's name slapped on
    the frame. Cartier watches, Gary Fisher bikes, Shelby Mustang, Ralph Lauren t-shits etc. and closer
    to home Ryan Recumbents. Calfee will sell far more bents while maintaining a close bond with Fred
    Markham, without Fred and the Calfee bent will just another bent from a DF company that has done a
    Cannondale on the bent community.

    IF Calfee wants to make a pile of cash they need Fred back in the saddle and promoting the bent.

    Joshua
    *****
    "watsonglenn" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Me thinks Fast Freddie was expecting some ass kissing from Craig Calfee and when none was
    > forthcoming Fred blew a fuse and walked out....as he should have.>>
    >
    > Talk about entiltlement. What a bizarre postion to hold. Why in the world would a businessman
    > want to go to such lengths to placate a man who is not making him any money. The recumbent
    > busineness is not a charity. If this Fast Freddy character is asking for more than the owner can
    > afford to pay then thats the end of it, period. No one owes Fredy a living just because he is a
    > fast bike rider.
    >
    >
    >
    > --
     
  16. David Cambon

    David Cambon Guest

    Re: The Tender Newborn Stiletto

    Wow, this dramatic insight into historic moments in the world of 'bent manufacturing is as
    entertaining as an episode of Coronation Street!

    I hope the bike at the center of this tempest is not forgotten. All this fiery chit-chat about the
    Stiletto is making me want one even more. After all, Freddy had this to say about the Stiletto:

    "Carbon fiber is best. You simply cannot engineer an alloy tube to do what you can with CF. Not only
    is CF much lighter, but is also stiffer stronger and absorbs vibration better than any metal. It
    also has a longer fatigue life than other materials. Carbon fiber also makes an effective spring,
    allowing the frame to act as a shock absorber."

    I wish we could do something to prevent the disputing parents of the swaddling baby Stiletto from
    throwing her off the balcony into the dumpster.
     
  17. watsonglenn

    watsonglenn New Member

    Joined:
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    IF Calfee wants to make a pile of cash they need Fred back in the saddle and promoting the bent..>>

    Not if the amount Freddy is asking for takes too big a bite out of the "pile of cash" you expect will be made. Remeber if the company loses money then Freddy walks away unscathed. Criag foots the bill.
     
  18. Evsolutions

    Evsolutions Guest

    Craig Calfee has lost the farm by turning on Fred Markham and Karl Swanson. Have both of these men
    on his side, using their names and reputations would have made Calfee far richer. The bents are
    nothing...the bents just open the door. It is the accessories and parts that will be the real money.
    Getting Calfee into fairings, tailboxes, fenders etc., and Calfee has blown it all away. Recumbents
    are a tiny share of a huge bicycle market, as recumbent riders we tend to think we make a much
    bigger footprint than we really do...but we are a committed group with long memories and we spend a
    ton of cash on accessories. As Carbon Fiber takes hold Calfee "could have dominated the market
    supplying what we bent folk need in parts and accessories for various bents. This is market Calfee
    just closed the door on for years to come.

    "watsonglenn" <[email protected]rums.com> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > IF Calfee wants to make a pile of cash they need Fred back in the saddle and promoting the
    > bent..>>
    >
    > Not if the amount Freddy is asking for takes too big a bite out of the "pile of cash" you expect
    > will be made. Remeber if the company loses money then Freddy walks away unscathed. Criag foots
    > the bill.
    >
    >
    >
    > --
     
  19. Timh

    Timh Guest

    "EVSolutions" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    >This is market Calfee just closed the door on for years to come.

    Time will tell if you're right. I'm more of the mind that if Craig markets some nice recumbent
    products, buyers will come. Personally, I hope the SWB he has mentioned is going to be a high racer.
    He has a good reputation in the DF world for making a fine product and standing behind it. Perhaps
    if I personally knew Freddy or Karl I would feel differently, but I don't.
     
  20. watsonglenn

    watsonglenn New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2003
    Messages:
    111
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    As Carbon Fiber takes hold Calfee "could have dominated the market supplying what we bent folk need in parts and accessories for various bents. This is market Calfee
    just closed the door on for years to come.>>>

    If its such a great market then why did'nt Freddy take the piece he was offered, better yet start his own company with his own money instead of expecting someone else to pay him for his name? From the outside it looks to me like Freddy was expecting a payday without wanting to take any risks with his own money.
     
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