value of a custom frame

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by Zix, Mar 20, 2006.

  1. Ron Ruff

    Ron Ruff Guest

    Zix wrote:
    > I don't think my body is especially oddly dimensioned
    > per se, but I do somewhat feel that if I'm going to
    > invest in a good bike, costing over US$1000,
    > I might as well pay something extra for the custom job
    > in part because I'm done growing (long ago) and
    > whatever I buy will most likely fit me like a glove for life.


    If bike frames were like gloves then "fitting like a glove" might make
    some sense... but we aren't stuck with the seat and bars in a
    particular position. The seat can easily be raised and lowered a few
    inches, and moved fore/aft an inch at least before it looks goofy.
    Similarly, handlebar stems come in a wide range of lengths and rises.

    "Fitting for life" is also not likely to be true, since your "optimum"
    position on the bike will probably evolve as you get more experienced.
    If I'd bought a custom frame when I first started riding, I wouldn't
    like it so well now.

    It is easy to get obsessive about frame size and geometry, but I think
    it best to wait until you've been riding awhile... then maybe you'll
    know what you want. I somewhat picky about bike fit because I've been
    riding a long time... and developed a preference. I used to ride a 58cm
    frame... now I have a 56... and I think my next will be a 54. I like to
    have the front wheel tucked in as far as possible, with a long stem,
    and I've gradually moved my seat back... which means I prefer smaller
    frames than what I'd normally be sized for. But the wide range of
    adjustibility in the seat and bars makes it easy to get the same body
    position on any of these frames... and the small differences in
    handling or feel, I'd definitely put in the "esoteric" realm.

    So... unless you want something pretty strange, or your body has *very*
    odd proportions (and even then most can fit fine on a compact), you
    should have no trouble finding a standard frame that fits very well.
     


  2. "Mike Jacoubowsky" <[email protected]> writes:

    >> I think that the main reason to get a custom bicycle is that you can
    >> get something of much higher quality and durability. Your desire
    >> might be aesthetic, e.g. if you have an eye for artistry, or a sense
    >> of mojo developed in your brain by marketing when you were very young.
    >>
    >> A lot of people feel left out in the cold by the recent trend towards
    >> fast-food / mcdonalds bicycle frames (e.g. eat them up, then pitch
    >> them out, gotta get a new one every 5-10 years, we are under the spell
    >> of the greedy marketeers from bicycle companies! ! !)


    >I'm not sure why you feel this is the case. Yes, you can get something new
    >every few years if you wish, but that's a choice, not a requirement. Road
    >bikes have the advantage of being relatively-durable goods, vs mountain
    >bikes, where it's obsolete when it first hits the trail because it doesn't
    >have the latest fork or rear suspension.


    Mike, be careful where you aim your "soft sell beam." The frame I
    bought from YOU PERSONALLY (yes, you wrote up the bill of sale) lasted
    less than 2 years before it failed. Yes, I was replaced under
    warranty, but quite frankly, I was charged $45 shipping for a very
    different frame I didn't want, never selected, and told to go packing
    by TREK.

    - Don Gillies
    San Diego, CA
     
  3. "Mike Jacoubowsky" <[email protected]> writes:

    >> I think that the main reason to get a custom bicycle is that you can
    >> get something of much higher quality and durability. Your desire
    >> might be aesthetic, e.g. if you have an eye for artistry, or a sense
    >> of mojo developed in your brain by marketing when you were very young.
    >>
    >> A lot of people feel left out in the cold by the recent trend towards
    >> fast-food / mcdonalds bicycle frames (e.g. eat them up, then pitch
    >> them out, gotta get a new one every 5-10 years, we are under the spell
    >> of the greedy marketeers from bicycle companies! ! !)


    >I'm not sure why you feel this is the case. Yes, you can get something new
    >every few years if you wish, but that's a choice, not a requirement. Road
    >bikes have the advantage of being relatively-durable goods, vs mountain
    >bikes, where it's obsolete when it first hits the trail because it doesn't
    >have the latest fork or rear suspension.


    Mike, be careful where you aim your "soft sell beam."

    The TREK 2300 frame I bought from YOU PERSONALLY (yes, you wrote up
    the bill of sale, i still have it) lasted less than 2 years and 5k
    miles before it failed, stupidly. Yes, it was replaced under
    warranty, but quite frankly, I was charged $45 shipping for a very
    different frame I didn't want, never selected, and told to go packing
    by TREK. If that's "getting a new frame based upon choice" then i'll
    be damned.

    - Don Gillies
    San Diego, CA
     
  4. Donald Gillies wrote:
    > "Mike Jacoubowsky" <[email protected]> writes:
    >
    > >> I think that the main reason to get a custom bicycle is that you can
    > >> get something of much higher quality and durability. Your desire
    > >> might be aesthetic, e.g. if you have an eye for artistry, or a sense
    > >> of mojo developed in your brain by marketing when you were very young.
    > >>
    > >> A lot of people feel left out in the cold by the recent trend towards
    > >> fast-food / mcdonalds bicycle frames (e.g. eat them up, then pitch
    > >> them out, gotta get a new one every 5-10 years, we are under the spell
    > >> of the greedy marketeers from bicycle companies! ! !)

    >
    > >I'm not sure why you feel this is the case. Yes, you can get something new
    > >every few years if you wish, but that's a choice, not a requirement. Road
    > >bikes have the advantage of being relatively-durable goods, vs mountain
    > >bikes, where it's obsolete when it first hits the trail because it doesn't
    > >have the latest fork or rear suspension.

    >
    > Mike, be careful where you aim your "soft sell beam."
    >
    > The TREK 2300 frame I bought from YOU PERSONALLY (yes, you wrote up
    > the bill of sale, i still have it) lasted less than 2 years and 5k
    > miles before it failed, stupidly. Yes, it was replaced under
    > warranty, but quite frankly, I was charged $45 shipping for a very
    > different frame I didn't want, never selected, and told to go packing
    > by TREK. If that's "getting a new frame based upon choice" then i'll
    > be damned.
    >


    I'm curious, what frame did Trek supply as a replacement? And, FWIW,
    charging you for shipping in what seems to be a clear case of a
    defective product, seems out of bounds. (Let's be clear: I'm not
    suggesting that the dealer should "eat" the shipping charge, but Trek
    clearly should.)
     
  5. > Mike, be careful where you aim your "soft sell beam."
    >
    > The TREK 2300 frame I bought from YOU PERSONALLY (yes, you wrote up
    > the bill of sale, i still have it) lasted less than 2 years and 5k
    > miles before it failed, stupidly. Yes, it was replaced under
    > warranty, but quite frankly, I was charged $45 shipping for a very
    > different frame I didn't want, never selected, and told to go packing
    > by TREK. If that's "getting a new frame based upon choice" then i'll
    > be damned.
    >
    > - Don Gillies


    No problem, I can take the heat! I cannot tell you why you were charged
    shipping; we certainly wouldn't have done so unless we really screwed up.
    Looking at your purchase history in our Redwood City store, looks like the
    only transaction here took place in April of 2000. I don't have ready access
    to the Los Altos store... well, actually, yes I do. Just logged on to see,
    and don't find any more info there. My guess is that you moved to San Diego
    and had it taken care of down there?

    If anyone told you to "go packing" I sure wish you'd gotten in contact with
    me (obviously, I'm opening up a big opportunity to look stupid here, in case
    you did!). When a frame fails and it's deemed a warranty issue, the customer
    *does* have choices, particularly with newer models. If a color is
    unacceptable, a frame can be snagged from warranty stock and painted a
    current color choice. If a frame of the same sort is no longer available,
    there are options to be presented. In no instance is a frame automatically
    dispatched without some contact with the shop. Beyond that, a credit can be
    issued which can be applied to a new bike if desired.

    Clearly (to me), things were handled neither in the normal way or
    appropriately. Since I sold the bike, I still retain a sense of ownership in
    it, and any problems it might have, regardless of where someone's moved. Was
    this something I was involved in at all, or was it taken care of entirely
    elsewhere?

    This may seem like airing dirty laundry in public, but that's OK, I'm pretty
    darned transparent.

    --Mike Jacoubowsky
    Chain Reaction Bicycles
    www.ChainReaction.com
    Redwood City & Los Altos, CA USA

    "Donald Gillies" <[email protected]c.ca> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > "Mike Jacoubowsky" <[email protected]> writes:
    >
    >>> I think that the main reason to get a custom bicycle is that you can
    >>> get something of much higher quality and durability. Your desire
    >>> might be aesthetic, e.g. if you have an eye for artistry, or a sense
    >>> of mojo developed in your brain by marketing when you were very young.
    >>>
    >>> A lot of people feel left out in the cold by the recent trend towards
    >>> fast-food / mcdonalds bicycle frames (e.g. eat them up, then pitch
    >>> them out, gotta get a new one every 5-10 years, we are under the spell
    >>> of the greedy marketeers from bicycle companies! ! !)

    >
    >>I'm not sure why you feel this is the case. Yes, you can get something new
    >>every few years if you wish, but that's a choice, not a requirement. Road
    >>bikes have the advantage of being relatively-durable goods, vs mountain
    >>bikes, where it's obsolete when it first hits the trail because it doesn't
    >>have the latest fork or rear suspension.

    >
    > Mike, be careful where you aim your "soft sell beam."
    >
    > The TREK 2300 frame I bought from YOU PERSONALLY (yes, you wrote up
    > the bill of sale, i still have it) lasted less than 2 years and 5k
    > miles before it failed, stupidly. Yes, it was replaced under
    > warranty, but quite frankly, I was charged $45 shipping for a very
    > different frame I didn't want, never selected, and told to go packing
    > by TREK. If that's "getting a new frame based upon choice" then i'll
    > be damned.
    >
    > - Don Gillies
    > San Diego, CA
     
  6. Ted Bennett

    Ted Bennett Guest

    "[email protected]" <[email protected]> wrote:

    > I was perfectly happy with my bike when I got it in June.
    >
    > I sold it half price three months later and was perfectly happy with my
    > bike when I got it in September.
    >
    > Then I changed the stem.
    >
    > Then I changed the handlebars.
    >
    > Then I changed the handlebars back.
    >
    > Then I changed the pedals.
    >
    > Now I'm thinking about lowering the handlebars, and maybe raising the
    > seat a little.
    >
    > But I'm perfectly happy with my bike exactly the way it is.
    >
    > -M




    Heh. You sly dog, Marian.

    --
    Ted Bennett
     
  7. "Mike Jacoubowsky" <[email protected]> writes:

    >> Mike, be careful where you aim your "soft sell beam."
    >>
    >> The TREK 2300 frame I bought from YOU PERSONALLY (yes, you wrote up
    >> the bill of sale, i still have it) lasted less than 2 years and 5k
    >> miles before it failed, stupidly. Yes, it was replaced under
    >> warranty, but quite frankly, I was charged $45 shipping for a very
    >> different frame I didn't want, never selected, and told to go packing
    >> by TREK. If that's "getting a new frame based upon choice" then i'll
    >> be damned.
    >>
    >> - Don Gillies


    >No problem, I can take the heat! I cannot tell you why you were charged
    >shipping; we certainly wouldn't have done so unless we really screwed up.
    >Looking at your purchase history in our Redwood City store, looks like the
    >only transaction here took place in April of 2000. I don't have ready access
    >to the Los Altos store... well, actually, yes I do. Just logged on to see,
    >and don't find any more info there. My guess is that you moved to San Diego
    >and had it taken care of down there?


    I should apologize because my message was not clear. I was not told
    to "go packing" by Chain Reaction bicycles. I have the highest
    respect for that shop and for Mike Jacoubowsky in particular. I was
    treated this way by my local TREK dealer (UC Cyclery) here in San
    Diego. Chain Reaction is a very high-quality operation.

    I was trying to express how it feels to have a high-tech frame go
    south on you for no apparent reason. Honestly, it feels like a crook
    came and stole the frame from you. Yes, you can get another one from
    the dealer, and if you're super lucky you might be able to get the
    right color or even one that looks similar. In my case, TREK had gone
    through 3 generations of frames and the replacement frame that I got
    was arguably "even higher tech" ( Red Scandium with carbon rear stays
    ) than what I lost ( 3 tubes Gold carbon with cast aluminum rear
    triangle ).

    However, I take a long time ( > 1 month ) to purchase expensive items
    and I don't think that I would have selected the scandium / carbon
    stayed bike based upon ride quality or the integrated headset. So, in
    general, it left a bad taste in my mouth to lose my old friend, the
    1992-1998 2300 3-tubes carbon bike.

    I honestly would have preferred a used frame - or any ugly welded seat
    cluster - as a warranty replacement / remedy.

    - Don Gillies
    San Diego, CA
     
  8. Zix wrote:
    > Hi folks,
    >
    > There's a local bike frame maker, a small shop,
    > where they make custom frames for people
    > based on body dimensions. I once was told by
    > an obsessive rider that doing this really does help.
    >
    > I don't think my body is especially oddly dimensioned
    > per se, but I do somewhat feel that if I'm going to
    > invest in a good bike, costing over US$1000,
    > I might as well pay something extra for the custom job
    > in part because I'm done growing (long ago) and
    > whatever I buy will most likely fit me like a glove for life.
    > Plus, if there is someone who can do it well,
    > it might be nice to support a craftsman.
    >
    > My question for you all is, what do you feel
    > (or know) would be an appropriate surcharge
    > for such a thing. I ask this especially because
    > for years I've been trying to find the time to take
    > a welding course ($300 perhaps), so if the answer
    > were a very large number I would just do that
    > and start planning to make my own frame.
    >
    > Thanks.


    I was lucky enough in the USN to go to Hong Kong more than once. I am a
    pretty standard 42L suit kinda guy, I can buy a suit, when I needed to
    wear those things, pretty easy at Men's Warehouse but it sure was nice
    to go to Mr Manning on the Kowloon side and have him make me suits,
    sport jackets and shirts, custom made. Same for a bicycle frame. Sure
    there are lots of standard frames out there that will fit and work and
    be fine and dandy but having one made for you by a reputable buiolder
    sure is nice.
     
  9. David wrote:

    <snipped>

    > I can only think of 2 main reasons why people go for custom..
    >
    > 1, Asthetics (the art, the lugs, the paint job and ofcourse your name
    > painted on or laser engraved stamped and clear coated on the top tube
    > or chain stays!)
    >
    > 2, Proportionate geometry. This is especially useful for small and
    > short women or men.
    >


    Perhaps there are other reasons, as well. If you look at the production
    bicycle market today, what do you get for spending more than, say $2000
    (Yes, this is arbitrary. Feel free to pick another figure, higher or
    lower)? Probably just some minimal weight savings (6 seconds per pound
    up a long, steep hill!), the appearence of "higher tech", and, maybe,
    components with more "prestige" that really do not function any better
    than the next group down the line.

    Now, what does that CFRP wonder become in, say, 5-10 years? "Obsolete"
    ,"Yesterday's news", etc.

    OTOH, with a custom frame, you have a bike made *for* you, with input
    *from* you, painted in the color of *your* choice, free from garish,
    over-size logos plastered all over the frame, and built with the exact
    parts of your choice.

    And, 5-10 years from now, it will still be a hand-crafted bicycle, made
    by a craftsman, and not popped out of a mold somewhere.

    IMHO, YMMV, etc.,etc., etc.
     
  10. David

    David Guest


    >
    > OTOH, with a custom frame, you have a bike made *for* you, with input
    > *from* you, painted in the color of *your* choice, free from garish,
    > over-size logos plastered all over the frame, and built with the exact
    > parts of your choice.
    >


    That's a rather bold statement. In reality, I had been in the industry
    for so long and had seen some people who bought into the custom bike
    myth usually ending up hating their bikes. This was true with either
    inexperienced and experienced riders.

    The people who buy into the custom bike myth is usually the same people
    who strive for perfection. They don't want to make a single mistake in
    bike fit and that's understable. $2000 + for a custom bike -- you
    better like it. It's not a mistake most of us can afford to make. But
    I think, bike fit is being oversold by a lot of the custom bike makers.
    In reality, many stock frame makers are now making sizes available for
    people who usually don't fit the normal mold of things. Custom paint
    is also being oversold by a lot of makers too. Yes, nice paint job
    certainly look nice. I remember that in the 80s, colored suits and
    clothes were the fad at the time. Remember what Don Johnson of Miami
    Vice wore at the time? Cool then, but pretty cheesy now. What is hit
    then is not necessarily cool today. If you try wearing 80s wear today,
    you'll probably be greeted by a lot of strange looks.
    Yes, cool paint jobs are great to look at, but color is like fashion.
    What's popular today is old fashion by tommorrow.

    So what if they buy into this myth that they believe, the $2000 + bike
    will last them for a lifetime. Most of the time, I see them
    hibernating in their garage after 5 or so years. The problem is, most
    custom bikes are made by traditional means and materials. There is
    nothing wrong with that, except there are mass production bike
    companies like Guru for instance which also use traditional means to
    build modern bikes that are lighter, cooler to look at and sometimes
    provide a nicer ride. I had seen way too many people who left their
    custom bikes in pursuit of those nicer Optimo or Carbone framed bikes
    with fancy boutique paired spokes wheels. You know, peer pressure in
    mass riders can sometimes get the best of some of us, plus their riding
    style and posture may have changed too.

    To me, the key to buying a custom frame is that, it must fit "BETTER"
    than any available STOCK frame sold in the market today. If it does
    provide the same fit as a stock frame, then why go custom?

    David.
     
  11. David wrote:
    > >

    > To me, the key to buying a custom frame is that, it must fit "BETTER"
    > than any available STOCK frame sold in the market today. If it does
    > provide the same fit as a stock frame, then why go custom?


    This is something I deal with on a regular basis... many potential
    customers
    approach me for a "custom" frame. I'd guess that I try to talk at
    least half
    of them OUT of going custom, simply because it becomes evident that
    they
    would gain nothing by going custom, since they would fit on a stock
    frame
    with a "normal" stem and seat post.

    Others want to go the custom route to incorporate other changes - like
    a
    sloping top tube or longer chainstays or fender/rack mount bosses, etc.
    For others, it's not a fit issue, but one of matching the bike to the
    type of
    riding they'll be doing by altering the geometry - perhaps steepening
    the
    head tube angle or lowering the bottom bracket height.

    Others are just detail-oriented enough to want odd things like S-shaped
    seatstays and straight chainstays (or vice versa).

    But most are just looking for the right fit, and for most of us
    relatively
    normal* people that doesn't require a custom frame.

    * fit-wise - there are very few "normal people" around here....

    Mark Hickey
    Habanero Cycles
    http://www.habcycles.com
    Home of the $795 ti frame
     
  12. [email protected] wrote:

    > This is something I deal with on a regular basis... many potential customers
    > approach me for a "custom" frame. I'd guess that I try to talk at least half
    > of them OUT of going custom, simply because it becomes evident that they
    > would gain nothing by going custom, since they would fit on a stock frame
    > with a "normal" stem and seat post.


    Have you ever encountered the "snob appeal" reason for wanting
    a custom frame?

    I don't have many personal data points to adequately base my
    judgment, but it seems that might a be a significant part of
    wanting a custom frame.

    Although probably difficult to pinpoint "snob reasons" for a
    custom frame, I might suspect such reasoning if the person
    could offer no specific "customization" reason for the frame.

    A person who would fit a standard sized frame well, or who
    wasn't looking for some specific geometry, or component sizing
    modification for some reason, and who continued to insist on
    going custom despite being told standard would meet his needs,
    might be a candidate for wanting a frame for snob reasons.

    What percent of that "at least half" of persons you attempt to
    talk out of going custom from lack of real need, still make that
    choice anyways?


    SMH
     
  13. Mike Krueger

    Mike Krueger Guest

    Stephen Harding wrote:

    > Have you ever encountered the "snob appeal" reason for wanting
    > a custom frame?


    Sounds about right. A buddy of mine (a doctor) ordered an expensive
    custom Spectrum titanium Super with full Campy Record and Neutron
    wheels, had them paint it an ugly green-to-blue fade, and, of course,
    inscribe his name on the top tube.
    He took delivery in November, didn't even mount the pedals until April,
    then rode it less than 1,000 miles over the next three years.
     
  14. "As you get older, some of us won't be able to maintain that nice and
    low riding posture any longer."

    Yes, I am 66yo, and have recently been "refitted" to my Lemond which I
    bought in 1999, requiring changes(raising) in stem height. I suppose
    at some time, I will need a more radical readjustment - maybe?

    I doubt many folks actually have a bicycle that "fits for life" - they
    are lucky if they do.
     
  15. Will

    Will Guest

    Stephen Harding wrote:

    > Have you ever encountered the "snob appeal" reason for wanting
    > a custom frame?
    >
    > I don't have many personal data points to adequately base my
    > judgment, but it seems that might a be a significant part of
    > wanting a custom frame.


    What about the people who really love bikes, who see bikes as really
    cool machines and appreciate beautiful craftsmanship?

    I'll take a bike snob any day over the fellow who parks his big S class
    on the curb and then scouts around to see who's watching.
     
  16. David

    David Guest

    On 26 Mar 2006 06:26:57 -0800, "Colorado Bicycler" <[email protected]>
    wrote:

    >"As you get older, some of us won't be able to maintain that nice and
    >low riding posture any longer."
    >
    >Yes, I am 66yo, and have recently been "refitted" to my Lemond which I
    >bought in 1999, requiring changes(raising) in stem height. I suppose
    >at some time, I will need a more radical readjustment - maybe?
    >


    We have a few stores here that do just that -- refit people on their
    older bikes. And yes, at some point in time, you may require a new
    frame. The good news is that, most of your other road components can
    be migrated over to the new frame, except maybe the fork. That will
    save you a bit of money, especially for people on a fixed income plus
    allowing you to continue using your existing good parts.

    David.
     
  17. David

    David Guest

    On 26 Mar 2006 07:02:01 -0800, "Will" <[email protected]>
    wrote:

    >
    >Stephen Harding wrote:
    >
    >> Have you ever encountered the "snob appeal" reason for wanting
    >> a custom frame?
    >>
    >> I don't have many personal data points to adequately base my
    >> judgment, but it seems that might a be a significant part of
    >> wanting a custom frame.

    >
    >What about the people who really love bikes, who see bikes as really
    >cool machines and appreciate beautiful craftsmanship?
    >


    I know of people who spend more than $10,000 on a beautifully crafted
    Hetchins, only to end up riding them for a few miles and than got
    framed up on a wall. I see nothing wrong with that either, because
    people who have a lot of money can do anything they want and they see
    $10,000 like we see a $1000.

    I agree with the snob appeal, or maybe woman's appeal with custom
    frame to a certain point. I think the main reason people want to go
    custom is that, a lack of a friendly professional fitting service that
    are routinely offered by other good bike shops in other areas and not
    in theirs may have something to do with it.

    David.
     
  18. Peter Cole

    Peter Cole Guest

    Will wrote:
    > Stephen Harding wrote:
    >
    >> Have you ever encountered the "snob appeal" reason for wanting
    >> a custom frame?
    >>
    >> I don't have many personal data points to adequately base my
    >> judgment, but it seems that might a be a significant part of
    >> wanting a custom frame.

    >
    > What about the people who really love bikes, who see bikes as really
    > cool machines and appreciate beautiful craftsmanship?
    >
    > I'll take a bike snob any day over the fellow who parks his big S class
    > on the curb and then scouts around to see who's watching.
    >


    What's the difference?
     
  19. On Sun, 26 Mar 2006 14:37:02 -0500, Peter Cole
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >Will wrote:
    >> Stephen Harding wrote:
    >>
    >>> Have you ever encountered the "snob appeal" reason for wanting
    >>> a custom frame?
    >>>
    >>> I don't have many personal data points to adequately base my
    >>> judgment, but it seems that might a be a significant part of
    >>> wanting a custom frame.

    >>
    >> What about the people who really love bikes, who see bikes as really
    >> cool machines and appreciate beautiful craftsmanship?
    >>
    >> I'll take a bike snob any day over the fellow who parks his big S class
    >> on the curb and then scouts around to see who's watching.
    >>

    >
    >What's the difference?


    About $499/month with attractive lease financing.

    JT


    ****************************
    Remove "remove" to reply
    Visit http://www.jt10000.com
    ****************************
     
  20. > Have you ever encountered the "snob appeal" reason for wanting
    > a custom frame?


    "Snob appeal" is kinda harsh. Some people place a value on having something
    that's unique to them, something that is not quite exactly the same as
    anyone else has. This doesn't have much appeal to me, at least not for a
    bicycle, but it does for some. You might as well question why someone would
    own an original work of art rather than a functional reproduction.

    But while I have no problem with that aspect of the appeal of a "custom"
    frame, I do question them from a functional standpoint. In many cases,
    people think they know more frame design than somebody who's been doing it
    for years, and end up with something that's simply not as workable (even
    from a fit standpoint) as an off-the-rack bike might have been. There are
    reasons, for example, that you have certain fork offsets matched to head
    tube angles, and why head tube angles change with frame size, and those rare
    situations where they should be varied are better understood by a bike
    designer, who's tried an awful lot of things and seen what works and what
    doesn't, than an individual who believes that everything people have been
    doing so far is wrong, that it's all a compromise for expediency etc.

    And there's also the issue that many of the technological advances that have
    come to modern frame construction simply don't lend themselves to one-off
    designs, so you don't have the full range of materials and techniques
    available to you when you go the custom route.

    And finally, and this does come down a bit to "snob appeal", some people
    simply want to spend more money. It appeals to them to have something far
    more expensive, and thus exclusive on the basis of cost alone, than the next
    person. I have trouble relating to that customer, which, on the one hand,
    could be unfortunate because such customers could obviously be quite
    profitable. On the other hand, you can't be all things to all people, and
    sacrificing that customer and choosing instead to concentrate on the far
    greater numbers of people interested in more cost-effective (which doesn't
    preclude fairly high-end) solutions has served us very well over the years.

    --Mike-- Chain Reaction Bicycles
    www.ChainReactionBicycles.com


    "Stephen Harding" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:%[email protected]
    > [email protected] wrote:
    >
    >> This is something I deal with on a regular basis... many potential
    >> customers
    >> approach me for a "custom" frame. I'd guess that I try to talk at least
    >> half
    >> of them OUT of going custom, simply because it becomes evident that they
    >> would gain nothing by going custom, since they would fit on a stock frame
    >> with a "normal" stem and seat post.

    >
    > Have you ever encountered the "snob appeal" reason for wanting
    > a custom frame?
    >
    > I don't have many personal data points to adequately base my
    > judgment, but it seems that might a be a significant part of
    > wanting a custom frame.
    >
    > Although probably difficult to pinpoint "snob reasons" for a
    > custom frame, I might suspect such reasoning if the person
    > could offer no specific "customization" reason for the frame.
    >
    > A person who would fit a standard sized frame well, or who
    > wasn't looking for some specific geometry, or component sizing
    > modification for some reason, and who continued to insist on
    > going custom despite being told standard would meet his needs,
    > might be a candidate for wanting a frame for snob reasons.
    >
    > What percent of that "at least half" of persons you attempt to
    > talk out of going custom from lack of real need, still make that
    > choice anyways?
    >
    >
    > SMH
     
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