value of a custom frame

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

  1. A Muzi

    A Muzi 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.


    Will wrote:
    > 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 a Sclass?

    I don't have any problem with guys who own nice equipment
    and ride only a few weekends a year.
    I do grit my teeth this time of year when bikes are pulled
    out of snowbanks with orange chain and all cables solid. The
    owner typically wants us to "Fix everything and keep it
    under $10".

    Uh, right. . .
    --
    Andrew Muzi
    www.yellowjersey.org
    Open every day since 1 April, 1971
     


  2. There are a lot of definitions of "custom". First, there is
    semi-custom, e.g. like paramounts of the 1970's, stock geometry but
    you can "have it your way" if you really insist.

    Today Mercian will make you any of 12 geometry and lug mixes with any
    of 7 tubing combos for a total of 84 possible bikes - at least -
    and custom geometry is also available.

    Then thee are builders like Llewelyn Cycles, Brian Baylis, and David
    Bohm's Bohemian Bicycles. In these cases, you are basically asking
    for something like a Renior, and if it rides like crap it can still be
    a raging success just mounted on your wall ...

    - Don Gillies
    San Diego, CA
     
  3. Peter Cole

    Peter Cole Guest

    Mike Jacoubowsky wrote:

    > 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.


    Penn & Teller, the magicians, have a cable-TV "expose" show called
    "Bullshit!". One recent episode was dedicated to Americans' obsession
    with "the best". They made a number of points: there is no such thing as
    "the best", most people wouldn't know good from lousy if you wrapped
    it in enough hype, and seeking/buying "the best" takes a lot of time
    and, in the end, makes people less happy.
     
  4. David wrote:
    > >
    > > 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.


    Some, ususally-big words\, not in my experience tho.
    >
    > The people who buy into the custom bike myth is usually the same people
    > who strive for perfection.


    Disagree. Some like the idea of a bicycle frame and then bike made for
    them, period. Unique, one of a kind, type thing.

    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.


    Bike fit is the most important thing in a bicycle purchase. Just cuz
    most bike shops can't do bike fits does not minimize it's importance.
    MORE important than anything else by a wide margin. No myth. We do
    current bike fits all day long on people that get 'stock' bikes that
    are not close to fitting them. They come in cuz it hurts to ride and
    they are about to take up tennis or golf.


    > 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.


    Yep, a red bicycle today probably was not in fashion in the 80s...huh?
    We are talking about bicycle paint, not bell bottoms.

    >
    > 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.


    ahhhhwe are getting to the bottom of this-lighter and cooler...sorry,
    not the reason to biuy a bike IMO. 'sometimes' provides a better ride
    and sometimes, not. Sometimes fits but mosttimes, from most bike shops,
    does not fit.

    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.


    Bing, bing, bing, we have a winner. Spoken like a true bike shop guy
    that sells over the counter, mass produced gadgetry...carbon, paired
    spokes, all sorts of things that 'may' work if they were designed,
    assembled better and then fitted to a customer.


    >
    > 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?


    See above, I got a custom Mondonico cuz I could. If the custom process
    is proper, how can it not fit better than a standard bicycle?

    Stock frame = Trek, Specialized, Giant, Cannondale.....mostly. The bike
    shops here in the republic that sell these have no idea how to do bike
    fit. It's the 'stand over, ride around the parking lot, how do ya want
    to pay for that' type fit...even on bicycles pushing $6000+.

    The 'stock' bicycle market is and has been in trouble for years. Even
    the "Lance effect' hasn't changed that.
     
  5. David

    David Guest

    On 27 Mar 2006 05:47:03 -0800, "Qui si parla Campagnolo"
    <[email protected]> wrote:


    >> The people who buy into the custom bike myth is usually the same people
    >> who strive for perfection.

    >
    >Disagree. Some like the idea of a bicycle frame and then bike made for
    >them, period. Unique, one of a kind, type thing.
    >


    Peter,

    If the bike is custom designed to be a unique one of a kind type
    thing, then it's really not a a bike but rather a piece of art readily
    to be admired don't you think? We are talking about a custom frame
    that is built to be ridden not mounted on the wall.

    If the custom frame is designed with a triangular shaped front end,
    that is not custom. The triangle front end had been around for
    hundreds of years, proven to be a reliable design. The only thing
    custom are minor alterations on the basic frame design to address
    customer's unique requests.
    But how many customers have unique requests? Probably a lot of
    probably a few.
    Would I call that unique? Not really, because in the end, it's just a
    normal bike with minor custom alterations and a unique paint job and a
    name engraved on the tube somewhere.

    Will it be a perfect bike for the job the customer wanted it for to
    do? Sure it will, because that's what he or she wanted.

    Will it be saleable in the future after that task is completed?
    Probably very hard, because what one puts great value on these custom
    alterations, others won't.

    >Bike fit is the most important thing in a bicycle purchase. Just cuz
    >most bike shops can't do bike fits does not minimize it's importance.
    >MORE important than anything else by a wide margin. No myth. We do
    >current bike fits all day long on people that get 'stock' bikes that
    >are not close to fitting them. They come in cuz it hurts to ride and
    >they are about to take up tennis or golf.
    >
    >

    It's good that you offer this in your store. We have 2 stores here
    that do the same free of charge on other stock bikes not sold by them
    if they are not busy. So, I don't see a reason why people would
    really need to go custom, unless for some specific tasks and body
    dimensions.

    Unfortunately, as you may have indicated, that people buy stock bikes
    that don't fit them -- they should. Which means, there are shops out
    there that don't offer these services. The smart ones would obviously
    come to your store after a painful hiatus with their bikes. But do
    all of them come to seek your expertise?

    >Yep, a red bicycle today probably was not in fashion in the 80s...huh?
    >We are talking about bicycle paint, not bell bottoms.
    >


    I need of a customer who was sold on a custom red Dion tri bike. This
    is a custom bike. We saw the whole fit was totally wrong. It was
    made to ride with a rearward seating position -- tribikes usually are
    forward seating based! She could have been well-fitted with a Felt
    S32 with some minor alterations and be well with it. Will cost half
    too. But you know, she saw the video how custom bikes are unique and
    how nice they ride. In the end, it all comes to the builder. How can
    a builder be good at building a perfect tri bike, race bike, mountain
    bike and a touring bike. You need to be good to understand the finer
    points of what specific people need if you have been doing all of
    these things correct?


    >Stock frame = Trek, Specialized, Giant, Cannondale.....mostly. The bike
    >shops here in the republic that sell these have no idea how to do bike
    >fit. It's the 'stand over, ride around the parking lot, how do ya want
    >to pay for that' type fit...even on bicycles pushing $6000+.
    >
    >The 'stock' bicycle market is and has been in trouble for years. Even
    >the "Lance effect' hasn't changed that.
    >


    We are lucky to have 2 stores that sell these stock frames and offer
    proper frame fitting. One is a road store and another a tri specific
    store. And as I said earlier, some towns and cities don't have good
    stores to offer good fitting, so what are you going to do?


    David.
     
  6. >> 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.

    >
    > Penn & Teller, the magicians, have a cable-TV "expose" show called
    > "Bullshit!". One recent episode was dedicated to Americans' obsession with
    > "the best". They made a number of points: there is no such thing as "the
    > best", most people wouldn't know good from lousy if you wrapped it in
    > enough hype, and seeking/buying "the best" takes a lot of time and, in the
    > end, makes people less happy.


    Some people get more involved in the process than the use of whatever it is
    they're looking into. A good example of a total time-waster for me is
    flying. I research everything this-way, that-way, backward & forward each
    time I fly, to make sure I get the best-possible (there's that "best" word!)
    seat. Fairly easy if it's just me flying, not so easy when it's with the
    family (since I'm the only one with status on an airline). Still, I'll spend
    a good amount of time on flyertalk.com, seatguru.com and ual.com checking
    everything out in advance, and then spending yet more time making sure my
    seats didn't change due to a "sweep." All for a flight that might last
    typically 4-5 hours. At most.

    But getting back to the idea of a "best"- that's a relative thing, which
    will be something different for different people. That doesn't mean the
    concept is invalid, it just means that it's not a universal absolute. Penn &
    Teller can make a comedy show out of it, but that doesn't mean people can't
    appreciate something that's better (or more appropriate, for them) than
    something else. The reason people can't, in most cases, is because they're
    not trained in what to look for. They learn from commercials, because that's
    their primary exposure to product. Or they look to the Internet, which can
    almost be worse, because opinions are so diverse and easy to find that you
    can support just about any belief you have and present "proof" from the
    Internet.

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

    "Peter Cole" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > Mike Jacoubowsky wrote:
    >
    >> 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.

    >
    > Penn & Teller, the magicians, have a cable-TV "expose" show called
    > "Bullshit!". One recent episode was dedicated to Americans' obsession with
    > "the best". They made a number of points: there is no such thing as "the
    > best", most people wouldn't know good from lousy if you wrapped it in
    > enough hype, and seeking/buying "the best" takes a lot of time and, in the
    > end, makes people less happy.
     
  7. > Stock frame = Trek, Specialized, Giant, Cannondale.....mostly. The bike
    > shops here in the republic that sell these have no idea how to do bike
    > fit. It's the 'stand over, ride around the parking lot, how do ya want
    > to pay for that' type fit...even on bicycles pushing $6000+.


    Obviously (or perhaps not?), not all shops selling the major lines are
    clueless about bike fit. I know of a number who take great care to properly
    set up bikes for their customers... and I know of many who don't. Is there
    truly no dealer who you know personally who sells one of the major bike
    lines and does a good job with fitting people?

    > The 'stock' bicycle market is and has been in trouble for years. Even
    > the "Lance effect' hasn't changed that.


    The "Lance effect" likely has no effect whatsoever on people getting
    properly fit for road bikes. Might, in fact, have had the opposite, as more
    dealers decided to sell road bikes, without any prior expertise in doing so,
    just because they're the "in" thing. It's likely that the dealers who have
    been selling road bikes for a very long time do a better job with fit than
    the newbies looking to get into the latest craze.

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

    "Qui si parla Campagnolo" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    >
    > David wrote:
    >> >
    >> > 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.

    >
    > Some, ususally-big words\, not in my experience tho.
    >>
    >> The people who buy into the custom bike myth is usually the same people
    >> who strive for perfection.

    >
    > Disagree. Some like the idea of a bicycle frame and then bike made for
    > them, period. Unique, one of a kind, type thing.
    >
    > 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.

    >
    > Bike fit is the most important thing in a bicycle purchase. Just cuz
    > most bike shops can't do bike fits does not minimize it's importance.
    > MORE important than anything else by a wide margin. No myth. We do
    > current bike fits all day long on people that get 'stock' bikes that
    > are not close to fitting them. They come in cuz it hurts to ride and
    > they are about to take up tennis or golf.
    >
    >
    >> 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.

    >
    > Yep, a red bicycle today probably was not in fashion in the 80s...huh?
    > We are talking about bicycle paint, not bell bottoms.
    >
    >>
    >> 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.

    >
    > ahhhhwe are getting to the bottom of this-lighter and cooler...sorry,
    > not the reason to biuy a bike IMO. 'sometimes' provides a better ride
    > and sometimes, not. Sometimes fits but mosttimes, from most bike shops,
    > does not fit.
    >
    > 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.

    >
    > Bing, bing, bing, we have a winner. Spoken like a true bike shop guy
    > that sells over the counter, mass produced gadgetry...carbon, paired
    > spokes, all sorts of things that 'may' work if they were designed,
    > assembled better and then fitted to a customer.
    >
    >
    >>
    >> 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?

    >
    > See above, I got a custom Mondonico cuz I could. If the custom process
    > is proper, how can it not fit better than a standard bicycle?
    >
    > Stock frame = Trek, Specialized, Giant, Cannondale.....mostly. The bike
    > shops here in the republic that sell these have no idea how to do bike
    > fit. It's the 'stand over, ride around the parking lot, how do ya want
    > to pay for that' type fit...even on bicycles pushing $6000+.
    >
    > The 'stock' bicycle market is and has been in trouble for years. Even
    > the "Lance effect' hasn't changed that.
    >
     
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