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Thread: so - what would you like to see here atmo?

  1. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by e-RICHIE View Post
    i might be in the minority here (and there) but i'd rather see you make the
    commitment and join "us" rather than find ways to appropriate some of the
    professional needs of our trade and filter them out to those who are treating
    it like a craft (note: that's me generalizing atmo). unlike some other handmade
    goods that serve, shall we say, more decorative elements, a bicycle is a vehicle.
    while no one has established minimum standards for framebuilders, having a
    policy is one way to show a modicum of responsibility. i am fully aware that
    some don't have the cabbage, and others think they make too few to matter,
    and others say theirs never fail, and we also have the cat who simply doesn't
    want to play ball with the man. no matter how you couch it, making a bicycle
    that someone else will ride comes with a price. i can't see how the insurance
    industry can come down any lower than $1500 per annum, and i don't even
    think they should. there are not <that> many full time pros and even fewer
    hobbyists. no matter how many frames one makes, atmo the cost of entry at
    $1500 a year for product liability seems reasonable. one can always elect to
    fly naked and take the chances. i alienate many when i articulate all this, but
    am committed to seeing the trade in a positive light. to me, insurance is part
    of that equation atmo.
    +100 here. In todays litigious society, where someone has to be blamed, and someone has to pay, even for the most egregious examples of human stupidity, flying without coverage is asking for someone to end up in your pants for the rest of your days, and I don't mean in a good way.

    The world is full of stupid people who will ride your bikes in places and ways they were never intended for, and unfortunately, some will get hurt and come looking for someone to pay. Folks that have never been involved in any civil litigation in America tend to think of our legal system only in terms of criminal law... "innocent until proven guilty". In civil cases, someone can pretty much make a claim, even if it is fundamentally without merit, and you will have to defend yourself, which means spending $.

  2. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by hkp View Post
    A larger number of builders should only cause the rate to go down if increasing the number of frame builders decreases the per-builder insurance pay-outs. I guess that would be true if either the additional frame builders did not proportionately increase the number of frames built, or they increased the average skill of the builders and so that the per-builder risk decreased. Perhaps there's effectively a surcharge because of additional risk due to the insurers' inexperience in the industry, but it seems to me that there's little difference from a liability standpoint between frame building and general metal fabrication. I haven't priced it, so perhaps metal fabricators also pay 75% higher insurance rates than do electrical contractors.

    Harry Phinney
    Insurance actuaries spend their lives figuring out the statistical probability that bad things will happen. Cycling is an inherently risky activity, compounded by the dumb stuff that some people will do on a bike, so the statistical probability that someone will get hurt on a bike and come looking for the builder to blame is much higher than say a licensed electrician that is generally covered by a building code and building inspectors, using materials and methods that are relatively standardized.

  3. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Archibald View Post
    No one man shop custom builder is building 2-3 bikes a day, unless they're pre-sized bikes. Interacting with the customer takes as long or longer than building the bike.
    True about the CSR aspect, good point. I've sat and chatted with Herting as he's cranked out 3 frames in a day on two pots of coffee and a lunch ride though. CH and FTW are both lightning fast to the point of blinding at times... It is pretty humbling to watch. The level of "customisation" that a client want really impacts the build time too.


    My point, and I think maybe the point of this very thread, is that there is a really wide range of activites that can be classified as "framebuilding".

    It's my opinion that they are all Rad. They all serve a purpose, and people who don't know what they are doing will fail, and those who possess all the right skills (from Fab to Gab), will find their way.


    I think there is a good discussion going on here fairly regularly.

    If I want to shoot the shit about Wire EDM subcontracting and metallurgy, I can talk to an engineer.
    . The bluster, balls and bullshit, I.E. the Humanity of the culture and the trade are the things that are best served for me via something like a web forum. Writing about things that are meant to be written is a loosing battle, ultimately.
    mickey.denoncourt
    Product Manager- Commonwealth Cycles

  4. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by mjbab@#$%@#$%@#$%@#$% View Post
    I for one think that pricing one's product in a way that undervalues skill while simultaneously undercutting other craftsmen does noo one any good save the consumer.
    Guys cranking out "bargin" framesets simply aren't sustainable, and they hurt those who strive for sustainability.
    OK - i think i have some observations that will touch on many of the Q's and points brought up as per the entire thread so far - soooo......i've hung out with/at some serious game-on TIG one man framebuilding shops, and these guys are *GAME ON*. they can make a super high quality frame in *FOUR HOURS* start to finish, and i'm not kidding. how do you do this? 1: skill & practice, baby. 2: no interruptions build time is build time. 3: tooling. no changing bits, everything is in it's place. 4: buying bulk. i get {for example} great seat tubes for $3.17 each but, you have to buy allot. 90% of my bikes use the same ST. i buy CASES of tubes and take the savings. 5: frame bits that speed up the process. you would not belive how much faster a breeze-wright dropout speeds up the build process!!! 6: cut out the fancy doo-dada and gee-gaws and make bikes as tools vs. art. 7: building bikes as sub-assemblies and batches. i'm sure i could think of more, and if i do, i'll come back. i gotta eat & braze a frame. rock on, steve. oh yeah - one more thing - you NEED insurance. period.
    Steve Garro, Coconino Cycles.
    Frames & Bicycles built to measure and Custom wheels
    Hecho en Flagstaff, Arizona desde 2003
    www.coconinocycles.com
    www.coconinocycles.blogspot.com

  5. #45
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    OK, I'm going to be frank here. This thread has lost its mind.

    Relating frame cost to how fast someone can spit out a bike has nothing to do with custom/bespoke/PITA framebuilding. Nothing at all. And it means nothing. It does not capture the backroom/office costs, it does not capture overhead, it does not capture the customer OR vendor interaction: the communication, the changes, and the consensus through time of first contact to time of delivery and follow-up, and then support down the road.

    You can work the numbers all you want, but you cannot sell a high quality custom geo/size bike for $850 today and make business sustainable profit on it. In the short term you may be able to generate some funds, but in the long term, forget it.

    MikeD is ~at least~ as smart as I am, so I'm not going to question his motivation or the how/what/why of what he's doing but my understanding is that these are not customs, they're no option size bikes. Correct me if I'm wrong.

    I'm not sure what the point of this thread is anymore, but it's gotten way counterproductive in my mind.
    "It's better to not know so much than to know so many things that ain't so." -- Josh Billings, 1885

    A man with any character at all must have enemies and places he is not welcome—in the end we are not only defined by our friends, but also those aligned against us.


  6. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by Archibald View Post

    I'm not sure what the point of this thread is anymore, but it's gotten way counterproductive in my mind.
    you might be right atmo.
    i'm out for a ride.
    mebbe i'll lock it when i get back, but only after my coffee and noshmo.
    have fun in the meantime.

  7. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Archibald View Post
    OK, I'm going to be frank here. This thread has lost its mind.

    Relating frame cost to how fast someone can spit out a bike has nothing to do with custom/bespoke/PITA framebuilding. Nothing at all. And it means nothing. It does not capture the backroom/office costs, it does not capture overhead, it does not capture the customer OR vendor interaction: the communication, the changes, and the consensus through time of first contact to time of delivery and follow-up, and then support down the road.

    You can work the numbers all you want, but you cannot sell a high quality custom geo/size bike for $850 today and make business sustainable profit on it. In the short term you may be able to generate some funds, but in the long term, forget it.

    MikeD is ~at least~ as smart as I am, so I'm not going to question his motivation or the how/what/why of what he's doing but my understanding is that these are not customs, they're no option size bikes. Correct me if I'm wrong.

    I'm not sure what the point of this thread is anymore, but it's gotten way counterproductive in my mind.
    all totally valid points - and i think that you have hit the nail on the head in every point you make. it is most certainly *not* sustainable - it was a limited time offer, a limited run. also, if i remember correctly - it was open to clients who allready owned a de salvo. a lot of legwork deleted. stock sizing, no color choice..........what it DID get him was a hell of allot of attention and free airtime from this, and i'm sure, allot of other forums. that's allot of advertising. i was just trying to point out in my last post that i don't think he lost his ass on the deal.........Steve.
    Steve Garro, Coconino Cycles.
    Frames & Bicycles built to measure and Custom wheels
    Hecho en Flagstaff, Arizona desde 2003
    www.coconinocycles.com
    www.coconinocycles.blogspot.com

  8. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Archibald View Post
    OK, I'm going to be frank here. This thread has lost its mind.

    Relating frame cost to how fast someone can spit out a bike has nothing to do with custom/bespoke/PITA framebuilding. Nothing at all. And it means nothing. It does not capture the backroom/office costs, it does not capture overhead, it does not capture the customer OR vendor interaction: the communication, the changes, and the consensus through time of first contact to time of delivery and follow-up, and then support down the road.

    You can work the numbers all you want, but you cannot sell a high quality custom geo/size bike for $850 today and make business sustainable profit on it. In the short term you may be able to generate some funds, but in the long term, forget it.

    MikeD is ~at least~ as smart as I am, so I'm not going to question his motivation or the how/what/why of what he's doing but my understanding is that these are not customs, they're no option size bikes. Correct me if I'm wrong.

    I'm not sure what the point of this thread is anymore, but it's gotten way counterproductive in my mind.
    Thank you.

    If you do the full math on this deal and figure in all the fixed and variable costs, the time to sell, build, pack, ship, sell, invoice, order materials, bank, insure........... all this and much more it doesn't add up to the builder doing anything more than turning over the dollars. The more sold at this price the worse off the builder is.

    If the builder is doing batch runs and is tooled up properly to take advantage of the economy of scale, they are purchasing in bulk with JIT scheduling so as to sell and ship the bikes before the tubing bill comes due, and they are building 20 size 58's and selling and shipping them to one customer then there is money to be made. Not much, but some. Once you figure out 20 sizings, send 20 invoices, ship to 20 different addresses etc. etc. the money just goes away. Doing the full costing doesn't lie.

    Dave
    D. Kirk
    Kirk Frameworks Co.
    www.kirkframeworks.com


  9. #49
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    Mike isn't the focus of a discussion on underpricing because he normally charges more. For some, $850 is the regular price.
     

  10. #50
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    Geeeeeez....this is all making my head hurt.
    I was going to avoid getting in on this one but I gotta say this all rings so much of all the stuff that made working for my former employer so much less than enjoyable.
    I don't know anybody in this business that's getting rich so there better be some enjoyment and satisfaction in it or what's the point.
    I know it's reality that all the business stuff must be taken care of but pick the level that makes you happy, starving artisan, artisan just sustaining, damn good frame builder using good common sense and making a few bucks or delusional business icon.....whatever floats your boat.
    If I'm lucky enough to have a bit of knowledge whether it be actual frame building or fly fishing which are the only two things I can claim to be good at and I'm lucky enough to be asked something about either I will pass the knowledge on happily as helping / teaching is the only thing other than the doing that comes with as much satisfaction.
    Yes, insurance is a good thing and is simply good common sense to have.
     

  11. #51
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    One other thing.
    If someone wants to shop price on a custom frame and decides they can be satisfied with an $850.00 frame and yours are in the $2,500.0 + range they were probably never going to be your customer anyway so don't worry about it.
     

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