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Thread: Someone Else's Musings On My Trade atmo -

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    Default Someone Else's Musings On My Trade atmo -

    J.P. Partland has been writing for the industry for two decades, maybe more atmo.
    His recent text is making the rounds.
    Here, have a read - Chain Oil - The NAHBS Yawn

    I saw the chat surrounding it and am adding this:
    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Sachs
    I think it's a good article, and not at all negative atmo. J.P. is a professional writer and he's holding up a mirror. Perhaps some don't like what they see. Some - especially some with no skin in the game - may feel he is condescending, or even judgmental. I don't. A lot of what he writes IS true despite that some segments would prefer he kept his POVs to himself. I don't think he's airing laundry. Or being incendiary. The text is a very good overview of where the niche is now, and how the NAHBS show is part of it.

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    Default Re: Someone Else's Musings On My Trade atmo -

    good piece.
    he is right. it is, largely, an art show.

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    Default Re: Someone Else's Musings On My Trade atmo -

    I know I'd be curious to see a report on just how that Ogre from this year's show rode.

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    Default Re: Someone Else's Musings On My Trade atmo -

    i don't think it is any different than an auto show or a fashion show...f-builders, car makers, fashion designers are showing CONCEPTS...some might actually trickle down to mainstream usage, but that isn't the point

    it is a matter of pushing the envelope and creating excitement that will have an effect on defining the brand

    after nahbs every year, i always want a new bike...not any of the crazy concept bike, but a new one nonetheless...

    not sure what the mystery is

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    Default Re: Someone Else's Musings On My Trade atmo -

    One thing is for sure, the obligatory post show blah report from a random source gets better written each year........

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    Default Re: Someone Else's Musings On My Trade atmo -

    After walking around the show most of the weekend I would have to agree with the article. As a blatant example I recall seeing a wooden bicycle with a custom big chainring that had to be 75 or more teeth and a normal 39 small ring. Front der. cable taped to the seat stick (wood) with no front der. and a standard rear der. I don't care how pretty it is. It couldn't function even if you made a custom front derailleur. There were a lot of really nice functional bikes (not taking ride quality into account), but some of this stuff needs to be edited out of the show for sure.

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    Default Re: Someone Else's Musings On My Trade atmo -

    Quote Originally Posted by Dorman View Post
    After walking around the show most of the weekend I would have to agree with the article. As a blatant example I recall seeing a wooden bicycle with a custom big chainring that had to be 75 or more teeth and a normal 39 small ring. Front der. cable taped to the seat stick (wood) with no front der. and a standard rear der. I don't care how pretty it is. It couldn't function even if you made a custom front derailleur. There were a lot of really nice functional bikes (not taking ride quality into account), but some of this stuff needs to be edited out of the show for sure.
    Do builders of what might be called more "serious" bikes see the bikes like the one you describe as being the bicycle equivalent of, say, and Arlen Ness motorcycle or an Ed Roth hotrod? Conceptual Art, (ugh!) pieces that may be visually stunning, thought-provoking, but ultimately not the one motocycle/car/bicycle you'd want to own for any sort of real use?

    Brutally honest self-examination with the most jaundiced of eyes is a critical component of running/growing/steering a business. Good on the collective Handbuilt crowd for engaging in these types of dialogues.

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    Default Re: Someone Else's Musings On My Trade atmo -

    I used to have a lot of dealings with the street rod crowd when I was in the car business. Some of those are beautiful and drive pretty nice. Others not so much, but at least they can be used.

    I keep my Les Paul in a humidity controlled environment as much as possible. Not really gonna happen with a bicycle.

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    Default Re: Someone Else's Musings On My Trade atmo -

    I don't disagree with the author, but maybe it's a touch unfair to criticize a show for not satisfying an the question he wants to ask which is "does it ride correctly, sometimes over long distances/periods of time?" It would be like wondering what all of the "models" hanging out at interbike have to do with the nutrition of the bar samples they are pushing. You know why it happens, and if you're inteligent, you filter it out and find what you need. It's a show, which is both good and bad.

    And it's mostly uncurated (not a builder, don't know how accurate that statement is) and is therefore what the builders choose it to be. I loved Paul Sadoff's choice to not take a single new bike last year. Builders should show the image of how they want to be perceived. And if that's building an non-rideable bike, can that just be on them, and not on the industry?

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    Default Re: Someone Else's Musings On My Trade atmo -

    In all the reports, the hardest bikes to find photographs of are the ones that are the most functional. As someone who didn't go to the event, I often find myself looking at the bikes in the backgrounds of photographs, rather than what is in the foreground. So on the surface, it appears that the tour-de-force bikes give the builders a marketing edge. But I would wonder how many actual orders result from those showboat bikes versus Winter, Shamrock, Hampsten, Strong, etc.

    My sense is the show gets bigger every year. That's great. Bigger attendance is important. But if the number of attendees increases while the number of orders that result from the show doesn't keep pace, then the event risks becoming the cul-de-sac mentioned in the article. Or a fleshy re-enactment of Facebook. That's something that has happened to literature (the "serious" non-popular kind.) Conferences are basically a bunch of worker bees in a greenhouse without flowers exchanging email addresses. Lots of writers but no readers, lots of books but no buyers. But everyone is happy, there are lots of people, and everyone sees their friends and goes home.

    Not bad thing, you know? Nice to see friends and hang. Just not sure it is going anywhere. A NAHBS Fondo might sell more bikes?

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    Default Re: Someone Else's Musings On My Trade atmo -

    No need to slag the Interbike models there, fella.

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    Default Re: Someone Else's Musings On My Trade atmo -

    Interesting opinion... Here's mine, as one with No skin in the game but deeply appreciates and respects those who do.

    I see the show as a gathering of builders who, if they choose, can create a one-off to demonstrate their creativeness and skill. Their peers (top builders/artists) will no doubt examine each bike with eyes more educated than mine (a civilian) and can quickly determine of the bike is truly functional or not. Innovation comes through seeing a thought carried to the next step, actually making a Bike that has escaped from the builders mind to reality. A very small detail may be carried into production down the road, that idea has to start someplace. My guess is that most of these builders are glad to make meet and associate with people like themselves, vs seeing them as competitors in the hand-made market. Maybe I'm naive...

    And it is a SHOW, it's right there in the name, (Webster's: to exhibit one's artistic work)

    Is the problem J.P has, is that the event is growing?

    I agree with Steve, it is an art show. And I love it for that.

    If the author feels " It’s now even easier to overlook or dismiss hand-built bikes.", I feel sorry for him. I know I could look at these lovely creations for days. J.P. also questions the builders ability to actually create great riding bikes...Really? Does J.P actually think those builders involved with NHABS can't create a great, functional bike?

    And to answer his open question, yes, my future purchase of a custom bike is influenced by what I see at the show.

    I hope J.P. has fun in Vegas, trying to figure out what's under the paint of each molded, electric shifting, "more functional" bike. My guess is that he'd review Interbike as "cookie cutter, lacking creativity".

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    Default Re: Someone Else's Musings On My Trade atmo -

    Remember that the builders are also "bringing their best $h!t" to show off. That is part of the show.

    FWIIW One reason the Indy show as successful was that locals viewed it as a museum exhibition. Just sayin'

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    Default Re: Someone Else's Musings On My Trade atmo -

    Once and future Retrotec owner here.

    Curtis showed my Retrotec in the Portland show. It did not place. Rode beautifully until a truck backed over it.

    Cannot think of any reason Curtis' first in show MTB this year will not be rideable or will not be ridden often by its new owner.

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    Default Re: Someone Else's Musings On My Trade atmo -

    Maybe NAHBS should have a dirt demo day....

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    Default Re: Someone Else's Musings On My Trade atmo -

    Quote Originally Posted by Mikej View Post
    Maybe NAHBS should have a dirt demo day....
    BALLERS RIDE < Show Bike Proving Grounds

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    Default Re: Someone Else's Musings On My Trade atmo -

    I'm guessing that 90% of the clothes you see in a runway show never see the streets. That doesn't mean runway shows don't serve a purpose. And they do them twice a year.
    Got some cash
    Bought some wheels
    Took it out
    'Cross the fields
    Lost Control
    Hit a wall
    But we're alright

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    Default Re: Someone Else's Musings On My Trade atmo -

    Quote Originally Posted by bellman View Post
    One thing is for sure, the obligatory post show blah report from a random source gets better written each year........
    J.P. is anything but random atmo. He has been a career journalist for the trade and the sport for a very long time.

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    Default

    I always appreciate an unsentimental alternate view, but the author makes a false dichotomy between the high-end, electronic shifting carbon wonder bikes, and the handbuilt steel and ti bikes at NAHBS. He correctly identifies that they occupy the same market segment and price point, but to claim that the C59s and Madones of the world are what has caused the industry to move away from hand building is only part right. The move to large scale production has been driven largely by the $500 hybrid and the subsequent implementation of that production model (quite effectively) at higher price points. I don't exactly know where I'm going with this line of thought... But maybe the real issue at NAHBS is the existence of $3000 cargo bikes which could be supplanted by a 7.1 FX with panniers.

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    Default Re: Someone Else's Musings On My Trade atmo -

    Quote Originally Posted by doomridesout View Post
    I always appreciate an unsentimental alternate view, but the author makes a false dichotomy between the high-end, electronic shifting carbon wonder bikes, and the handbuilt steel and ti bikes at NAHBS. He correctly identifies that they occupy the same market segment and price point, but to claim that the C59s and Madones of the world are what has caused the industry to move away from hand building is only part right. The move to large scale production has been driven largely by the $500 hybrid and the subsequent implementation of that production model (quite effectively) at higher price points. I don't exactly know where I'm going with this line of thought... But maybe the real issue at NAHBS is the existence of $3000 cargo bikes which could be supplanted by a 7.1 FX with panniers.
    You're a smart guy atmo. And there's a load of truth in your post. Its
    a shame you're writing with a screen name. I for one would love to
    know the man behind the words. Giddy-yup.

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