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Thread: Zanconato Custom Cycles

  1. #61
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    Default Re: Zanconato Custom Cycles

    Quote Originally Posted by zank View Post

    10 years ago
    I wish I had known that the Small Business Development Centers existed and had known that their services were no charge to the business owners above our tax payments (thank you dear taxpayers).

    I'll be thinking about this all day.


    ^^I will be thinking about this all day^^
    Thanks for all the insight!

    What inspires you visually (outside of the bike industry) objects, people, nature, movements?
     

  2. #62
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    Default Re: Zanconato Custom Cycles

    Hi Mike - This has been an amazing thread so far. Would you be interested in posting pictures of several bikes that have inspired you over the last two or three years? Bikes that really stayed with you after you saw them?
     

  3. #63
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    Default Re: Zanconato Custom Cycles

    Z --

    1). You may not recall, but when I was planning my first custom frame, I had the pleasure of talking to you as you were about to start your year away from framebuilding (while in the midwest with your better half). I remember you were in the middle of deciding whether to go back to grad school, and since I am in the field you were thinking of studying, I gently encouraged you toward grad school. But it sounds like things have worked out in a good direction, and I think you will be happy with this. Not too many people can do what you already know how to do. And you certainly have a number of fans over here. Also, I can speak from experience, there are some real advantages to not being in the same field as one's spouse (she can't second-guess me over dinner, and I can't second guess her). In any event, it is good to see you thriving.

    2). Separate idea, more of a business idea. My first sport was running, and I run the Boston Marathon every now and then (didn't run it this year, but did it last year, and may do it next -- and several of my clubmates ran it this week). I suspect I am not the only runner who also has a thing for bikes. Have you and the other local custom builders ever considered having a local Boston-area builders show during the Marathon weekend? Most of us are in town for 3 days, and we can't spend the whole time at the Expo and eating pasta. If there were a small bicycle show within walking distance of the Expo, I suspect it would get foot traffic from folks who otherwise couldn't travel all the way to Boston for a visit. A quick count off the top of my head of builders in the Boston area includes you, Mooney, of course IF and Seven, and a couple famous guys are just down the road in Connecticut. Just a thought.

    Yrs, Eric in Seattle
     

  4. #64
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    Default Re: Zanconato Custom Cycles

    Are your frames like your children? Or just a collection of joined tubes? Or something in between? How do you feel when you see one of your bikes for sale by the original customer for whom you created the frame?
     

  5. #65
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    Default Re: Zanconato Custom Cycles

    Quote Originally Posted by Shinomaster View Post
    Mike, are you working on an OS lug set?
    It's back burnered for the moment. I had made some progress with an American casting house. We got about 6 months into the project and then they dropped a bomb on me. They couldn't cast walls that thin. They would have to double the wall thickness I wanted.

    Huh? What? I was shocked. I had sent them samples of Long Shen lugs. How long have companies in the Far East been casting bicycle lugs at 1.2 mm wall? Many, many years. I asked the guy "you're telling me that you don't have the capabilities to do this, even though you are making precision castings for aerospace and medical?". The answer was "Yup". I started making other calls. Most didn't want to talk to me due to the small volume. Honestly, I think that was the issue with the first company as well, but rather than turn me away for that they used a technical hurdle.

    So that left me a ways behind. In a positive twist of fate, about the same time as this was all happening a few cast items came back into production and I am thrilled to be back using those. Part of what was driving the project in the first place were these head lugs going away. Now that they are back, I'm happy to modify those as I need to and press on.

    I'm not saying the project is dead, but I need to focus on building bikes for the time-being.
    Mike Zanconato
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  6. #66
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    Default Re: Zanconato Custom Cycles

    Quote Originally Posted by cement shoes View Post
    Zanc,

    When I first started dabbling a few years back at the Proteus shop, a customer walked in with a red and white fixed gear of yours (Ken or Ben Sanford). If I recall, the lugs were white, carved Pacentis. Your style has gotten less "fancy" and more purposeful. Was there an event or series of events that led you to your current style. If so, what were they? Were any of these events and subsequent style decisions/paths business and/or production related? You may have touched on this in your reply to Garro's question (Carrera lugs).

    Thanks,
    Tom
    Hi, Tom. Thanks for the question. I would say Ken's bike was more of a one-off than anything else. But the design I did on that bike did influence the design I'm using on the MAX bikes. But aside from the work I did on that bike and I am doing on the Max bikes, I don't do much lug carving. I often work a shoreline so that it flows a little better, but most wouldn't notice the differences unless they held the original next to the one I worked on. I would say that some of the design decisions were both aesthetic and business related. I wanted the bikes to have an identity, especially if they were stripped of their paint. I've never tried to be overtly in-your-face with the flourishes just to try to earn sales though. I want just enough for the bikes to be interesting to look at, but no more. Make sense?
    Mike Zanconato
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  7. #67
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    Default Re: Zanconato Custom Cycles

    yo zank - what's your take on the public's (at large) view of hand-built frames atmo?
    i mean, there's a large segment that missed a preceding era or three and have no
    depth when it comes to understanding the niche. these days, most folks view a
    racing bicycle as those used by pros. it's been a long time since framebuilding and
    the sport ran together. do you ever get the, "if your bicycles are that good how
    come lance uses a trek
    ?" stuff thrown at you? does it matter to you? do you have
    a reply to folks who feel this way? i wrestle with that framebuilding has this quaint
    and ye olde crap placed on its doorstep and have developed my own filters. what's
    the company line at your place.

    and, just because it's friday in oz and i am feeling casual i have to add:
    massachusetts fikcung rocks imho.

  8. #68
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    Default Re: Zanconato Custom Cycles

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Ross View Post
    I never had the slightest interest in a Colnago until I read that sentence right there

    ...but of course now, having read this thread, I have even more interest in a Zanconato! Thanks so much for doing this.


    Mike, how did med school figure into the whole plan? From industrial polymer engineer to bicycle framebuilder seems far less of a leap; what made you, even if only for a brief moment, consider the medical profession? Was there a particular discipline that especially interested you?
    Thanks, Bob! My pleasure. This is fun for me too. Maybe my yet un-born kid will read this some day and figure out why his pop is the way he is.

    A career in medicine was something I thought about as early as high school. Of course, I was encouraged to do engineering though because "I could get a good job right out of school". All I had to take in addition to my engineering course load to basically be pre-med was bio. Then I met my wife-to-be in college. She was chemistry/pre-med and we met in a physical chemistry class that was a combined class for ChE and Chem majors. Anyway, we then married when she was in her first year of med school. I lived vicariously through her every step of the way. I enjoyed volunteering. I thought medicine was eventually going to be my path. I came to a tough realization though. My heart wasn't in it the way my head was. After working through a lot of inner turmoil, I figured out that one of the big reasons I wanted to do it was to prove to myself that I could. Yikes. How selfish is that? All the while I was loving the bikes. In the end, the decision itself was easy. The path to making it was not.
    Mike Zanconato
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  9. #69
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    Default Re: Zanconato Custom Cycles

    Quote Originally Posted by Alliance Bicycles View Post
    One word.............. apprentice
    Gives me something to think about.

    But now I foresee an email box full of requests.
    Mike Zanconato
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  10. #70
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    Default Re: Zanconato Custom Cycles

    Quote Originally Posted by zank View Post
    In the end, the decision itself was easy. The path to making it was not.
    Nicely stated.
    "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.


  11. #71
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    Default Re: Zanconato Custom Cycles

    Quote Originally Posted by Paradise View Post

    Mike:

    Thanks for your take on your business plans. Regarding your statement above, I understand that right off the top, you would take a 30-40% pay cut, however, with economies of scale (i.e. more frames being sold/built per month than your current goal), you would be able to make the price cut up in volume. Of course, this too assumes that you're able to replicate your processes and frame construction with additional, experienced hands to allow you to grow the biz.

    BTW, I just had my virgin ride on the beautiful silvery blue with white panel 55.5 cm Zanc that I bought used, right here, last night. I cannot tell you how wonderful the experience was for me. The ride was spectacular, the frame solid, yet smooth, and at the same time nimble and quick as a go-cart. I just loved it and can't wait for more opportunities for longer rides. I'll post pics sometime soon when I've finalized all of the build items on it. Still struggling to figure out what saddle to put on it.

    Thanks Mike for your time here and being the first to go with the frame builder thread. Your work is very special and you should be very proud of your efforts.

    Bob
    Hi, Bob. Great to hear you are enjoying the bike! Please send me over some pictures when you get a chance.

    I'm feeling you regarding scaling up for bigger production. That makes sense. I was always amazed with how efficiently and to such high standards Seven was able to make bikes during my time there. Giving this more thought over the past day or two, I suppose a fear I have is the business would lose the identity and purpose that I want it to have. Maybe it's easier in my mind to justify not going down that path using the excuse of how hard it would be to scale up rather than just confronting the realization that deep down I just want to preserve the business as it is.

    Geez, you guys are giving me lots to chew on here.
    Mike Zanconato
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  12. #72
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    Default Re: Zanconato Custom Cycles

    Quote Originally Posted by steve575 View Post
    My question too. Or are we talking about O-OS? Isn't peggo-richie OS?
    Yes, PegoRichie is OS. I was originally thinking O-OS, but I squashed that. The ride of the PegoRichie is too nice to give up.
    Mike Zanconato
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  13. #73
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    Default Re: Zanconato Custom Cycles

    Quote Originally Posted by caleb View Post
    Zank,

    What are the 5-10 most used cards in your Rolodex?
    Rolowhat? Kidding. Do emails count? Lately it's...
    Richard Sachs
    Keith Anderson
    Anvil
    Bringheli
    Ceeway
    Fred Parr
    Nova
    Atlas Crate and Box
    Visimark
    Alterra Coffee
    Mike Zanconato
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  14. #74
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    Default Re: Zanconato Custom Cycles

    Quote Originally Posted by audiisaac View Post
    ^^I will be thinking about this all day^^
    Thanks for all the insight!

    What inspires you visually (outside of the bike industry) objects, people, nature, movements?






    Rebecca doesn't mind that I adore...

    Eva



    Jessica



    and Scarlett

    Mike Zanconato
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  15. #75
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    Default Re: Zanconato Custom Cycles

    I'll return in a bit. Back to the bench.
    Mike Zanconato
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  16. #76
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    Default Re: Zanconato Custom Cycles

    Don't forget to ride your bike Mike! Scarlett is wicked-hot, holy crap.
     

  17. #77
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    Default Re: Zanconato Custom Cycles

    THIS THREAD IS JUST --- frickin "triple dog dare" neat....

    lot lost in life ifin i had'nt met ya and yo lady...
    just gona call ya "doc zank"

    ronnie
     

  18. #78
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    Default Re: Zanconato Custom Cycles

    Quote Originally Posted by tim10025 View Post
    Hi Mike - This has been an amazing thread so far. Would you be interested in posting pictures of several bikes that have inspired you over the last two or three years? Bikes that really stayed with you after you saw them?
    Hi Tim,
    I'll have to hunt around. There are so many awesome bikes that have been made over the past decade. I'll get some up for you. Here's one to start though. The bikes of Sven Nys at Treviso Worlds. I loved how simple and purposefully specked the bikes were. The tools of a master.

    Mike Zanconato
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  19. #79
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    Default Re: Zanconato Custom Cycles

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric007 View Post
    Z --

    1). You may not recall, but when I was planning my first custom frame, I had the pleasure of talking to you as you were about to start your year away from framebuilding (while in the midwest with your better half). I remember you were in the middle of deciding whether to go back to grad school, and since I am in the field you were thinking of studying, I gently encouraged you toward grad school. But it sounds like things have worked out in a good direction, and I think you will be happy with this. Not too many people can do what you already know how to do. And you certainly have a number of fans over here. Also, I can speak from experience, there are some real advantages to not being in the same field as one's spouse (she can't second-guess me over dinner, and I can't second guess her). In any event, it is good to see you thriving.

    2). Separate idea, more of a business idea. My first sport was running, and I run the Boston Marathon every now and then (didn't run it this year, but did it last year, and may do it next -- and several of my clubmates ran it this week). I suspect I am not the only runner who also has a thing for bikes. Have you and the other local custom builders ever considered having a local Boston-area builders show during the Marathon weekend? Most of us are in town for 3 days, and we can't spend the whole time at the Expo and eating pasta. If there were a small bicycle show within walking distance of the Expo, I suspect it would get foot traffic from folks who otherwise couldn't travel all the way to Boston for a visit. A quick count off the top of my head of builders in the Boston area includes you, Mooney, of course IF and Seven, and a couple famous guys are just down the road in Connecticut. Just a thought.

    Yrs, Eric in Seattle
    Hi Eric,
    Great to hear from you! I certainly remember your advice. I was lucky to have a number of great people to bounce ideas off of. Thanks for taking the time with me.

    That's an interesting idea. I've always wondered about having an event concurrently with another event or a race. I can certainly see the up side. There are a whole bunch of like minded people in town. But the thing that worries me is would it be too easy for the attendees to blow off the framebuilding event if things weren't going perfectly with their race prep for example. Other folks have suggested doing something the same weekend as D2R2, but I have similar concerns. Maybe the only way to find out is to try it.
    Mike Zanconato
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  20. #80
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    Default Re: Zanconato Custom Cycles

    Mike,

    there are things when I build a frame I don't like to do and their are others I wish I could do all day long. Do you have a process or a part that you feel stoked to accomplish or one you could do without?

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