Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Don't take this personally......o.k., go ahead.

Seems as if I am failing somewhat in this blog.....I'm trying to be informative and maybe stepping a bit too lightly, trying to avoid really saying anything that might offend my fellow braziers.....err, whatever you call 'em. This is the internet afterall and I read a lot of completely insulting rubbish all the time , some of it being passed off as infomation when its just another butthead letting off steam or reacting to a fellow butthead letting off steam. O.K., buttheads, react to this. The following is what I really wanted to say in this blog but it has taken me a few weeks to really arrive at the proper headspace to spell it out and no, I'm not drunk. I decided to do this one stone cold sober......."How to not be a successful framebuilder" by the overopinionated one hisself. # 1, Tell people that they will get their frames in 4-5 weeks when you know damn well that it is an impossibility. Being a little late is normal and people expect this of our craft.....its almost unnatural and possibly against some code we all adhere to to actually deliver something on time. My gripe is with the folks that say 4-5 weeks and the frame hasn't been delivered and its now 9 months. Shame on you.......hey, if something traumatic happens in your life and you can't get the thing done, that is acceptable-as long as you have informed the customer of such and don't give them the " Its still at the painter" bullshit. # 2, Telling folks that you have a two year waiting list when you have 5 frames on order. How unbelievably moronic......trying to gain prestige from a ficticious work load.......spare me. You either have the work or you don't. Be truthful and that will actually sell more of your frames . # 3 , Talking down some process or some material that you have not even a micron of a clue about.......this is prejudice and it serves only to magnify and spread your own ignorance. It actually shows class to admit you are not informed about something and would reserve comment on it until you gain such information. I myself have trash-talked stuff that I now rely on for my daily livelyhood......boy, was I an idiot. #4, believing that you have arrived at the top of the heap, the king-the master of your craft. This is for other people to decide, not you. If they say it is so, all the nicer for you. If you state it yourself, the gods of flame will surely set your pants on fire when you least expect it and burn your ass right down.# 5, don't return peoples calls and/or emails in a timely fashion , especially folks who are waiting for frames. What can I say about this that isn't obvious to any person of average intelligence ? I guess maybe the folks who can't get this are not the sharpest minds of our time. #6 , Not respecting customer requests........ahem, who is paying your rent ? Think about it......when someone hires you to build a frame they not only put thier trust in you to do a good job but also to build them what they asked for. Trying to talk someone out of what they want or changing specifications of the frame without telling them means that you are the wrong guy for this particular customer. I'm not talking about a customer who asks for utterly rediculous stuff, those are folks that should be avoided anyway. And now for the final insult.......#7, Putting on fancy trim that actually makes the frame weaker. Yeah, I know all of that stuff looks so cool and it sells like hotcakes but come on, what are we building....bicycles or wall hangings ? Nobody will listen to me about this stuff as I'm probably not the most convincing or reputable person to be addressing this but I have seen lots of overcooked and compromised tubes and my fear is that some people in a few years will be left with some really super awesome looking bike that broke an is rendered useless. Don't get me wrong, there are some uber-fancy bikes that will conceivably last forever built by a few folks that have the structural strength of the frame formost in thier minds. Building such a frame is a feat and truly approaches fine art. O.K., have I pissed some of you off ? Good, now return the favor and do the same to me.


  1. Great writeup. The problems in bike building is the same in other businesses. There never seems to be enough ethical businesses out there.