Tuesday, April 7, 2009

In the style of.......

Here's the scenario: X builder finds himself with a ton of work and a ton of press.....or this is how a lot of folks view it. After a time it looks like this new talent on the framebuilding scene isn't going away-he's no flash-in-the-pan, as a matter of fact his momentum is gaining and his waiting list for frames is getting really long. New builders see this and a lot of them think: " X builder is who I want to be....loads of work, lots of prestige and the envy of his peers." Now some years pass and there are not just a few , but many imitators/emulators of X builder and they are all pretty good, some of them truly talented but no matter how talented they are , they just can't seem to get anywhere near the orders that X builder has. These new guys are making two mistakes in my opinion. Mistake # 1 , they don't really know what X builder went through ( and goes through on a daily basis ) to get so successful and assume that a website and some super nice looking frames will do the trick, maybe get a booth at the Handmade show to really get known. #2, They didn't really get an idea of what thier immediate cycling community needed in terms of custom frames. As I see it, many new builders want to be X builder and forgot that the needs of thier cycling community will go much further to secure a fulltime framebuilding gig than appealing to folks who buy from X builder. There isn't much room for more famous builders in the framebuilding world and there are only so many wealthy collectors who drive that market. The big numbers are the folks who need a custom bike for riding and a good deal of them can't afford to pay what X builder charges and aren't willing to wait for years to get a frame. I say to the new builders : These are your people ! Don't ignore them ! If you build 3-4 frames , put up your blog , make a really super fancy frame and photograph the crap out of it , put your prices up at the X builder level you will probably remain a hobbyist indefinitely. Unless you are the next X builder who had the vision, timing, drive and luck to start a major trend you will languish in obscurity, even if your work is absolutely stunning and your website is impeccably tasteful.

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