Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Perverse osmosis

Nothing really says you have arrived as a framebuilder more than seeing stuff you built for sale on Craigslist . If you have enough bikes under your belt there's a good chance that your fine craftsmanship will occasionally wind up on the open market-people upgrade, downgrade, sidegrade, go on benders, decide that your bike sucks, lose a job and have to downsize......all sorts of reasons exist for someone to cut loose of the frame you built for them. I guess for me it is a little sad as I would hope that a custom frame is something that one does not sell as it is a very personal purchase. Then again, if your brand has been around long enough there might be some serious resale value available that could come in handy in a time of need. For my esteemed bikes this might not be the case , at least not yet. While I like to state that I attempt to build a very serious racing bike and always strive to make every one better than the last , the market does not care how focused I might think I am . Just yesterday I saw a nearly complete bike on Craigslist for sale.....a track bike-a real genuine velodrome mass-start steel bike that I had built maybe 6-8 years ago. It was missing the front wheel but the rest of it was all there and it looked pretty used but far from used up. A frame nearly Identical to this one had been ridden to a national championship in the Madison. This bike was offered at $ 500. The frame was a 53 cm, not an unpopular size by any stretch of the imagination. A complete bike such as this would cost about $ 3,000 new and here it was , the same bike that was ridden on board tracks across the USA to national titles and many medals for sale at about the price of used fixie from Taiwan. Most likely, this was a frame I built for the junior developement program in Los Gatos, Calif. I built these frames at a greatly reduced rate, about a third what I charge normally as I feel that getting talented juniors on good bikes is a worthy cause. I guess it makes me a little sad to see a bike like this , one that I made for a possible future champion for sale at a really low price that dosen't reflect what kind of effort went into the construction of this machine . This is the reality of a fulltime's as if these bikes are our children-some of them end up at an ivy league school, others will end up in the street. It isn't up to me.

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