Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Oh,no....not another quiz ! ?

Yes, friends.....it is time for a quiz. This one is something of a character study , kind of. The names have been eliminated to protect the well.....errr.......I'll leave it at that. Am I insinuating that the person(s) possibly although not necessarily referred to in the quiz are factual ? I'm not telling you.......you'll have to guess, just like you'll have to figure out the proper answers to the questions. First of all, I would like to explain the photo above. I never do this usually-I think the photo is mostly there to convey a mood or perhaps an inside joke that maybe .000135 % of the readers of this blog might get. There's no joke in this photo today. The book is one that I have been writing in for over 33 years. It contains the spoke lengths for a variety of hub/rim/cross combinations. Why don't I use the online spoke calculators available you might ask ? Well, I guess I see other folks getting wrong spoke lengths from these calculators enough that actual documented tested data in a book might save me a step or two. Call me primitive.....I don't even take credit cards at my business. O.K. on to the quiz.

The theme of today's quiz is what kind of person might your framebuilder be if **********. There are many types of folks hanging up a shingle proclaiming that they are framebuilders.......some of them actually are . The rest are, well....lets just say that maybe they ought to have a different job.

If your framebuilder takes your deposit ( and maybe a few others ) and does not actually build the frames that have been ordered......ever.......he is :

A. Just a poor guy trying to make a buck.
B. Just a poor guy trying to steal a buck.
C. Just a poor guy succeeding in stealing a buck.
D. Kind of a pathetic poseur/criminal
E. Maybe has fallen on hard times.
F. Maybe has not fallen on hard times and isn't a framebuilder at all.

If your framebuilder does not return your phone messages and/or emails he is:

A. More important than you, stupid.
B. Probably overwhelmed with his position as king of the dung heap.
C. Wants to cultivate an air of mystery.
D. Needs to heal from the interactions with his fellow humans for a time.
E. Had his phone turned off.

Say your custom frame has an issue that has nothing to do with how you ride or maintain your bike and the framebuilder refuses to service the bike. His/her possible reason(s) are :

A. There is no stated warranty , butthead.
B. Too busy making more frames for folks like you except that they don't actually ride so they have no complaints about the bikes.
C. The customer is always wrong.
D. There's a Jersey Shore marathon this week/month/year.
E. He/she has left no forwarding address and is off to parts unknown.

Your framebuilder teaches other folks framebuilding because :

A. He/she is not threatened by new talent and actually wants to help.
B. He/she/it needs the money and orders are down.
C. There's some sort of sick satisfaction in teaching what one has regarded as a sentence.
D. It's a chance to have people listen to you for once.....
E. Somebody has to carry on this stuff.

What if your framebuilder tells you that you'll get your frame in 5-6 weeks and after nearly a year you still haven't gotten your frame and you payed all the money up front. His/her reason is :

A. Can't be bothered at this time, there's work not to do.
B. Can't be bothered at this time , there's lots of bickering to do with other numbskulls online.
C. Can't be bothered at this time , I have seven blogs......whoops-
D. Can't be bothered at this time , there's a Jersey Shore marathon again.

If you finally get your frame from your builder and the rear wheel does not center....not even close-I'm talking totally cacked , the frame has not been chased, faced, tapped, etc. seatpost won't fit and you told the builder the actual brand of post you were going to use , the builder would describe the parameters of precision as :

A. Tolerance of +/- 2 mm.
B. Tolerance of one hair past a freckle.
C. Tolerance of two fifths of Jack Daniels.
D. Tolerance of "Did I build this ? It doesn't look like my work..."
E. Tolerance of "Just had a bad day......aw hell, I'll fix it."

Say your framebuilder is creative, causes a stir at the bike shows and really has some interesting original ideas that fly in the face of convention in almost playful disregard. What if the buying public does not support this talent and after some time he/she is forced to quit and get a day job. The upshot is:

A. Yee hah ! Don't have to worry about that one any more !
B. Well, he/she did it to him/herself being so damn clever......
C. Probably didn't have enough stainless on them there frames.
D. Maybe we all lose as this particular talent won't be able to fulfill his/her artistic contribution to the craft at large.

Last question. This one is bound to ruffle some feathers but I hope all will see the good natured aspect of the humor contained.......or not. Feel free to hate me.

Framebuilders are creating little guilds or groups to:

A. Have some fun.
B. Create standards that protect builder and client alike.
C. To attempt to elevate themselves above other builders for the sake of ego gratification.
D. To get together for Jersey Shore marathons.
E. Because everyone's doing it.
F. There's power in numbers.
G. Mainly out of boredom.....
H. Because we all really can't quite get along.

Thanks for reading....please don't firebomb my shop-I can burn it down myself.


  1. Somebody's been lurking on the Velocipede Salon forums!

  2. Best framebuilding blog post I've read since...ever

  3. Paul I joined for:

    D. To get together for Jersey Shore marathons.
    I. So I could be given a hard time by my peers.

  4. I haven't been invited because of:
    A. Personality
    B. Philosophy
    C. My friends
    D. This blog
    E. Live too far south and/or west
    F. I don't watch Jersey Shore....

  5. I want to stop pretending to build bikes so I can have a reason to buy one of yours

  6. you sir are hysterical.

  7. Aaah, if only more people thought that way. From now on there will be no more anonymous comments....you'll have to have a name, just like me.

  8. OK. This one's for one of the finest, innovative framebuilders who ever lived and who ekes out a living somewhere not too far north of San Francisco.

    Your framebuilder has built some of the most innovative, most beautiful, and finely crafted frames in the world for over 30 years, yet the orders are entirely too few and far between.
    A. He needs to "upscale" his marketing.
    B. He needs to work on his "people skills."
    C. He needs to cultivate his mystique.
    D. He needs to sell his frames for half of what they are really worth.
    E. Who wants to buy a frame from an old fart like that anyway?

  9. Aah, this is almost too mean spirited for me. O.K. You want to play ? Here goes:
    By posting your own quiz question you should :
    A. Walk a mile in this builder's shoe
    B. Maybe get to know him a little better
    C. Start your own blog and steal the quiz idea like I did...
    D. Understand that the business of building frames can promote antisocial behaviour.

  10. My profuse apologies.

    I guess the irony in my quiz was not so obvious as I thought. It was meant as an homage to this particular framebuilder and a sarcastic comment on the personality cult that seems to place more emphasis on a slick presentation and a glib personality than on honesty and great work.

  11. You know....that's the way it sounded to me. I was just busting your balls for no good reason. The builder is wondering who you are....for that matter , so am I !

  12. Maybe that's best answered with a story...

    34 years ago two young bike mechanics decided to try their hands at framebuilding. Hanging in the shop where they worked, among a whole slew of high-end frames was one frame made by Bruce Gordon. Both aspiring young framebuilders spent a lot of time studying and admiring that frame. Among the Jacksons and the Hetchins and everything else THAT FRAME was the holy grail.

    Aspiring young framebuilder "A" went on to become a great framebuilder in his own right. Aspiring builder "B" never even finished his first frame and has been begging, bartering, and even buying his bikes from framebuilder "A" ever since.

    I am aspiring framebuilder "B": You are, of course, framebuilder "A".

  13. Ahh, all is revealed. Maybe you didn't build a frame but you have two victories this 'cross season and I have only one !