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  1. #76
    Senior Member Commodus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KonAaron Snake View Post
    This post has an interesting point or two, but overall totally misses the mark...

    There are lots of made in America custom frames that can be had for the same price as a Rivendell. Buying that way gives you a bike that you've specifically designed for you. Why would you buy a Rivendell? Please xplain to me how these are "pretty and good value" when I can have a bike designed for the same price with a paint scheme exactly as I choose it? Are his propietary lugs worth that much?

    Would you voluntarily pay 20x standard pricing for a made in the US TV? I would not.

    Regardless of how the used market fluctuates, the entire ethos that GP preaches is based on reproducing an older style of bike...why buy a new one? You can outfit and adjust a steel frame for new components (one of the advantages of steel is the ability to respace it) if you are at all patient and willing to look. If Rivendell's marketing preaches that steel lasts, the obvious follow through question is why buy new?

    Based on Rivendell's own logic, there is no reason to buy a Rivendell when you can get an 80s touring bike for $500 or less and pay comparatively little to make it as new. The used market absolutely is related to the new market...and vice versa. It's you who is a bit dense if you think those markets don't relate to one another. There also aren't a lot of $150 Italian master pieces being sold.
    I feel like you read someone else's post and are responding to that. I did not mention custom bicycles. I am not interested in a custom bike - because I am very normally formed, and frankly am just not that picky - and thus have no interest or knowledge of that market. My comment regarding value was in comparison to other production bikes, premium examples of which can and do often run to very similar money. If you can buy your custom dream bike for less, please do so. Smile and ride around all day, I wish you well.

    If the "made in US" TV was also many times better than a foreign TV, then yes. Well of course I don't own a TV, and would never spend good money on something like this that goes obsolete, but as it goes...

    On the used market, I've seen Dekerf Team SLs and three-year-old Kona Stuffs go for the same money. Does that mean I should call up Chris and offer him $500? I bought my latest touring steed for the humble price of $750, does that mean the new ones (which are essentially identical) are worth 50% of their asking price? This is not the way retail works, you already know this.

    GP preaches a rational style of bike. Sometimes that's the same as old, sometimes not. Some people are willing to pay good money for these, just as someone was willing to pay good money for your Ti Merlin. I guess if someone can show me a bike that's made somewhere civilized, uses nice steel and lugs, nice paint, has sensible braze-ons and clearance for sensible tires, a nice low BB and pleasant, predictable geometry - NEW - for less, I'll concede that they are overpriced. And maybe they are, I don't know. I guess my only real point is that they seem like a good deal next to a Taiwanese carbon frame that may last five seasons, at best.

  2. #77
    member. heh. lambo_vt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KonAaron Snake View Post
    Would you voluntarily pay 20x standard pricing for a made in the US TV?
    That depends on whether it has hand-filed lugs.

  3. #78
    Fat Guy on a Little Bike KonAaron Snake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Commodus View Post
    I feel like you read someone else's post and are responding to that. I did not mention custom bicycles. I am not interested in a custom bike - because I am very normally formed, and frankly am just not that picky - and thus have no interest or knowledge of that market. My comment regarding value was in comparison to other production bikes, premium examples of which can and do often run to very similar money. If you can buy your custom dream bike for less, please do so. Smile and ride around all day, I wish you well.

    If the "made in US" TV was also many times better than a foreign TV, then yes. Well of course I don't own a TV, and would never spend good money on something like this that goes obsolete, but as it goes...

    On the used market, I've seen Dekerf Team SLs and three-year-old Kona Stuffs go for the same money. Does that mean I should call up Chris and offer him $500? I bought my latest touring steed for the humble price of $750, does that mean the new ones (which are essentially identical) are worth 50% of their asking price? This is not the way retail works, you already know this.

    GP preaches a rational style of bike. Sometimes that's the same as old, sometimes not. Some people are willing to pay good money for these, just as someone was willing to pay good money for your Ti Merlin. I guess if someone can show me a bike that's made somewhere civilized, uses nice steel and lugs, nice paint, has sensible braze-ons and clearance for sensible tires, a nice low BB and pleasant, predictable geometry - NEW - for less, I'll concede that they are overpriced. And maybe they are, I don't know. I guess my only real point is that they seem like a good deal next to a Taiwanese carbon frame that may last five seasons, at best.
    I'd consider them over priced by Grant's logic...if he's advertising the material as "it lasts forever", there's no ned to buy a new one. The difference between a carbon frame and steel is that according to Grant's logic, you should never buy carbon used.

    I mentioned custom bikes as a comparison point as a way of explaining why I consider him to be over priced...if I can have a made to order bike that looks exactly like I want it to look, made exactly how I want it made and sized exactly for me at the same price as his bikes, I'd consider his bikes to be over priced.

    If you're comfortable paying that kind of money for his frames, God speed and I hope you get much pleasure out of it. I do not understand it, but that's why they make apple juice and orange juice.

  4. #79
    Senior Member tjspiel's Avatar
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    I can understand choosing off the shelf vs custom. Getting a custom bike seems a little more daunting of a task since you need to provide measurements, color selections, etc. You may also have to wait quite awhile.

    The Soma Speedster is a nice lugged steel frameset that will accommodate 28mm tires + fenders.

    For the record, there are plenty of carbon bikes that have managed to last more than 5 years.

  5. #80
    Senior Member Mr. Fly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mos6502 View Post
    They are selling bikes based on the name. They discontinued the popular Bleriot model because some shops were offering it for below the MRSP - and Riv didn't want to tarnish their image with a "cheap" bike. So they canceled their deal with QBP (the distributor for the shops) and sat on top of the remaining stock, offering the remnants at "classy" prices.
    Is that conjecture on your part? AFAIK, the reason why Rivendell discontinued the Bleriot was because some shops were so discounting it, that it was impossible for other shops to make a decent living selling it. QBP really had no control over to whom the Bleriots were sold, so in the end, everyone suffered even if selling Bleriots didn't make anyone rich as the margins weren't that high to begin with. Of course consideration for upholding a certain image may also had been taken into account, but it wasn't as simple as what you implied.

    I look at this thread and see self-fulfilled prophesy. A lot of people are complaining about the exporting of jobs and the decline of the blue collar worker in the US of A. However, Rivendell is one example where the owner isn't in business to get rich. If you follow what they do, they consistently try to do the right thing, by their suppliers, their employees, their customers and even the charities they contribute to. If any American business is worth supporting, this is one of them. I don't have any of their bikes, but I buy into their philosophy of doing business. To me, supporting such a business has a lot of value.

    And to those complaining about the high price tags, ever priced a new Waterford (who builds some of Rivendell's production bikes)? It comes out to be about the same. $1800 base plus a few hundred for items that come standard on a Hilsen (for example). About the only worthwhile extra (to me) the Waterford has is custom geometry, which for that outlier amongst us, is worth its weight in gold. But for the rest of us, it's really just a neat item to check off on our list. None of the Rivendells are slouches anyway and the design details are already sorted out beautifully (if you do their kind of riding).

  6. #81
    Elitest Murray Owner Mos6502's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Fly View Post
    Is that conjecture on your part? AFAIK, the reason why Rivendell discontinued the Bleriot was because some shops were so discounting it, that it was impossible for other shops to make a decent living selling it. QBP really had no control over to whom the Bleriots were sold, so in the end, everyone suffered even if selling Bleriots didn't make anyone rich as the margins weren't that high to begin with. Of course consideration for upholding a certain image may also had been taken into account, but it wasn't as simple as what you implied.
    I'm just going by the statement that Grant himself issued. Certainly other factors could have lead to the decision, but what he said was exactly what I quoted him saying.

    You apparently missed it the first time, so here it is again:

    Quote Originally Posted by Grant
    I got tired of too many dealers de-dignifying it as a loss leader, and so
    I'm just pulling the plug on the whole Bleriot program.
    His entire explanation is this:
    I got tired of too many dealers de-dignifying it as a loss leader, and so
    I'm just pulling the plug on the whole Bleriot program. That means that
    after about late June, no dealer who doesn't have them will be able to get
    them. We'll then be obligated to buy up QBP's stock, which will give us
    enough 'riots for a few months, maybe even through winter.
    They will not go on sale; still $750.

    The QBP partnership was pleasant, I have only the best things to say about
    QBP, but it was about a dozen and a half dealers that sealed the Bleriot's
    fate.
    He then drifts off into ideas for new bikes...
    Last edited by Mos6502; 04-05-10 at 10:18 PM.

  7. #82
    Senior Member Mr. Fly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mos6502 View Post
    I'm just going by the statement that Grant himself issued. Certainly other factors could have lead to the decision, but what he said was exactly what I quoted him saying.

    You apparently missed it the first time, so here it is again:

    Quote Originally Posted by Grant
    I got tired of too many dealers de-dignifying it as a loss leader, and so I'm just pulling the plug on the whole Bleriot program.
    Well, you do know what a "loss leader" is, right?

  8. #83
    Elitest Murray Owner Mos6502's Avatar
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    Apparently something so "de-dignifying" to Rivendell's product image that it necessitated axing their most popular product. ;D

  9. #84
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    If it gets too cheap, the brand name no longer holds the mystique. I don't agree with that aspect of Grant Petersen's business but he is free to charge what he thinks people will pay to acquire one of his bikes.

  10. #85
    Senior Member Grim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mos6502 View Post
    I'm just going by the statement that Grant himself issued. Certainly other factors could have lead to the decision, but what he said was exactly what I quoted him saying.

    You apparently missed it the first time, so here it is again:



    His entire explanation is this:


    He then drifts off into ideas for new bikes...
    I don't understand that mentality at all.

    If he set a price to QBP and that price was being paid then why would he be concerned if the end dealers discounted the bike?

    Eventually the companies discounting would either sell out of stock or the sale would end and ballance would be restored. That sounds like price fixing to me.


    That type of business practice usually backfires. The Bike boom in the 70's and 80's is a prime example and the lawsuits brought against Schwinn by their dealers when they couldn't compete.
    You cant have a signature unless it fits in this box

  11. #86
    Senior Member late's Avatar
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    Pointless thread.

    My wife has a Bleriot, loves it.

    Nothing else matters to me.

    Buy the bike you love, ride it.

    Btw, rivendell is simply the best known of the high end custom bike
    makers. There are more expensive ones out there. Heck, Waterford
    is semi-custom, but pick an expensive steel, add some custom lugs and
    a designer paint job and the price would make me pass out.


    To each their own...

    speaking of which, my 'poor' man's Rivendell is a Gunnar Sport.
    Got mine years ago for half what they sell for now.
    Last edited by late; 04-06-10 at 07:22 AM.
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  12. #87
    Snapping chain = pain mangosalsa's Avatar
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    I had been riding a 1991 Bridgestone CB1 until I built something else. These were Grant's designs with his time at Bridgestone. The geometry of this frame is the same as the Atlantis. They do not have low-rider fork eyelets, and it doesn't have the dedicated fender mounting tab, but other than that it IS the poor-man's Atlantis. Ridden it with 2" street tires and 2.1 MTB tires off road. Commuted and short toured on it as well. It does everything (All Rounder). If you can find a CB, get one. The CB model that is the "most wanted" would be the Zip model. Here's a post to one set up as a great touring bike. Who'd have thought that a "hybrid" bike design would eventually cause such a stir? Mr. Petersen seems to know what he's doing, eh?
    http://www.daystarbotanicals.com/bic...zip/index.html

    I canceled my Photobucket account, so all of my Cb photos are on the home machine.

  13. #88
    Senior Member ortcutt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by late View Post
    Pointless thread.
    No, not at all. This is fascinating! I'll never stop scratching my head over the way GP inspires so many polemics. (Check out the thread over at 41 on his steel-fork/carbon-fork "swap" offer.)

    It seems to me that his detractors, as represented on this thread, emphasize a single complaint for two different reasons. The complaint is that his frames and bikes are overpriced. The two reasons are (1) that excellent used/"vintage" lugged steel frames are available for considerably less money; and (2) that other manufacturers and bespoke framebuilders offer bikes that are just as good for a lot less money, or that are custom-tailored for little more.

    Now, I salute the bargain hunters of this world, like KonAaron Snake, who know a good deal when they see it and have the knowledge, interest, and spare time necessary to spec out a quality used frame. And I salute the "green" impulse to buy used. But it should go without saying that even among cycling enthusiasts, such people are in a distinct minority. And some posters on this thread seem to believe that it is clearly a "better" -- more rational -- use of one's time and resources to become a knowledgeable buyer and restorer of used bikes, rather than to plop down more cash for a quality bike that looks pretty and "retro." And that's far from obvious to me. In fact, it seems more like snobbery masquerading as consumer advocacy. And there are other reasons one might cite for buying new: e.g., preserving a market, hence a sphere of activity, for builders of lugged-steel frames.

    As for those who regard Rivendell's price/quality ratio as clearly inferior to that of other manufacturers of new bikes, it seems that they're partly right. If you don't care about where and how your parts are sourced -- country of origin, labor standards, balance-of-trade issues, etc. -- then go Taiwanese or Chinese, by all means. My wife and I ride Surlys; we love them; and GP admires Surly's products too, along with various offerings by the big manufacturers (Trek and others). But as is well known, he won't sell Chinese products. Period. He even regrets having mistakenly sold a batch of tape measures made in China (having been misled by their American-flag decorations.) Maybe the neoliberals among us want to skewer him for that. But in any event, I don't see anyone pressing the "free trade" argument very hard.

    As for the availability of custom work by bespoke framebuilders: great. If you have specific ideas you want realized in a one-of-a-kind project, hooray. But I don't see how the availability of alternatives to Rivendell is an argument against liking what they do, in fact, offer.

    However, there are darker suggestions on this thread, to the effect that Petersen is deliberately marking up his products so as to generate "snob appeal." Now, none of us can make him open the company books, so we'll never "know"; but this sounds to me like sheer, malicious fantasy. It's vastly more plausible that his bikes are expensive because his plant, materials, and labor are expensive. Which returns us to the question: Are you willing to pay more for a bike that's produced under GP's chosen conditions?

  14. #89
    Senior Member tjspiel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ortcutt View Post
    ...

    However, there are darker suggestions on this thread, to the effect that Petersen is deliberately marking up his products so as to generate "snob appeal." Now, none of us can make him open the company books, so we'll never "know"; but this sounds to me like sheer, malicious fantasy. It's vastly more plausible that his bikes are expensive because his plant, materials, and labor are expensive. Which returns us to the question: Are you willing to pay more for a bike that's produced under GP's chosen conditions?
    It's probably not an either/or but more likely a bit of both. In my mind there's no question he could produce a less expensive bike that's as good without sourcing from China. Custom lugs for example add no extra intrinsic value. There's also no question that his bikes are more expensive because his labor is more expensive.

    Unfortunately doing the right thing alone won't generate much of a market when the cost to the consumer is going to be double what they'd pay for an already expensive type of bike. So I will say he's been forced to try to appeal to those will larger pocketbooks and to those who take pride in owning things that not everyone can afford.

    I find it very likely that part of the appeal to owning a Rivendell for many buyers is the fact that not that many other people (relatively speaking) own one.
    Last edited by tjspiel; 04-06-10 at 01:44 PM.

  15. #90
    Real Men Ride Ordinaries fuzz2050's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tjspiel View Post
    Custom lugs for example add no extra intrinsic value. There's also no question that his bikes are more expensive because his labor is more expensive.
    well, I suppose Custom lugs are the only way to get the exact right angles without resorting to that horrible kludge that is TIG welding. In my mind is is no less an art to braze two pieces of metal together with a torch than to weld them well using TIG.

  16. #91
    Senior Member ortcutt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tjspiel View Post
    ...In my mind there's no question he could produce a less expensive bike that's as good without sourcing from China. Custom lugs for example add no extra intrinsic value.
    ...In other words, you like other, cheaper frames, that don't use proprietary lugs, better. Hooray! ("Adds no extra intrinsic value" means "adds nothing I like.")

    Quote Originally Posted by tjspiel View Post
    I find it very likely that part of the appeal to owning a Rivendell for many buyers is the fact that not that many other people (relatively speaking) own one.
    ...In other words, you do not understand why other people like bikes you do not like, so therefore it is very likely that they are conspicuous consumers a la Thorstein Veblen. And what gives you this kind of insight into your fellow consumers' souls? Boo!
    Last edited by ortcutt; 04-06-10 at 01:58 PM. Reason: typo correction

  17. #92
    Senior Member tjspiel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ortcutt View Post
    ...In other words, you like other, cheaper frames, that don't use proprietary lugs, better. Hooray! ("Adds no extra intrinsic value" means "adds nothing I like.")
    No it doesn't mean that. Maybe intrinsic was the wrong word. What I meant was that the Riv lugs don't work any better than any lug they could get off the shelf. Their whole reason for using them (according to their website) is to make the bikes uniquely identifiable as Rivendells.

    Quote Originally Posted by ortcutt View Post
    ...In other words, you do not understand why other people like bikes you do not like, so therefore it is very likely that they are conspicuous consumers a la Thorstein Veblen. And what gives you this kind of insight into your fellow consumers' souls? Boo!
    I didn't say every Riv buyer buys them because they are conspicuous consumers. I said that I find it likely that part of the appeal for many buyers is that not many people own them.

    There are people who own a Trek Madone because they want/need a really fast bike, even if it's only a little faster than a bike that costs half as much. There are many people who buy a Madone simply to own a "Madone".

    Do you really think I'm wrong on this one? It has nothing to do with the kind of bikes I like. I'd be happy to own both a Madone and a Riv, but I'm not willing to shell out the money for either.

    Here's a little test. What if you were to take an Atlantis, strip off the paint and repaint it just as nicely, except instead of having Rivendell logos, badges and whatnot on it, you put a Trek or Surly logo on it, and called it the Antartica or something. Do think you could sell it to as many people for the same price even if you told folks that none of parts were sourced from China?
    Last edited by tjspiel; 04-06-10 at 07:47 PM.

  18. #93
    Rustbelt Rider mkeller234's Avatar
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    Orcutt, I agree with you on most points. There is one thing that bugs me regarding Rivendell, not talking about frames, other products they carry are priced higher than their competitors.

    For example:

    MKS touring pedals
    Rivendell - $40.00
    Velo-Orange - $29.50

    Brooks B17 Standard
    Rivendell - $110.00
    Velo-Orange - $96.00

    42-44cm Nitto Noodle Bar
    Rivendell - $70.00
    Velo-Orange - $55.00

    Of course there are exceptions too

    Nitto S-83 Seat post
    Rivendell - $90.00
    Velo-Orange - $105.00

    This is just my observation, and as I tried to show it's not always true.
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    |_..._..._______===|=||_|__|..., ] -
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  19. #94
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    Quote Originally Posted by tjspiel View Post
    Here's a little test. What if you were to take an Atlantis, strip off the paint and repaint it just as nicely, except instead of having Rivendell logos, badges and whatnot on it, you put a Trek or Surly logo on it, and called it the Antartica or something. Do think you could sell it to as many people for the same price even if you told folks that none of parts were sourced from China?
    Probably not. However, I think that is largely irrelavent. The quality of a bike reveals itself over time. Sometimes months or even years. A ride around the block is not a sufficiently powerful test for most consumers to differentiate a higher and lower quality bike. Instead they must rely on the proven quality of a brand that has been demonstrated by hundreds or thousands of users over many years. The "Antartica" would have no such track record for consumers to rely upon.

    Paul

  20. #95
    Senior Member miket.'s Avatar
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    man, earlier in this thread there were a bunch of sweet pics of ppls rides giving me lots inspiration for my own. now it kinda blows, business, dividends, portfolios? where am i?
    -"thats not exactly a top of the line bicycle."
    -"its cool, i'm not exactly a top of the line cyclist."

  21. #96
    Rustbelt Rider mkeller234's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by miket. View Post
    man, earlier in this thread there were a bunch of sweet pics of ppls rides giving me lots inspiration for my own. now it kinda blows, business, dividends, portfolios? where am i?
    Ha, I have been enjoying the discussion. Here is a picture for you:

    |^^^^^^^^^^^^^^| ||
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  22. #97
    Senior Member miket.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mkeller234 View Post
    Ha, I have been enjoying the discussion. Here is a picture for you:

    thats better, way to get those colorful leaves in the shot!
    -"thats not exactly a top of the line bicycle."
    -"its cool, i'm not exactly a top of the line cyclist."

  23. #98
    Senior Member tjspiel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by paul2432 View Post
    Probably not. However, I think that is largely irrelavent. The quality of a bike reveals itself over time. Sometimes months or even years. A ride around the block is not a sufficiently powerful test for most consumers to differentiate a higher and lower quality bike. Instead they must rely on the proven quality of a brand that has been demonstrated by hundreds or thousands of users over many years. The "Antartica" would have no such track record for consumers to rely upon.

    Paul
    No, but Surly and Trek both have track records. In particular Surly has it's own loyal fanbase. Even if instead of calling it the "Antartica" it was named the "Ultra Long Haul Trucker" which is arguably what an Atlantis is anyway, you still wouldn't be able to command the same price.

    Rivendell is recognized as a premium brand among those folks that know about bikes. That in and of itself allows them to charge more. This is hardly a phenomenon unique to the cycling world and it's easy to see why people posting here might think it's a factor in Riv price points. Rather than being malicious, it may simply be logic.
    Last edited by tjspiel; 04-06-10 at 06:30 PM.

  24. #99
    CRIKEY!!!!!!! Cyclaholic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fuzz2050 View Post
    well, I suppose Custom lugs are the only way to get the exact right angles without resorting to that horrible kludge that is TIG welding. In my mind is is no less an art to braze two pieces of metal together with a torch than to weld them well using TIG.
    If you really think TIG is a 'horrible kludge' compared to brazing then you don't know the first thing about welding, or you're just trolling.

  25. #100
    Rustbelt Rider mkeller234's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclaholic View Post
    If you really think TIG is a 'horrible kludge' compared to brazing then you don't know the first thing about welding, or you're just trolling.
    +1, all you have to do is look at a Klein.

    Nice:
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    |......GO.BROWNS........| ||'|";, ___.
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