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  1. #1
    Don't really have a bike. craigcraigcraig's Avatar
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    Where to find a set of s&s couplers?

    I am curious on my options to find a set of couplers to be retrofitted to my bicycle. I searched google but couldn't seem to find an outlet to get only the couplers.

    Thanks a lot for any tips
    Craig

  2. #2
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    sands machine, but they only sell to insured professionals. If that isn't you, thee are other options one for making bikes that come apart.

  3. #3
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    not only do you need to be insured, but you have to have a web site or brochure.

  4. #4
    Don't really have a bike. craigcraigcraig's Avatar
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    Well shoot. My situation is I know a frame builder but his shop is temporarily closed while he is moving so he can't order them. Could i get them from another frame builder somehow?

  5. #5
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    Many builders can and will retrofit them for you, none should be selling you gray market pieces if they value their relationship with S&S.

    As hinted at previously there are other ways to couple frames.

  6. #6
    Don't really have a bike. craigcraigcraig's Avatar
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    what are the other options?

  7. #7
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    google: rene herse demountable

  8. #8
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    Bike Friday, apply some of those ideas to larger bikes.

    Rene Herse

    http://www.43bikes.com/herse-demountable.html

    Jalon Hawk

    Travelite_Apart.jpg

    OS_Link_Pin_Puller_2.jpeg

  9. #9
    Old fart JohnDThompson's Avatar
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    There was a discussion on this on the Framebuilder's mailing list a month or so ago. S&S has their reasons for wanting to restrict distribution and they should be honored. There are other methods of accomplishing the same thing that do not involve the S&S system:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/bensond...7601730455819/

  10. #10
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    "S&S has their reasons for wanting to restrict distribution and they should be honored."

    I don't see that. They have their problems, the rest of us have ours. If one could get a set advertising on the Portland Craigslist with a healthy overpayment, I don't see why one shouldn't. Basically they have an insurance problem. I get that. No laws are being broken by installing these things outside of that envelope. Even their insurance company is probably relatively OK if some home dude buys one in the grey market installs it and gets the chop. That sounds as good to me as a 1K builder's insurance coverage, that probably isn't coming to the party anyway. The real solution would be for them to license the production to someone with real capacity to produce them, and enough skin in the game. You know, someone in China. China, by the way, buys more high end CNC than the rest of the world put together.
    Last edited by NoReg; 03-21-11 at 03:35 PM.

  11. #11
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    I would argue that you can in fact get a set with a healthy over payment at any time by having them retrofit to a frame by an approved builder.
    Nothing wrong with using them if you can get them, but why would those who can get them want to endanger their relationship with the sole supplier by selling them on a miniscule secondary market.

    They have (or had) a slightly more relaxed set of rules if a framebuilder is just building a personal bike (FWIW)

    You seem to indicate production capacity is the issue, not sure I can believe that. I would guess that if demand was actually high enough to warrant the kind of production capacity you seem to be championing somebody would be in the game already with a fancy coupler system for anybody that wanted one.

  12. #12
    Randomhead
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    I don't think you are going to find a set on the gray market. If you can't find a framebuilder that will do it for you or are unwilling to pay them, make a demountable or make your own design couplers. I've actually been thinking about this, it's not exactly rocket science.

  13. #13
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    "They have (or had) a slightly more relaxed set of rules if a framebuilder is just building a personal bike (FWIW)"

    I didn't find that. I got into it with them about a year ago, and that is what it sounded like, buy a single set, commit to not resell the bike, I thought that would be just fine. But I forget what the snag was, and it turned out that it wasn't possible.

    "You seem to indicate production capacity is the issue, not sure I can believe that. I would guess that if demand was actually high enough to warrant the kind of production capacity you seem to be championing somebody would be in the game already with a fancy coupler system for anybody that wanted one. "

    I think it is part of the problem. I'm guessing:

    1) Liability wise it sounds as though this isn't their only business so it is kinda an uneconomic risk for them to take and threaten the rest of what they do. They are proud of their product, and keep it out there. They would have little risk if they licensed it to someone who was actually in the business for real. That said, I don't know it isn't 95% of their business.

    2) The cost is horrendous, if they made a derailleur it would cost $7000. Drop the price, and this product would be on a ton of bikes. It's 25 bucks at most. Then it just becomes like any other part, and isn't any particularly more likely to attract liability to whoever is left selling it. I am actually a little surprised that someone hasn't ripped it off yet, or come up with something similar and simpler to make.

    It's an interesting question about the gray market. If the idea is that from the Insurance company's perspective the fact the builder has insurance is an extra layer, then I don't see how that changes if the reseller sells them. During an accident (what accident?) the end user could still go through that second layer. Anyway, who is to say S&S wants this. According to them the insurance company made them do it. But if someone wants to go behind their back and not tell them, and make sales for them, what's the biggie. It could be a builder with a brochure who never uses S&S in his own practice, and doesn't care. Buys a slug of them and sell them on fleabay.

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    "I don't think you are going to find a set on the gray market. If you can't find a framebuilder that will do it for you or are unwilling to pay them, make a demountable or make your own design couplers. I've actually been thinking about this, it's not exactly rocket science. "

    Well as you can see I have given a good deal of thought to the former. I will be interested to see what you come up with.

    I have a strong opinion about insurance, and the trend towards making the framebuilding thing the exclusive domain of some people who want to adjust the industry to their own image. S&S has not only made their personal decision, but affected policies of a number of other suppliers. I respect what S&S does, but I don't like it and would be happy to see the pendulum swing in another direction. My experience in a lot of other fields is that it often turns out that the real business is a hobby, and the hobby is the real business. We will see how it turns out in this case, but I am against the idea of restricting trade to amateurs. If bikes were invented today, they would never get on our roads, and apparently we are part of the problem as regards that kind of thinking today.

  15. #15
    Old fart JohnDThompson's Avatar
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    So what exactly is the problem with using the Herse demountable system instead of the proprietary S&S system?

  16. #16
    Don't really have a bike. craigcraigcraig's Avatar
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    I am more interested in the ease and simplicity of the S&S system. Granted, the other systems are simple as well but would require much more work. Also the problem with this is the guy that would be doing the work is a framebuilder by trade just not in business at the moment. So he doesn't qualify to get the couplers himself. I called Bilenky as I was told that they have sold to amateurs before but they wouldn't ship to me. I may call some more local shops and see what they see but i'm sure they just want me to get my bike done there instead of me just getting the couplers from them.

  17. #17
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    They are nice looking almost worth it if they weren't functional.

  18. #18
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    Check this out. I think he manages to make non-S&S look cool. He is Bike Friday trained. Not trying to sell you on the recumbent, but his sleeves look cool, the colour change, etc...

    Problem is that folks who can pull this kind of thing off probably have more on the ball than the pure I-got-a-rider-on-my-insurance,-and-my-cousin's-a-web-designer guys.

    Something more relevant perhaps:

    http://www.bikerevuk.com/bikepics/rob/mtb.htm

    Again, bike friday thinking out of the box.

    I told him he got this idea from me... He didn't dignify me with a response.

    http://www.bikerevuk.com/bikepics/tike/tike.htm

  19. #19
    Don't really have a bike. craigcraigcraig's Avatar
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    That looks like the best design compared to the s&s to my untrained eye. But that solution would make retrofitting my bike a nightmare and would have to redesign the entire rear triangle.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peterpan1 View Post
    "They have (or had) a slightly more relaxed set of rules if a framebuilder is just building a personal bike (FWIW)"
    from my discussion with S&S:

    Hi Erik

    Thank you for your inquiry regarding S and S Couplings. If you are building and selling bicycle frames as a business and we have a means of confirming it, that is the most important factor. Insurance to build frames is also required if you intend to sell the frames to others. In other words, if you are not insured and you are a pro and want to build for yourself, we would sell to you for your own personal use once we verified you are a pro builder.

    Take care

  21. #21
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    Retrofiting is another mater, not many options there.

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