I've been tossing around the idea that I would like to learn framebuilding, practice it as a hobby, and maybe supplement my income.
From a business standpoint I don't see how custom hand-built bikes can survive the onslaught of inexpensive frames coming from the pacific rim. I can't imagine how many hours go into building a high quality and aesthetically pleasing bike. Certainly many more then a razor thin profit margin will allow.
It seems to me the current state of the hand-built market is artesian centric that serves a fairly affluent segment where only those with exceptional talent coupled with extraordinary artistic ability are able to survive.
Is this the future of independent frame-builders?
Is it possible overseas shipping costs eventually allow independent frame-builders get a foothold and eek out a living?