hey builders. are any of you near the NYC metro area?
as I posted over in Road Cycling, I have learned that I really need to sit down with someone, have some conversation, and learn about options before I buy. I'm pretty sure of most of the design choices, but I need to chat with the builder.
I had hoped to get one of Pelizzoli's (very affordable) frames, but its becoming clear that I'll get a better result for the first go-round if I do it face to face.
I'm looking for an aggressive, race worthy steel frame that will be better for me than just buying some 90s steel frame off eBay...from someone who will answer some questions and guide me through the process.
and I'd be really psyched if I could hang around and watch the build.
I learned never to let people watch me work because I'm constantly cussing. Me: "dang it!" Customer, "what? what?!" Me: "my nose itches"
Andrew R Stewart
The first frame I built was for a shop customer. As he watched one day he asked how many I had built before... Many years later he fessed up that he knew I was a newbie.
The desire to sit face to face with a builder and talk through the process, choices, is a good one but might not be fully realistic. It will take time and induce an obligation that carries it's own cost. Are you willing to follow up on this completely. What if you and the builder butt heads? The asking for a consulting fee is a touchy subject. Andy.
just to be clear - i would be planning to buy the frame from that person, not just pump them for information and go. me hanging around in the shop would be just for fun. if the guy felt like it interfered with his process, i would respect that.
Originally Posted by Andrew R Stewart
but - anyone is going to have to be willing to chat with me a bit before the build, don't you agree?
i'm a lawyer, also a service industry, and i see consultations as a cost of doing business. it's a similar thing, actually. they're coming to me and i'm asking them to trust me with a fairly large (less than a bike by far, though) expense. The consultation is part of making people feel comfortable with my skills.
there are plenty of people who "window shop" though - come in for a consultation just to try to get free advice, and then never call back. thats why i have to limit them somewhat.
anyway, i just want to chat with someone about what tubes i should get and what kinds of little options he or she can do.
Don't know if he does frame building, but the guy who owns 718cyclery (www.718c.com) might be able to point you in the right direction. He does bike builds; I'm hoping to do one with him later this month, actually.
You could also ask Fast Boy: http://www.fastboycycles.com/index.html
this is pretty interesting insight, how do you propose someone like a framebuilder handle over-long consultations? You probably set a time limit up front.
Originally Posted by Inertianinja
i do mine based on the way doctors handle new patients, and i think you could do the same thing. for example, if you have a health problem and you call a doctor's office, you don't speak to the doctor....and certainly nobody attempts to diagnose you, quote you prices, or give you medical advice over the phone. you come in for a consultation.
Originally Posted by unterhausen
if i were a frame builder:
- Client calls - don't discuss the potential build on the phone. Schedule an in-person meeting, and give them homework so you can have a "productive" meeting. ("think about what type of riding you do, bring your current bike that fits you, custom bikes you've seen that you like, bring pictures, etc)
- Tell them that these take "about an hour."
- Have questions prepared. Draw out from them the things you need to know, and then you can guide them to a decision. Take notes.
- End the meeting, tell them you'll look into any unusual requests, and get back to them with a price.
As a side note, you also have to clearly define your services (for you, the build. for me, the scope of my representation) in writing before you start. agree beforehand what happens in the event that either you or they need to change something.
as i'm writing this i'm thinking that i could probably create some standard paperwork for frame builders...like if everyone told me their top 5 biggest problems, you could deal with them in a pre-build contract.
i learned the hard way that if you just sit with people, they will take up your whole day, and then go somewhere else. note, i did not intend to do that to my potential frame builder
To directly answer your question, I know of a few builders in the NYC metro area. I have not ridden any of their work, so this is just based on reputation:
Seth Rosko builds a lot of BMX but also does road. http://rosko.cc
Fast Boy looks like he builds for people looking for a more "traditional" style. http://www.fastboycycles.com/
Johnny Coast builds very nice looking frames. http://www.johnnycoast.com/
The problem with the consultation models is that in the industries mentioned people are used to heavy fees. When I used to hire lawyers, the prices were in the 300-500 hr range, and all you got was a monthly bill for services rendered. The largest bill I ever personally paid was 400K, and it was not itemized or anything, but at least my side of the business deal was a lot richer so I didn't question it. Sure other situations like houses and stuff I sweated the nickels.
The problem with the arty crafty types is they normally don't get paid fair shop rates for the work they do to start with. Then people think these magical jobs are so cool they want to chat it up for a while, or as in this case may even need specific advice to get the fit and build right. But the model does not really account for that. For shop rates there is normally no real consultation. You go in to get your brakes done or a small welding job. The guy nails you 100 an hour, or something, and there isn't a whole courtship ritual and hand holding phase. And unlike the doctors and lawyers there isn't a gravy phase to fill out the bill.