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Old 01-17-13, 08:53 AM   #26
Burton
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On another note - there HAVE been limited production PARTS produced by several independent companies - Straitline, Hope, Chris King and Race Face for example. Not numbered with serial numbers per say, but the numbers are probably available.
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Old 01-17-13, 09:50 AM   #27
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On another note - there HAVE been limited production PARTS produced by several independent companies - Straitline, Hope, Chris King and Race Face for example. Not numbered with serial numbers per say, but the numbers are probably available.
Absolutely. I remember back in the '90s, when there were all kinds of small, domestic shops kicking out cool, often CNC'd MTB stuff, like Precision Billet, Paul's, Machine Tek, Joe's, Grafton, Magic, etc. Some, like Ringlé, got pretty big, but most were small production and hard to find, but sought after. Still today, these bits command a premium on the used market, largely due to their appeal to the collector market, which exists in the bike world just as it does everywhere.

Relatedly, I was poking around the internet the other day and came across some limited edition, matched, vintage reissue design, clothing kits consisting of jersey, hat and socks. Pricey, but kind of cool, another indicator (like the Colnago 80 mentioned earlier) that some in the industry believe there is market value in promoting scarcity to cyclists.
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Old 01-19-13, 09:46 AM   #28
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The information is probably not readily available because most riders don't care. Most riders are more concerned about fit and function than exclusivity. Lets say I a going to buy a new car. Unless I am an enthusiast looking for something special I am not going to care how many of that model were made and which one I got. I am going to be looking at price, reliability, mileage, and does it fit my needs. Same with bikes. If it is good quality for the price and fits the rider's needs they don't care how many were made.
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Old 01-19-13, 11:41 AM   #29
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I have a Porsche 928, and in 928 circles, we know exactly how many of each model were produced when, exported where, and with what option packages. Knowing the specifics is a point of interest. Being interested to know particulars, or assigning intellectual value to them, does not stop us from changing the wheels, redoing interiors, customizing bodywork, or even modding the motors. We also drive them.
Porsche is a publicly traded company. Public companies publish monthly and annual production figures for their current and prospective shareholders. As far as I know, all car manufacturers of any significance are public.

The situation in the bicycle world is nearly opposite. Almost all notable bicycle manufacturers are private. The only exception that I know of is that Cannondale, GT and Schwinn are owned by Dorel (a public company that is traded in Canada.) Unfortunately, as far as I can tell, Dorel has a wide enough spectrum of interests that it does not report sales of individual brands. Most others, starting from Specialized and ending with Cervelo and Colnago, are private and have no need to report anything to anyone.
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Old 01-19-13, 12:19 PM   #30
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Taiwan has a few contract manufacturers making multiple brands for a large number of importers,
under different brand names.
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Old 01-19-13, 01:15 PM   #31
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You're touching on a point here I haven't thought about. I'm probably an oddity in the bike world in the sense that when I thought about building a touring bike, I was also considering the look. Like, choosing an Origin8 "Classic" seatpost and beige colored saddle and grips (and this with a green metallic Nashbar touring frame). (I even looked for cream colored tires even though that was a little bit of a challenge.)

If I ever have the money to have a company like Shimano build an entire 8 speed Deore friction shifter trekking groupset, it would be cool to have them in numbered boxes. I never realized that some companies could build only 150 examples of a bicycle. Heck, someone here said Salsa (if I remember correctly) didn't make that many frames in a year.

In a way, I find it encouraging that companies could produce only 150 units of a model. I wish one day I could produce a bicycle for real commuting. I mean a bike with a backrack, panniers, fenders, chainguard, a dynamo hub producing 3 watts and front and rear dynamo lights. At this point, I'm thinking with an upright riding position and suspension forks. True, maybe they wouldn't sell quickly with all the added accessories but the bikes would be marketed as complete commuter bikes.
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Old 01-19-13, 10:53 PM   #32
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Heck, someone here said Salsa (if I remember correctly) didn't make that many frames in a year.
You should fact check that, because I think that's impossibly low. I mean, I must have seen at least 10 Mukluks alone go through my LBS in the past few months, plus a single speeder and at least 2 Vayas. Maybe in the old days, when Ross Shafer was still there, like in the late 80s- early 90s, before the QBP buyout, they did numbers like that, but not now.

Oh, here's a quick search result where someone at Salsa, back in '07, says they're in the 500-5,000 bikes per year range, hoping to crack the 5k level: http://salsacycles.com/culture/inter...try_life_cycle

Again, I'm not a "smaller is better" ideologue, I'm just looking at facts. I'd like to have a cool blue and black Salsa Beargrease in the stable, in fact, but if I was torn between that and an equally capable alternative, it would be helpful for me to know if I'm looking at a 1 of 1000, or a 1 of 10, because then I have a clear point of distinction.
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