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Old 06-10-03, 10:40 AM   #1
Maelstrom 
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Hand Made, hand welded etc...

Just curious,

How does everyone here feel about handmade stuff. I mean in a quality level. I can't believe that hand welding is any better than machine welding especially when doing a cost comparrison to machine mass produced jobs. It just doesn't flow in my head right as I have seen just as many broken Rocky's (actually many more if you include trhe rear triangle of the RM series) as I have Giants (mass produced). Is the attraction of 'hand made' the prettier welds, supporting the local welders or can someone really tell me there is a justification for the increase in price?
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Old 06-10-03, 12:43 PM   #2
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Maelstrom have you ever visited a custom manufactured? In any case i did. The story is as follows. A custom builder will take his time (usually) to build a frame up to your measurements. He will paint it to your desire and will fit parts you want. A machine will always weld the same way its programed to. I trust only machines for welding and no i dont want to give excess cash to rocky mountain coz they have this "hand built with easton tubes" hype. Lots of people have broken easton tubes and lots of people have normal tubes broken...so no hype for me. The only companies worth excess cash are Pinarello and Colnago (roadies though) cause they produce by far the most quality frames in comparison with any other manufacturer. Bianchi is a close match. SO no handmade hype for me.
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Old 06-10-03, 12:52 PM   #3
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I would pay more for a handmade from if and only if it was also custom fitted to my specific measurements. For example, I can fit on almost any bike and be able to ride it, however, if I had a load of cash to blow, I go to a custom frame builder and have them make a specific frame designed to fit my short legs/long torsoe, clydesdale self!

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Old 06-10-03, 12:57 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by a2psyklnut
I would pay more for a handmade from if and only if it was also custom fitted to my specific measurements. For example, I can fit on almost any bike and be able to ride it, however, if I had a load of cash to blow, I go to a custom frame builder and have them make a specific frame designed to fit my short legs/long torsoe, clydesdale self!

L8R
Ahhhh now that would be a bonus. Being able to actually get something out of the hand built. hmmmm nice I didn't think of that ...I would love a custom frame built to my specs for my riding and size...
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Old 06-10-03, 01:38 PM   #5
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I would definately agree that having a bike custom fit to your body would be a great thing indeed; something well worth the extra investment. It would be especially worthwhile if you only had to do it once so they could make you a new frame when you broke the one you had, hopefully for less money.

But like Mael said, I don't think these companies are embuing some tribal magic into their frames which keeps them from breaking when you toss your bike over a cliff. While I would love to support good craftsmanship, my wallet is not so thick that it allows me to simply waste money on a principle.

Who has time for principles?!
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Old 06-10-03, 01:44 PM   #6
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The attraction to me is the time that somoene put into it. While the welds might not be any prettier, nor the paint any better if you do it at the right place you'll know the person who built it gave a dam. Besides if you get a frame from the right place and the bike is custom fit it's definately worth it.

www.ifbikes.com mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm
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Old 06-10-03, 01:47 PM   #7
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It's just quality, craftsmanship, and heritage. I'd rather have a person who's been welding for years weld my frame than some machine that cranks out a billion frames a year. The welds look better and generally overall the bike just looks nicer to me. It's as much of an artistic thing as anything else.
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Old 06-10-03, 01:50 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by Jim311
It's just quality, craftsmanship, and heritage. I'd rather have a person who's been welding for years weld my frame than some machine that cranks out a billion frames a year. The welds look better and generally overall the bike just looks nicer to me. It's as much of an artistic thing as anything else.
That might be why. At heart I am just a brute. I look at art as overpriced wall furniture (maybe not that extreme but you get the idea)...that may be where my dislike for overpriced handbuilts come in to play.
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Old 06-10-03, 01:50 PM   #9
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Well, as long as the welder didn't just get into a fight with his girlfriend and is hungover from the night before!

It's a two edged sword. On one hand, a human can verify that all the tubes are mitered correctly and can put together a very nice frame, but there is also a larger margin of error.

I still vote for Custom Fit!

Oh wait, we didn't do a poll!

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Old 06-10-03, 02:38 PM   #10
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Machine welder for me.... unless like a2 said i could built by owwwwwwn spec bike to be able to cope with my riding and size.
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Old 06-10-03, 03:23 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by DiL
While I would love to support good craftsmanship, my wallet is not so thick that it allows me to simply waste money on a principle.

Who has time for principles?!
haha so true... kind of like buying overpriced parts at the LBS (not that i dont like to support my LBS, just saying).
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Old 06-10-03, 05:01 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by tFUnK
kind of like buying overpriced parts at the LBS
If someone buys the part, it isn't overpriced...



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Old 06-10-03, 06:53 PM   #13
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this is a funny subject to me. (as in, it makes me laugh)

first off, frames break. if you ride hard enough, something is going to give.

I have ridden mass-made frames that I didn't break but I've seen hand built frames break (I've never broke one, but I only owned one)

that one hand built frame had more problems with it than the mass made ones.
it was made in the USA too. (i could really care less)

The only reason I see buying a hand build frame is if you can get it custom made to your specs. otherwise, who cares? they often cost more and, if you ride hard, will break.

this is more apparent in the bmx/mnt bike world. road bikes last for ever.

I currently have a Macneil bmx frame. made in tiawan. the welds on that frame are as nice if not nicer than ANY frame I've ever ridden.
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Old 06-10-03, 07:11 PM   #14
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My understanding, from talking to reps, is that most bike shop frames(Giant, Specialized, etc.) are hand welded. The work is assembly line, a guy cuts and miters the tubes, a guy sticks them in a jig and a guy welds them up. So they are hand massed produced.
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Old 06-10-03, 07:13 PM   #15
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Makes sense. And then more than likely have a jig with sensors to test weld strength and proper geometry. We used to do this in the weld shop I worked for that mass produced car parts
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Old 06-10-03, 07:19 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally posted by pnj
I currently have a Macneil bmx frame. made in tiawan. the welds on that frame are as nice if not nicer than ANY frame I've ever ridden.
Sweet. I am sooo close to wanting one. I love practicing stuff on bmx I am just searching for one that fits a 6'5 guy...My cousins isn't bad but just a crack bigger would be nice
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Old 06-11-03, 03:11 AM   #17
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With a custom frame, its not only the geometry that you can pic. If you are a flyweight guy with a responsive riding style, you dont need a bike designed for an overweight guy, with a 50$ safety factor. You can have it built much lighter. You can specify braze-ons, eg fit extra water bottles, rack and fender fittings, chose your cable routing.
Factory production bikes are usually mass-market designs. If you want a different style, such as a singlespeed or off-road touring bike, you are better off with a smaller frame-builder.
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Old 06-11-03, 04:24 AM   #18
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Why a hand welded frame?

Obviously not all of us can afford a custom-made frame, but i know for sure that i appreciate good craftsmanship and attention to detail as much as i appreciate low prices. Ask an avid fly fisherman why he chooses to use a handmade bamboo rod instead of the latest greatest G Loomis IM6 Graphite. Its all in the spirit. Sound gay? Well its not, because its much easier to attach to something that you feel came from good craftmanship and hard work. Will it perform better? Maybe not. Look better? Maybe not. But its a one-of-a-kind work of art. Some of us think of bikes as machines and toys. Others think of them as companions. I love my bike.
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Old 06-11-03, 10:45 AM   #19
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Just to stir the pot, I have had a variety of bikes over the years, some boutique domestic and some Taiwanese "mass-production".

I also have had a few frames fail here and there.

All of the frames that have broken have been boutique domestic frames, a Merlin XLM, a Mantis Pro-Floater and a Kestrel.
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Old 06-11-03, 11:10 AM   #20
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For whoever was ripping on rocky mountain, I hop you have actually read through their site. http://www.bikes.com/how/process.asp
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Old 06-11-03, 11:23 AM   #21
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Originally posted by KleinMp99
For whoever was ripping on rocky mountain, I hop you have actually read through their site. http://www.bikes.com/how/process.asp
I am guessing that would be me (as I think I am the only one who mentioned rocky) and I got to visit the factory (http://www.bikes.com/how/tour.asp). Even after reading that I am sure I would not spend the money on an overpriced bike that the r&d has been payed for. Their RM series (6 through 9) is as expensive as some of the best dh and freeride frames in the world but they aen't as good. Talk to any freerider with over a years experience on an RM7 and they won't usually recommend this bike as it has a sloppy rear end and the shock blowing out isn't uncommon. For the cost of the Intense DH Team bike you would have just bought a bike in the quality range of Norco.

I do think they have some great bikes, I just can't see a reason to spend 400$ cdn more to make all things equal. Unless of course you love Rocky. I just hope the rumours are true about Wade Simmons. He re-signed with Rocky under the condition that they do a full redesign of their freeride line. Please let that be true...

I was just generalizing as Rocky was the first company to come to mind that hand builds frames.
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Old 06-11-03, 01:07 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally posted by BurlySurly
Why a hand welded frame?

Obviously not all of us can afford a custom-made frame, but i know for sure that i appreciate good craftsmanship and attention to detail as much as i appreciate low prices. Ask an avid fly fisherman why he chooses to use a handmade bamboo rod instead of the latest greatest G Loomis IM6 Graphite. Its all in the spirit. Sound gay? Well its not, because its much easier to attach to something that you feel came from good craftmanship and hard work. Will it perform better? Maybe not. Look better? Maybe not. But its a one-of-a-kind work of art. Some of us think of bikes as machines and toys. Others think of them as companions. I love my bike.
You don't ride your fly rod over 6' gaps. It seems to me that art is only wasted on something with a few year life span.
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Old 06-11-03, 01:37 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally posted by DiL
You don't ride your fly rod over 6' gaps. It seems to me that art is only wasted on something with a few year life span.
No, but i take my FOES off of stuff a hell of a lot bigger than 6 measly feet, with full confidence.
Your analogy makes no sense by the way...
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Old 06-11-03, 02:03 PM   #24
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Originally posted by BurlySurly
No, but i take my FOES off of stuff a hell of a lot bigger than 6 measly feet, with full confidence.
Your analogy makes no sense by the way...
Hell of alot bigger than 6 measly feet? You must be a pro.

Quote:
Originally posted by Maelstrom
Their RM series (6 through 9) is as expensive as some of the best dh and freeride frames in the world but they aen't as good. Talk to any freerider with over a years experience on an RM7 and they won't usually recommend this bike as it has a sloppy rear end and the shock blowing out isn't uncommon. For the cost of the Intense DH Team bike you would have just bought a bike in the quality range of Norco.

Why arent they as good....just because the best pro's dont use them? The sloppy rear end was done away with this year.....think it was new bearings or something. The whole arguement about intense vs rocky with norco thrown in is just so insane that I cant even reply. Quality range of norco....whats wrong with them? They use the same suspension as the intense....and ummm who freerides with an M1 anyway....thats where rocky comes in. I dont know what to say...its like comparing a road bike to a mountain bike, or something.

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Old 06-11-03, 02:35 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally posted by KleinMp99
Why arent they as good....just because the best pro's dont use them? The sloppy rear end was done away with this year.....think it was new bearings or something. The whole arguement about intense vs rocky with norco thrown in is just so insane that I cant even reply. Quality range of norco....whats wrong with them? They use the same suspension as the intense....and ummm who freerides with an M1 anyway....thats where rocky comes in. I dont know what to say...its like comparing a road bike to a mountain bike, or something.
Umm...I like Norcos...nothing is wrong with them...In fact I think their frames have one of the best pricepoints on the market right now. I even like Rocky's but don't think they are worth the money you pay for them. That was my point to the thread. If they fixed the sloppy rear end, congrats thats cool but that won't help the fact that going big tends to blow the shock more often then an average fsr or 4 bar design.

My point with the Rocky vs Norco Vs Intense smart ass is that Rocky is claimed and Priced to be the quality of intense and isn't and should be priced closer to the Norco high end frames. Sorry I didn't make that clear for you.
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