Time for a change.
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: 6 miles inland from the coast of Sussex, in the South East of England
Bikes: Dale MT2000. Bianchi FS920 Kona Explosif. Giant TCR C. Boreas Ignis. Pinarello Fp Uno.
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Many moons ago I was in Karting, and had my own business as a mechanic. This is one of the sport where personal engineering skills come into the final product. I used to design all my parts for my use and then have them Manufactured by people that I could trust to make them properly to my specs and design. I could bend the frame tubes and tack them but I used a top quality welder with better skills than me to do the job properly. Similarly on the components. I could design all the parts but did not have a $100,000 lathe at the back of the workshop. No!! I found it better and safer to have other people with better skills to manufacture my parts. However- I would not let any one else rebuild engines, and my customers knew this and my reputaion was that My engines were Fast and never failed. Along with the Karts themselves that were built properly in the first place.
When it comes to Tandems, or bikes in general, I find that it is difficult to find a part that is not adequate that is not on the market already. Even when it comes to wheel building- I cannot build a wheel as good as my wheelbuilder. I build a wheel that to me is perfect- as good as I can get it, then pass it over to him to check and true, and once he has finished with it, it IS truer, it does ride better, and as he keeps on telling me- he could have built the hub onto a rim for less than I paid, and he would have used a better quality spoke than I used. Why bother?
What it comes down to is that Bike components are good, within reason according to price. What is not good though is the way bikes are put together. My mechanicing skills still come into the final product. That coupled with my experience choosing the parts in the first place, means that I have a Bikes(S) that are always in top condition, always ready for a ride, and NEVER let me down.