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  1. #1
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    how much would you pay

    for a custom fitted hand made lugged track bike from a guy who has only made a few bikes? i was thinkin about selling handmade bikes since i love em to death, but i cant just pump off enough till i think i have "enough" experience. what if they came with some sort of garantee?

  2. #2
    MADE IN TAIWAN wangster's Avatar
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    You can get experience and practice by building me one for free...I'll even spread the word of your legendary skillz...

  3. #3
    members only crust & crumb's Avatar
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    while you're still gaining experience, i think a reasonable price would be the cost of materials (tubing, lugs etc) plus maybe $75 per frame. after you've established yourself, the sky's the limit, i suppose.
    "Fixed gear ain't all tight pants and hand claps."

    -mc

  4. #4
    loser
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    for the first 2 or three I'd say sell at materials cost (include a little extra for gas, brass/silver, sand paper - you know, consumables). You're asking those forst few people to trust you with their $300, or whatever, and fund your education, and they still have to have the things painted.
    or - find and aspiring guitar (or insert item of your choice) builder and trade. that might be fun.
    raise your fee as the market allows (ie only so much that you can stay busy 40 hours a week. when you get backlogged, that's when you really start jacking the price up.
    just thinking out loud.

  5. #5
    members only crust & crumb's Avatar
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    elliottw: what are your thoughts thus far?
    "Fixed gear ain't all tight pants and hand claps."

    -mc

  6. #6
    MADE IN TAIWAN wangster's Avatar
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    Yeah, what do u think? I sent you a pm, but never heard back. If you post or sent some photos, I'd be interested, and perhaps others. Let us know.
    "Oh, I see. Running away, eh? You yellow bastard. Come back here and take what's coming to you. I'll bite your legs off."

  7. #7
    eibwen
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    Like crust & crumb and wangster, I'm also interested in seeing where this thread goes.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Bing's Avatar
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    Not to mention the opinions his framebuilding brethren would hold for him by driving the value of handmade down even further.

    Ask any established f/b what they got in return for 'free' frames they gave out early in their careers. Most that I've talked to have said that the riders in question told their buddies something along the line of, ".....I know it's not the Colnago that I really wanted, but I got it for free to help the guy out......"

    You want free? Go to your LBS and ask for a free one. Promise to talk it up around the mid-ride coffee stop. Promise them the moon.

    And then dust your pants off when they throw your ass outta the store.

  9. #9
    MADE IN TAIWAN wangster's Avatar
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    dudes, it was only meant as a joke, so please calm down a bit. I have nothing but respect for builder and would never seriously ask for a free frame. I too think that he should not give away anything, or even trade. I did pm him about sending me pictures and letting me know how much he's thinking because i've been wanting a custom. I told him to quote me with materials and labor, but he never replies so i'm assuming he's not interested.

    Sometimes people like to joke around on this forum, so please don't jump to any conclusions before you get all the facts. Sorry if I offened you guys, but next time, please just take it easy, no one here is trying to disrespect anyone.
    "Oh, I see. Running away, eh? You yellow bastard. Come back here and take what's coming to you. I'll bite your legs off."

  10. #10
    Senior Member Bing's Avatar
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    The other thing that is rarely mentioned is what a tremendous value a custom bike really is. In many cases a custom f&f is priced about the same, or maybe even less, than the off-the-rack production bike at the LBS.

    But with the custom you typically get an extensive fitting/interview process to tailor the bike not only to your physical dimensions, but also to your riding strengths, style and needs. The custom builder will often choose from a number of tube manufacturers, to best choose what size, wall thickness, butting profile for you. The ST and TT dimensions will be to the mm, if the builder believes you need a 535 mm ST, you're not going to choose either a 530 or a 540 because that's what's closest in the model range.

    Look at the other things that people can buy 'custom'; suits, shoes, shirts, watches. Any one of them costs several times what the factory made item in the stores does.

    That's why framebuilders get their knickers in a bunch when someone suggest 'free', even if it's a joke.

  11. #11
    ya'll can't mush me vomitron's Avatar
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    I think there's a bit of romanticism being applied to building frames.

    Yeah, building frames is hard. Really hard. Harder than what most people choose to do with their lives. Is it harder than, say, custom software design? What about network design, or security auditing? If you custom-tailor the network, or the software to what the person wants, it can be quite an involved process, and there's no one way to do it. But are these things as romantic as building bicycles? Maybe not.

    People have asked me to do those things for free maybe a billion times, and in a lot of cases I have. Why? Because I know what I'm doing, and I feel as though a lot don't. I want people to be happy, and I don't think of myself as some sort of god that's beyond giving things away. I don't mind doing things for people I know, so I figure, hey, I love doing this craft (building bikes, securing networks, writing software, making model airplanes whatever), why not make some other people happy too? Sure, I've gotten paid for it, but that's the nature of the society we live in. Sometimes we have to do things to survive. Does that mean I should get my panties in a bunch when someone suggests otherwise? No.

    If you feel you're good enough at what you do that giving it away for free (or even being asked to do so) is an insult, then that's just fine. You have that right. You also have the right to just then not do it (or just say "no"). I don't think going off on him is justified.

    Bottom line: You make things that a lot of people don't. You take pride in your work, and you think you're worth more than nothing. You're in the same boat that a lot of skilled workers are. That doesn't give you the right to come down on someone for asking for something for free.

    Disclaimer: I know he was joking, and that makes your response even more reactionary.

  12. #12
    cxmagazine dot com pitboss's Avatar
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    Let me pose this to all the schwag-grubbers out there:
    Why not send me $300? You know, for free? I could tell everyone how cool you are and talk you up around town and what have you.

    If I built frames, I would let the quality of the frames I built speak for themselves (note: remember, this is hypothetical for me).
    On the flip side, I think we all can appreciate getting something for free. But what is the value of what you are returning? Show equivalent return. Free...ha. Hardly ever is something free for both parties involved.
    Get a better job to buy the things you need RIGHT the first time.

    I hear the free crap all the time too - but from computer geeks. And I tell them the same thing: No. And the response is usually "Then you'll never sell anything." Odd - the company I work for is one of the largest competitors in the tech industry today...

    You want quality bike frame/part manufacturers to stick around? Pay for their stuff.
    Deathlap - cyclocross, training, beer,...escape hatch

  13. #13
    MADE IN TAIWAN wangster's Avatar
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    Look, I'm sorry I started such a sh*t storm. I did pm him right after about PAYING him for a frame, but he obviously isn't interested because i've yet to recieve a reply, which is good manners btw.
    Don, I'm sorry that you had to deal with a-hole racers that think they deserve something that they obviously don't but I want to make it clear that I have enough sense to never ask it seriously or at all infront of a builder's face. As someone who also provides a very expensive, time consuming, and complicated service(architect). I know that when my friends ask me to design them a house for free that they are kidding and wouldn't take it to heart. I was merely kidding and just felt that eventhough you figured i was kidding, you wanted to make an example of me and my comment. I don't mind being scolded once in a while, but only when i deserve it. So once again, I didn't mean any disrespect to anyone's skills, so if i offended anyone, i'm sorry.

    Now, let get back to the original question at hand because i'm also curious. I'd like to hear what don has to say because he's a veteran builder and would know how much a new building should charge or go about starting a careerer.
    "Oh, I see. Running away, eh? You yellow bastard. Come back here and take what's coming to you. I'll bite your legs off."

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