[CR]Re:CR Never Pay first for a Picchio


Example: Production Builders:Tonard
From: <CYCLESTORE@aol.com>
To: classicrendezvous@bikelist.org, CYCLESTORE@aol.com
Subject: [CR]Re:CR Never Pay first for a Picchio
Date: Wed, 18 Dec 2002 01:34:07 EST

In a message dated 12/17/02 1:06:59 AM, classicrendezvous-request@bikelist.org writes:

Snip << Message: 2 Date: Mon, 16 Dec 2002 12:46:33 -0800 From: "Arthur Yow" <art_yow@flad.com> Organization: Flad & Associates To: Classic Bike Rendezvous <classicrendezvous@bikelist.org> Subject: [CR]Picchio Bike Frames

Picchio's were particularly impressive to him, but unknown in the states. I travelled to Italy and met with Signore Picchio at his shop in Torino.

I ordered two of his road racing frames (which took almost a year for delivery! never, never, never pay first and wait for a bike frame from any shop!). Picchio is an old master frame builder, very respected in Italy. I believe that he has mentored several notable Italian frame builders.

As for handling, I am selling my classic Colnago of the 80's, but not my Picchio; it handles beautifully, despite its tight geometry!!! Ciao! Art Yow >>End Snip

Howdy Art & All,

I too have seen a few Picchio's and was very impressed. On the "never, never, never pay first and wait for a bike frame from any shop" comment I must ask, did you feel that paying first slowed the delivery (a year for two frames/bikes)?

I assume you were dealing directly with the frame builder. It seems with the end product you were very satisfied. It would be anybody's disappointment to order something special and wait a year if much less delivery time was expected.

In the bike business some small vendors require not on some money up front but all the money up front. The reasons vary but even very large vendors require advance payment for special projects from customers that they have had few dealings with.

It has been my experience if you want a very special product, something built to measure or ordered and built with you in mind, and you have no previous relationship purchasing such an item it is generally money up front and wait a good while. The time element on hand built products depends on the backlog. If you want something sought after (a Richard Sachs product comes to mind) and someone is ahead of you well, you wait your turn.

Even simple things you might want that are easily available in some form from someone else can take a while. I was suprised to learn this summer a good friend and home towner of esteemed list leader Dale Brown (and friend of me self too) would drive 80 miles to my shop for some routine cycle service not because Dale's shop didn't do great work, but was backed up six weeks with an appointment to get a spot. Our shop was only four weeks out so he got in his car. As they say a nice problem to have; maybe.

When I got my Rene Herse I made two payments based on the original estimate. One was $2000.00 and by the time I got home after vacation (a month, it was good one) the remaining balance. It took a few weeks to write a little letter with a couple of accessory (bag, etc.) add-ons. It was good I sent the money because they didn't start building the bike until they received the final payment and it took about eight months for delivery. The bad news in the cost went up nearly 10% (about $400.00) between order date and final payment. Why exchange rate fluctuation, sometimes you win, sometimes you loose.

Anyway, we have bikes made up all the time, production and custom in our shop often with long waits. We use a variety of payment and credit arrangements but we find that paying in full (or charging in full) is many times better for the customer and everyone involved. The paper work and chance of miscommunication (especially on the price) is less. Vendors often offer better prices with up front payment and this is also a hedge against price or currency rises or component price increases over the build cycle. Even very large deposits will cause substantial negative cash-flow that cannot be maintained unless margins are much, much higher than needed with payment up front. When margins and handling are reduced and this can save money and some times move you up in line for delivery as priorities are adjusted during production too.

Most of the products that we covet on this list are purchased preowned and they is minimal delay for delivery, payment is usually arranged up front, standard procedure. These same products may have taken many months to be delivered in new condition by comparison.

Anyways, I have found over time my taste level (like many of you on this list) in bikes has grown substantially and just average or even very great will hardly do. Anything really nice and special has to be just so. So when I want a certain bike, I save, then pay and wait as long as it takes to build it. This spring I got my next to last "special bike built" and it arrived in May promptly after being ordered the previous October. My latest "special bike" was a production number with a custom color but took eleven months to source, order, import, modify, and customize, before I was able to use it. It still is being modified (to plan I might add) and customized. The time it takes to do this correctly (in my simple mind) is what makes cycling so wonderful. There is little time pressure except self imposed on these types of projects but commercially they would hardly be viable. It would be like charging for art where I am the only customer.

My suggestion, it matters not how you pay for something or when as long as your supplier is reliable on delivery and you get what you want at what you expected to pay for it. If you want something truly special from a craftsman allow him/her/them time to do a proper job and don't be put off by delays, they can be inevitable (and if you worry about inevitable; game over man!) Most of the end users benefit as a real craftsman will not want to turn out any work prematurely unless demanded to do so.

Yours in Cycling,

Gilbert Anderson

NORTH ROAD BICYCLE COMPANY
519 W. North St.
Raleigh, NC 27603
Toll Free : 800\u2022321\u20225511
Local : 919\u2022828\u20228999
E-Mail : cyclestore@aol.com