Re: [CR]Quality/Quantity


To: classicrendezvous@bikelist.org
Date: Sat, 8 Mar 2003 18:32:42 -0800
Subject: Re: [CR]Quality/Quantity
From: "Mark A. Perkins" <bicyclemark@juno.com>


Fellow list members:

I've been following this argument since the beginning, and feel that nobody has hit on the most important reason (IMHO - and other than one's ego) for purchasing a handmade custom bicycle frame set. And that would be to get a bike that fits one's body, leg, and arm dimensions better than anything available over the counter.

Mass production bicycles are almost always designed to fit an imaginary average build person. The builders are trying to design a bike that will fit all people of the same height or leg length. I have known people with short-legs and long-torso, and people of the same height with long-legs and short-torso. They don't fit the same bicycle size.

One of the 5 bikes that I built (I built the frame and fork, built the wheels, then assembled the whole bike) was for a man who is 6'-7" tall, and no production bike manufacturer ever built a decent bike that fit him. He brought his 25" bicycle over so that I could compare how it fit him to what he should have, but the bike didn't even come close to fitting him. What he ended up with is a 69cm frame, and it fit him really well (the top tube hit me around the belly button - I test rode it without a seat or post, and then just enough to check the gears and brakes). I'll never forget the look on his face when he returned from a test ride. He finally had a bike that really fit, and man was he happy.

Sure, stamped lugs have their merits, as do IC lugs, forged dropouts, quality paint jobs, and on, and on. The difference between the two types of lugs is that the craftsmanship involved with IC lugs begins with patterns and wax. While stamped lugs involve rather crude processes, but someone still has to create the dies which are used to create them. And both can be modified by the frame builder however he/she desires, and with the same methods for both.

It also seems to me that this group went 'round and 'round over this same subject over a year ago. Or is it that the "discussion" never stopped. I guess it all boils down to whatever turns each individual's crank.

Just my 2-cents worth. Sorry if I stepped on anyone's toes.

Happy cycling everyone.

"Bicycle Mark" Perkins
Fresno Cycling Club - Historian
Fresno, California, U.S.A.