Re: [CR]Chairman Bill's Experience

(Example: Production Builders:LeJeune)

Date: Wed, 20 Jul 2005 08:51:19 -0700 (PDT)
From: Jerome & Elizabeth Moos <>
Subject: Re: [CR]Chairman Bill's Experience
To: Tom Dalton <>,
In-Reply-To: <>

The measure of what constitutes fine craftsmanship most certainly is subjective. I can't think of many things more subjective. Many devotees of Rembrant or Raphael no doubt consider Pollock crap. Is that subjective? Damn right it is. So whose opinion is "correct"? That of the most famous person? The richest? The most powerful? I would say that the opinions of all equally informed persons have equal merit. So, as I mentioned before, if Chuck Schmidt, and Dirk and I all own and ride both a PY-10 and a Raleigh Pro, and if some of us think the Raleigh is great and the Peugeot is crap, or vice versa or that both are equally great, all those opinions have equal merit, being equally informed. But if Chairman Bill has never ridden a PY-10 or any of its components, then his opinion is uninformed, and combined with the obvious bias of his selling a lot of Italian stuff and virtually no French stuff, his opinion is nothing but BS.

While a Peugeot obviously does not have the level of finish of a Sachs or Baylis or Weigle, neither do the great French constructeur bikes, Herse included. Does this mean the Herse is not as "fine"? That's totally subjective. It depends what you mean by craftsmanship. If it means flawless lug finishing and deep lustrous, perfectly even paint, then the average Herse or Singer is crap compared to the current top US builders. But if it means ingenious, exquisite, design details like integrated wiring for lights and cable routing integrated into custom-made stems, then I think even the current gods of US framebuilding I mentioned would consider the French constructeur bike as "fine" as anything ever made. French craftmanship, at least in bicycles, is about design and concept and "rightness" for the task, and the visual effect as a whole, not about flawless finish and detailing. Both approaches fit within the extremely subjective definition of craftsmanship.


Jerry Moos Houston, TX

Tom Dalton <> wrote: Jerry wrote: "Nothing wrong with healthy disagreements, I just wish people would base their opinions on actual experience, as you do."

I too base my opinions on experience. I've never ridden a PY-10 or a PX-10 or any of the higher-end Peugots. I have, however, had the experience of looking at many such Peugeots, and that experience has been more than enough for me to form the opinion that they are not well crafted. Race worthy? I certainly see no reason whay they wouldn't be, since they have been used to win the biggest race of them all. Cool bikes? Well, any pro team bike, when equipped as used by the team, is pretty cool in my book. Good examples of the craft? OBVIOUSLY NOT. A bike doesn't need to be a good example of the craft in order to be a good race bike, or in order to be a cool addition to one's collection. In fact, I don't own a single bike that I consider to be an exceptional example of the craft, and most team bikes are not. But please, please, please, let's not kid ourselves about PY-10's being as fine as Team Pros, or about Team Pros being as fine as Confentes. There are objective criteria for evaluating the craftsmanship of frames as surely as there are subjective criteria. To suggest that a PY-10 exhibits the objective traits of a well-crafted frame is absurd. To say that it meets one's personal criteria for fine craftmanship, as though these things are all subjective and all opinions have equal merit, is utter nonsense. This is the type of thinking that leads to ignorant opinions such the belief that a grandchild's finger painting has the same merit as a Pollock.

Tom Dalton Bethlehem, PA

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