what an interesting discussion being in the bicycle biz selling mostly steel frames/bicycles (only exception-breezer commuters...) and being a fledgling framebuilder ive had to read nearly every word some twice.... i do know this is not typical of club rides round the country but r little(20 or so) sunday ride group is made up of about 90%+ steel frames nearly all would fit within the cr timeline or as kof frames once again 90%+ brooks saddles would be found on these machines too and this is not a "vintage" bike ride maybe only 2 or 3 would consider themselves bicycle collectors just a bunch of "mature" (ie 40+ yrs old) club riders most have been riding for many many yrs and many have tried some of the new-fangled market-driven alternative disposable/production stuff out there few have chosen to keep em so maybe this is not the "real world" but im sure happy to be here keeps me hopeful thats all peace
Sarah Gibson Acme Bicycle Company 412 East 18th Kansas City, Missouri 64108 http://www.acmebicyclecompany.com 816 221 2045
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From: Bianca Pratorius <firstname.lastname@example.org> To: email@example.com Subject: [CR]The demise of the popular hand made bike Date: Fri, 10 Mar 2006 06:13:23 -0500
I certainly am willing to see the U.S. as some kind of Mecca of hand made steel bikes. I am not so certain that Europe doesn't qualify as an equal market, but I'll take the word of those that are more expert. The point is that this is Friday morning. This morning I expect to see upwards of 100 expensive road bikes being ridden on in the various "hammer rides" that occur in Miami's Key Biscayne. I bet 2 of them will be Serrottas and one or two will some STI'd updating of a twenty year old classic steel race bike (maybe a Mercian or even a Bianchi). I doubt seriously if I'll see something made by one of our KOF buiders, nor can I remember ever seeing one on these rides for that matter. Now this is just one small corner of the world however, but I'll being looking at 300,000 dollars worth of carbon Treks, Giants and Litespeeds, Gurus etc.. Twenty five years ago Eisentrauts and the like would have composed 5% of what I would have seen. The rest would have been Lotuses and Gioses, Colnagos and Treks that were at least partially hand made in some country or another. The U.S. may still qualify as some kind of Mecca for quality, but only in comparison to the rest of the world, not in comparison to a sane one. Is it sane that so many people who still have 3,4 and $5,000 to spend on a single bike almost entirely spend it on various iterations of carbon extrusions and aluminum or titatium slightly less expensive models? I think not. My wife says that steel one day will return to the morning rides but for now those who build KOF must find other markets like touring, cyclcross and the Rivendell daily rider school. However just like car sales were always driven by wins at stock car racing, $3,000 purchases at the local bike store are driven by what the Tour de France peloton is riding. The advertising dollar is still a more driving force in the marketplace than the lug file.
Garth Libre in Miami Fl.