[CR]Re: 5 figure bikes

(Example: Component Manufacturers:Avocet)

Date: Wed, 15 Mar 2006 17:40:38 -0800 (PST)
From: <"cydyn@aol.com">
To: classicrendezvous@bikelist.org
In-Reply-To: <MONKEYFOOD3Rxvk3RSC00003d54@monkeyfood.nt.phred.org>
Subject: [CR]Re: 5 figure bikes

Columbines are among the few over $10,000 frames. The two frames displayed at the NAHBS were both over $10,000. Lest you think John is getting rich, a simple lugged polished SS frame takes about 250-300 hours to make. The road bike displayed with fancy engraved and cut lugs had almost 1000 hours of time in it. You can still get a plain painted custom Columbine starting at $3200. There's about 85 hours of time in a painted simple lugged Colunbine frame. John uses a similar protocol of building for each frame that makes them labor intensive but satisfies his requirements for well fitted joints. He spends a lot of time shaping, filing welding his lugs to get the socket right on for the build angles of the frame. He also mikes each end of the tube, bores the socket .004 over it, then peans tiny dimples inside the perimeter of the lug to hold the tube equidistant so there's no starved parts of the joint when soldering with 56 silver. There's no gaps over .002 either. I've sold his bikes for 25 years and spent a lot of time in his shop, discussing details on various frames, lugs , paint , tubing choices. One time I visited him in his Ft Collins shop and watched one frame go on and back off his jig for 6 full days before he was satisfied everything fit properly and it was ready to braze. I had to return home without seeing it get brazed. Money or time doesn't seem to enter John's mind when he's creating a bike. I bought back a Columbine today that I sold new in 1986. The complete bike sold for $2163 in 1986, fairly high at the time...I paid $1800 for it 19 years later and it needs a paint job and a tickle on the old parts group. The owner still had all my design notes and build sheets to John. My youngest daughter is going to look great on it. That particular model with polished SS lugs, fork crown, seat cluster and dropouts is pushing $5000 for the frame alone today so it was a good buy. What amaes me is how a Ti bike with a carbon back end sells for $8000.00 for the frame...there isn't 250 plus hours in it...but awfully good marketing!

Paul Brown Cycle Dynamics Santa Rosa, CA 707 322-7208

> Send Classicrendezvous mailing list submissions to
> classicrendezvous@bikelist.org
> To subscribe or unsubscribe via the World Wide Web,
> visit
> http://www.bikelist.org/mailman/listinfo/classicrendezvous
> or, via email, send a message with subject or body
> 'help' to
> classicrendezvous-request@bikelist.org
> You can reach the person managing the list at
> classicrendezvous-owner@bikelist.org
> When replying, please edit your Subject line so it
> is more specific
> than "Re: Contents of Classicrendezvous digest..."
> CR
> Today's Topics:
> 1. KOF Pricing - Is a $20k Frameset Viable?
> (Brett Horton)
> 2. Re: how many miles vintage? how many miles
> mod? (Daniel Artley)
> 3. Re: Race Routes (Classics) (Michael Butler)
> 4. Re: 5 figure bikes
> 5. Re: KOF Pricing - Is a $20k Frameset Viable?
> (Brandon Ives)
> 6. Milano-San Remo 1937 (Sergio Servadio)
> 7. Re: KOF Pricing - Is a $20k Frameset Viable?
> (Vladislav Luskin)
> 8. Re: Survey Says: keep KOF prices where they
> are...:-) (Joe Starck)
> 9. Re: KOF Pricing - Is a $20k Frameset Viable?
> (Brandon Ives)
> 10. Re: KOF Pricing - Is a $20k Frameset Viable?
> (Don Rogers)
> ----------------------------------------------------------------------
> Date: Wed, 15 Mar 2006 10:27:31 -0800 (PST)
> From: Brett Horton
> <bretthorton@thehortoncollection.com>
> To: classicrendezvous@bikelist.org
> Subject: [CR]KOF Pricing - Is a $20k Frameset
> Viable?
> Message-ID:
> <20060315182731.54864.qmail@web33505.mail.mud.yahoo.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=iso-8859-1
> MIME-Version: 1.0
> Content-Transfer-Encoding: 8bit
> Precedence: list
> Reply-To: bretthorton@thehortoncollection.com
> Message: 1
> I have enjoyed reading this never ending thread.
> However, the comparative rational (shotguns, cars,
> etc) used to somehow justify the raping and
> pillaging of the rich is incredibly flawed. Based on
> a few of the posts, the inference can easily be
> drawn that, with a conspiracy of thought and action,
> the cloaked triad of supreme KOF'ers can somehow
> manipulate pricing and demand with a flip of the
> switch. Based on what? That H&H can sell a shotgun
> for $50,000?
> Time for a little reality check. First, one has to
> determine if a bicycle can be a "Giffen good."(ie
> the higher the price, the higher the demand) On the
> assumption you have convinced yourself there is a
> line of people willing to pop $20k, how do you plan
> to speak to these people? How will go about shaping
> their decision to purchase your output at a price
> multiple several times that of a more common item?
> If you think you are going to fetch $20k for a
> bike and all the other current costs of production
> will remain the same, you are wrong. It speaks to
> why a modern carbon wonder bike that is factory line
> produced will often sell for more than a full custom
> steel bike. The makers of the carbon wonders have
> invested a significant amount of capital into
> sponsorship of UCI Division One teams, they take out
> repeated ads in magazines world wide, and they
> constantly exhibit at trade shows, bringing fresh
> product variances to the market on a consistent
> basis. Many have spent years and years creating
> brand awareness. Alternatively, some newcomers have
> dumped incredible amounts of resources in a short
> period of time to accelerate their brand visibility.
> BTW, all of those things take money and business
> risk. Many, if not most of the companies that fall
> into this "carbon" category, have a diverse product
> base and the available cash flow to somewhat
> minimize their risks.
> Not that it can't be done. Don't forget, there was
> a day way back when, a guy named Ernesto Colnago was
> a team mechanic and budding solo frame builder. What
> differentiates his monetary success with that of
> other builders from the same era was, among other
> things, his vision, drive, and even luck. (But even
> with all this, how many premium priced Ferrari
> Colnago branded bikes were sold worldwide?)
> If I look at the pantheon of American KOF
> builders, I can only see one guy that could remotely
> be in a position to pull the gig off. But even in
> his case, he would likely need outside capital /
> investors to front end the cost necessary to make it
> happen. Conservatively, unless you could ramp
> production rates up significantly, you would be
> expending $3,000-$4,000 as a minimum per frame in
> branding expense for the first 5-6 years. Oh, and
> your investor / outside money-person would probably
> like a return on their money as well. If you think
> these numbers are too steep or otherwise
> unbelievable, try this: Calculate the cost of
> advertising and trade show expenses alone for a
> branding campaign that would truly speak to your
> perspective buyer base. Then divide that by your
> maximum output. And don't forget, you're going to
> have less time to produce your product because you
> will be increasing the time you spend in trade show
> booths. You might very well find $3,000-$4,000 per
> frame is low.
> From the outside looking in, it seems to me the
> price increases of the last few years from KOF
> builders can be attributed more to the rise of
> prices of production factory frames than anything
> else. I would argue that at present, like it or not,
> custom made steel frames are the lagging red haired
> step-child to factory frames when it comes to
> product pricing.
> Save the flame email. This has nothing to do with
> appreciation of custom built steel. This has to do
> with economic reality. You want big prices? You want
> to create a Giffen good? Then draft a viable
> business plan, round up the money, embrace your new
> life replete with partners, and fire up the torch!
> Brett Horton
> San Francisco, California
> Don Wilson said:
> but $10K to $20K for a bike, if custom bikes were
> marketed correctly and effectively, wouldn't even
> make today's wealthy blink.
> ------------------------------
> Date: Wed, 15 Mar 2006 13:32:20 -0500
> From: "Daniel Artley" <dartley@co.ba.md.us>
> To: <classicrendezvous@bikelist.org>
> Subject: Re: [CR]how many miles vintage? how many
> miles mod?
> Message-ID: <s4181786.038@inetgw.co.ba.md.us>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=US-ASCII
> MIME-Version: 1.0
> Precedence: list
> Message: 2
> I consider 2-3,000 mi./yr. to be a good year for me.
> At least I've been
> consistent with that for many years. I only own
> steel bikes. My most
> modern is an '80's Italian Cinelli built Centurion
> that I only recently
> built up w/ modern shifting. I rode it last year on
> Bike Virginia, a
> multi-day tour, only a month or so after the
> conversion to er** 9. I've
> been riding that one because it's a fun bike to ride
> and the shifting can
> spoil. That said, when I was climbing Mt. Vesuvius
> up to the Blue Ridge
> Parkway, an average slope of over 12% for 4 miles, I
> was thinking I'd have
> rather been on my 1978 RS Tourer that I usually
> bring. And then back
> down, 6 miles of switchbacks, would have felt so
> much more of a hoot on
> the Sachs. I still ride all the old bikes, but
> mostly the one. It was
> threatening rain the other day when I went out to
> ride. === message truncated ===