Re: [CR] Unknown KOF's

Example: Humor

Date: Mon, 30 Jan 2006 13:23:35 -0800
Subject: Re: [CR] Unknown KOF's
From: Brandon Ives <>
In-Reply-To: <>

You are correct that is the test I had in mind. If I remember correctly it was $100 and included 2 tube pieces and a lug and return postage. One of the first lugged joints I ever brazed was one of those that we found in the back of a shop I used to work in. Boy did mine turn out sloppy and probably too hot, but I did get good penetration. This was years after they stopped the certification so we cut it apart ourselves. I remember hearing about the full frame test and was told it was really only like 4-5 of the larger shops that had to do it. Of course if each builder from those shops had to do it that could have been quite a few frames. best, Brandon"monkeyman"Ives back to building a "KOF" in Vancouver, B.C.

On Monday, Jan 30, 2006, at 12:25 US/Pacific, wrote:
> I think there have been far more people than any one individual is
> aware of (that transitioned from being a brazer at a large bicycle
> company somewhere in the World, to becoming an independent
> framebuilder).
> Mike Appel comes immediately to mind - he is on the back of the
> original Trek brochure, then later went out on his own as a frame
> builder. Nearly thirty years after that, he is now back at Trek,
> interestingly enough, but not doing any brazing.
> Also, there were two definite sets of requirements to become 753
> certified. Early on, you had to submit an entire frame that was then
> destructively tested. Since that was rather costly for the applicant,
> Reynolds realized that a more relaxed set of requirements would be
> needed. This is the "marketing hype" test that Brandon is referring to
> (below). Big, big difference....
> Greg Parker
> Dexter, Michigan
> Date: Mon, 30 Jan 2006 08:35:22 -0800
> From: Brandon Ives <>
> To: "Patrick Lay" <>
> Cc:
> Subject: Re: [CR] Unknown KOF's
> Partrick 753 certification was nothing more than marketing hype. As
> you can read about in the archives may of the builders back then would
> still build frames with brass. I think the only thing the
> certification did for you was allow you to advertise that you were
> certified and also order 753 directly from Reynolds. As far as
> builders that went on to keep building I really doubt it. In Europe
> back then building bikes was just another job for 90% of the people
> working in factories. Most likely the good brazers went on to be
> professional welders because the pay is so much better. I doubt
> Raleigh, Peugeot, or any of the other BIG names had any real
> apprenticeship program, they mainly wanted workers who could work on an
> assembly line and braze 100 forks a day. I think most guys who came up
> wanting to be builders apprenticed at the smaller to middling sized
> shops.
> You mention Trek where we know at least Joe Stark and Tim Isaac came
> out of the early years. Since those early days I've never heard of
> guys coming off the line to become independent builders. I've worked
> on a bicycle production line producing 7500+ bikes a year and there is
> rarely time to do any actual training. If you're in a position where
> you're in the brazing position you'll become a great brazer pretty
> quickly, but you won't learn all the other important skills to building
> a bike unless you're there for 10 years. Brazing is just 1/10th of
> what it takes to build a bike frame and 1/25th of what it takes to be
> an independent builder.
> I'm not trying to rain on your parade, just inject some real world into
> the discussion. I'm sure there are some folks that were building on
> the Raleigh and Peugeot lines back in the 753 days out there, but odds
> are they moved up to corporate level at their respective company
> instead of branching out on their own. You've got to remember at a
> certain level bike building is just a job like any other.
> best,
> Brandon"monkeyman"Ives
> bike industry lifer in
> Vancouver, B.C.
> On Sunday, Jan 29, 2006, at 19:56 US/Pacific, Patrick Lay wrote:
>> Hello all..Being a 753 fan, I just watched an Ebay sale on a Merckx
>> 753 that went for what I thought was less than it's potential value
>> given the crazed enthusiasm for Merckx frames. It being a 753, I
>> thought "not just any old brazer on the Merckx line would have been
>> allowed to silver this together. There must be one or two unsung KOFs
>> in a special room somewhere who have qualified for Reynolds
>> Certification." Then I thought "No, this would not make these 753
>> guys in the factories KOFs: they would simply remain really good
>> factory brazers even though their work is sometimes pretty nice." I
>> wonder if any of these guys ever broke out and made it on their own to
>> be recognized. There must have been people in the same category at
>> Peugeot, and, of course, Raleigh. (Not to mention Trek) It is weird
>> what an idle Sunday night will do to an old guy's curiosity..Patrick
>> Lay in Chicago