Hi CR folks,
Somehow it seems that many folks missed an important point - many of the parts coming off "parted out" bikes are also going to complete bikes or frames that were sold previously incomplete. So whoever buys the Herse frame on ebay right now is then an active buyer for the bits down the road. So the "parted out" Herse then becomes the donor bike to right the "wrong" of the previous part-out and make the past bike whole.
Why this seemingly odd behavior when folks should buy the bike complete to begin with? Simple. Money. I've noticed over the years that many folks can make a 2-3K purchase, but can't make a 5-9K purchase. The result is folks buy the frame "to get on board" and then complete the project over many years. Start with a Stronglight crank, then in time go to a Herse crank when it shows up. Same thing with stem. When I owned Bicycle Classics inc. I saw this behavior all the time. Whenever Bill Ward would part out a bike from his business, I'd often pick up a customer needed bits to build up the frame that he parted out. And Bill sold the final customer lots of parts too. Of course, sometimes folks already had some parts and they needed a frame.
As an aside, in time, Rene Herse Bicycles Inc. intends to offer Herse Brakes, Cranks, Stems, and other bits. It will take some time to "tool" up, but the plan is to offer all the items. Any new components, though, will have some "out of sight" but hard to remove identification to show they are of contemporary production. It will take awhile to get this all up and running - so please don't email looking to get in line. When the time comes and we need start selling the products to cover tooling costs, we will let the word out. Now of course, we can make a new Rene Herse crank, we can even make one exactly like the original if we really want. But we can't make a new Herse crank that was made in 1947. So if folks want parts that were made during the bikes actual period of manufacture, they have to buy parts such as those Grant is offering on ebay.
Mike Kone, Rene Herse Bicycles Inc.
> Doesn't this all suggest that there would be a market for (more)
\r?\n> reproductions of Herse parts. I know that I'd buy a couple of reproduction
\r?\n> Herse look-alike cranks for non-Herse projects--who was it who showed a
\r?\n> Herse-like crank at a bike show in the last couple of years? Maybe there is
\r?\n> not enough market for a crank that would be a close enough reproduction to
\r?\n> supply the bi-coastal Toi/Jitensha market but also be updated enough as to
\r?\n> BCD etc. to attract a more general market.
\r?\n> Sorry for the hi-jack,
\r?\n> Mitch Harris
\r?\n> Little Rock Canyon, Utah
\r?\n> On 7/16/07, Fred Rednor wrote:
\r?\n> > > > That Herse on the other hand... whole different deal.
\r?\n> > > > That bike, once parted out, is probably destined never
\r?\n> > > > to be anything near correct again.
\r?\n> > > > Someone will buy the frame/fork (maybe) and the buyer
\r?\n> > > > will surely realize at some point that it will be
\r?\n> > > > uneconomic or impossible to properly refit it as
\r?\n> > > > it was. Will the buyer at that point abandon the project
\r?\n> > > > entirely or simply complete it with the wrong pieces?
\r?\n> > > > Those look to me like the only realistic alternatives.
\r?\n> > > > That Herse in its original conception and iteration is
\r?\n> > > > probably irretrievably gone forever either way once the
\r?\n> > > > boxes are sent out.
\r?\n> > >
\r?\n> > > The problem here is the demand for parts to hang on modern
\r?\n> > > 'Toei et al.' bikes, which make the parts worth much more
\r?\n> > > than the whole. If the whole, complete bike was worth as
\r?\n> > > much as the sum of the parts plus some, then it would make
\r?\n> > > sense for Grant Handley to sell the
\r?\n> > > complete bike, or at least a "kit" with all the hard-to-find
\r?\n> > > bits that belong together in one auction.
\r?\n> > >
\r?\n> > > But as they say, the market has spoken, and "it" has
\r?\n> > > decided that a new Toei is worth much more than an old
\r?\n> > > Herse with original parts.
\r?\n> > In some ways, Jan's final point - while true - makes me
\r?\n> > somewhat sad. Then again, if one is an admirer of this type of
\r?\n> > bicycle, you might have to wait a lifetime to find one in your
\r?\n> > frame size. And considering that these bikes had bespoke
\r?\n> > frames, built for a specific person's physique, an example that
\r?\n> > truly fits a prospective second-hand buyer might never appear.
\r?\n> > Next, there are the shipping costs, which have become
\r?\n> > exorbitant for a frame. Finally, you have to consider the cost
\r?\n> > of restoration. Many of these old Herse and Singer bikes seem
\r?\n> > not to have been treated, over the years, with the level of
\r?\n> > care they deserve. In any event, if you were in Japan, where
\r?\n> > would you bring the frame for restoration? To Toei? In that
\r?\n> > case, from an economic standpoint, it might be better to have
\r?\n> > Toei build a frame to your measurements and use the old French
\r?\n> > derailleurs, stem, brakes, mud guards, lights, etc.
\r?\n> > Cheers,
\r?\n> > Fred Rednor - Arlington, Virginia (USA)
\r?\n> > Fussy? Opinionated? Impossible to please? Perfect. Join Yahoo!'s user
\r?\n> > panel and lay it on us.
\r?\n> > http://surveylink.yahoo.com/