[CR] Where bikes are made / ebay cost of 531 tubing set

Example: History:Ted Ernst

To: <classicrendezvous@bikelist.org>
From: Bianca Pratorius <biankita@comcast.net>
Date: Sat, 20 Feb 2010 17:14:34 -0500
Subject: [CR] Where bikes are made / ebay cost of 531 tubing set

Read today's digest and see two interesting articles from listmembers. Apparently a top carbon fiber frame and fork set unpainted from Asia will cost $200. Also read that currently a 531 tube set just went for plus $500. A quality tube set always went for a lot even for manufacturers of frames even when steel was the only high end game in town. There you go ... draw your own conclusions. It's cheap to make even a top carbon fiber frame, but the manufacturing process to make unseamed tubing for bikes demands that these tube sets must be expensive. Bear in mind that a manufacturer must keep in stock every conceivable tube dimension and wall thickness and bear in mind that the process of lug cutting, set up and brazing and clean up of a top steel frame is extremely time consuming. Intrinsically, a carbon fiber is nearly worthless. Cheap materials, easily repeatable results and robotic technology makes these pieces abundant. Unfortunately they may not last too long, but their future value is so small that who cares? This is a disposable culture. Intrinsically steel lugged frames are valuable. No one has yet found a way to make a top quality one without lots of specialized human skill and lots of time. Easy and cheap are the carbon fiber frames ... a perfect reason to avoid them like the plague.

Garth Libre in Miami Fl USA