Thursday, January 29, 2009

Ashish's frame, random thoughts

First off, for Ashish, here are a couple of random shots of your frame, 90% done (still needs disc tab, bridges, brazeons, etc). I've slightly modified the bender, and the seatstays took much less time (like, um, about 4 hours less) and came out quite nicely. Practice makes perfect, as always. It's amazing to me that 5 years into building bikes I still come up with better ways of doing things almost every time I build something. And when I talk to other folks who build frames, there's almost always a forehead-slapping, "why didn't I think of that" moment when I see how they do something - and likewise, people see the way I do things and pick up new ideas.


It will be interesting to see how that kind of cooperation holds up when frame builders start running out of work (which, if you read my previous post, I think is already happening). NAHBS, by all reports, has been quite the love-fest in years past - I really hope the gloom and doom doesn't lead to backstabbing as the pool of potential frame customers shrinks.

It wouldn't be a bad thing, IMO, to thin the herd a bit at this point, though. I'd probably argue that I wasn't really prepared fully when I started selling frames (as a matter of fact, I never *intended* to sell them at all, but I got caught up in the 29er/MTBR tsunami and was sort of in the right place at the right time - people pretty much were beating down my door wanting 29ers), but some of the stuff I see online (there are several framebuilder's forums and email lists/newsgroups out there) is fairly shocking. There are people who literally have built one frame who are hanging out a shingle and charging $1500 - and then posting questions online about how to do VERY basic stuff. I won't shed a single tear to see those folks out of "business" - and on the plus side, if you're interested in framebuilding as a hobby, I think there will be some *smoking* deals on fixtures and tools in 2009.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Mmmm. Curvy seatstays.

js said...

Ah.... where's the snow and ice? Your driveway is dry. What's up with that?

Walt said...

Dude, there's still ice. It's just out of the frame to the left. We had a really warm week last week, but it never quite all melted, then we had snow on Monday and now the White Place glacier is back...

It'll probably disappear completely sometime in May.

steve garro said...

doing good on this end, Mr. Walt - i'm backed out a year, and hopefuly things will sort themselves out by hten. but one thing - if the "framebuilders" like those you speak of {they ARE out there, sadly}who are trying to sell frames but can't make them AND the ones charging TWO THOUSAND dollars a frame and have built less the ten frames go away i do think it will not be a sad thing.........Steve.

Brandon Ives said...

Walt you'll be fine if you just keep doing what your doing and carving your niche. You were lucky to get caught up in the "perfect storm" and so did you Steve. Both of you guys were ready for something to happen and were lucky to have it swing your way.

Like I said in my PM there will be some knife handles sticking out of backs, but only in the backs of those wielding knives. One of the rules I leaned years ago from the old-timers was 'don't talk $#it about other builders because it hurts us all, and will come back to bite you.'

There are a few exceptions to this rule, but they all hung themselves in public first. Keep fighting the good fight and you'll be fine.