Friday, May 04, 2012

What a strange phone call...

Actually, I got 2 weird ones in the last 2 days. This is one of the exasperating-yet-somehow-fun aspects of being a guy who builds bike frames for a living:

-2 days ago: Guy with a heavy accent who wants a 10" travel downhill bike. I explain that yes, I can do it, and he starts telling me about all sorts of design features he wants - many of which are mutually incompatible. It quickly becomes clear that the fellow has never thought much about designing a bike and really has no idea what he's asking for, so I quote him $6000, with half payable up front as a non-refundable deposit. This strategy usually works to get people to angrily hang up on me, but he persists and tries valiantly to argue that in fact I should build the frame for much, much cheaper (he implies, free) because I'll get so much publicity from building it. All this transpires as I'm riding Marcus' 36er to the Marshall trailhead and getting weird looks from various other cyclists.

Picture interlude! Jeff Wu of Alchemist rides the aforementioned beast! Pele is nonplussed.

-Yesterday: Fellow calls saying he was referred by a shop here in Boulder because his (Redline) frame is "tweaked a few millimeters" and "out of alignment". I ask how he noticed this, and he says he didn't, the guys at the shop told him when he went in for a tuneup. Does the bike ride straight? Yes. Do any parts rub/interfere with the frame? No. Any cracks? No. He is amazed when I tell him "if the bike rides fine, you don't need to do anything". I finally have to present him with the option of A) having me do $200 of disassembly, assessment, and work on a $200 frame, or B) just riding the darn thing. Then he gets it.


Sabrosa Cycles said...

i think that these fellers must have my phone number too. i get calls all the time from folks that say that them riding my stuff will far outweigh whatever monetary compensation that might be had.

also, i had a frame show up that the local shop said was "inches" out of alignment and was caused by the torque of the riders legs. after a quick looksee on the table, the frame was maybe a millimeter out at the dropouts. maybe.

cost is a great deterrent.

Osman said...

He wanted a 10" bike to ride down hills? I'm visualizing a clown costume.

mike said...

I hope your SLC garage is much more majestic than your current WW headquarters... that, and now I want a 36er. I am patient though, maybe in 5 years.

David Folch said...

Walt, you can't believe how many times I heard that, not from people with weird accents, but from established magazines who will be doing me a favor to publish my pictures and writing, because you know, you'll have so much exposure...
Meanwhile I'm still waiting for my 36er to be built (and paid, but how?)
David (with french accent)