from a thread about waiting lists...

> Builders like Sacha are not doing anything wrong by having
> a long waiting list, rather they are doing something right in
> that they are building frames that people want. In my view
> the long wait is more a reflection on the people waiting; it
> take a special kind of person to wait years for a frame. In the
> end I don't think it's about the metal, it's about the builder.
> Some people place a lot of value on being associated with these
> guys (Sachs, Bayless, Sacha, Weigle, Moon, etc) and again, it
> should not be held against the builders. Truth be known these
> guys are way underpaid for the work they do. Problem is that
> if they raise their prices to where they belong based on supply
> and demand, people will rebel against them and call them greedy
> - thus damaging their reputations. Stuck between a rock and a
> hard place.

this issue seems to have its own life, especially in the past 2-3 years.
there are a small amount of builders who have long lists; mebbe
10 to 15 are past the 2 year mark. none of them (us) are volume
guys. i'm stuck in the 5-6 a month rung. if you added it all up,
it does not total a large amount, demand-wise, despite the fact
that it is a demand. across the hall at the serotta forum*, this
subject boiled over last week. my take is that the makers are simply
"making"; the issues wrt the wait lay at the feet of those propping
all things "handmade frame"on various sites and message boards.
online chat has created a freaking tsunami of a demand that has
never been seen before. i know as recently as 2003, my wait was
less than half what it is now. and this issue is hardly about price
because nearly all of us are not able to lock in a selling price - and
this has not slowed the demand. and again - that demand is incredibly
small, numbers-wise, when you tally up all of our clients-in-waiting.

none of us are milking the system, if you will. we are simply responding
to a small but growing market segment that does not want to shop at
the mall. and i know that each of us is doing what we can to spread
the wealth, for lack of a better term. out of the ashes of prior nahbs,
i decided to always mention/add a list of peers in any email replies
that i send to prospective clients. yes, it is nice to get more work, but
there is no reasonon earth some of us have so much when others are
at 12-14 months. directing traffic and interest at these folks is the
right thing to do. allof us are benefiting from an internet zeitgeist
of sorts; the message boarders essentially helped drive our backlogs
up. now we with the long waits are trying to drive it up for "our pals".

> I just don't see the cost/enjoyment benefit that it would bring me
> compared to a lower cost frame that I waited a shorter amount of
> time that rides and feels close enough that I would never know
> the difference.

well in a perverse way, i don't get the fuss over cavier or g.i.a. diamonds,
or even a birkin bag from hermes, yet folks spend all sorts of money
and throw all sorts of props at such things. so - it all does makes sense,
but only if you get it atmo.
> Once again Richard, you are leading the way. Share the wealth.
right -
you prop us, we prop them.
> The other thing that I can't understand, and this is just my
> perspective, is why anyone would pay so much for a frame that
> is substantially heavier than the "cutting edge" materials on the
> market. I mean, I agree that Vanilla's and Sach's ARE beautiful
> frames...but I want a tool that I can ride without worrying about
> and I want a frame that is sub three pounds.
you're gonna quibble about what is essentially no more than a
6-8 ounce difference? i don't know what you have or have been
lifting, but the true difference between the species is not that
much. a frame is stationary weight, not rotating, and unless you
plan on bench pressing your bicycle 100 times, you wouldn't ever
recognize that 6-8 ounces unless a scale was used.
> My point was that a bike is a tool. The tool performs it's task
> "better" if it is lighter for the some strength and ride quality.
> I, and I'm saying "I" (I'm not claiming others should feel or
> do the same as myself) don't understand the desire for a tool
> that is, in one respect (weight), inferior to others that cost less.
> And I wouldn't want one. I DO think Sachs and Vanillas ARE
> beautiful bicycle frames. I'm just personally not interested in
> owning or riding one.
i feel ya'.
i'm just saying that the difference is weight is one that i'd wager
you'd never discern unless a scale is present. the same difference
in rotating weight is another story. i come from a racing background;
i'm not saying all this just to say it. regardless, i wouldn't wanna
tank a frame that costs alot and was hard to get, and in all my years
of tanking ('cross included),i have never needed to replace a frame,
tweak a dropout, or get a new fork. components - they are another story!

catching up here...
wrt to these (types of) posts:
i budget 6-7 slots a year for my 'cross team and these slots are
projected forward through all of my forecasted delivery quotes.
it's all part of the whole. the team sponsorship beganin 1982 and
i've never missed a season, thoughit wasn't 'cross-only until five
or six years ago. and a factoid that i often own up to, the 'cross
frames are batch built and carry few, if any, ofthe hand wrought
details that my road frames have. iow, they are truly tools, and i
normally spend no more than a day making each. the race thing is
close to me, and i don't think i'd be able to enjoy the business without

the sport,since i was racing before i built my first is
part of who i am and what i do. thanks for listening. seriously.i
would have replied to the generalizations and this specific post
in real time had i read it more carefully.

ps i just saw this one -
many thanks for this.