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PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2012 3:50 pm 
East Midlands AEC
East Midlands AEC
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Joined: Thu Oct 05, 2006 7:45 pm
Posts: 15067
Location: Derby, UK
I ended up getting my frame built in France as nobody in the UK was able to do what I wanted. Steve Shand could, but then he had to relocate and we had to mutually cancel the order.

The impression I got when making enquiries was they told you what you wanted rather than the other way around. I had very specific design ideas, but I felt I wouldn't be listened to.

We also live in the 21st Century - I needed to be able to communicate via email, and have a responsive 2 way electronic conversation regularly. I wanted a website that was a great shop window and a blog that showed progress on the frame as it was built.

Again Steve Shand could do this in the UK, but there weren't at the time many alternatives.

The guy I went to in France (www.edelbikes.com) did everything I asked and I don't regret it for one moment.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 06, 2012 7:34 pm 
Retro Guru
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Joined: Thu Jul 07, 2005 7:16 pm
Posts: 1202
Location: U.K
hi
most defo i had a dave hinde nemo hand built ( and yes i know all about him bad deliverys parts not in stock ect) he has always been great with me and if i had the spare cash i,d have another one today.
si


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 07, 2012 9:30 pm 
Retro Guru

Joined: Wed May 25, 2011 7:53 am
Posts: 254
Location: Sheffield
Dr S wrote:
I'm dipping my toe into the murky waters of framebuilding and have to say the future looks bright. There's plenty of enquiries and a good few orders now placed.

There is a new wave of builders springing up in the UK and all are busy. keV Winter has a very healthy waiting list and young guns like Ricky Feather in York are taking plenty of orders. His bikes really are stunning too which can only be good for the rest of us.

I looked into having a custom frame built a few years back and sadly a fair few of the older more established UK builders came across as slightly disinterested when I asked for certain features. A little stuck in the past maybe or even a little tired and jaded? I'm not sure, but it made me look stateside to get what I wanted. A shame maybe, but if this new generation of builders get a chance, maybe we can enjoy some innovation and ethusiasm for building true bespoke bikes again. It's this excitement for the future of UK framebuilding that has finally driven me to get involved after dreaming of doing it since my teens. I'm not expecting to get rich doing it, but that's not the point. Building someone their dream bike and seeing their faces after a first ride is reward enough for me folks!

Si


Totally agree...

I have recently been in talks with a few frame builders, and when asked to do certain things such as different cable routing, or getting a certain plated or paint finish, I have just been dismissed and had a quip comment like 'thats all been done and gone lad years ago, if you want a good plain frame building, I can do that, if you want to incorporate daft ideas I can also do that too' = lost sale and the hunt for a not stupidly priced and interested frame builder continues...
If I want a plain old frame, I may as well get a built bike like a Genesis or something else generic and alot better value for money...

Whats your pricing like on a lightweight road build Si in something like 853, 953 or possibly 725 maybe... send me a private message if more appropriate.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 07, 2012 11:03 pm 
Retrobike Sponsor
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Location: Suffolk
http://www.taylormadebikes.co.uk/


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 07, 2012 11:17 pm 
Sticker Master
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Joined: Tue Jul 05, 2005 4:22 pm
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Location: North Yorkshire
Can I just drop this into the topic...

http://feathercycles.blogspot.com/

Ricky has been building to my knowledge certainly over two years now and does so with a real passion

Currently most of his work stems from the "fixie" scene but more recently he has moved more into the steel road market as is evident from his previous posts

This is far from an advert for him and I don't consider myself a "fanboy" I am just trying to highlight the quality of work from a driven "young gun"

Some of his stuff is a real eye opener and knowing he will only get better with time is a real enlightenment...


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2012 1:12 pm 
retrobike rider / Gold Trader
retrobike rider / Gold Trader

Joined: Mon Oct 15, 2007 9:05 pm
Posts: 9245
gil_m wrote:
Can I just drop this into the topic...

http://feathercycles.blogspot.com/

Ricky has been building to my knowledge certainly over two years now and does so with a real passion

Currently most of his work stems from the "fixie" scene but more recently he has moved more into the steel road market as is evident from his previous posts

This is far from an advert for him and I don't consider myself a "fanboy" I am just trying to highlight the quality of work from a driven "young gun"

Some of his stuff is a real eye opener and knowing he will only get better with time is a real enlightenment...


Good shout Gil.

I'm happy to be a Feather Fanboy. I think his road frames are the best looking frames being built in the UK at the moment. Pure class. An coming from an engineering background like myself you can bet they will last a long time and ride great too.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2012 3:08 pm 
Old School Hero

Joined: Wed Aug 11, 2010 4:54 pm
Posts: 165
Interesting thread and comments especially when talking about USA
builders.
Ive sat on the commercial side of frame building and in the UK it is an extremely difficult occupation to make decent money from.In the US there is a much larger market and people will pay a lot more money for handbuilt local products.
The builders charge more and stay in business longer.This might seem a dim view but look at how many builders have come and gone in the UK.There are quite a few one off builders and it is now seen as a trendy thing to get into,making money from it is another story when you can buy in bulk from China and add 100% profit to a carbon frame.
Roberts break the mould but they are in a good area and always charged top wack for their products.
I agree there is some nice kit being built in the UK from some of the younger builders.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2012 5:04 pm 
retrobike rider / Gold Trader
retrobike rider / Gold Trader

Joined: Mon Oct 15, 2007 9:05 pm
Posts: 9245
I hear what you are saying. Firstly, I think that the guys importing cheap carbon frames and whacking a 100% mark-up on them are chasing a different customer. When someone goes down the custom build avenue they are looking for something special. Something unique, beautifully crafted and without compromise. Its like comparing a Saville Row suit with George at Asda. If you want off the peg you buy off the peg.
Secondly, how many UK frame builders have been able to mix craftsmanship and a love of the art of framebuilding, with sound business sense, good marketing and promotion? Some of the best framebuilders I know don't even know what a website is, never mind have one.

When all is said and done, there will always be a Market for something of exceptional quality and beauty. You might not end up a rich man but if you can make a modest living whilst putting smiles on faces then who needs fiscal wealth?


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2012 5:10 pm 
MacRetro rider
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Joined: Sat May 22, 2010 7:25 pm
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Location: Edinburgh
I think there is also the fact that outside the road and XC market most people are buying FS bikes as it is affordable to get a good one now and they generally work very well. Hardtail bikes that are "boutique" will always have a market but an increasingly small one.


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 10, 2012 5:28 pm 
retrobike rider / Gold Trader
retrobike rider / Gold Trader

Joined: Mon Oct 15, 2007 9:05 pm
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Tazio wrote:
I think there is also the fact that outside the road and XC market most people are buying FS bikes as it is affordable to get a good one now and they generally work very well. Hardtail bikes that are "boutique" will always have a market but an increasingly small one.


But there is also a growing number of people who fancy something not built by 'the man'. These modern full sussers are great indeed, but are so generic looking. Peel the stickers off and you'd be hard pressed to tell a Trek from a Giant from a Specialized. We can see here on this very forum and the increase in membership that many people are choosing to ride something a little different from time to time. Yes its partly nostagia, but also a little desire for individuality.
I also think its wrong to say the steel hardtail is dead. There's been a real rebirth over the last few years. They offer great entertainment, classic style and a great riding experience.


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