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Interview: Sacha White of Vanilla Workshop and Speedvagen

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Vanilla Workshop Sacha saw

In the early 2000’s, a class of small builders began to emerge as big domestic bike manufacturing continued its march towards overseas production. Rather than working their way up through years of different cutting processes, finish work, and ranks of existing factories or workshops (which were becoming fewer by the year) these new builders joined the game by jumping straight into frame building through classes at UBI or with individual builders and honed their craft through trial and error.

The captain of this class is Sacha White of Vanilla Workshop, a kid who knew what he needed to do with his life after watching a frame builder repair his broken messenger bike. After saving his pennies for the opportunity, he learned to build his first frame under Tim Paterek and has been working with a torch ever since. His obsessive attention to detail and visual and functional style in his bikes skyrocketed him to early rockstardom within the community and he has been working hard to live up to that hype.

Today, over fifteen years into the game, Sacha oversees a production house that contains both his Vanilla, for which he is the sole builder, and production Speedvagen lines and is currently gearing up for a West Coast fitting tour. Meet The Man from Vanilla after the jump.

Vanilla Workshop shop floor

BIKERUMOR: When people think of Vanilla, they have this romantic idea of just you by yourself with a torch. Coming into this workshop it’s clear that it’s much more sophisticated than that. It’s a production house. How have your priorities changed from initially picking up a torch to this point?

SACHA: When I first started building it was because I was racing and messengering and I saw these awesome bikes that were really turning me on that were hanging on the walls for sale in bike shops. Bikes like Sevens and IF’s and Waterfords. I wanted one of these bikes and I wanted to make these bikes for my friends. That’s where all of this came from.

Vanilla Workshop first
Vanilla No. 1

I guess it’s been an evolution from being very craft focused. We can only focus on what we know and understand. In the beginning I was very craft focused because whittling on a lug is very attainable for somebody who doesn’t know anything about bike design, who doesn’t know anything about fitting, who doesn’t know anything about business. And those are all important facets to a good bike company. But what I could grasp in the beginning was the handwork. So I really poured myself into that. And that’s why the bikes early on looked good and were completely dialed- at least aesthetically dialed- because that’s what was important to me.

And gradually the fit came along just from working on fitting people and from then riding myself and kind of comparing with what I was doing with fitting with what I was experiencing when I was riding. I was still racing a ton and building bikes for my teammates and building bikes for people that were buying them from me and racing so I was getting a lot of feedback on the design piece too.

So I would say that the design in terms of how the bike rides and the fit were coming along gradually and the business part, I mean, if we stepped back and looked at a graph of the trajectory of the different facets of me as a builder or of the business it was like Vanilla got super popular and so we got a ton of orders, meanwhile the business was not in the place to deal with that popularity. So the wait list ballooned and the craft piece was there, like the bikes looked good. The bikes were riding well, but the business side of it was on this very shallow trajectory.

A big reason why we stopped going to NAHBS was I realized that there were so many things inside of our shop that we weren’t doing as well as we were doing the bikes and I was frustrated with that. We weren’t going to focus on building hype or the brand or anything like that anymore until we got our ducks in a row here. I was conscious of taking a business from an adolescent phase to a mature kind of grown up adult phase of the business.

BIKERUMOR: And yeah, it is grown up.

SACHA: And along with that stuff- that has to do with having clear processes for customer service. Even basic stuff like checklists, which seem obvious, but all that stuff has to be developed. Everything in here is developed organically over time, usually as a solution to a problem. I’m the kind of person who does things by trial and error. That’s how I learned how to build bikes also.

It’s all of that stuff, all the way to our employees and what wages we pay and having profit sharing and pretty aggressive paid time off schedule. Family wages. That kind of thing.

I think a lot about not only what we do but why we do it, and is there actual value there or is it more… masturbatory.

BIKERUMOR: Great term.

SACHA: Well you know, like the builder slaving away in his shop. So okay, you spent 200 hours on your frame. Who gives a fuck? What does it ride like? What are all these other pieces that are actually worth something? I guess I just question the handmade thing and I only want to do it if there is real value there. I don’t want to do it because I’m patting myself on the back- a lot of stuff in Portland can be seen that way.

Yeah, so when I think about that, so we make 100 bikes, 120 to 140 bikes per year-

Vanilla Workshop work-in-progress

BIKERUMOR: Is that combined brands?

SACHA: Yeah. And we’ve got 10 full timers and a few part timers. So when you break that down and you think about human hours into each bike. That’s between 250-300 human hours into each bike that we’re sending out. That’s a shit ton of time going into a bicycle. So then I think about what do customers see and what do customers recognize. And do they see that? Do they recognize the value that comes from that? What are all of the things they are getting with that time as compared with a one man shop?

Vanilla Workshop paint
The Paint Shop

One thing they are getting are responses to their emails which is no small thing. They are also getting clear estimates. They are getting paint proofs. Essentially what they are getting is an experience that is dialed. It’s not just the frames that are dialed. It’s all of the customer interactions and it’s the finished product. And it’s being fitted.

It’s little things that are maybe mundane to talk about but it’s the kind of thing that ultimately makes a business a pleasure to deal with.

BIKERUMOR: What’s your lead time for a Speedvagen versus a Vanilla?

SACHA: Speedvagen is like two or three months. Vanilla is- I build about 15 of them a year and we have a list of four or five-hundred people.

Vanilla Workshop Sacha work 2

BIKERUMOR: Can you talk a little about the origin of Speedvagen?

SACHA: The genesis of Speedvagen really came from those early days of Vanilla and comments online of “That’s too pretty to ride, you should hang that on the wall.” That’s not who I am. That’s pretty much 100% counter to what my sensibilities are. I like to make something that looks good and take it as far as I can take it, but there’s no part of that, that should then be hung on a wall. To me, a bike is not happy if it’s not being used.

Like I said, everything in here is a solution to a problem, and that’s what Speedvagen is. Speedvagen is a solution to what was a problem with the Vanilla model. The Vanilla model was super custom, basically prototypes every time. Although that’s enjoyable, what it turns into is inaccessibility. That can be inaccessibility with a wait list or inaccessibility with a price tag. But one way or another, I couldn’t build bikes for my friends or fellow racers or people who, like, my neighbor wants a bike and I can’t fucking build him a bike and I don’t have fucking time to do it.

BIKERUMOR: So it sounds like Speedvagen is your solution to broaden your impact.

SACHA: Mmhm. I’ve made an effort to grow the company in a way that I can actually build bikes instead of just being a manager. So now we have a management team and I’m on the floor building, I don’t know, ¾ of the time at least, which is totally the most satisfying part. If I can just be at the bench and just working on stuff, I’m absolutely the happiest.

BIKERUMOR: And you have people dealing with the stuff that would have you swearing under your breath all day long.

SACHA: Like bookkeeping or cutting checks or customer service…yeah, there are so many aspects that I’ve realized that I don’t want to do that- I’m actually not really good at it. Like Customer Service… I kind of take that shit personally. I get kind of snippy with people.

BIKERUMOR: Product evolution: each Vanilla is an evolving prototype. You’ve talked on it a couple of times in the past. So what does that evolution look like?

SACHA: A detail doesn’t make it onto our frames unless it has a purpose and I’d like to think that the purpose adds to the beauty of it. We do a lot of reinforcing with stainless on the Speedvagens and there is a design language to that. And there is a continuity of the design language that goes across different facets of the frame, so there is a beauty there but it’s ultimately there first for function and that’s to prevent paint from popping off of the bike.

BIKERUMOR: You’ve been doing disc brakes intermittently. But you have a new Speedvagen solution to it that is kind of crazy. Do you want to talk about that system in particular? First of all, does that rear part bolt up into [the seatstay]-

SACHA: Yeah

Vanilla Workshop SV disc

BIKERUMOR: Goddamn it. That’s pretty cool.

SACHA: Yeah, so we were working on prototypes for Disc and this is something team members were going to race on, the cross team. First we had a drawing that looked the same as the Speedvagen dropout currently but we had a shelf on the inside for the caliper to bolt to. It always looked chunky and not a great solution so I don’t think we even ever built a prototype for that but we definitely had a computer model and we were fucking around with that.

Then we settled on a Breezer-style dropout that- I actually mocked that whole thing up. We even had the frame built and I was like filing these massive holes in the seatstay, and then it occurred to us that oh, we already have a shelf that is going to the inside that we could mount to if we just raised it up a little bit. Then thinking about the braking forces going up into the frame rather than pulling on the dropout, and the benefits coming from that. It lightened up the whole situation and did great things for stress distribution.

Vanilla Workshop Disc

BIKERUMOR: You didn’t have to have a brace.

SACHA: So we built one frame like that and Jeff Curtis was racing on that last year. And we built another one and sent it out for FEA testing before we built anymore for testing.

BIKERUMOR: Can you talk about these component collaborative efforts you have? The ENVE stem and the custom Paul brakes- how did those come about?

SACHA: I guess just ideas that I thought were good and that I wanted to push through. The stem with the integrated hanger so you’re getting rid of the external hanger and the flex and the weight and everything that comes with it. And the chatter that comes with that. How can we make this a reality? ENVE- we have a very strong relationship with them. So that was natural fit.

Vanilla Workshop Paul brakes

Paul, I’ve always used Paul brakes. They have that stainless shim that their brakes ride on so I looked at that- it’s this great, oversized stainless piece. That why, well, why don’t we just replace the little flexy cantilever piece all together with this and just make that bushing extend, and turn that into the new canti boss. I mean, that was a natural fit because it was actually a Paul design, that bushing was, so we just took it a step further.

BIKERUMOR: Are there other examples of you replacing existing standards, such as bolting from the bottom up with your disc mount?

SACHA: Speedvagen started with a cross bike. I looked at every different facet of a cross bike and thought, how can we kind of break from tradition or at least, not breaking from tradition for tradition’s sake, but are there things that have been done for 100 years just because they have been done for a 100 years.

The canti boss is a great example of that. Why would you have the brake sitting an inch off of the stay when that creates so much more leverage on the the stay itself that you’ll get a ton of flex out of that? Why would you have the brake sitting on a 6mm stud? It’s things like that or like on the road bikes- mounting the brake to a brake bridge- why just do that for a painted surface when every single bike that has a brake mounted to a painted surface, the paint bubbles up and blows off of that. That’s a subtle subtle change from the norm.

Oh- there’s actually a lot of this kind of stuff built into the Speedvagen track bike, which we only ever made a few of because it turns out that its hard to make the tubing. Things like instead of putting a bash guard on the outside of the top tube, we actually butt the tube so that it’s thick right there where it’s going to get smacked by the bar.

Things like dropouts have traditionally been two dimensional- they’ve been basically two dimensional, like they are cut from a plate of whatever material. Meanwhile, the rest of the frame is made from a tube. So why not make the dropout into more of a three dimensional structure, more of a tube-like structure rather than just leave it as two dimensional plate? So that’s kind of what’s going on with Speedvagen road dropouts, and that’s a lot of what’s going on with Speedvagen track dropouts. They are these deep truss structures.

Vanilla Workshop Disc nude

BIKERUMOR: So somebody places an order for a Vanilla five years ago. They don’t have the bike yet. Due to Vanilla’s product evolution, what they are getting in the future is not nearly what they ordered, right? How do you rectify that?

SACHA: I rectify that- I mean, that’s something I didn’t foresee a long time ago, but now when people get their bikes, I’ve already had that conversation with them a long time ago that, hey, what I’m going to be building five or however many years from now is bound to be different. And if somebody is like, I really like this thing you were doing… I don’t really build with Stainless lugs anymore, polished stainless, it’s just glitz and it’s kind of a “hey look at me detail.”

So if somebody really wants that I’ll talk through my rational, the bikes are all better for all these reasons, and I don’t usually get a lot of push back on that.

BIKERUMOR: That’s interesting. Well with Richard Sachs, you get a Richard Sachs-

SACHA: And that would be my argument also. If you’re getting a bike from me, especially a Vanilla, you want the best of what I do, right? You know, that’s what I would say to the customer. What I’m doing now is definitely the best I can do.

Any Vanilla or Speedvagen you see on the road is the best possible bike we could build at that time. And will continue to be the case. So I think there is an understanding when someone is purchasing a bike that innovations and technology will change over time and that the bike they are getting is the best possible bike that could be made now. And that the bike that is going to happen 15 years from now will probably have a different feature set.

Vanilla Workshop fit studio
No Touching! No Touching! Fit in progress.

BIKERUMOR: So they place this order how ever long ago, do you call them up personally and re-talk about it? Do you re-fit them?

SACHA: Yeah, so that’s something that has changed over time too. I don’t fit people until it’s time to build their bike. And I don’t talk details until it’s time to build their bike. And this has happened in the past. If I had talked to somebody when then first placed their order they’re like “I totally want a fixed gear.” Meanwhile, here we are in 2015, and people want road bikes.

Pretty much as far back as I could remember, maybe in the first half of the time I’ve been building- I probably had to have those conversations. Now I’ll email somebody and say “hey, you’ve been waiting for a long time, and now it’s time to get ready to go.”

BIKERUMOR: You email them the golden ticket.

TheVanillaWorkshop.com

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37 Comments
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Sardinien
Sardinien
7 years ago

The reason why people buy cookie cutter bikes over this jurrassical crap is pure and simple : cookie cutters are cheaper and they run much better than these pretentious and wannabe romantic pieces of metal. Yeah ok,oh wow..”what a magnificent piece of hand work”, “oh my god this is what I call true passion for bike”, “oh my goodness this bike looks sooooo cool,look at these lugs” . Those who buy these sort of bikes have enough money to hang them in their lofts in San Francisco or Portland while they keep riding cookie cutters from Giant and Merida. Well done.

BMANX
BMANX
7 years ago

Your comments are so far off base Sardinien!

Greg
Greg
7 years ago

Someone is suffering from severe posterior discomfort.

Sardinien
Sardinien
7 years ago

Greg why are you so interested in my posterior discomfort ? I’m using a Specialized Toupe saddle not a Brooks so no,my posterior is doing fine,thank you for your concern.

Espen Wettre
Espen Wettre
7 years ago

Why bother? If you don’t like traditional craftsmanship?
Many handmade bikes rides great, and can be made exactly to your likes.

e

flavio
flavio
7 years ago

Are you kidding Sardinien?

This is for real

http://www.thevanillaworkshop.com/speedvagen-road/

A “plastic” bike is not.

mudrock
mudrock
7 years ago

That guy is definitely laboring under all those orders – it sounds like it’s an albatross around his neck. I’m not a fan of his dropouts though, it’s one of the dirtiest places on a bike and calls for a clean design.

Ryan
Ryan
7 years ago

Don’t get mad at Sardinien, let them remain happy and content with their cookie cutter. There are benefits to each, cookie cutters and “crap.” I have, ride, and appreciate both types. Compare them to sunglasses, you have your cookie cutters that you wear on a float trip down the river, and you have your “crap” glass lensed, polarized, wire frames for driving. Both do the job. Sometimes I’ll wear my “river” shades while driving, and sometimes I’ll wear my “crap” on the river.

Gerard Buntle
Gerard Buntle
7 years ago

This dude has no idea where the loads are going in his disk brake setup. It’s pretty and will work fine, but the reasoning is completely flawed.

pile-on
pile-on
7 years ago

@Sardinien I’d also say you got it wrong regarding Sacha White. I raced against Sacha about a dozen years ago in the Cross Crusade and he was a pretty cool guy back then before he was placed on a pedestal. That said, his reputation is well deserved and well earned–the Speedvagens I’ve seen are raced hard and put away muddy. Try not to confuse pretense with passion, his bikes are legit and just happen to look beautiful too.

Icycle_Bay
7 years ago

Paterek not Paternek. Author of the Paterek Manual for bicycle framebuilders.

Nice guy, flawless production. Always a pleasure to see work from Vanilla/Speedvagen

ABW
ABW
7 years ago

I’m starting to feel like a broken record, but once again, let’s try not to confuse “price” and “value.” Sounds to me like a Vanilla is not worth it to Sardinien. Cool. Nobody is going to make you buy one. What I will never understand and what drives me crazy is the righteous indignation from somebody like Sardinien when others express that it *might* be worth it to *somebody.*

Billy.
Billy.
7 years ago

Sardinien, clearly you didn’t read the article.

EricInNC
EricInNC
7 years ago

Gerard, please elaborate — I can’t tell from what you’ve written whether you are a mechanical engineer who sees serious goofiness with the new disc brake mount, or are just talking. He said he sent out for FEA, and given the effort his approach takes, I would think the design has been vetted.

Generalcuz
Generalcuz
7 years ago

I have a friend who waited a few months for a speedvagen two years ago. He absolutely loves it and spec’d it with the hardware to compliment the frame. (Sram RED and Enve Wheels) This bike is no carbon wonder rig, nor does he expect it to be but it rides great and he has no problem keeping it pinned. The thing I think about the most with his purchase is that he seems absolutely happy and hasn’t deviated much since then. He used to impulse buy bikes and bounce from brand to brand. The speedvagen put and end to that. I don’t doubt he will hang onto it for many years to come.

Von Kruiser
Von Kruiser
7 years ago

Both sides of cookie cutter Asian bike and hand built bikes have their pros and cons. Hand built are pieces of art which 90% of the time ride insanely nice. Also cookie cutter bikes have more options for all the price points you desire and “usually” have a higher performance/price factor (lighter, stiffer, etc…).

Issues w/ hand built is they are not tested to CPSC or EU standards. You rely a 100% on that builders experience but it is not validated. The exception is Waterford frame and fork (Ex: Shinola). These are tested to a standard and cycle tested. Most of the time an artisan crafted frame is fine but I’ve seen some real crap (once in a while) of miss aligned frames usually shifting wrong, or not compatible w/ component tolerances, etc… but look incredible. This is not too common but have seen this plenty of time… especially custom. You had better pick the right builder or you’re looking for trouble. Delivery and communication… do not get me started… 90% of them are terrible on over promising (great exception is: Stoemper.com in Portland w/ great price, light w/ perfection)… there are plenty others who are great.

Asian built bikes have their issues as well but have more customer service (usually). Everyone has had creaking BB’s, frame failures as well from Asian assembled bikes… but they are (usually) more responsive. Same can be said for parts makers (made in USA and Asia). Also can be too distant and out of touch when you need them the most.

If you do your homework and ask a lot of questions, both artisan and Asian assembled bike are perfect for what your dream bike is. Most of us have both right?

Chris L
Chris L
7 years ago

Von Kruiser is right. Some of the worse frames I’ve ever worked on come from some of the most prestigious builders. Colnago are a great example. I had a Colnago titanium frame in which the seat tube had been so badly ovalized from over heating that it took a ton of effort to get it to the point where you could even put a seatpost in it. Every Colnago I’ve worked on usually required an hour or two of work before you could even start attaching parts. Threads had to be cleaned up, surfaces faced, etc. Also plenty of out of alignment hangers and rear triangles. I’ve also seen custom frames from American builders where the cantilever posts were several mm apart on height or not at a right angle to the rim. Of course I’ve also seen plenty of frames from small builders that were absolutely flawless. Asian frames above a certain price point are much more consistent. The downside of course is you can’t get a Specialized, Trek, etc. custom made for you. Also nice to have something truly unique – same reason people buy expensive watches, cars, etc. Not everyone wants a perfectly functional yet utterly generic bike.

tom
tom
7 years ago

playing devil’s advocate here, but how many bikes has he actually built? And does that make him an absolute authority on technical characteristics of the build, and the fit? For example, let’s say he’s built 100 bikes, all of them different sizes. How can he possibly know a minor change in the butting of a tube lead to an ride effect? I’m not knocking his fabrication, but I seriously doubt he can afford the R&D effort that Specialized, Giant or Trek have. I’ve personally ridden about 30 bikes in my long racing history and they were all about the same size. I can’t say exactly why one was better than the other, but maybe I’m not very perceptive any. But I’m just not in a rush to deify the person who built my bike.

Maybe it’s all meaningless anyway, and people should just buy/ride what makes them happy.

Ryan
Ryan
7 years ago

Regarding how one may ride them differently:

I ride a “boutique” hand built NAHBS quality bike well outside my income tax bracket. It was part gift, part treat, part splurge, part using-all-my-favors, and big part right place/right time. I ride it as if it were a cookie cutter. I don’t treat it any differently. I appreciate and admire it more, but I don’t let that affect the way I use it. In fact, right now you could eat off the drivetrain but not see the frameset, wheels, or tires because there are so many layers of muck. I wash it maybe once a year. You would not know what I was riding other than the fact it was a rigid SS 29r with a very clean drivetrain. I say this to deter the notion that may arise claiming riders of these hand built caliber specimens do it for pretension. It could be a klunker under that mud for all you know. It’s got chipped bits to the bare frame, deep cuts through all the layers of paint and always ridden hard and put away dirty. I don’t pamper it—at all.

word
word
7 years ago

(deleted)

Really
Really
7 years ago

Thanks for a great article Bike Rumour, and thanks Sacha for your thorough comments.

Some jealous people posting here, maybe some of you guys can’t afford his bikes and to feel
better you either have to bash the builder or his bikes. One thing for sure, chances are Sacha can design a bike better than you and build a bike better than you.

Great article, cool pics, top made in USA product. (deleted).

Brian
Brian
7 years ago

Great interview, thanks

Norm
Norm
7 years ago

Second call to Gerard Buntle to substantiate his little crack of a comment: you say the disc brake design will work fine but the reasoning is flawed. If it will work fine and it looks more elegant, where’s the flaw? Perhaps your comment needs a little FEA (Finite English Analysis). You may have a valid point, but it’s not evident from your comment.

Norm
Norm
7 years ago

@Ryan @Really @Brian –you good commenters have said it good and proper! Thank you to Bike Rumor and Sacha for this interview. It is a special treat to have a glimpse into the working life and evolution of Vanilla Bicycles. Thank you!

(deleted)

Tim
Tim
7 years ago

@Ryan,

So you’re saying that not only are the cookie-cutter bikes and the NAHBS bikes not all the same, even the _riders_ are not all the same?! Then how the hell are we supposed to sum up Sacha White and Vanilla/Speedvagen in one pat little post, and what the hell good is this internet thing anyway?!

Oh, do you think I should put a winkie? ;-p

Yeah, for me they’re all bikes. Ride whatever floats your boat and don’t worry too much about mixing your metaphors. But these ones are, how you say, ‘balleur’!

Tim

Joey
Joey
7 years ago

Great history lesson. Thanks for the write-up.

JasonK
JasonK
7 years ago

I’m also confused by Gerard Buntle’s assertion that White doesn’t understand the load paths involved in his disc mount.

It’s true that White’s comment about “the brake forces going up into the frame rather than pulling on the dropout” don’t make much sense…braking forces get reacted out (partially) through the drop out even if the brake is not mounted directly to it.

More alarming is this quote about the particular physical prototypes White built in the development process: “And we built another one and sent it out for FEA testing before we built anymore for testing.”

You don’t send out physical parts for finite element analysis. FEA is a numerical simulation done on a computer…there’s no such thing as running an FE analysis on a physical prototype.

But FEA is my specialty, and although I’ve built a frame myself, I know for a fact I’ll never, ever build one nearly as beautiful as Sascha White’s. The guy is talented.

One minor concern: He seems to be mounting the rear caliper to the frame with the bolt going from the faced surface of the caliper into the seatstay. This means the non-faced surface is in contact with the seatstay. Brake manufacturers would likely never expect a caliper to be mounted this way, and would only hold precise tolerances on the faced surface. The opposite surface would have much looser tolerances and this could make the rear brake fiddly to align. But I bet it works fine anyway.

It’s also true that

WheelNut
WheelNut
5 years ago
Reply to  JasonK

It’s possible that the frame was going to be 3D modelled for the FEA by the engineer doing the analysis. I’m guessing Vanilla doesn’t build 3D models in Solidworks before creating a bike in the shop.

Antipodean_G
7 years ago

I was going to type a witty, provocative retort to @Sardinien but realised I had to trim my toenails.

Antipodean_G
7 years ago

@Von Kruiser “CPSC or EU standards”, I would not put too much faith in that, having designed and frames put through CEN. The CEN testing procedures are flawed and result in bikes being over built to pass unrealistic tests. Furthermore, testing 5 frames total (the number that have to be submitted for testing prior to production) in a production run of 1000+ is , well, bunk.

At the time (and this MAY have changed) I had it on good account that many of the super wonder road frames never went through testing due to some loopholes in the laws in the EU and elsewhere.

Von Kruiser
Von Kruiser
7 years ago

Antipodean – So no testing is better w/ a custom frame? Youre reasoning is flawed. I’ll take testing over non-test any day of the week. Factories who do testing do it every production run. Each production run has fall out which do not pass or have to be reworked. Per my original post, I say “usually” and gave a lot of leadway both ways (custom or Asian) and it’s never black and white like youre presuming. Performance versus price, large assemblers “usually” are a better value but no custom love, pride. However doing my homework I can comfortably buy a custom non-tested builders frame no problem. Have had many custom framesets myself.

Antipodean_G
7 years ago

@Von Kruiser actually, that’s not what I’m saying at all and in fact I never even discussed the custom side.

“Factories who do testing do it every production run.” = no. Every model, not run. Once the model has passed, that’s it. As far as fall out, for structural testing? Nope. For visual QC issues, yes.

marycane
marycane
7 years ago

The rear brake mount seems a little trouble.
And how can this guy claim to have “invented” the short brake boss mount?
I have bikes from the 70’s with extremely short mounts.
Frames are very pretty if that is your cup of tea, but please no other claims.
Greetings from Italy.

Jose
Jose
7 years ago

All bikes are handmade. Even those found at Walmart.

Dimitri
Dimitri
7 years ago

@JasonK not really calling you out just commenting.

“Sent out” can just mean sent somewhere to be modelled/measured, for FEA, which it is entirely likely his workshop does not have the capability for.

OR he could be sending a file.

I get the idea from the way he “speaks” or words his replies he’s not one for semantics. Lots of creative people communicate in a similar way.

re mounting face being reversed, i don’t see it as a huge issue, a lot of brake callipers are so poorly machined on the mating surface its not really an issue. even paint on the top where the bolt normally seats can make the calliper walk over as you tighten it. Lots of these guys prefer to assemble the bikes too, so I’d be more inclined to say theyre on top of it, rather than missing anything.

The interview was a great little insight. ive always kinda liked the bikes but theyre a little played out, but i appreciate what theyre doing a little more now.

j-bo
j-bo
7 years ago

400-500 person-long wait list @ 15 bikes per year = 26.7- 33- year long wait list.

um, what?

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