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  #121  
Old 03-26-2012, 02:44 PM
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firerescuefin firerescuefin is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joachim View Post
I guess that would make Spectrum, Firefly and Dave Kirk a lower/middle tier builder on pricing. Now that is a bargain!
Amen.

I don't know if I would target Serotta's pricepoint...it doesn't seem to be working for them too well right now. Basic economic theory tells us very few people, in any industry, can dictate price. Hard to look at the Zanc, Kirk, Spectrum,Strong, Peg, IF, Firefly, Vanilla, etc. and justify that pricepoint (as a consumer). Time will soon tell.
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  #122  
Old 03-26-2012, 03:37 PM
Spin71 Spin71 is offline
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Originally Posted by mistermo View Post
Yes, indeed I am. PM me if you want to discuss.
He never closed his shop. Never returned deposits (to the best of my knowledge) Production never completely stopped, wait time just increased. Pegoretti isn't a one man shop. He didn't re open after his clean bill of health with a huge price increase and told the people he refunded deposits they could get back on line with a huge increase. Apples and oranges.
  #123  
Old 03-26-2012, 03:40 PM
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mistermo mistermo is offline
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Originally Posted by Spin71 View Post
He never closed his shop. Never returned deposits (to the best of my knowledge) Production never completely stopped, wait time just increased. Pegoretti isn't a one man shop. He didn't re open after his clean bill of health with a huge price increase and told the people he refunded deposits they could get back on line with a huge increase. Apples and oranges.
Your knowledge is wrong. PM me if you want to continue. This isn't the place.
  #124  
Old 03-26-2012, 05:20 PM
clweed clweed is offline
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Here is podcast of an interview with the Outspoken Cyclist and Brent in June of 2011

Pretty interesting stuff.
  #125  
Old 08-14-2012, 03:49 PM
d_douglas d_douglas is online now
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This is not mudslinging but

I just looked at Steelman's website thanks to WIlliam's Builders list and damn, his bikes are exxxpensive!

I think he builds beautiful bikes, but correct me if I am wrong, he must be at the top of the price-heap in terms of steel bikes ?!?

Maybe Maestros Sachs or Pegoretti and surely Mr. White's crazy creations exceed these prices, but for a standard (and gorgeous) road frame - wow.

It must be a tough sell, when you are looking for business, versus Sachs or Pego who are full of work for the foreseeable future.
  #126  
Old 08-14-2012, 04:16 PM
clweed clweed is offline
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Brent's craftsmanship is top notch along with Kieth Andersons paint job. The bike is awesome!!
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  #127  
Old 08-14-2012, 04:39 PM
d_douglas d_douglas is online now
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Mmmmm

I retract my *seemingly* negative comment about Steelman.

Your bike is sublime.
  #128  
Old 08-14-2012, 05:04 PM
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deanster deanster is offline
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Reality check...Thanks!

Business is business...sometimes people think that a bike builder is having so much fun building bikes that money discussions are a crass blemish on a purist endeavor...thanks for the reality check.

Quote:
Originally Posted by David Kirk View Post
Thats'a good question.

The reason is simple - so both sides have some skin in the game. I ask for a $300 to hold the clients place in line - that is their skin. Mine is that I'm making cash flow and business plans based on the promise of that future business. Without predictable and reliable cashflow there is no way a builder can plan and do anything more than survive day to day.

For a short period many years ago I put people in the queue without taking an even small deposit - I just took them at their word. Unfortunately no matter how well intended they were and how much they really wanted a bike when I contacted them and told them is was time to go they bailed - one after another. Lesson learned. So now I ask for that $300 and it keeps to impulse purchases that will never be followed through on to a minimum and now I can plan ahead and run my business much more efficiently........and the customer is assured a spot in the queue. We both have something at risk.

dave
  #129  
Old 08-14-2012, 05:08 PM
Peter P. Peter P. is offline
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While I agree that his prices, both for his TIG and lugged models, are significantly higher than most, who am I to criticize him? If he's comfortable with his pricing and is making a living then all the more power to him. If the pricing reduces demand, he'll either get the hint or go out of business.

In his defense, he has the reputation, longevity, and quality to justify premium pricing.
  #130  
Old 08-14-2012, 06:20 PM
djg djg is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by d_douglas View Post
I just looked at Steelman's website thanks to WIlliam's Builders list and damn, his bikes are exxxpensive!

I think he builds beautiful bikes, but correct me if I am wrong, he must be at the top of the price-heap in terms of steel bikes ?!?

Maybe Maestros Sachs or Pegoretti and surely Mr. White's crazy creations exceed these prices, but for a standard (and gorgeous) road frame - wow.

It must be a tough sell, when you are looking for business, versus Sachs or Pego who are full of work for the foreseeable future.

Well, right, most builders of steel frames who post prices post lower prices, and maybe this is somewhere in the vicinity of the top, but why should that matter? I've got no skin in the game here, but what's wrong with looking for a viable business model and making adjustments as you go? I have a team mate with a Steelman cross bike. He thinks it's great. I've no idea what he'd pay for another, but I reckon (a) that there's no single universally accepted heirarchy of frame builders, (b) that Mr. Steelman has his fans -- is very well known, and very well regarded, at least by some, (c) that Steelman fans will pay some premium to deal with him, and (d) there's one way to find out how many will pay how much.

I've actually got a new frame in paint with a particular fellow in Pennsylvania. I wanted a bike from him, and was willing to pay what he was asking. I didn't care -- this time -- to go to somebody else, even somebody well-regarded, who might have charged 500 bucks less for a frame. Or even 1,000. And I certainly didn't go where I did because some other guy was charging 400 bucks more. I didn't settle. I wanted to deal with a particular guy. I'm happy to be dealing with him. Which is not to say that I was entirely indifferent to price. The sky wasn't the limit. The limit was the limit -- someplace real that I didn't have to investigate or struggle with in this particular case.

Somebody else might very well shop differently. I've done it before myself. You have perferences, interests, budget constraints, and you do what you do.

I reckon that Mr. Steelman will find out whether 3 or 30 or 300 people will line up at the currently contemplated prices. I have no basis on which to predict the results, but I wish him well in all regards.
  #131  
Old 08-14-2012, 06:51 PM
d_douglas d_douglas is online now
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yes

Me too. You are right, there is no established hierarchy.

I own a Speedvagen, and I choked at the thought of spending $3500 on a steel frame set, and whaddya know, now I own one! I would buy another Vanilla, so I guess Sacha's pricing scale worked for me.

Steelmand has certainly been building nice frames for longer than Sacha and many others; this indicates nothing except that there is no formula for predicting prices, demand, and also quality.

I hope he is turning people away (no, actually, I hope he has just the right number of customers). If I won a lottery, I would buy one of his bikes, no doubt.
  #132  
Old 08-14-2012, 09:42 PM
Jack Brunk Jack Brunk is offline
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Sorry

but his prices are a joke. I can get a better built, custom titanium frame either road or mountain from Firefly and others. I'd hate to see him become a titanium builder. Maybe close to 10k for a frame. Nice looking frame though on the last frame posted. Maybe most of the money is in the paint.
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  #133  
Old 08-14-2012, 09:45 PM
wc1934 wc1934 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by b.steelman View Post
I know the new prices seem high. After my brain crashed and burned, and the decision was made to start over, some serious reevaluation was necessary to avoid a repeat. I have been doing this for almost 30 years and have sold a lot of bikes. Outside the satisfaction derived from seeing happy customers, the ratio of reward to hard work is out of balance. If you want to call me I will tell you the average bottom line on the schedule c for those years of work. It is embarrassing. Is it an evil thing if I want my wife and I to live on 60K instead of 21k? Most people in America make much more than a good frame builder and they don't work nearly as hard. If I don't sell bikes at the new prices, which are based on real costs and a decent wage, then it shows the market is unwilling to reward the skills needed to produce a top level product. I am not embarrassed by the prices because they are actually a fair value. You get a great bike and maybe I can buy some health insurance and start a small retirement account.
Good for you! You need to do what you think is best for you and your family because if you don't, no one else will. As was stated before, most here do not have a skin in this game, don't know all the particulars, yet freely offer opinions and suggestions (both + and -) as that is the nature of forums.
Your frames are a thing of beauty and you are a true artist/craftsman. You are in business to make money, so pricing is your call - charge whatever you want - As you said, let the market decide if your price is fair. I hope that maybe those who were in line can somehow get back in cue (if they so desire), as opposed to starting their wait all over.
I do not know you, but best of luck. It sounds like you have had quite an ordeal and I wish you well.
  #134  
Old 08-14-2012, 10:13 PM
monkeybanana86 monkeybanana86 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by b.steelman View Post
I know the new prices seem high. After my brain crashed and burned, and the decision was made to start over, some serious reevaluation was necessary to avoid a repeat. I have been doing this for almost 30 years and have sold a lot of bikes. Outside the satisfaction derived from seeing happy customers, the ratio of reward to hard work is out of balance. If you want to call me I will tell you the average bottom line on the schedule c for those years of work. It is embarrassing. Is it an evil thing if I want my wife and I to live on 60K instead of 21k? Most people in America make much more than a good frame builder and they don't work nearly as hard. If I don't sell bikes at the new prices, which are based on real costs and a decent wage, then it shows the market is unwilling to reward the skills needed to produce a top level product. I am not embarrassed by the prices because they are actually a fair value. You get a great bike and maybe I can buy some health insurance and start a small retirement account.

Cool to see you here! You might not remember me but I visited your shop three or four years back and your wife gave my friend and me a tour of your place. I was gathering information on frame building to make my own bike which I did! So thanks and thanks? for the calendar of all the naked northern cal. builders haha

I can't believe I never saw this thread before. I would hate to see one less bay area builder.
  #135  
Old 08-14-2012, 11:55 PM
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Uncle Jam's Army Uncle Jam's Army is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clweed View Post
Brent's craftsmanship is top notch along with Kieth Andersons paint job. The bike is awesome!!
Lee, that bike is sweet. Enjoy!
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