Reasonably priced Aussie frame builder?

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Re: Reasonably priced Aussie frame builder?

Postby Jean » Wed Aug 21, 2013 12:18 pm

dayne wrote:$1000 or less, no where in the western world.
A tube set alone is $300-$400,
a very cheap paint job is $350
This leaves a builder $250 to build it over 2 days at $15hr
May be you could try Colossi through gear shop,
Made in china but pretty good quality but still over $1000
Or go tig not lugged, or try the eBay game for a vintage 650b


For reference, an off-the peg Colossi TIG-welded Columbus Zona road frame (without forks), with any colour & decal arrangement you want, is $635 including shipping from Brisbane to Canberra. I have a Colossi on order at the moment.

They do custom in straight 4130 Cro-mo as well as Columbus tubing, so there might be an option there, but they are made OS.
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by BNA » Wed Aug 21, 2013 5:45 pm

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Re: Reasonably priced Aussie frame builder?

Postby dayne » Wed Aug 21, 2013 5:45 pm

Yep they are made in China, The off the peg models are a good price as they are making hundreds at a time,
The customs are a little more then add a fork, Braze ons, fender mounts, lugged and probably close to $1200? at a very rough guess.
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Re: Reasonably priced Aussie frame builder?

Postby ldrcycles » Wed Aug 21, 2013 6:42 pm

Europa bikes wrote:Depending on tubing prices start at $595.00 including forks


That's how they do it, depending on tubing. So $595 would be full rusty-gaspipe-from-a-farm-clearing-sale :lol: .


On a more serious note, given a paint job is several hundred, perhaps it would be possible to get a frame "in the white"?
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Re: Reasonably priced Aussie frame builder?

Postby Steve F » Wed Aug 21, 2013 6:48 pm

I'd buy a bare frame and get it powdercoated if the paint job costs that much, my Ricardo is in getting powdercoated at the moment and standard colours are $80, mine is getting a copper sparkle and is a bit more as it's a special order but nowhere near $350 (more like $120). Or is powder coating frowned upon? mine is just a fun bike so nothing serious.

And I'm not sure where $350 goes in painting a bike frame, I'd be calling around at that price and looking for mates rates etc. My motorbike (tank, fairing, seat) was painted for $130 in 2K with a clear coat.

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Re: Reasonably priced Aussie frame builder?

Postby ldrcycles » Wed Aug 21, 2013 7:54 pm

Steve F wrote:Or is powder coating frowned upon?


Yes it is, often by the same sort of snobs who frown on using anything other than Campagnolo :) . In the hands of someone who knows what they're doing powdercoat can be fantastic, the perception comes from people who don't care just slapping the powder on so all the detail on the lugs gets covered up. Powdercoat prime followed by paint is a good option, that was how Dawes bikes were done in the 80s.

As for the cost, those are the basic going rates for people like Joe Cosgrove or damhooligan (I forget his real name), but they are absolutely exceptional at what they do. Bike frames are fiddly to do really well, and adding any sort of extra colours, masking etc means lots of time and money. They're specialists, charging specialist's rates. Anyone who knows how to use a spraygun could do it (I've done half a dozen bikes with rattlecans with good results) the key thing is that they give enough of a damn to do it properly.
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Re: Reasonably priced Aussie frame builder?

Postby spirito » Wed Aug 21, 2013 11:30 pm

singlespeedscott wrote:
spirito wrote:Define reasonably priced :?:
$1000 or less. I'm not after art I'm after a tool.


I think the problem isn't that Australian framebuilders "completely price themselves out of the game " for you but in actual fact you are completely unrealistic in your expectations. $1000 for a built to order (your spec?) 650b frameset with eyelets and basic paint is a big ask ... you can't even get a production 650b frameset for that kind of money here or anywhere overseas (that includes the Velo Orange fillet brazed frame either shipped direct or through local vendors). You don't need a new frame but if you want someone to make one for you I can't see how you can expect such for so little. Out of interest, what do you consider a fair hourly rate for a frame builder?

Including emails, consulting, back and forth with plans/drawings before signing off plus the actual time it takes to build a one off custom frame will take about 30 hours build time (if not more). $1000 won't even cover the cost of materials, overheads, depreciation of tools and assets, consumables and product liability insurance.

Nothing wrong with wanting a cheap frame. Plenty of used examples and other options using production in regions where labour rates and manufacturing costs are low. But local builders have much higher overheads, rents, mortgages etc plus kids to send to school and and the mother of all shipping costs to swallow as all their raw materials come from overseas. I can't name one builder who wouldn't make a better living doing any other trade here in Oz.

For such a frame you're more realistically looking at $2500 for a one off made for you frameset by a local builder. Might sound like a lot but such a frame would last at least 15 years (if not 3 times as long with a few repaints) which works out to a little over $0.45c per day. Most everyone here could afford such and is this not the section of the forum where something unique, hand crafted and made locally should be heralded and appreciated? If I'm wrong then perhaps this forum section should be renamed ... :(

$0.45c per day for a hand built, custom frameset ... most people pay more than that for their coffee fix, twice that monthly for their Foxtel, and even more for their mobile phone plans or internet providors. Who here really dreams about classic handbuilt bikes? Australian Made bike might be just a memory one day.
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Re: Reasonably priced Aussie frame builder?

Postby LugNut » Thu Aug 22, 2013 12:49 am

I know they're largely Tig welded minus the fork, but the new Rawland Stag is gorgeous. 1" threadless steerer, butted cro-moly, horizontal top tube, 650B, marvellous colour. Commuter Cycles arn't planning on bringing any into Aus, (I've already asked!) they were the distributor but the demand wasn't high enough to justify the shipping cost. But if they have two definite orders and if we ask very nicely...
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$725 USD, about $800 AUD at current exchange rate.

Anyway that fork crown makes up for the TIG welded frame!
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Rawland Stag delivery day! by ejasongibbs, on Flickr
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Re: Reasonably priced Aussie frame builder?

Postby LugNut » Thu Aug 22, 2013 1:03 am

Also this is out of the price range (and country) but who doesn't love a bit of custom touring bike eye candy. Roberts Roughstuff. Mmmmmm.

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Re: Reasonably priced Aussie frame builder?

Postby Dan » Thu Aug 22, 2013 5:41 am

Well said, Spirito.
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Re: Reasonably priced Aussie frame builder?

Postby dayne » Thu Aug 22, 2013 6:18 am

What spirito said,
The prices I gave were just rough prices that I guessed,
They are not real figures that any one quoted I just used them as an example to work backwards to an hourly rate.
I think the problem is a lot of people on here are completely out of touch with the work that goes in to achieve the bicycle.

A $300 paint job?
Well paint is needed, primer is needed, cleaning the frame, prep work, lay down primer, rub back, lay down top coat, apply decals, clear coat, and baking in between.
You also need to pay for all your gear and some how your medical bills for the fumes,
Then if there is any thing left from the days work may be put some food on the table.

You can't achieve a nice bike with a rattle can, people always suggest it but if it's worth building/restoring to own forever is $350 really that much?
As a heads up $300 is a very cheap industry price,
$550 is normal
With clear $600 is normal
And custom work $1000+
I know what you will say, tommos brothers tennis partner can do it for $80
But he can't put food on the table and run a "business" at those prices.

Powder coat is ok for a tough finish and it's price but on a lugged frame it builds up around the lugs a little but perfect on a tiged frame.

The same applies gor frames,

I ask the same as spirito what is a fair hourly rate for painting/building frames?
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Re: Reasonably priced Aussie frame builder?

Postby dayne » Thu Aug 22, 2013 6:26 am

^^^ this is no way trying to be negative or an attack on any one in perticular or Scott,
Just a heads up on the bike industry,
I can get a little over the top but it's because I'm fairly young and appreciate quality and history,
I'm also afraid that people are now so focused on the bottom line that we may not have a custom bike industry in the future,
Who will paint and build bikes or do repairs when joe cosgrove and guys like the Aussie builders lay down the tools?

We will end up with a heap of beautiful old bikes rattle canned or powder coated.

I was going to post up the rawland link they are the best value for money real tourer out there.
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Re: Reasonably priced Aussie frame builder?

Postby morini » Thu Aug 22, 2013 9:19 am

I think you need to keep this in perspective. Historically bike frames had crap paint jobs and no one really cared.This aspect to them only really became interesting in the 80's. Things move in cycles. All this doom and gloom about losing a local industry is only temporary. There will always be someone painting and building bike frames here and China and somewhere else so why care?

As for choosing. Times are tough, living costs are very high, so the price is always going to win over any aesthetic. Unless you can afford it. I can't see the point keeping Holden alive with our money so the arguments the same. Buy Chinese this year, it used to be Italy once, next year I'll be India.
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Re: Reasonably priced Aussie frame builder?

Postby dayne » Thu Aug 22, 2013 9:58 am

Pre turn of the century bikes had very plain paint, Often just flat black.
But come a few years later and paint became a sign of flair on the frames, Pin striping hand painted decals and metallic starting to show up,
then candy over chrome (chromeveato), then airbrushing, and it goes on.
Nice paint has been around all most as long as the modern bicycle.

But even just plain solid paint takes around 3hrs @50hr thats $150 plus materials
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Re: Reasonably priced Aussie frame builder?

Postby munga » Thu Aug 22, 2013 1:03 pm

you can't get a decent tradie (plumber, builder, brickie, chippie, painter, sparky, mechanic) for $50 an hour
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Re: Reasonably priced Aussie frame builder?

Postby morini » Thu Aug 22, 2013 2:17 pm

munga wrote:you can't get a decent tradie (plumber, builder, brickie, chippie, painter, sparky, mechanic) for $50 an hour


Up here it's nearer $100 and good luck to them. It's their turn to get paid properly after being treated as second rate professionals for decades.

A mate of mine bought a hand made frame in Brissy earlier this year and the maker was telling him that most Carbon frames now only cost Giant etc a couple of bucks each. This is because they're all made in China and mass produced. It's the way of the world so I'd go with it. Buy a Chinese frame Scott and tell us what it's like.
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Re: Reasonably priced Aussie frame builder?

Postby singlespeedscott » Thu Aug 22, 2013 2:53 pm

I am beginning to realise that maybe I'm getting a little unrealistic with my costs.

I have just been basing them off the estimates of frames built by Mercian cycles in the UK. You can get an Audax Special for £700-£850 not including delivery. Basically what I want from an Aussie builder other than the 650B wheels.

Maybe $1500-$2000 maybe a little more reasonable.
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Re: Reasonably priced Aussie frame builder?

Postby LugNut » Thu Aug 22, 2013 5:06 pm

Sell the car! :wink:
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Re: Reasonably priced Aussie frame builder?

Postby singlespeedscott » Thu Aug 22, 2013 6:47 pm

Need the cars.

It's easy to justify it by cents per day of ownership. But it's harder to justify when fronting the cash up front in one hit. Particularly when your a single income family.
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Re: Reasonably priced Aussie frame builder?

Postby Velo13 » Thu Aug 22, 2013 7:05 pm

munga wrote:you can't get a decent tradie (plumber, builder, brickie, chippie, painter, sparky, mechanic) for $50 an hour


You can get a wheelbuilder though ..... sigh. :cry:
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Re: Reasonably priced Aussie frame builder?

Postby morini » Thu Aug 22, 2013 7:11 pm

singlespeedscott wrote:Need the cars.

It's easy to justify it by cents per day of ownership. But it's harder to justify when fronting the cash up front in one hit. Particularly when your a single income family.


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Re: Reasonably priced Aussie frame builder?

Postby spirito » Thu Aug 22, 2013 9:01 pm

What is this, the Qld forum? :lol:

I appreciate everyone's input and of course there is no right answer as it's all subjective and we have different priorities. I do think it's good to see all the pro's & con's discussed and I especially hope that Scott finds the right bike for reasonable coin. There options out there and hopefully a few more avenues opening up around the corner.
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Re: Reasonably priced Aussie frame builder?

Postby morini » Fri Aug 23, 2013 9:28 am

A Queensland Forum?

It's because we have more sunshine up here. Better quality food, more time to ride, more time to think, more time to be happy and more time to take the piss.
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Re: Reasonably priced Aussie frame builder?

Postby Steve F » Fri Aug 23, 2013 12:05 pm

Just got my Ricardo frame back from the powder coaters, $80 for a colour that has a bit of sparkle in it and needed a clear powder over the top. Now it's not up to the standard of a $1000 paint job (probably, looks bloody good to me though) but it'll keep the frame safe for another 25 years and looks good as well :) As an aside if he'd had to order the powder in it would have cost $150 but this colour was left over from a previous job (Dormant Red Sparkle)

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<2nd image removed - admin spotted error>

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Re: Reasonably priced Aussie frame builder?

Postby spirito » Fri Aug 23, 2013 12:28 pm

morini wrote:A Queensland Forum?

It's because we have more sunshine up here. Better quality food, more time to ride, more time to think, more time to be happy and more time to take the piss.


Better gulags :mrgreen:
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Re: Reasonably priced Aussie frame builder?

Postby Dan » Fri Aug 23, 2013 1:57 pm

Pfffft better bananas.
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