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· 100% torqued
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Doesn't look like old news. Dated 5/2/06. That stinks. I sold a few and owned a Knobby X, Chris builds a great frame and fork for mountain or road. Talked to him on the phone a few times and he was always easy going and knowledgeable. Damn. It is a tough business, and he has relocated a couple of times no doubt to reduce costs and expand. There are a bunch of builders making $1200 tig steel frames it is tough busy competetive niche.
 

· Banned forever.....or not
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It's a tough business.....Even the folks at Waterford aren't making a ton of money.
 

· Registered
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Funnily enough, when I visited Bob Jackson's last year, in the NE of England while on vacation back to the old home town, they told me that they're flat out building frames with a total staff of around 20 and shipping around 75% of their output 'over here' to the US. I didn't ask how many frames they make in whatever, but folk in the US buy them for sure.

They have no advertising here I've seen - I knew about them as I rode one 30 years ago - and one US agent - World Class Cycles in NY, who doesn't advertise much either!

Oddly enough, not far from BJ's is Woodrup Cycles, taken over by the son after Maurice W died, still operating as essentially a one-man show building frames and running a bike shop.

Strikes me as a precarious occupation that isn't done by those who regard life as a Monopoly game. It is a shame when one goes away now - those kind of skills are about irreplaceable if the owner doesn't pass them.

Still, how can someone survive taking months to deliver a unique frame when what the majority wants is a cheap, fast delivered clone bike, with no regard to even the colour scheme, let alone the geometry?

Sad, very sad.

D
 

· Soul Mining
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390 Posts
Dereck said:
Funnily enough, when I visited Bob Jackson's last year, in the NE of England while on vacation back to the old home town, they told me that they're flat out building frames with a total staff of around 20 and shipping around 75% of their output 'over here' to the US. I didn't ask how many frames they make in whatever, but folk in the US buy them for sure.

It was a rare day when I saw a Bob Jackson in the UK. There was zero advertising and not even the local shop had a sign or anything that mentioned the brand. As usual, most of the guys I knew were riding Trek, Giant or another of the big brands. I also saw more cheap Claud Butler and Dawes bikes than I care to remember.
 

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The The said:
It was a rare day when I saw a Bob Jackson in the UK. There was zero advertising and not even the local shop had a sign or anything that mentioned the brand. As usual, most of the guys I knew were riding Trek, Giant or another of the big brands. I also saw more cheap Claud Butler and Dawes bikes than I care to remember.
I must admit that my first visit to bike shops 'back home' after I restarted riding was a disappointment. I started with the shop that had always followed my home town's biggest club - it was basically a GianTrek boutique just like the US :mad2: . Didn't even have a store water bottle to add to my collection, let alone a local club or team jersey.

#2 - one guy had vague memories of the origin of the name over the door. That shop had been the hang-out for one of the first amateur clubs to gain a sponsor (Hull Brewery! No staff discounts, unfortunately...) in the early 70's when the ancients who ruled UK cycling backed off some. Its bike stock was mostly 'sit up and beg' stuff.

Another shop proved better - run by the guy who wrenched at the last one I tried. A real bike shop, though his frames were Italian made re-badge jobs - but at least the place was full of wheels, frames and racing bike stuff.

I haven't gotten to any races over there yet - apparently, I'd still recognise some faces - but mass production frames rule the UK market as they do the US. Still, BJs are pretty busy, as is their US rep, so the world hasn't quite gotten in the handbasket for hell totally.

No one I raced with would have been seen alive on a Dawes, and Claud B was for the tourists back then. Not much else has changed - I'd almost bet that what small builders remain sell to their 'locals' as they did way back when. Must be the same in the US too.

I know there's a website covering British frame builders, that's done as an interest, as opposed to "commercial" - is there an equivalent in the US, I idly wonder? I was surprised - pleasantly I add - about how many small shop builders there are in the US, though my shortlist ended up as one US - Waterford, as I had seen many examples of their frames - and BJ - sentimental reasons, being as my last race frame in 1973 was from BJ, but I also got to look them over for real before I made my decision.

I know that if I was a screamin' fit 20-something hunting for glory, I'd be racing a stock CF frame and hardly worrying about the colour, but I ain't. So, surrounded by cookie-cutter houses, cars, and heaven knows what else, I have a custom geo Bob Jackson in orange with black/white trim - a colour scheme right out of the 1960's and the only one in the world (hopefully...:) )

All the best to the frame builders of the world - individualism is something that should be preserved

Regards

Dereck
(Whose promised himself a full Campag Curly Hetchins with DT shifters, in maroon, ivory white and chrome for his 60th birthday ;) )
 

· You're Not the Boss of Me
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collectorvelo said:
why would Waterford make a ton of money?
as opposed to say Trek, Specialized, Giant, Motobecane, Fuji, Bianchi, Raleigh, Felt, etc?
Not an unreasonable assumption for a high-end product with a waiting list and a steep price tag.
 

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jtolleson said:
Not an unreasonable assumption for a high-end product with a waiting list and a steep price tag.
how long is the waiting list?

even if all three of your assertions are correct (high-end product, steep price tag, enough orders that they need a waiting list), the conclusion that they are making a ton of money may still not be true. their costs may be high, and/or their production rates may be low - they may need a waiting list, but will still not be making a lot of money.

Sacha White and Richard Sachs both make high-end products, have waiting lists (I should have 14 months or so before I get my frame from Sacha, placed deposit in January), and have pretty steep price tags (Sachs' price is over $3k, White's price is around $2k, so he isn't as steep). I don't think they're exactly living it large - I wonder if either of them would care to chime in? I doubt they're starving, of course, and I do know (from listening on the Serotta forum) that Sachs likes Patek Philippe watches (which are quite expensive). but if they're making out like Bill Gates or Warren Buffett, it's news to me.
 

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weiwentg said:
... I doubt they're starving, of course, and I do know (from listening on the Serotta forum) that Sachs likes Patek Philippe watches (which are quite expensive.

huh?
i like phillipe dufour, and don't recall ever using patek phillipe in a sentence yo!
that's how rumors get started!

i wear a swatch.
e-RICHIE©™®
 

· Devoid of all flim-flam
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7,365 Posts
I remember reading(!) a Playboy Magazine during the early '1970's. On a page featuring Things Every Cool Guy Ought to Own was a Bob Jackson racing ten speed. In other words, Bob Jackson is now and has always been the coolest bicycle maker on the planet!
 
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