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Sachs/Holland(12 posts)

Nov 18, 2002 7:28 PM
I've seen the multiple posts on this subject, but nobody has seemed to answer the question: Are these frames worth the money? I would love ANY comments concerning the issue as I'm considering ordering from one of the two. Any owners? Regrets?
ps. Please do not repond with the campy/shimono thread...Thank you.
"If you have to ask ...j-son
Nov 18, 2002 7:55 PM
I would say that if you have to ask if a Sachs (Holland, Weigle, Bohemian, Spectrum etc.) is worth the high price, the answer to your question is 'no'.

When you order a frame from a builder such as Richard Sachs, you are buying much more than just a bike. You are purchasing a philosophy of framebuilding, years and years of experience, craftsmanship that borders mania,not to mention a certain chauvinism.

For me, a Sachs frame would be worth it. I feel his frames are among the most beautiful and perfect made. For you, I don't know. It depends on what you value in a bike and what exactly you are looking for. has a section where he defines his craft and there is also a section where sachs owners explain their purchase. Also try to find an article published in cigar aficiondo magazine a few years back that explores the culture of the bespoke bike. very good reading.

Excellent post, well said! (nm)Nessism
Nov 18, 2002 8:31 PM
"If you have to ask ...SteveS
Nov 19, 2002 7:43 PM
You got it right. Normally I think that someone who asks these type questions hasn't done a lot of research, which is okay, there are many other builders to pick from, not to mention off the rack.

I didn't need to look at the list of World Championships earned on Spectrums (see the Spectrum website) before I ordered mine, but I did know that Tom Kellogg had proven himself as a master builder for decades. I like that aspect. For me, it was worth the money.
re: Sachs/HollandDMoore
Nov 18, 2002 10:54 PM
Like any other "big ticket" purchase, the only answer is if it's worth it to you. To some people, a car is mere transportation. A Corolla is fine, and they can't understand why anyone would spend huge sums of money for a Ferrari. And the Ferrari owner can't understand why someone would spend so much money on a Bentley, when the Ferrari is faster.

I have bikes by Richard Sachs, Bill Holland and Brian Baylis among my collection. I don't race on them - I have an E5 Specialized for that. But to me that bike is merely a tool, it doesn't appeal to my heart or my emotions. The beautifully crafted steel frames, however, are the bikes I choose to ride the vast majority of the time. The fit, the feel, and the comfort of those bikes simply exceeds anything else I've found. Each of those three builders is absolutely fanatic about build quality. Each bike is built one at a time, by hand, to be right - not simply cranked out on a production line. Each builder puts a bit of himself into the frame, not a claim I'd ever make about my Specialized or Litespeed race bikes. They track arrow straight, corner beautifully, accelerate hard. The three bikes were painted by the two best painters in the business, Joe Bell and Brian Baylis. The lugs on each bike reflect the hours of hand work. All three are just plain gorgeous.

Are they worth the price? To me, yes. My RS is the best bike I've ever owned. If I could own only one, it would be that one without even a moment's hesitation. And I would also pick my Baylis or Holland over any "latest thing" Al, Ti or Carbon frame. Am I faster on the RS? No. Can I ride further? Probably yes, because the custom fit is so comfortable, but I've done centuries on many other bikes. But for some intangible reason, I simply feel better on that bike than on any other. It's always the bike I grab on a warm sunny day when I'm going for a solo ride for my own enjoyment.

Regrets? I wanted an RS for 15 years before I finally bought one. I shouldn't have waited.
re: Sachs/Hollanddoctorbarth
Nov 19, 2002 5:10 AM
I do thank all of you for the posts. I'm just having a bit of trouble justifying the expense, BUT all I needed was a small push and I just got it. I thank you, although my wife may not:)
I agree with the post "If you have to...."sprockets2
Nov 19, 2002 9:39 AM
really, what isn't clear: this is premium gear, you are definitely facing diminishing returns, but for those who have the means and value this particular direction, there ain't much better.

OTOH: these guys that tie themselves to lugs and 531 forks are not necessarily giving you the highest performing frame that you can get. Especially if you are a big, powerful rider, the ability to use the best steels in OS or shaped configurations is a benefit that I personally value a great deal. On my Gunnar, it looks like the downtube would not have fit on a one-inch steering tube, and I am glad that I have the downtube and the 1 1/8" steering tube. The increased strength is something that a larger guy like me can take advantage of.
I don't know about thatColnagoFE
Nov 19, 2002 10:12 AM
The 1" steerer on my Colnago seems plenty stiff to me and I'm by no means a lightweight. I thought that basically what they did was make the steerer tube walls thinner for the larger diameter--basically making it a wash as far as strength/stiffness went.
let me be clear....sprockets2
Nov 20, 2002 10:00 AM
I was mainly talking about the larger headtube because of what OTHER tubes-that can be larger or shaped-can still be joined to the headtube. My comment concerned specifically the limitation of the lugs that many of the old-school builders use, which are designed to fit smaller diameter and usually more regularly shaped tubes than can be made today.

The advantage of the 1 1/8" headtube is so all of the newer larger/shaped tubes can be welded or brazed on (without lugs). They would not necessarily even fit on a 1" headtube. The larger diameter headtubes allow the stronger steels of today (which can be made thinner, and still achieve great strength) to be used and be stronger than a 1" if the tube thickness is so specified. And that is the thing, use the right thickness and it is stronger, use ultra-thin spec and I don't know, in some cases it is maybe a wash. If the tube is slightly heavier, I will gladly accept that minute penalty for the security of the added stength (especially as I ride a 62-64 cm frame.
I agree with the post "If you have to...."e-RICHIE
Nov 19, 2002 10:33 AM
sprockets2 said: "...OTOH: these guys that tie themselves to lugs and 531 forks are not necessarily giving you the highest performing frame that you can get."

there's no truth to that. using lugs constitutes a joining process. replacing them with 'another method' of joining the tubes does not affect the performance you reference. additionally, 531 is a material, not a tube set or fork type. not that it matters, but i haven't used it in years; all my frames are built using modern dedaccai oversize tubing.

What I actually wrote about was...sprockets2
Nov 20, 2002 10:24 AM
the fact that most of the lugs you will see are not designed to accomodate modern, larger diameter and/or shaped tubes that are now possible with the best steels. That does affect what performance you can get out of them. Sure, some builders are using slightly bigger lugs, but few can accomodate the truely OS or specially shaped tubes that are available. In the smaller frame sizes-and with the best, modern steels-this limitation might not matter, but in my case, in the larger sizes, I appreciate the OS and Megatubing that is available.

You are right, 531 is a material. That IS my point, and I don't see what yours is. 531 is an old material that cannot provide in forks what the best modern steels provide to the frame tubes of a bike. It is an old-school steel in the bad sense of that term. The fact that there seems to be no equivalent modern steel that is available for fork construction in place of 531 does not negate the fact that 531 is not a high performance steel in that application any longer. (If you need the mental image to help you see my point, imagine a fork that has been miraculously made, exactly to the required spec, from 853. Wow, what a fork that would be.) My point is that venerable does not equal good, or appropriate. It does indeed matter to me and others that builders still use 531-however better it can be butted and shaped these days. If you are using Dedaccai OS Boron Steel, well, that is super, but you are not using lugs if you are using the largest tubes available, and you are not making forks out of it unless you totally rock.
I'm not sure about this, butdjg
Nov 22, 2002 7:06 AM
you may have just gotten a direct response from Richard Sachs himself (e-richie/I Richi?) who, I believe, says he has not used 531 for some years now, forks or elsewhere.

You may be right that there are no lugged frames using the very largest diameter tubes now available--I don't know. But it seems to me that you could inquire of several builders what they do for larger riders and ask for references if you're curious what the bigger customers think of the results. I know that Lennard Zinn (who is huge) has a reputation for building large bikes (off the top of my head, I'm not sure how he joins steel tubes). I would not jump to the conclusion that a 1" head tube cannot support a stout down tube--there are some pretty striking counter-examples rolling around out there.