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what makes one TIG welded frame more expensive than another(10 posts)

what makes one TIG welded frame more expensive than anotherishmael
Jan 15, 2003 10:19 AM
Assume the frames being compared are all custom and 853. What are the issues? Tube diameter(is it mainly preferance)? Weld qualtiy? Is a good weld obvious from sight? What about over heating and 853?
the reputation of the builder maybe? (nm)ColnagoFE
Jan 15, 2003 12:00 PM
re: 853cyclopathic
Jan 15, 2003 12:09 PM
853 actually gets stronger from weld related overheating, not to worry. That of cause if you don't burn a hole in it while welding ;)

with respect to tubeset there're actually 2 853 tubesets 853 and 853 Pro. 853 is the main triangle only (builders use diff source for rear usually 525 or True Temper). 853 Pro adds the rear, oversized downtube. On top Reynolds makes custom shaped 853 tubes, available per spec. Builder's cost for tubeset can differ by several times.

You can do alot to how frame will ride just by selecting diff tubes and geometry. Some builders have more expertise and charge more for "know how", some less

Frame can be manufactured differently. Cutting tubes can be done with different precision hence deviation in STA/HDA. Some builders manually ovalize tubes. Welding.. some use one pass other's two. Add braze ons, diff source for dropouts.. Sometimes BB shell and head tube is machined before welding sometimes after.. then frame preparation/paint job.

Most important you have the brand recognition. why Seven costs more?
assuming they use the same tubesishmael
Jan 15, 2003 2:00 PM
and the same dropouts,paint, and brazons,what is there that reveals a good frame building job? They may cut the frames differently but can anything be seen that would reveal this "quality" job? Can it be experienced in the ride? Does it last longer(I assume that it would)? Is it visually more appealing? Or are we just supposed to trust it was welded well because it says Seven? Is a double pass seeable? Is it stronger or better looking?
Good QuestionMR_GRUMPY
Jan 15, 2003 1:05 PM
A perfect example is the new Waterford R14 model. $1300 for a Tig welded 853 and True Temper frame. Waterford also makes Gunnar frames for $650. Both are tig welded. Both are 853 and True Temper OX platinum. Both have oversized top and downtubes. The only difference that I can find, is that the Waterford has Henry James dropouts and a seat cluster lug. I believe it also has a flaired seat tube at the bottom bracket. The paint jobs on the standard Gunnar looks a little cheap, but I don't see how they can sell it for the price that they do. Is the Waterford overpriced, or is the Gunnar a great bargin ??
Good Questionabelson
Jan 15, 2003 1:56 PM
The R14 is a full custom bike. A full custom Gunnar is another $350. So when you add that and the better paint job I guess you are paying a little more for the Waterford name. I did have the same question as you though I am going to get a new Gunnar Sport this spring. When I saw the price difference there was no way I could justify a waterford (or else I guess I would be riding a Waterford with Sora instead of a Gunnar with Ultegra)
Good QuestionMR_GRUMPY
Jan 15, 2003 5:08 PM
Less than 5% of riders really need a custon bike. Most people that get one, just want one. After all, look at the Posties. Since every frame manufacturer makes a slightly different product, most people should look for a product that fits them, instead of picking a big name stock frame, and making it fit them.
Ps. If you can find one of the colors of the month, from Gunnar, that you like, it comes with a free clear coat. The stock colors, don't. In the off season, you can even get your name painted on the top tube for $30.
Jan 15, 2003 5:06 PM
When you go to a store why does the store brand cost less than the national brands? Compare Rite-Aid (or similar) medicine to large national brands if you want to see a 100% mark-up for the same product.

There's more to the cost of doing business than the cost of the materials. If a company does extensive R&D they need to fund that somehow, and marking up the price of a product does that. Conversely, another company may do no R&D and deliver yesterday's technology for a great price. For medicine you'll find this to be a leading cause for the descrepancy, and bike to some degree too.

Also, why not sell at a premium if you can? You make more money per unit at a higher price, and if the market bears it great. Brand recognition is a powerful thing. Your local frame builder might build a bike every bit as good as an IF, but do you think he can change the same? I doubt it, and if he were to try and sell outside of the immediate area, he'd probably get less still.

Part of running a successful business is knowing what to charge. If you have a brand that people desire, why not sell at a higher price? You may find that you sell the same number of frames at $1000 that you would have at $500 - in fact you might sell more frames at the higher price becuase it's perceived to be higher quality due to the cost.

Just a few ideas.
Jan 15, 2003 5:11 PM
a few pointsKerry
Jan 15, 2003 5:23 PM
- good mitering: if the tubes are poorly mitered, the welds have to fill the gaps
- weld quality: not only visual (aerospace welds are X-rayed to insure quality) but bead penetration, impurities, bead thickness, heat history, etc.
- frame dimensions: more than just tube angles, but BB drop, chainstay length, front center distance
- component quality: BB, lugs (if used), dropouts, shifter bosses, bottle mounts, brake and chain stay bridge, etc.
- frame "true": is the main triangle dead straight, the rear triangle dead centered, the dropouts dead level and parallel
- finish: weld finish, paint quality, graphics, clear coat
- match between rider and bike: in a custom, how well does the builder translate body measurements and rider issues into frame dimensions. Even in stock frames, some builders make better choices than others
- tubing choice: extra wall thickness on large frame down tubes? Thinner tubes on smaller frames? Many choices that can influence ride that can't be seen from the outside.
- tubing treatment: swaging, tapering, shaping, bending