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  1. #1
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    Framebuilder won't put prominent text that's not their logo on downtube - opinions?

    Hey all...

    I am finally about to have my perfect bike built by a great framebuilder.

    There's only one snag - as it was approaching the time to have them build it, I made a change in the graphics on the bike. I asked that they put a word of my choosing (a silly word, but one I have always loved) in prominent, colorful letters on the downtube (beforehand, I had wanted it on the top tube).

    They came back to me saying they would do anything but that, as it would "interfere with their branding".

    I reacted incredulously, but they said they felt it was reasonable, especially since they would be ok with any of the following:

    1. Nothing on the downtube
    2. My word on the downtube, but etched or otherwise in a subdued design
    3. Their logo and name nowhere on the bike at all
    4. A design on the downtube, but not words


    Although I appreciate their view, I was surprised as hell about this, since I'm paying a huge amount of money for their work, and their website advertises how every single part of the bike can be customized to my satisfaction. I told them they shouldn't be saying that EVERYTHING can be customized, if instead it's "everything BUT this", and it's false advertising to do so. They claimed that only about 3 people a year ever ask for something that's not their logo to be placed on the downtube, so it doesn't come up often.

    For a sanity check, I called 5 of the top makers on my "short list":

    • Two said "sure, whatever you want, as long as it's not offensive".
    • One said "Our name HAS to be on the downtube, even if in a subdued style".
    • One said "If you want something else on the downtube, then we require that our name or logo be on at least two other places on the frame
    • One said he'd do what I'd want, but it's rather useless to ask other builders what they would do, since everyone has a different opinion on the matter; but that in general builders don't like something else on the downtube


    I also called Bruce Gordon, since I bought a bike from him a few years back and wondered what he would think. He had nothing to say on the matter, as he's now retiring from the bike world. :-(

    In addition, I called a friend who was in the bike business for a long time. He told me he's not at all surprised that they would balk at that.

    What's your opinion? If a bike is advertised as "fully custom", shouldn't every single bit of it be fully custom, except where it would compromise the integrity of the STRUCTURE of the bike itself?

    NOTE: Please don't mention my prior posts on this matter, as I don't want my own concerns associated with the builders I've discussed here. :-)

  2. #2
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    What good will hearing the opinion of strangers on the internet do? You're already wasted the time of 5 builders. If you're looking for someone to say you are perfectly right and the builder is way wrong I can't help you.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Strongbow View Post
    What good will hearing the opinion of strangers on the internet do? You're already wasted the time of 5 builders. If you're looking for someone to say you are perfectly right and the builder is way wrong I can't help you.
    Sometimes it helps to get the opinion of strangers on the internet, and the builders seemed okay discussing it with me. Apparently this subject is a "thing" with many builders, but not something I was aware of. I'm curious what other purchasers of custom bikes would think about that. I'm not "looking" for anything, except peoples' viewpoints.

    No need to be mean, sir.

  4. #4
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    You wouldn't have liked my first response. Which was some witty suggestions.

    Seriously, this is the kind of thing that people do to generic Chinese carbon - "CHINERELLO" for example on the downtube.

    It's disrespectful and tacky, to do it on a presumably high end frame, whatever the mysterious word is.
    We just don’t realize the most significant moments of our lives when they’re happening
    Back then I thought “well there'll be other days”
    I didn’t realize that was the only day
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y9yrupye7B0

    There's sometimes a buggy.
    How many drivers does a buggy have?
    One.
    So let's just say I'm drivin' this buggy...
    and if you fix your attitude you can ride along with me.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GekiIMh4ZkM

  5. #5
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    Gee....5 minutes and $20 at a sign shop for some custom vinyl letters is all you need to solve your dilemma.
    "L'enfer, c'est les autres"

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikerjulio View Post
    You wouldn't have liked my first response. Which was some witty suggestions.
    Well I'm glad you refrained. :-)

    Seriously, this is the kind of thing that people do to generic Chinese carbon - "CHINERELLO" for example on the downtube.

    It's disrespectful and tacky, to do it on a presumably high end frame, whatever the mysterious word is.
    Hmm... again, I didn't even think this would be a problem with anyone; I'd thought that if you're paying for a fully custom anything (bike, house, blender, whatever), I could put any kind of design and graphics on it that I wanted, as long as the design itself wasn't tacky or offensive. My knowledge of who the maker is, and my lauding of their work, I would have supposed, would have been enough.

    Live and learn.

  7. #7
    Fecal indicator
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    so, what's the 'silly word'...?
    the 45th POTUS is inept, corrupt, and a pathological liar. and those may be his better qualities...

  8. #8
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    Pretty much every bike that I have ever seen has had the builders name\graphic on the down tube, it's the place where most of us look to see the builder\brand name.

    I think that the builder is being reasonable and that maybe you are being a bit unreasonable in expecting him to give up the prime real estate to put a, as you yourself said, silly word there.

    I have had a couple of bikes built, and while I may not have spent a "huge" amount of money, I wouldn't want anything but the builder\brand name on the down tube.
    Too old to ride plastic

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oxtox View Post
    so, what's the 'silly word'...?
    Oh, it's from one of my favorite stories by Harlan Ellison - '"Repent, Harlequin!' said the Ticktockman'.

    Way down in the story, there's this bit:

    The physicians, gathered in solemn conclave, roared with laughter, and accepting the Harlequin's apologies with exaggerated bowing and posturing, and a merry time was had by all, who thought the Harlequin was a regular foofaraw in fancy pants; all, that is, but the authorities, who had been sent out by the office of the Ticktockman; they hung there like so much dockside cargo, hauled up above the floor of the amphitheater in a most unseemly fashion.

    I always liked that phrase "A regular foofaraw in fancy pants".

    I looked it up, and "foofaraw" means "unnecessarily gawdy". Since I'm getting a very fancy custom bike, I thought that would be amusing to put on the bike itself. At first, the top-tube seemed fine. But then I thought I'd like it more obvious, so that's when I decided I wanted it on the down tube.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oxtox View Post
    so, what's the 'silly word'...?
    please don't tempt me.
    We just don’t realize the most significant moments of our lives when they’re happening
    Back then I thought “well there'll be other days”
    I didn’t realize that was the only day
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y9yrupye7B0

    There's sometimes a buggy.
    How many drivers does a buggy have?
    One.
    So let's just say I'm drivin' this buggy...
    and if you fix your attitude you can ride along with me.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GekiIMh4ZkM

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by No Time Toulouse View Post
    Gee....5 minutes and $20 at a sign shop for some custom vinyl letters is all you need to solve your dilemma.
    Yes, that's true.

  12. #12
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    foofaraw
    Pretentious?, moi?

    Later you will come to your senses and thank them.
    We just don’t realize the most significant moments of our lives when they’re happening
    Back then I thought “well there'll be other days”
    I didn’t realize that was the only day
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y9yrupye7B0

    There's sometimes a buggy.
    How many drivers does a buggy have?
    One.
    So let's just say I'm drivin' this buggy...
    and if you fix your attitude you can ride along with me.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GekiIMh4ZkM

  13. #13
    'brifter' is a lame word.
    Reputation: cxwrench's Avatar
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    Frame builder can do anything they want. You want it different, build it yourself. Personally if I were building frames I'd insist on my name somewhere, most likely the down tube and head tube.
    I work for some bike racers
    I've got some bikes, some guns,
    and a bunch of skateboards

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikerjulio View Post
    Pretentious?, moi?

    Later you will come to your senses and thank them.
    You underestimate my love of goofiness.

    Not sure what's pretentious about that - it's just goofy, I'm not pretending to anything.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by cxwrench View Post
    Frame builder can do anything they want. You want it different, build it yourself. Personally if I were building frames I'd insist on my name somewhere, most likely the down tube and head tube.
    Well... if the frame builder advertises "anything you want" on the frame... shouldn't it mean just that?

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by tbessie View Post
    Well... if the frame builder advertises "anything you want" on the frame... shouldn't it mean just that?
    I don't see any scenario where you win over this framebuilder with your point of view (or others on the internet). If its that important you either move on or keep in on the top tube as they already agreed

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveG View Post
    I don't see any scenario where you win over this framebuilder with your point of view (or others on the internet). If its that important you either move on or keep in on the top tube as they already agreed
    Nope, they've already made it clear; they don't want to lose me as a customer or have me go away angry, but they won't budge on this point.

    I'll likely end up doing it minimalistically - no branding at all on the bike, my Foofaraw on the top tube (plus my name on the seat tube), and that's it.

    I really wish I could have had my wishes fulfilled with the graphics on the bike, but I don't want to start all over again with one of the builders who's willing to do it, either.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by tbessie View Post
    Well... if the frame builder advertises "anything you want" on the frame... shouldn't it mean just that?
    No.

    I would hazard the guess that the "within reason" is implied. Just as he wouldn't build a bicycle with unridable geometry for a client, he shouldn't be expected to bow to any whim. He is building the bike and it is his reputation that he is marketing so he should be allowed his whims of what he will or won't do. His reputation is what brought you to him, and his ideas on what is or is not right should be respected.

    There are other builders, and you said you found someone who would do as you want, so bring your money there.
    Too old to ride plastic

  19. #19
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    Can you name the manufacturer? I applaud them for having mature principles. Why the secrecy?

    You sound like an entitled whiner. Is it really a deal breaker that you are going to spend all this money on a frame and can't afford a $20 sticker set from a local printer?

    I just woke up and read about a bunch of old folk in Florida dying cause no one apparently gave enough of a sh!t. A 6 month old baby in New Zealand was shaken to death by his meth head Dad cause he was crying. Then I read that, that fat fackwit Trump is possibly coming here to Japan in November and I haven't even had my coffee yet. Maybe I should start a thread asking what level of roast I should grind as me wife refused to do it for me.
    Last edited by kiwisimon; 1 Week Ago at 06:46 PM.

  20. #20
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    While you could argue the semantics of "everything" with regard to your custom framebuilder, I think it's reasonable to expect them to have a priority as to the graphics as it does affect their branding, the identity of their work, and as a source of pride of manufacture.

    I think it's reasonable for them to put restrictions on your choice of graphics. I can certainly sympathize with you and understand why the issue wasn't resolved to the order, but do find it odd that the graphics weren't discussed and finalized before a deposit was accepted.

    I would recommend you look locally in the Yellow Pages or online for a calligrapher that could create the graphics on the top tube as originally planned (did the builder find that location acceptable?).

    P.S. I like the idea one of your respondents had in effect "we'll put your word on the downtube but our logo must go in TWO other locations". It's fair and requires a sacrifice on the customer's part as the builder is willing to compromise.

  21. #21
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    So far I think the support so far is about nil

    Meanwhile we have "tacky", "disrespectful", "pretentious", and "entitled whiner"

    See a theme?

    Since you are obviously highly educated you will no doubt be able to reflect on this:

    "O wad some Power the giftie gie us
    To see oursels as ithers see us!
    It wad frae mony a blunder free us,
    An' foolish notion:
    What airs in dress an' gait wad lea'e us,
    An' ev'n devotion!"
    We just don’t realize the most significant moments of our lives when they’re happening
    Back then I thought “well there'll be other days”
    I didn’t realize that was the only day
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y9yrupye7B0

    There's sometimes a buggy.
    How many drivers does a buggy have?
    One.
    So let's just say I'm drivin' this buggy...
    and if you fix your attitude you can ride along with me.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GekiIMh4ZkM

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by velodog View Post
    No.

    I would hazard the guess that the "within reason" is implied. Just as he wouldn't build a bicycle with unridable geometry for a client, he shouldn't be expected to bow to any whim. He is building the bike and it is his reputation that he is marketing so he should be allowed his whims of what he will or won't do. His reputation is what brought you to him, and his ideas on what is or is not right should be respected.

    There are other builders, and you said you found someone who would do as you want, so bring your money there.
    I dunno - having what I want in the graphics seems "within reason", given their advertising I could have anything I want there; it's not compromising the bike structure, it's just a branding thing. Seems reasonable to me that I should have whatever graphics I want on it, and their brand identity shouldn't matter a whit, given what they appear to advertise. I wouldn't call it "common sense" that I should already know there's any problem with putting something else on the downtube.

    I'm not saying you need to agree with me, nor that they need to, but it seems disingenuous to say "we can do anything you want", but then say "well, not really"; their logo in a certain place on the bike, or my wanting to replace it with something of my own, doesn't seem at all an unreasonable request. It's just graphics, why should they care? *I* know who made the bike, what I'm asking isn't destroying their reputation or anything.
    Last edited by tbessie; 1 Week Ago at 04:23 PM.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikerjulio View Post
    So far I think the support so far is about nil

    Meanwhile we have "tacky", "disrespectful", "pretentious", and "entitled whiner"

    See a theme?

    Since you are obviously highly educated you will no doubt be able to reflect on this:

    "O wad some Power the giftie gie us
    To see oursels as ithers see us!
    It wad frae mony a blunder free us,
    An' foolish notion:
    What airs in dress an' gait wad lea'e us,
    An' ev'n devotion!"
    The theme I see is that folks can post nasty things when they do it anonymously, that's all.

    I feel it was perfectly reasonable for me to assume that I could take the builder's advertising materials precisely at their word. I do not see the importance of their brand on the bike I'm paying them for, in light of said advertising. They say "X", I assume "X". My own words on the downtube would not harm their brand in the slightest. And were I the artisan in question, I wouldn't have a problem doing that for someone else.

    I will add, however, that I don't appreciate folks casting aspersions on my character because of something I happened to want from a bike builder that is a perfectly reasonable expectation. If they take issue with it then fine, but using that as a springboard to calling me names is just as immature as I'm being accused of being.

    Is that Robert Burns?

    I can see how several others in this forum see what I've *written*; they don't "see" me and I don't "see" them; what's depicted here are mere shadows of our selves - one of the reasons why the personal slanders towards me in no way make me more likely to take their viewpoints to heart. :-/
    Last edited by tbessie; 1 Week Ago at 04:21 PM.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter P. View Post
    While you could argue the semantics of "everything" with regard to your custom framebuilder, I think it's reasonable to expect them to have a priority as to the graphics as it does affect their branding, the identity of their work, and as a source of pride of manufacture.

    I think it's reasonable for them to put restrictions on your choice of graphics. I can certainly sympathize with you and understand why the issue wasn't resolved to the order, but do find it odd that the graphics weren't discussed and finalized before a deposit was accepted.

    I would recommend you look locally in the Yellow Pages or online for a calligrapher that could create the graphics on the top tube as originally planned (did the builder find that location acceptable?).

    P.S. I like the idea one of your respondents had in effect "we'll put your word on the downtube but our logo must go in TWO other locations". It's fair and requires a sacrifice on the customer's part as the builder is willing to compromise.
    Again, I'm only going from their implication that whatever I wanted on the bike, I could have on the bike. I mean, I'd understand their refusal if, say, I wanted it covered in swastikas or hate speechy things. I'd think their work, and my happiness in their product, would stand for itself, and my placing something on the downtube wouldn't matter. Guess I was wrong.

    We had indeed discussed the graphics beforehand, but not in this detail. Also, I only thought about changing what was on the downtube recently, that's why it just came up. But in prior discussions, they didn't mention to me that they wouldn't want something big and bold besides their logo there.

    The builder is fine with my word on the top tube, which is what I'm going to get done. I'm changing my request to a "design" on the downtube, which I'm sure they'll not have a problem with.

    The funny thing, re: the compromise you mention... this company would have had their brand in 4 different places in my original design, with my word on the downtube. But the word on the downtube was the sticking point.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by tbessie View Post
    Oh, it's from one of my favorite stories by Harlan Ellison - '"Repent, Harlequin!' said the Ticktockman'.

    Way down in the story, there's this bit:

    The physicians, gathered in solemn conclave, roared with laughter, and accepting the Harlequin's apologies with exaggerated bowing and posturing, and a merry time was had by all, who thought the Harlequin was a regular foofaraw in fancy pants; all, that is, but the authorities, who had been sent out by the office of the Ticktockman; they hung there like so much dockside cargo, hauled up above the floor of the amphitheater in a most unseemly fashion.

    I always liked that phrase "A regular foofaraw in fancy pants".

    I looked it up, and "foofaraw" means "unnecessarily gawdy". Since I'm getting a very fancy custom bike, I thought that would be amusing to put on the bike itself. At first, the top-tube seemed fine. But then I thought I'd like it more obvious, so that's when I decided I wanted it on the down tube.
    This may be akin to getting a tattoo of your girl friends name and then you part ways. If you're trying to get a "wow! How witty!" go to the fancy pants bulletin board.

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