Mountain Bike Reviews Forum banner
1 - 20 of 34 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
304 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I was emailing a builder that I thought I wanted to do a 29" custom ti bike with, but I was a little sticker shocker when he emailed me the "starting" price. I have several bikes and I have seen the price trend move up and hell my last Turner was 35% more then my first. But last time I was looking at a Moots frame it was $2200 my starting price for a pretty basic double triangle ti bike was almost twice that. Is this inline with the rest of the industry? Just curious to know if $4k is the going price for a top rate ti builder's frame.

And before anyone says it is only worth what someone will pay for it, while this is true, and insightful it isn't quite the answer I am looking for. :p

Thanks!
Ryan
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,039 Posts
Custom prices for any material can vary wildly based on craftsmanship, experience, reputation, etc of the builder (as well as local economy and material prices such as Triton)

Ask around for quotes from other builders you might be interested in to compare for yourself
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,110 Posts
Triton...

One word for you......Triton ...

I was in the same boat you were about a year ago. Always wanted ti, but prices seemed outlandish.

Came across the already linked thread on Triton. Emailed Dmitry and for around 1K I had a custom ti 29er...

Look up my Triton thread on this forum .... I am very happy with my frame:thumbsup:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
552 Posts
I think $3-4k is reasonable. I don't think you can get any more "top rate" than Kent Eriksen, and his site currently quotes a $3300 base price for a 29er hartail, which is $200-300 more than what my '08 Eriksen was prior to options. Gotta have floormats...

If you want to save some cash, look at Lynskey. My brother has a couple of those and they look very nice.

Alternatively, some of the local riders here have been ordering Chinese Ti frames, and they seem happy: AMTBC: Ti CHI9er Build
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
304 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Well I am not trying to say that custom manufacturers are gouging people. I was trying to understand costs a little. When you can get a Ti frame frome Russia for $950, a Ti frame in the US from a fairly respected builder from $2300, What is the jump to $4000 for? I guess it is based off of reputation of the builder. It would be one thing if the frames were made from a higher quality ti like a 6/4 vs a 3/2.5, I guess it is just one of those things where I will need to weigh the pro's and con's out for myself and see if I can pull the trigger on a $4k mountain bike frame. Fine line I suppose between a high price and keeping it boutique and a low price and seeming cheap.

Ryan
 

·
Hi.
Joined
·
3,865 Posts
I've built a few frames and I honestly don't think there is 3k worth of labor and consumables in a Ti frame. Some builders out there are just gouging people IMO.
I'm with you on this one. For someone knowledgeable in welding Ti, the time spent and cost of materials in no way reflects the prices many builders are asking. Ti is what, a couple dollars per inch, max?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
8,633 Posts
I've built a few frames and I honestly don't think there is 3k worth of labor and consumables in a Ti frame. Some builders out there are just gouging people IMO.

Price Gouging:
pricing above the market price when no alternative retailer is available


ya got a stainless Rolex and a stainless Casio watch - is Rolex price gouging?

nope....because there are less expensive alternatives readily available to consumers.
 

·
Hi.
Joined
·
3,865 Posts

Price Gouging:
pricing above the market price when no alternative retailer is available


ya got a stainless Rolex and a stainless Casio watch - is Rolex price gouging?

nope....because there are less expensive alternatives readily available to consumers.
You make a good point - most of the price has to do with brand and reputation. But gouging does not have to depending upon not having an alternative retailer. From Wikipedia:

a term of variable, but nearly always pejorative, meaning, referring to a seller's asking a price that is much higher than what is seen as 'fair' under the circumstances. In precise, legal usage, it is the name of a felony that obtains in some of the United States only during civil emergencies. In less precise usage, it can refer either to prices obtained by practices inconsistent with a competitive free market, or to windfall profits. In colloquial usage, it means simply that the speaker thinks the price too high, and it often degenerates into a term of demagoguery. Non-pejorative uses are generally in reaction to what the writer believes is an unjustified restraint on the market.

Seems like some of those custom guys are making quite a nice profit off a single frame. Unfortunately their volume is not as high as with cheaper frames, so in the long run it probably hurts their sales.
 

·
From Russia with luv!
Joined
·
453 Posts
Here in Russia we can afford Ti tubing at a lower price than framebuilders in the US.
Plus the labor costs are lower.

We will be offering frames built with Reynolds butted Ti tubing and the price will be at least $1600-1700.
So $2000 for such a frame built in States is fair.

Those who ask $4000 may be offering better customer service, better warranty and more detail to every frame they build.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,039 Posts
Seems like some of those custom guys are making quite a nice profit off a single frame. Unfortunately their volume is not as high as with cheaper frames, so in the long run it probably hurts their sales.
Sales volume isn't important in the same way for custom builders

A lot of those well-known, well-liked builders are as busy as they want to be, and pricing is a way of regulating that. Especially for one-man frame shops, if they keep trying to price competitively with the newer or cheaper builders they'll end up with more work than they handle by just going faster and their lead times will get longer and longer. If Steve Potts was selling $2k Ti frames he'd likely have a 5 year wait list along with all the work associated with managing that, not to mention all the future customers constantly bugging him about their current wait time
 

·
Hi.
Joined
·
3,865 Posts
Sales volume isn't important in the same way for custom builders

A lot of those well-known, well-liked builders are as busy as they want to be, and pricing is a way of regulating that. Especially for one-man frame shops, if they keep trying to price competitively with the newer or cheaper builders they'll end up with more work than they handle by just going faster and their lead times will get longer and longer. If Steve Potts was selling $2k Ti frames he'd likely have a 5 year wait list along with all the work associated with managing that, not to mention all the future customers constantly bugging him about their current wait time
Good points. And the number one thing you hear about custom framebuilders is that most of them don't make any money building frames. I know that's not important to many people, but it's a tough industry, and volume of sales is pretty much the only way to succeed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
350 Posts
Generic cycles

If you go to classifieds right now you might still see a Generic cycles soft tail 29. Not my bike but damn...beautiful frame- had to check out his site
Generic Cycles 2011
That's the link for ht 29er "The Ultimate" quoted at 2200 on the site. The softtail looks amazing, my new dream bike I think and it's not that much more expensive...
I definitely get why one might charge more - I think it's spot on to assume that's to control the amount of work they have; demand and supply drive pricing.
 

·
Fat-tired Roadie
Joined
·
18,453 Posts
The frame builder down the street has custom titanium road framesets for $3000-$3400. They say right on the description that their S3 steel frames are lighter and cheaper. Another data point for you, anyway.
 

·
Plays with tools
Joined
·
4,657 Posts
I'm with you on this one. For someone knowledgeable in welding Ti, the time spent and cost of materials in no way reflects the prices many builders are asking. Ti is what, a couple dollars per inch, max?
There is about a grand worth of material when you add up BB shells, dropouts cable stops and all that jazz. Assuming you are buying low quantity. If your builder is doing a lot of frames and is buying in bulk then you could take a fair bit off of that.

Compare that to quality steel and it makes you scratch your head a little. Granted Ti is harder to work with and eats tooling and argon but still.
 
1 - 20 of 34 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top