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Some of you may recall me getting into an argument with (I think) Evil4 on the stem thread about how many custom bikes get built in the US per year.

Well, I have some actual numbers now! And, they, um, prove me totally wrong.

To whit (quoted from BRAIN, who cited Don Walker and a guy who works at Security):
"...estimate about 150 builders are making close to 50 frames per year, with about twice that number making fewer than 20. That puts small builder production around 12,000 units"

It's also worth noting that the same BRAIN issue has a lot of wailing and teeth-gnashing about the dropping bike-import numbers - and glosses almost entirely over the huge increase in bikes *exported* from the US. Shows where the priorities of the industry are, I guess.

So anyway, Brad, you were right. I was wrong. I suck. You rule. You're very handsome, I'm not attractive... etc. Maybe I should start selling stems.

-Walt
 

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That is good information Walt.

But....It is even more than that. There are heaps of hobby builders building 1-3 bikes a year which could add few thousand to that.

I had some pretty good numbers in the past that indicated that the total sales for materials to smaller framebuilders was about 2.5 million a year. (tubing, lugs, fittings) I am sure someone could extrapolate that to units produced.

Either which way, that is a very small amount compared to the whole. I am sure the bigger companies would consider it a total failure if they only sold 12k units of some of there more popular models.
 

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Walt said:
"...estimate about 150 builders are making close to 50 frames per year, with about twice that number making fewer than 20. That puts small builder production around 12,000 units"

.

-Walt
I'm not buying that. 50 bikes a year? start naming them. Most people have built less then 50 bikes EVER. there are a gazillion hobbyists out there {nothing wrong with that} but most builders with exception of some TIG guys are in the 30-ish bike range per yr.{myself included} maybe 150 *in the world?* name names - fun game, huh? let's start a list - Garro.
 

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Walt said:
Some of you may recall me getting into an argument with (I think) Evil4 on the stem thread about how many custom bikes get built in the US per year.

So anyway, Brad, you were right. I was wrong. I suck. You rule. You're very handsome, I'm not attractive... etc. Maybe I should start selling stems.

-Walt

OMG -:eek:

Ahhh hahaha LOLing ROLF totally just spit soda on my keyboard .

Walt isn't wasent a argument , just more a question put out there based on logic , there had to be more than XXX # I thought to myself .

But WOW didn't think that many myself and I'm sure don didn't count small # production houses like SOLID bmx , FBM and a few others so that # could be about 5K higher per year total for the entire country .
We are in a very good time to be a bike builder , wish some of our suppliers realized these #'s and gave us the respect of more than a nitch industry .

Thanks for the awesome post WALT totally just made my Friday :thumbsup:

No sir you rule and are much more handsome than I :D
Have a good 4th of july everyone !
 

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If we're talking 'custom' frames, don't we also have to include the likes of Serotta, IF, Seven etc.? Then I'd believe the 12k guesstimate.
 
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