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Apr 8, 2021 at 10:54
Apr 8, 2021
PHeller jamessmurthwaite's article
Apr 8, 2021 at 10:29
Apr 8, 2021
Why Cycles Releases the el Jefe Hardtail for Backcountry Epics - Pond Beaver 2021
It'd be rad if Pinkbike could interview a welder (or welders) in a Chinese (or Taiwanese, Vietnamese, etc) frame manufacturing facility, all anonymously, and learn about their daily lives. Do they like their jobs? They feel they are paid well? Do they know how much the frames sell for in the USA? Then, comparatively, interview a USA based owner-operator frame builder and ask them the same questions. Maybe compare their take home salary adjusted for PPP.
PHeller jamessmurthwaite's article
Apr 8, 2021 at 10:24
Apr 8, 2021
Why Cycles Releases the el Jefe Hardtail for Backcountry Epics - Pond Beaver 2021
Who knows. The fact is, they aren't made in the USA, and they carry a price premium very close to high quality custom steel frames made in the USA, and a few hundred off the cost of a custom USA welded titanium frame. My gripe here doesn't have anything to do with quality. A good Chinese welder can probably stack dimes all day every day just as well as anyone anywhere. My issue has more to do with "where does the money go?" Is that Chinese welder making the same amount of money as the USA welder? Is he treated the same way by his employers? Is he given the rights and freedoms equivalent to the USA welder? I'm actually kinda surprised very few bikes companies aren't poaching these Chinese welders and bringing them to the USA on a work visa. That would seem like the best of both worlds. How much of that cost is going into the logistics of the frame? The fuel burned crossing the oceans? How much is going into the marketing, sponsorships, warranties, and staff salaries of US based employees? Why can't they manufacturer the frames stateside? Would that one extra employee the welder, hell, even part-time, negatively impact the business so much? When the frame breaks and I send it back to the company, do they just toss it? It obviously won't go back to China for repair. Yes, so much of our material lives is consumable. Yes, 90% of what I own was probably produced in China. In the case of bikes however, all else being equal, I feel like its one of the easier ways of keeping production and manufacturing stateside on a large ticket item. I'm thinking of buying some carbon rims from China. You might say "that's hypocrisy, you should buy I9, or Revel, or WAO rims!" I disagree. In the case of these rims, that money is cutting out the middle man. Not to mention the price difference is substantial (4x the price for North American made rims). If the USA rim manufacturer suddenly start pumping out rims for $200, hell, even $300, it'd be a no brainer, I'd buy USA carbon rims. Maybe that's just it. Maybe the welder in China is making bank. Maybe his company is offering him killer benefits, and reducing their pollution. Perhaps that why the frame costs as much as it would made in the USA, because more people are benefitting from that arrangement. Higher pay for the welder, his company, the logistics company, the employees stateside, the consumer. If that's the case, great! But I'm always a bit skeptical, and therefore the prices surprise me, and advocate for USA made where the welder, the owner, the designers, the marketer, etc etc etc...are all the same guy, or at the very least, are living the same life as me.
PHeller jamessmurthwaite's article
Apr 7, 2021 at 15:25
Apr 7, 2021
Why Cycles Releases the el Jefe Hardtail for Backcountry Epics - Pond Beaver 2021
The advantage would be that when unloaded the bike is pretty light, and when loaded, titanium adds a bit of compliance to an otherwise stiff frame. There is some debate within the long distance self-supported bikepacking community that a hardtail will be more reliable over the long run than a full-suspension, so people search out compliance without pivots. I do feel however that at the levels in which this stuff matters you've gotta have a whole lot more time than you do money, which is funny, because often the folks who are selling us this stuff have very different lifestyles, and therefore different priorities. I get maybe 4 hours a week to ride, usually in 1-2 hour stints, so my bike is built to be fast where I'm fast. This bike (the El Jefe) is built to be fast and comfortable for someone riding more hours in a day than I ride in a month. I think the thing I struggle with the most is the fact that these frames aren't made in the USA. In bulk pricing from Taiwan, they probably cost $1000, maybe less. At these price levels I think I'd rather wait in line for a WaltWorks or something made stateside, unique to me.
PHeller mikekazimer's article
Apr 7, 2021 at 14:36
Apr 7, 2021
Leyzne's New Chain Checker, Mini Pump, & Hidden Tools - Pond Beaver 2021
I don't care for the tools in the handlebars, either. Largely because I kinda hate having metal bar plugs. I'd much sooner use rubber or plastic bar end plugs. I wonder if there isn't another reason for this: heavier things at the end of the bars helps dampen vibration. Furthermore, I think the crank tube is a perfect spot for tools and I'm disappointed neither Lezyne nor Wolftooth have made inserts for their tools in that position. Maybe all it would take is some bigger o-rings?
PHeller jamessmurthwaite's article
Apr 6, 2021 at 20:37
Apr 6, 2021
Hiker to Claim Self Defence After Right of Way Dispute Stabbing
He figured he'd keep stabbing until the guy got off of him.
PHeller jamessmurthwaite's article
Apr 6, 2021 at 20:28
Apr 6, 2021
Hiker to Claim Self Defence After Right of Way Dispute Stabbing
@orientdave: thanks now I picture a bunch of drunk Londoners have swordfights, while in the USA we're having shootouts like the Westerns.
PHeller jamessmurthwaite's article
Apr 6, 2021 at 20:23
Apr 6, 2021
Hiker to Claim Self Defence After Right of Way Dispute Stabbing
Honestly we have no idea why there was grabbing. It sounds like the rider was still clipped in. The group of hikers blocked his path, boxed him, grabbed his bars, which probably threw him off balance, where he literally fell onto the knife wielder. Who then used the unfortunate event to shank the guy just trying to get off the ground. Another reason not to ride clips.
PHeller jamessmurthwaite's article
Apr 6, 2021 at 20:18
Apr 6, 2021
Hiker to Claim Self Defence After Right of Way Dispute Stabbing
@moturner: Clearly you should have stated that they had disrespected you and your good name, and challenged them to a duel, like all civilized societies.
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