...about lead times for custom builds?

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
David9694
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...about lead times for custom builds?

Postby David9694 » 26 Jul 2020, 10:06am

6 weeks build queue at Spa as an example. That’s the summer gone then.

Just curious about the rate-limiting factor(S) - workshop space, parts availability, manpower/skills? I’m working at the moment but if my contract was to end, I’d love to help out.

Cyril Haearn
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Re: ...about lead times for custom builds?

Postby Cyril Haearn » 26 Jul 2020, 10:53am

Are you thinking frame build, or assembly?
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rotavator
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Re: ...about lead times for custom builds?

Postby rotavator » 26 Jul 2020, 10:59am

Give them a ring and ask if they are looking for part time staff.

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Navara
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Re: ...about lead times for custom builds?

Postby Navara » 26 Jul 2020, 11:19am

The last bike I bought built at a shop was a Planet-X RT58 about 6 years ago.The lead time was around 6 weeks.Planet-X buy everything in bulk so have all the parts at hand.
So why 6 weeks?
At that time Planet-X were building 300+ bikes per week.All bikes were built in their Rotherham Workshop.They had 6 mechanics back then.So that's about 50 builds per person per week.
6 weeks for a proper "custom" build is not unreasonable!

David9694
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Re: ...about lead times for custom builds?

Postby David9694 » 26 Jul 2020, 4:56pm

Cyril Haearn wrote:Are you thinking frame build, or assembly?


The second one, although I wonder what effect has been +/- on the custom frame makers

tatanab
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Re: ...about lead times for custom builds?

Postby tatanab » 26 Jul 2020, 5:41pm

David9694 wrote:I wonder what effect has been +/- on the custom frame makers
Custom frames have always been wildly variable, regardless of whether it is a one man business or there are several builders under the one umbrella. My first custom frame, back in 1972, was done in a remarkable 6 weeks. My most recent in 2012 took 9 months, I was expecting a year. Both from one man bands. From memory, the ones in between those years have been 3 or 4 months.

Bonefishblues
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Re: ...about lead times for custom builds?

Postby Bonefishblues » 26 Jul 2020, 5:44pm

David9694 wrote:
Cyril Haearn wrote:Are you thinking frame build, or assembly?


The second one, although I wonder what effect has been +/- on the custom frame makers

Positive I expect. The good ones are already heavily oversubscribed anyway.

Marcus Aurelius
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Re: ...about lead times for custom builds?

Postby Marcus Aurelius » 26 Jul 2020, 5:50pm

The whole cycling world has gone mad of late. All bets are off, nothing’s taken as read.

PH
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Re: ...about lead times for custom builds?

Postby PH » 26 Jul 2020, 6:49pm

David9694 wrote:6 weeks build queue at Spa as an example. That’s the summer gone then.

How long was it before the current predicament? I seem to recall a friend waiting four weeks for theirs, if so a 50% increase in that seems minor. Anyone ordering a bike for summer at the end on July would have been optimistic in any circumstances, can hardly blame the supplier.
Why not build yourself? They'd probably do you a build kit with all the components. My recent orders have arrived in a few days, pretty much as normal.
Mercian are still estimating 10 months for a custom frame, have been for at least the last decade, they make it clear it's an estimate not a commitment. Though when they had the shop there'd be some of the popular sizes and colours hanging up ready to buy, don't know if that's still the case, there can't be much spare space in the shed.

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pedalsheep
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Re: ...about lead times for custom builds?

Postby pedalsheep » 27 Jul 2020, 9:42am

Blimey, how things have changed! When I bought my Roberts in October 2006 it was 4 weeks from ordering to riding away on it!
'Why cycling for joy is not the most popular pastime on earth is still a mystery to me.'
Frank J Urry, Salute to Cycling, 1956.

freeflow
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Re: ...about lead times for custom builds?

Postby freeflow » 27 Jul 2020, 9:53am

Can we have some clarifying terminology.

Custom Build = frame built to your specification plus components you specify.

Custom Assembly = Standard frame assembled into a bike using components you specify.

The wait time for a custom assembly should be much much shorter than for a custom build.

Marcus Aurelius
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Re: ...about lead times for custom builds?

Postby Marcus Aurelius » 27 Jul 2020, 9:55am

The best things in life are worth waiting for, that’s handy at the moment.

David9694
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Re: ...about lead times for custom builds?

Postby David9694 » 27 Jul 2020, 2:34pm

Navara wrote:The last bike I bought built at a shop was a Planet-X RT58 about 6 years ago.The lead time was around 6 weeks.Planet-X buy everything in bulk so have all the parts at hand.
So why 6 weeks?
At that time Planet-X were building 300+ bikes per week.All bikes were built in their Rotherham Workshop.They had 6 mechanics back then.So that's about 50 builds per person per week.
6 weeks for a proper "custom" build is not unreasonable!


10 builds a day is going it some, maybe you can do it if you have a Henry Ford production line. I think I could do about two a day in my garage from a bare frameset; I was wondering what I could my earnings (?on piecework?) would be.

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Navara
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Re: ...about lead times for custom builds?

Postby Navara » 27 Jul 2020, 3:04pm

David9694 wrote:
Navara wrote:The last bike I bought built at a shop was a Planet-X RT58 about 6 years ago.The lead time was around 6 weeks.Planet-X buy everything in bulk so have all the parts at hand.
So why 6 weeks?
At that time Planet-X were building 300+ bikes per week.All bikes were built in their Rotherham Workshop.They had 6 mechanics back then.So that's about 50 builds per person per week.
6 weeks for a proper "custom" build is not unreasonable!


10 builds a day is going it some, maybe you can do it if you have a Henry Ford production line. I think I could do about two a day in my garage from a bare frameset; I was wondering what I could my earnings (?on piecework?) would be.

Maybe that's why they were always late :wink: They were/are open 7 days a week so it would have been near 7 pppd.
I built my FS Mountain bike from bare frame to complete in about 2 hours.My Canyon took a bit longer as it was the first time I'd done internal cable routing.I would think someone who does it day in day out should easily build a road bike in a couple of hours?

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531colin
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Re: ...about lead times for custom builds?

Postby 531colin » 27 Jul 2020, 3:40pm

As somebody already said, the obvious way forward is to buy the parts and build it yourself.
I think there are some pretty ambitious estimates of the number of bikes a mechanic might build in a day; even if they build less than half the estimate, a mechanic in a shop doesn't have as much time as you do, building your own bike in your shed. The Spa guys do a good job, but they simply don't have the time to strip all the bearings and fill with a sensible quantity of decent grease, or to dis-assemble the chainset and grease the bolts, or to prepare the ends of the cables fastidiously, and they can only guess where on the bars you want your levers.
I have fitted headsets with a hammer and a lump of wood, in the past, with steel frames, but these days I get the guys to fit headsets; they have all the tools to face and ream head tube and forks. If I was using an external bottom bracket, I would get them to face that as well.