Vulture Pricing...- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Vulture Pricing...

    Was checking out the new (to me) Vulture website and looked at their pricing - steel frame $1025, EBB an add'l $150.

    I'm not criticizing the pricing - it's a full custom bike - but didn't they used to come a little less expensive than $1175 for a singlespeed frame? I thought they used to be the hands down winner for value/performance/fit.

    Maybe Wade has adjusted pricing to better match his peers. Guess I missed the boat not ordering one sooner.

    Dang it,

    Sean
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  2. #2
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    $1025 is still a little below average. Now that Wade's full-time, and gone in with a partner, I think they're finding that they really need to charge that amount to pay their rent and insurance, and still make the payments on their bimmers. Kidding, of course, but there's a real reason why customs cost over a grand: it just costs that much to make them for a living. And most builders still fail, even at the market average.

    I suggest you carefully compare the design, features and costs of all the builders you'll be considering. You may still find that the bikes are a bargain, and you'll be glad you got in at $1025.

    One other thing: make sure that your builder has liability insurance. Some of the part-timers do not, and it could leave you in real trouble if anything goes wrong. make sure your builder is legit.

  3. #3
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    I figured as much...

    ...I was amazed when I saw his bikes and then saw the prices previously charged. Too good to be true for very long.

    Always glad to see small builders doing well. Based on the quality of his product and reputation I don't disagree that it's a fair price. I just hadn't looked in a while.

    Shoot, looking at the work Sascha does at Vanilla I can rationalize the pricing...but not the wait!

    Curtlo and Spicer seem to still be good "values" but I have no idea as to whether or not they have liability insurance.

    Sean
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  4. #4

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    I got to know Wade when I attended UBI's fillet brazing school in August 2003. He's a very cool guy, great bike rider, great thinker re bikes/designs. We discussed how he first started pricing frames and how he's evolved over time. I never once thought anything other than "generous" when he told me how much he was charging... in other words, I thought, "too little."

    Now that he's got top-flight paint/powdercoat in house, he's producing a much nicer finished product. Whether you want to pay his price is up to you, but I'd have to say, knowing Wade and watching him work on tubing, that his prices are quite fair.

    The biggest cost saver in the lower priced custom frames is finish and detail. the less expensive models will have very utilitarian quality, perfectly acceptable and solid, but not as "chi-chi" as the more expensive ones. My two Curtlos were fairly inexpensive, but they don't have elaborate finish work or show-car quality paint.

    It boils down to priorities. Choose yours, then choose a builder who follows similar priorities. That's how you'll get your best custom frame, by choosing a builder who sees frames/bikes similarly to how you see them.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Soupboy
    Curtlo and Spicer seem to still be good "values" but I have no idea as to whether or not they have liability insurance.

    Sean
    PLEASE do not bring this discussion up for debate, it's not really relevant. We went through the ringer on this issue, round & round, on the Framebuilders listserv a few months ago.

    The question of liability insurance is irrelevant to frame quality. End of story.

  6. #6
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    Didn't mean to link...

    ...insurance status with quality. It was mentioned by someone else and I repeated it only in passing. I did not mean it to be a deciding factor in buying from one shop or another.

    That said, it's a pretty straightfowward risk management question. If something were to happen, the lack of proper insurance from a practical perspective could rule out the chance for economic recovery should the builder be at fault. This is because most small businesses are thinly capitalized to begin with and could not likely absorb a meaningful uninsured claim against them. Even a "small" claim for damages related to "pain and suffering" might be enough to put a small shop out of business.

    Not a big concern for me the consumer. However, if the builder's lawyers, lenders or advisors were worth their salt they'd make sure they have appropriate coverage levels.

    Sean

    Quote Originally Posted by gonzostrike
    PLEASE do not bring this discussion up for debate, it's not really relevant. We went through the ringer on this issue, round & round, on the Framebuilders listserv a few months ago.

    The question of liability insurance is irrelevant to frame quality. End of story.
    Professional Amateur

  7. #7
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    why customs frames cost what they cost

    http://www.bikelugs.com/articles/pcd_custom.html

    custom frame prices run the gamut from $500 frame/fork up to $3000 for frame only.

    value is in the eye of the beholder.

    Just me, but I'd rather give my money to a small custom builder rather than a Serotta.

  8. #8

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    The Vulture earns his money.

    I was just over at Wade and Derrick's shop a couple of hours ago to finish payment for my frame. The cost of his frames encompass rent, tubing, machine tools...not to mention their time and craftsmanship.
    They are great guys that care about what they do. Oh, and Wade didn't drive his "BMW" today, he rode a home-made, parts bin cyclocross bike 15 miles in the rain to get to work. If they are getting rich, they are hidding it well.
    I highly recomend Vulture Cycles, it will be my first custom frame after riding nice MTB's for 18 yrs. Good enough for me
    Jefe'

  9. #9

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    Wade's got his rides at $ 950 plus shipping right now.

    I paid a little extra for a ghost flame job, but the frame w/ebb and 2 color paint job is $ 950.

    Yeah...I know the last post on this thread is over a year ago, but I thought I'd update so folks know what the prices are like.

    AND I LOVE MY VULTURE!

  10. #10

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    ... and if we just ... My Vulture has been good to me

    That's why I'm getting a Vulture Road/Cross frameand fork built this winter...
    Wade keeps getting better every frame and he has a dozen or so on order.
    Jefe'

  11. #11
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    Jefe',
    You post whore. You've been on this forum for less than a year and you almost have 500 posts.........

    PS. I'm up for a vulture cross/road bike soon as well. A dirty road bike, sweet.

    BFE (aka. big dog)

    Quote Originally Posted by PinsNeedles
    That's why I'm getting a Vulture Road/Cross frameand fork built this winter...
    Wade keeps getting better every frame and he has a dozen or so on order.
    Jefe'

  12. #12
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    I just checked the website and it says $1,025+$150 for Ebb.

    Your saying I can score a steel frame w/EBB and 2 color paint for $950? Hmmmm, that would be good news.


    Quote Originally Posted by New2SS
    Wade's got his rides at $ 950 plus shipping right now.

    I paid a little extra for a ghost flame job, but the frame w/ebb and 2 color paint job is $ 950.

    Yeah...I know the last post on this thread is over a year ago, but I thought I'd update so folks know what the prices are like.

    AND I LOVE MY VULTURE!

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by bigdrunk
    I just checked the website and it says $1,025+$150 for Ebb.

    Your saying I can score a steel frame w/EBB and 2 color paint for $950? Hmmmm, that would be good news.
    The website is incorrect....or was when I contacted Wade back in August to have my frame built up. At the time, he told me that the frames were $ 950 w/EBB (as is stated in their catalog) and then $ 35 for s&h (I live on the East coast). If you do any fancy paint job, you'll have to speak with Derrick to find out additional cost.

    Basically Mine broke down like this:

    $ 950 for frame (with EBB)
    $ 35 for shipping
    $ 75 additional fee for ghost flame job

    $ 1060 all told (and definitely well worth every penny. I still can't wipe the smile off my face)

    Give Wade a call or e-mail. He's a really cool guy and is easy to talk to about this stuff.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Soupboy
    ...insurance status with quality. It was mentioned by someone else and I repeated it only in passing. I did not mean it to be a deciding factor in buying from one shop or another.

    That said, it's a pretty straightfowward risk management question. If something were to happen, the lack of proper insurance from a practical perspective could rule out the chance for economic recovery should the builder be at fault. This is because most small businesses are thinly capitalized to begin with and could not likely absorb a meaningful uninsured claim against them. Even a "small" claim for damages related to "pain and suffering" might be enough to put a small shop out of business.

    Not a big concern for me the consumer. However, if the builder's lawyers, lenders or advisors were worth their salt they'd make sure they have appropriate coverage levels.

    Sean

    Doug has been building frames longer than most, I don't think your insurance comment does him any credit. He lives in Washington state, out in the middle of nowhere. That is one way he saves costs. I have had a number of his bikes, Doug is really great to work with. The bikes were all perfect. Not that they were the most beautiful in regard to paint, but I loved them all just the same.

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