[CR] medidation on a bargain

(Example: Framebuilders:Brian Baylis)

Date: Thu, 29 Jan 2009 13:20:16 -0500
From: <chasds@mindspring.com>
To: <classicrendezvous@bikelist.org>
Subject: [CR] medidation on a bargain

I just sold my Davidson:


I basically broke even on it. Maybe I lost a little, but not much, if I did. I suppose had I parted it out I might have gotten a little more for it, and since I bought it as a frame and fork originally, and built it up as-sold, parting it out would have been no crime, but I'm too lazy to do that kind of thing. I much prefer selling whole bikes.

Anyway, it seemed to me that this bike sold for a price that borders on surreal. Try ordering a frame like this from any custom maker, and the frame and fork alone will cost you over 2K easy. And this was a Bill Davidson, who is one of the grand-old-men of custom frame building, and who has been doing astonishingly beautiful work for a long, long time.

Finally, the bike really rides like a dream. With some nice fat Paselas, it would ride even nicer. The person who bought it is local--I think--and they got a great deal. They got an all-purpose road-bike that is as good as anything you can buy now, modern or vintage, with a big dash of hand-made elegance, for the price of a nice beach cruiser...

I'm happy to pass it along...no regrets about the price. But it seems a commentary on the strange little world we all inhabit. This bike, which is one of the nicer bikes I own, sold only because I'm out of space and because it really is a bit big for me, and because I have other bikes that do the same thing, is the equal of any more famous marque you can name, and better than most of those for most kinds of riding. And it sold for not much more than two pairs of Dugast tires.

I guess I'm a little sad that Davidson doesn't get more regard. This is a hell of a nice frame, and every Davidson I ever saw has been the same, a superb piece of work.

So it goes. I suppose it's the times, and the bike itself, as built, while first-class all the way, is not especially sexy. And, in our little world, as everywhere else, sex sells, by whatever name.

I have a very sexy bike coming up next, a beautiful early '70s Pogliaghi in Faema colors. Be interesting to see what that one goes for. Functionally, the Davidson is the better bike, but, as we all know, function is sometimes the least of the matter--which is not to diss the Pog...it's a very, very sweet piece, low bottom bracket, long stays, relaxed angles. I'd not sell it ever, but it's too big for me... the pogliaghi/faema livery will put the price up there. But for sheer function? At best equal to the Davidson.

Not the first time one of us has remarked on this kind of thing, but it struck me somehow, as the auction ended. Emotional intensity counts for far more than function when it comes to the price of a bicycle.