How many women or how many paint jobs?

8 06 2008

There is a whole heap of impossibilities in the bike world. Really think about what people claim, write, etc and analyze it, because custom framebuilders exaggerate with the best of them.

Here is an example for you. Coat “a paint shop” created by Sacha white….

Now, Sacha is one of the kings of marketing in this business. Once you get past the numerous adjectives…delicious, science, solid all of which on their own mean nothing. You can read that year one capacity is 200 frames and on the last page Jason Weber can paint “two to three thousand” bikes a year.

Yes, I said thousand/s

Now this reminds me of the late Wilt Chamberlain who claimed to have 20,000 booty calls. Now lets break this down a bit. I assume that most of the booty happened when Wilt was a younger man. Lets say between 17-50 or 33 years. So if we have 33 years of active humpage, that would turn out to 606 women a year or nearly 2 new ones every day. Even Wilt has to take a day off once in a while, (Stud horses are only up for 150 days a year for Gods sake.) So that would be even more per day on, lets say three. Hey man, anybody who can bed three women a day is more dedicated and type A than I could ever be.

But lets get back to claims of exaggerated production in the bicycle world. 3,000 painted bikes a year? by one guy? Who the heck would even want a painter that was moving this fast ( 12 painted frames a day) So unless this guy has a paint gun glued to his hand there is no way that anybody could accomplish this or would want too, but for some reason this number is impressive? Small numbers are impressive to me. JB (Joe Bell or as I think about him the great and wonderful OZ) paints around 600 frames a year as I understand it and has a team of 2-3 employees. He doesn’t advertise to speak of, he doesn’t use meaningless buzz words, he doesn’t have tats or earplugs or an aloof look about him at all times. What he does do is paint, and paint spectacularly well.

I remember Wilt for the great Basketball he played, that didn’t need any exaggeration. Great painters and framebuilders, like Sacha and numerous others don’t need it either.




3 responses

12 06 2008
Steve Leeper

I agree with you and with your approach valuing artisanship. I’ll never throw my money away on one of the big-house-techno-high-medium-modulus-boron-inject-carbon-fiber-monstrosities again. They really look cool but it’s sad when you ride an $8,000 techno-marvel and it pales in comparison to the ride quality of 21 year-old Italian steel bike. A well made bike is a well made bike. The effort of a skilled builder results in a bike that, if maintained, will last nearly a lifetime and provide a ridiculously nice ride. The big name brands have all descended into a marketing war based on foolishly low weights and slick graphics on top of (admittedly) some pretty cool shaped carbon. BUT, do these bikes ride better – not necessarily in my opinion. Thus, back to the benefits of fine builders filling the void left by the big marketing machines of Trek, Specialized, etc. Sadly, even the storied Italian names are watering down playing the same game – designed in (fill in the blank) but made in Asia with final assembly in (fill in the blank) where “final assembly” has become code for “placing decals on before clear coat is applied”. Tisk, tisk. Chasing the almighty dollar has robbed these once great brands of their original vision. Long live the professional indie builder!

18 07 2008


I’ve talked to the painter at Coat recently on the phone and at one point in the conversation I specifically asked about the two to three thousand painted frames as described on the web site.

He told me that it’s a typo. The number is really 200 to 300 not two to three thousand and that while he’s asked for it to be fixed – to date that hasn’t happened.

So, I believe this to be just a communication error/typo with the website developers/people and the paint shop. I don’t believe it to be a valid claim.


19 07 2008

Well, that is good to know. Still, this was hopefully funny! didn’t anybody else ever wonder how Wilt was as copious as he was?:)

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