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Fabrication Labels on Expensive Bikes: Yay or Nay?

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Fabrication Labels on Expensive Bikes: Yay or Nay?

Old 08-21-12, 08:46 PM
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Chris Pringle
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Fabrication Labels on Expensive Bikes: Yay or Nay?

Let's say that you're buying an expensive brand of steel bicycle, whether it is C&V, new or custom-built by a boutique manufacturer for that matter. Would you prefer to see an understated no-fabrication-labels or would you demand to see these labels on the frame? By fabrication labels, I mean the Made in USA, Made in Italy, Made in the U.K., Titanium, Reynolds XXX, Columbus, True Temper, etc. A friend thinks that it's gauche to have such labels on expensive bikes and that it smacks of showing off.

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Old 08-21-12, 08:49 PM
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The more the merrier. Tubing stickers get me excited. It's not as if they are diamond encrusted or anything. Few people will ken the difference between a Columbus MXL sticker and a Hi-ten sticker.
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Old 08-21-12, 09:28 PM
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i hate decals, labels, and stickers unless they somehow add to the bike. the ones you describe do not add to the bike.
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Old 08-21-12, 09:31 PM
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I don't think you need them on the bike (I don't care much for labels unless they are aesthetically well though-out). But maybe that frame will outlive you, maybe it's good to give the next owner some clues.
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Old 08-21-12, 09:33 PM
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small and unobtrusive are ok, just so any future owners will know what they are getting
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Old 08-21-12, 09:35 PM
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Yes, I would want them. It's a few parts vanity and another that I like how they look.
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Old 08-21-12, 09:36 PM
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Whoa, this thread is a time warp. Mostly all members that were here when I first started.... am I getting younger?
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Old 08-21-12, 09:45 PM
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Ive been gone for a long time...personal stuff, but I'm glad to be back
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Old 08-21-12, 10:12 PM
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Originally Posted by mkeller234 View Post
Yes, I would want them. It's a few parts vanity and another that I like how they look.
yes I want them too............hint hint hint!!
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Old 08-21-12, 10:15 PM
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^ gotcha. You'll get a pm soon.
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Old 08-21-12, 10:43 PM
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stopped at a local graphics shop to ask about a few tiny bike decals if I have the artwork complete....
"cant promise anything but under a hundred"

greedy people.
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Old 08-21-12, 10:58 PM
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If made outside the US, and commercially imported, they must have the country of origin on them somewhere. Also, I think it is best to have proper identification of the tubing used as well as country of origin, so future owners have a clue. Of course these things don't have to be decals. Could be laser engraved or cast in somewhere on the frame. Heck, look how many questions arise on the forum about ID of a frame.

If I were a frame builder I'd want my name and country on there and shown with pride. At least until you took my gaudy decals off.... Then you'd only be left with the laser engraving and microchip to contend with

Joe
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Old 08-22-12, 12:32 AM
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Originally Posted by JPZ66 View Post
If made outside the US, and commercially imported, they must have the country of origin on them somewhere. Also, I think it is best to have proper identification of the tubing used as well as country of origin, so future owners have a clue. Of course these things don't have to be decals. Could be laser engraved or cast in somewhere on the frame. Heck, look how many questions arise on the forum about ID of a frame.

If I were a frame builder I'd want my name and country on there and shown with pride. At least until you took my gaudy decals off.... Then you'd only be left with the laser engraving and microchip to contend with

Joe
That's why you do this with the downtube graphics:
http://vanillabicycles.com/frames/touring/2/

I'd like to see anyone take THAT off the frame!
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Old 08-22-12, 04:27 AM
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Yes I want decals stating the brand, model, country or origin, and the certainly the tubing decal. while a plain bike with no decals may sometimes look cool, to me it mostly looks like a POS nobody cared about, did a cheapo repaint or is stolen.
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Old 08-22-12, 04:59 AM
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"Oh...your frame is made with Columbus SLX? Not bad."



But seriously, I like the decals/labels. It's nice to know what tubeset is.
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Old 08-22-12, 05:09 AM
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For high end frame builders, I don't think being secure in their ability to produce a high-end frame is an issue. I think they want to sell them, too.

If I pay for high end tubing, I want the label on it, just so I don't have to explain it to some doubter out there.

Given the choice, give me the label. I put a RobbieTunes decal on one of my bikes, and no one was impressed.
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Old 08-22-12, 05:25 AM
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Stickers are for tool boxes. Gaudy, tacky, childish. I'd rather see a really nice headbadge showing off the maker's marque and an understated paint job.

The components and the choices of tones and colors of different parts as they work together are the details I want to see on a well-made bike -not a bunch of tasteless stickers slapped all over the side or a gauche paint job that makes the bike look like an ice cream truck designed to draw in 11-year olds addicted to sugar confections...

But that's just my opinion -the tweenie-boppers might have another one.
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Old 08-22-12, 05:51 AM
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Gee, I have stickers on my bike tool box, too.
I pull the bike shop stickers off all my bikes and put them it.

Then again, I have radio station stickers on my regular tool box.
I don't know why, just started with the KILO sticker and kept going.

And I have a sweet tooth, so it's nice knowing where the ice cream truck is.

I do agree, to a point, that a well-made frame speaks for itself.
The person riding it needs to neither explain nor justify it.

Big labels on rims kind of turn me off. I may want to know what the wheels are, but not 100' away.

One of my pipe dreams is to sponsor a NASCAR team with an all-black car.
No labels, just a number, preferably 00 because Jim 0tt0 was cool and had a sense of humor.

We are a species with labels. Everything is tribal, even the lack of labels.

Sometimes, that lack of label bespeaks a complete lack of pretension,
but sometimes the lack of labels, if intentional, is a pretentious label of it's own.

Label me gauche, because tubing decals are epic.

I also have a strong dislike for big whirly thingies (if forced to drive past a wind farm, I get very punchy for some unknown reason, no need to bring that feeling home, but I digress)...
Those things creep me out. They're always staring, like "I know what you did...."
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Old 08-22-12, 06:09 AM
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My interest in stickers or other labels depends on a few factors. If a "disposable" item such as a wheelset, then all stickers are promptly removed regardless of cache or the maker. I also have a strong dislike for big whirly thingies (if forced to drive past a wind farm, I get very punchy for some unknown reason, no need to bring that feeling home, but I digress)...

On a frame, I'd like to see tubeset, serial number, and origin stickers, but please as small as possible. For the latter two items, engraving on the BB shell or somewhere inconspicuous would be preferred. Stems, bars, etc - if the manufacturer can't take the care to engrave it to look awesome (like nitto bars for example), then I peel away whatever sticker they supplied as their lazy alternative.
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Old 08-22-12, 06:11 AM
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It has been standard for many years to have tubing stickers on a frame. It's not "gauche" or "showing off", it's letting you know you are getting a frame made from quality tubing. Anyone who thinks it's tacky is worrying too much about what others think of them.
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Old 08-22-12, 06:47 AM
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Leaving aside the aesthetic question, the resale value of a bike takes quite a hit in when you can't establish who made it or what tubing was used. I have two frames that appear to be in original paint, but have no tubing decals. I wish they did, so I'd know what the tubing was. On one of those, I don't even know who the frame builder was; I wish I did.

I also have a few old frames that are no longer in original paint; and these, too, lack tubing decals. There, too, I wish I knew what the tubing was. On one of those I'm not even sure of the maker. There are two or three active threads on this forum right now, in which someone is wondering what this or that old frame is; lacking any decals, we are not likely to find out. Therefore these frames are not likely to get the full restorations they (may) deserve. Too bad.

On the other hand, where tubing decals are preserved, even in fragmentary condition, they give a great deal of reassurance about what exactly the bike is.
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Old 08-22-12, 06:57 AM
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For a collector/fetish object originality is paramount. It should be exactly as the manufacturer sold it in the showroom -or resale will suffer. Even an upgrade made to the bike to the next higher-level component such as replacing 105 with 600 is forbidden. Even if was done by the LBS when the bike was first set up for the original buyer. It's a bad idea even though it's a "better" component -it doesn't BELONG there. It's not "right."

The same goes for the stickers. They are part of the originality and belong right where they are placed by the god-like creators of the collectible bike. Their work can not be second-guessed. Even if it was put on crooked, making it straight would be wrong if it was crooked in the majority of the remaining original examples of the model. If that is the way the regular guy who slapped them on for years on the assembly line then placed them that is the "correct" way they should be placed.
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Old 08-22-12, 07:18 AM
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Almost anything I can read from 15' or more from the object in view gets ignored--all those MASSIVE logos and labels crying out for attention are profoundly boring, to say nothing about just plain ugly.
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Old 08-22-12, 07:43 AM
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Originally Posted by lostarchitect View Post
It has been standard for many years to have tubing stickers on a frame. It's not "gauche" or "showing off", it's letting you know you are getting a frame made from quality tubing. Anyone who thinks it's tacky is worrying too much about what others think of them.
+1

I have three bikes that I had repainted. One has the original head badge, another a replacement head tube decal and the third a custom head badge. Two have tubing decals replacing the original. One has no tubing decal because it didn't come with one and I'm not sure it exists (True Temper OS ca. 1990).

None have the original model graphics. That's what I wanted to do with my bikes.
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Old 08-22-12, 07:52 AM
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Originally Posted by rotharpunc View Post
small and unobtrusive are ok, just so any future owners will know what they are getting
Yes, I agree. I am a minimalist, and less is often more appealing than more. But I also feel the origin of the bike needs to be identified. Even if just a postage stamp size sticker, so enthusiasts who stop to admire your bike can find some info. Too often I feel that large and cluttered decals/labels obscure an otherwise beautiful paint scheme.
JMHO.
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