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Why don't manufacturers want to sell framesets? only?

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Why don't manufacturers want to sell framesets? only?

Old 07-20-19, 04:13 PM
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Sy Reene
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Why don't manufacturers want to sell framesets? only?

I just scratch my head as to why these pricing structures make sense to the bike manufacturers. Is there really a way that (for this example), Cervelo is really making more money (on absolute basis vs. percentage) on the complete than they are on the frameset? Aside from the component and wheelset/tire add-ons.. you have the shipping of the components to wherever the complete is assembled, plus the labor to assemble, and then the additional bulk for shipping of the complete thru the distribution network and on to the dealers, etc.

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Old 07-20-19, 04:14 PM
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It's why I will forever by used or Chinese. I have too many very specific build and fit specs to ever buy a complete bike. And yes, pricing is absurd.
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Old 07-20-19, 04:35 PM
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I think it's more price signalling - making the full bikes appear cheaper.
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Old 07-20-19, 05:20 PM
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Wow, look at all that stuff you're getting pretty much for free with a built up bike.
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Old 07-21-19, 12:00 AM
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Originally Posted by znomit View Post
Wow, look at all that stuff you're getting pretty much for free with a built up bike.
Yeah, somebody should buy these up and part them out, selling the framesets for $2900.
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Old 07-21-19, 07:19 AM
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I found the same thing last fall when I wanted to build a bike


Specialized has a more expected divide:
Allez Sprint Frame around 1200, full bike around 2300.

BUT a tarmac frame is 2500 and full bike is 2700?!

Roubiax frame around 4500 full bike 6000....
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Old 07-21-19, 08:05 AM
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Originally Posted by sdmc530 View Post
I found the same thing last fall when I wanted to build a bike

BUT a tarmac frame is 2500 and full bike is 2700?!

.
fwiw, I think you're comparing the Tarmac Pro frameset (which is the '10R' construction) with the cheapest 9R complete bike. I think the first 10R complete bike is the Tarmac Disc Expert which is $4750
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Old 07-21-19, 08:24 AM
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Originally Posted by raisinberry777 View Post
I think it's more price signalling - making the full bikes appear cheaper.
Cheaper than what? Don't most people compare brand X vs Y if they're shopping for a complete?
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Old 07-21-19, 09:25 AM
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I think you're looking at it backwards. They aren't making normal margins on the frameset, and barely scraping by on the complete bike. Rather, they are making normal margins on the complete bike, and laughing all the way to the bank on the frameset.
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Old 07-21-19, 09:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Kimmo View Post
Yeah, somebody should buy these up and part them out, selling the framesets for $2900.
Back in 2008 Bikes Direct was selling Campagnolo Record complete bikes for $1400. It wasn't uncommon to find the framesets and wheels selling for around $500 on Ebay.
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Old 07-21-19, 12:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Sy Reene View Post
fwiw, I think you're comparing the Tarmac Pro frameset (which is the '10R' construction) with the cheapest 9R complete bike. I think the first 10R complete bike is the Tarmac Disc Expert which is $4750
I am sure your correct on this. I was typing from memory from when I was looking a year ago. I purchased an Argon 18 frame anyways
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Old 07-21-19, 12:14 PM
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Originally Posted by puma1552 View Post
I think you're looking at it backwards. They aren't making normal margins on the frameset, and barely scraping by on the complete bike. Rather, they are making normal margins on the complete bike, and laughing all the way to the bank on the frameset.
I agree with this.....especially on "special edition" frames. Example the Peter Sagon stuff on...really the same stuff just fancy paint and such and crazy high prices. All about marketing. I think too the frame sales is where they do the most profit. No assembly, no labor, just take the box it shipped in from overseas and reship to the dealer......Its just cant be any easier than that!

another example, would people shell out 12K or whatever for a Pinarello without sky/ineos looking so stellar on them? Maybe? Marketing!
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Old 07-21-19, 01:22 PM
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The major manufacturers gat a huge discount on components. If you need components also, a complete bike is the way to go.
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Old 07-21-19, 03:21 PM
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Possibly the frameset pricing is set higher because if there is a robust market in framesets it would cut into the sales of fully built bikes. As that would cut the number of components they have to purchase, they loose some of their discount for those components.

Also I wonder if those that purchase a frameset only might not be more troublesome and costly to the mfr because the buyer didn't fully understand what components will work with that frame and what won't. Or those that want to use a hammer to install their bb and other such stuff.
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Old 07-21-19, 03:24 PM
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Originally Posted by colnago62 View Post
The major manufacturers gat a huge discount on components. If you need components also, a complete bike is the way to go.
this is true but if you want a specific set up that your favorite mfg. doesn't do then frame build is your only option. Probably still better to buy complete and sell for the new parts thought.
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Old 07-21-19, 07:26 PM
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I think it only shows how little a set of alloy wheels and traditional mechanical Ultegra groupset can actually cost.

The alloy DT Swiss Spline 32 wheels on the complete in the first post are 1800 grams and can be found for less than $350. An Ultegra mechanical/rim brake groupset is $699 on Merlin right now.

Step up to carbon wheels, hydraulic disks and Di2 and the complete is more than twice the price of the frameset - $6500 vs $3000. Even at twice the price, the balance of the bike including stem, bar, post and saddle are still house brand.

To me it makes more sense to buy a frameset for a high end build, especially if you don't like Cervelo's bar/stem/saddle/post. If you are also considering a nice Cane Creek headset, maybe a thread together stainless or ceramic bottom bracket, Dura Ace rotors/calipers and so forth then it absolutely makes sense to buy a frameset.

I'm actually considering this exact frame in rim brake flavor and would build it with Light Bicycle wheels, a mix of Ultegra and Dura Ace Di2, Fabric carbon saddle and Easton carbon bar/post/stem. I would also consider an Easton EC90 SL carbon crankset. I can't imagine what Cervelo would charge for level of parts mix.

Also keep in mind that some like to build Cervelo steerers with an expansion plug rather than their bonded sleeve system. Correct me if I'm wrong but I think the completes are still coming with the sleeve bonded.


-Tim-
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Old 07-21-19, 07:55 PM
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I worked with a guy who told me he had a $3,000 road bike. He didn't know but learned that I'm into bikes, that's interesting news to me and I want to know more. Well, he paid $1,100 for it at Performance, but before all the discounts, the price that nobody ever pays was $3k. And that made him feel great about his bike, he thought he had a real treasure. (I didn't agree when I heard about the wheels and components, but didn't pee in his Cheerios.)

There's probably some small marketing benefit for complete bikes. If people know that just the frame costs some obscene number, they think it's a great bike. And they think they're getting a great deal.

I agree with the comment that people looking for a complete bike aren't also shopping framesets. But people don't much research before they part with their $$$ are going to see what it costs without the components.
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Old 07-21-19, 11:08 PM
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I have been buying Trek Project One bike’s lately. You have choices of group sets, stem length, handlebars, wheels and saddles. I replace the saddle and down the road I go. There is also paint choice, which I don’t care about.
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Old 07-21-19, 11:32 PM
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The way bikes are headed with integration and unique components there won't be any point in getting a frame set anyway.
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Old 07-22-19, 04:45 AM
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Originally Posted by TimothyH View Post
I think it only shows how little a set of alloy wheels and traditional mechanical Ultegra groupset can actually cost.

The alloy DT Swiss Spline 32 wheels on the complete in the first post are 1800 grams and can be found for less than $350. An Ultegra mechanical/rim brake groupset is $699 on Merlin right now.

-Tim-
Don't forget though, you've still got to add handlbars, stem, saddle and tires. You also have the need to bring all these parts together to a location so that somebody can assemble, box, and then ship it out again. Then after sale, the LBS is on the hook as the warranty representative for all of those parts working correctly.

Actually noticed this, which seems to be the way to go to get the R3 frame, if you can find your size and/or live with colors available.. I think it's a 2018 model config (though frame didn't change going to 2019).

https://www.racycles.com/bikes/road/...gra-bike-13783
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Old 07-22-19, 04:56 AM
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Originally Posted by TimothyH View Post
To me it makes more sense to buy a frameset for a high end build, especially if you don't like Cervelo's bar/stem/saddle/post. If you are also considering a nice Cane Creek headset, maybe a thread together stainless or ceramic bottom bracket, Dura Ace rotors/calipers and so forth then it absolutely makes sense to buy a frameset.

-Tim-
Originally Posted by colnago62 View Post
The major manufacturers gat a huge discount on components. If you need components also, a complete bike is the way to go.
So, I imagine another big reason to buy just the frameset is that you have an older bike, you'd like to replace, but are perfectly happy with much/most of the components on it so would just swap over. Another reason obviously would exist for anyone who has damaged their current frame in an accident.
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Old 07-22-19, 06:05 AM
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You can do the reverse. Buy the whole bike to get the frame you want and sell off the rest as new take-off. It may or may not pay off.
I do agree with the dilemma though. I have few specific "things" I like and require. Bar tape, crank length, bar type and size, seat, maybe stem length or angle, cassette, tires. Some extremely important, some less. Sucks buying a new bike and having to compromise or rebuy. I am amazed at how many people can just buy a bike and it all just works out perfect for them out of the box.

Unrelated to bikes but along the same lines of parting out. There used to be a thriving market of sellers buying full RC cars and trucks and parting them out. It was a money maker for them and a benefit for people needing parts too. You could buy and upgrade whole assemblies instead of just a gear or something and build of a relatively low cost cache of spare parts. RC hobby manufacturers didn't like this as it threatened their relationship with hobby shops and vendors and themselves that were selling official replacement parts at an agreed on minimum price. They stopped selling full cars to the chop shops and cracking down on hobby shops that were using their volume discounts and selling them to the chop shops and that dried up that very beneficial service.

Last edited by u235; 07-22-19 at 06:24 AM.
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Old 07-22-19, 07:19 AM
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It's wrong to me.
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Old 07-22-19, 07:34 AM
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Originally Posted by Sy Reene View Post
Don't forget though, you've still got to add handlbars, stem, saddle and tires. You also have the need to bring all these parts together to a location so that somebody can assemble, box, and then ship it out again. Then after sale, the LBS is on the hook as the warranty representative for all of those parts working correctly.

Actually noticed this, which seems to be the way to go to get the R3 frame, if you can find your size and/or live with colors available.. I think it's a 2018 model config (though frame didn't change going to 2019).

https://www.racycles.com/bikes/road/...gra-bike-13783
Sorry, my post was specific to DIY, not having an LBS build it.

R&A is in Brooklyn, NY and I might be on Long Island in the fall. I'm seriously thinking about stopping by their shop with cash in hand. The R3 frameset is under $2300.

https://www.racycles.com/bikes/road/...frameset-13786

Stylish high-vis.


-Tim-

Last edited by TimothyH; 07-22-19 at 08:03 AM.
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Old 07-22-19, 09:36 AM
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It's not really the sort of bikes people in this forum are probably after, but Surly sell frames at reasonable prices compared to the full build.
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