Before I get into some of the specifics of the process of ordering bikes, I should note that my bicycles are generally sold as complete units, consisting, if it is a touring bike for instance, of the bike frame, components, racks and panniers. When bikes are purchased in this way I discount the frame, racks and panniers in a unit price. The price of a bicycle starts with a base price, consisting of the frame and components (which I list with each bike model), and to that are added the discounted prices of racks, panniers and custom components and all of the custom detailing in a bike frame, as a complete unit price. I generally knock off $1000 to $1500, or more, in a unit price depending upon the total overall cost of a bike. The greater the cost, the greater the discount for purchasing a complete bike.
Ordering a bicycle involves a fairly lengthy discussion as you and I will go through a long list of details, starting with how the bike will be used. Then we will talk about a multitude of frame designs. What design of seat cluster will the bike have? What size of seat stays? Will the design of the fork crown match the design of the three main lugs of the frame? How will the primary lugs be designed? Will those lugs match the bottom bracket shell, etc. etc. etc.? There are a lot of things to go over just in basic frame details regarding the design of the lugs.
And then there are the components. Are the components to be used on the bike all new components, or are some used? Will they be a mixture of old and new? What type of drive-train components? Will half-step gearing be integrated into the design of the bike? Just what is half-step gearing? How will the wheels be designed? What are the advantages of one type of handlebar over another, and so on? And then if the bike is to be a touring bike and not a Hybrid Performance model, the fun really begins as I'll have to ask a multitude of questions with regard to how the racks and panniers will be designed. Your bike will be a very, very unique, personalized bike, and the process of ordering it will take a while.
At the time that you order your bike we will also start discussing its fit, and I will either take your body measurements if you are here in Oregon to order the bike, or we'll talk about how they will be taken if you take them yourself, or have them taken where you live. All in all, ordering a bike takes a pretty good chunk of time. Between talking about the design of the wheels, frame details, rack designs, pannier designs and all of the rest it usually takes an hour or two.
Lastly, we will talk about paint. Paint has become a discussion as it never has before. Currently I am working with two painters for the first time. It has taken me many years to find a painter that can paint well, and my frames are much more difficult to paint now than they have ever been before. A well-executed custom paint job is a very time-consuming process and for a basic one-color paint job I pay about four times that of what I paid five years ago. Multi-colored paint work, painted racks and other details add up as well. So we'll spend some time running through the possibilities with regard to paint work.
When you order your bike you will also be including a deposit, which is usually $3000 to $5000 depending upon the cost of the bicycle. It usually works out that for bicycles with Standard-level custom frames the deposit will be $3000 if it is a Hybrid Performance bicycle model and for bikes with Signature-level frames, especially if they are touring bikes, the deposit will be more. The balance of the order is paid in full when I start working on it.
Everybody wants to know how long their bike will take. At the current time I have, as I've worked extensively to create this website for the past couple of years and have stopped taking orders for bikes, the shortest order backlog for bikes that I have ever had. At the same time, I now have two painters in my area that can paint my frames, so things are as good as they have ever been, time-wise. Currently the wait for a frame and bike could be less than a year, and I expect that the backlog won't exceed a couple of years in upcoming years.