Is the Grass Always Greener?
February, 2008

Over the last 8 to 10 years, several new mid sized custom bicycle companies have sprung up around the country. They build various types of high quality road bikes from steel, aluminum, carbon fiber or titanium. These companies get a lot of attention because they are new. The bicycles that they build are priced from $3,000 to $10,000.

Don't live near by?

Not everyone has a local shop that they can work with one-on-one to design their new bicycle. For our online customers, we strive to provide that same feel that the customers who are able to come to the shop get. We email pictures of their bicycle in progress, and communicate on a regular basis about the progress. For those who live in the Northwest though, I find it odd when I see them purchase a bicycle from a far away company.

While custom, hand built bicycles are a new and exciting phenomena to the rest of the country, we here in the Northwest have known for a long time the benefits of a hand built, custom frame. You see, the history of hand built bikes here in the Northwest goes back a lot more than just 8 to 10 years. Several Northwest builders have been around here in Washington and Oregon for well over 25 years (some well over 30 years). The experience level of builders in Seattle alone is unmatched anywhere in the country.

While I think it's a great thing that the bicycle industry magazines, and the rest of the country, are just discovering how great a hand built bike made in the USA can be, I think that there are some incredible benefits that we who live in the Northwest enjoy. Below is a story contrasting two typical experiences of two different bike buyers who reside in Seattle, Jack and Jill.

While you'll get a great bike either way, if you're going to buy a hand built bike and you live here in the Northwest, why not enjoy the benefits that are right in front of you? The resources are all here, the history is here, the talent is certainly here, and the prices are even lower when you buy directly from the builder as opposed to going through a 3rd party.

So, is the grass always greener somewhere else? Only if you don't live near Seattle.

See you on the road!

-Your friends at R+E Cycles
Home of Rodriguez Hand Built Bicycles