In the Bike Shop: Bill D

bill_d.jpg When you’ve been building frames for over 38 years, like Bill Davidson has, there’s lots to talk about, including the current obsession with carbon (used to be aluminum), what’s new is actually old, Paragon drop outs, the boomin’ business in S&S-equipped frames, and Parlee’s custom carbon frames (again with the carbon obsession).


Saw the post, thought I’d drop you a line and clarify something important about what we do. Parlee is not using the same tube sets as everyone (or anyone) else. We have our own tube sets, designed by Bob Parlee and refined over the last seven years. We like doing things our own way. We don’t share tube sets, lugs, dropouts, cable stops, wishbones, molds or processes with anyone. Yes, there is a lot of carbon (an obsession as you wrote…) out there now, but it is not an accident or a fad. It is not all created equal for sure, but carbon is a great material for building bikes. We started when aluminum and titanium were on top and have been pushing our style of carbon for almost a decade. Composites give builders and designers a lot more to work with than any other material or process. Different fibers, different fiber placement, different epoxies, different mold techniques and shapes all add up to a very wide range of bikes. There is actually a lot more diversity (not all of it great…) amongst road bikes now than 20, 10 or even 5 years ago. You can take the same pile of raw carbon and molds, the same geometry and create 2 completely different riding bikes. The materials matter a lot, but it is what the builder does with them that is the most important. Happy to share more of the details with you anytime. tom at parleecycles dot com


Thanks for the comment and clarification—the post has been updated. The remark about your tubeset was from me and based on a Parlee I saw at a local race. I thought the tubeset was Dedacciai based on a visual inspection. And, if that was the case, that’s still a nice tubeset!

When I told Bill you called, he said, “what framebuilder has time to read blogs on the internet, especially Bikehugger, must not be that busy!” We both laughed at that.

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