How did you all meet?
We know each other best not by the frames we make, but from the many dialogues we’ve had over the months and years. The original members of TFC have essentially been drawn to each other (and the group dynamic) through countless emails shared, posts to each other on forum threads, and a desire to pool our experiences, talents, and resources so that they all be can shared with whoever and whatever is next.
There’s such a small group here. Where are the others?
The TFC is the result of nearly three years of work and communications. There were
times when more people were in on the plan, but as it goes, time, life, chores, as well as
framebuilding, got in the way of some folks’ ability to fully commit. The core group of
eight decided to keep talking and make TFC a reality. We hope to harness the enthusiasm
and build upon it in due time.
Is there a standard needed to be part of TFC?
- Must have a minimum of five years as an independent and fulltime professional framebuilder.
- Principle revenue source must be through running their business as a fulltime commercial entity without the benefit of, or reliance on, outside revenue sources.
- Has demonstrated that they conduct their business and customer interactions in a positive and professional manner that would reflect positively on the principles of the Collective.
- Has demonstrated that they engage and positively enrich the public’s view of the handmade Framebuilding niche.
Are there framebuilding standards that are part of the TFC’s membership requirements?
Not in the “Seal of Approval” sense! None of us has judged or examined anyone else’s work. But we do feel each other and for each other. The TFC’s members are aware that the craft and business of framebuilding attracts some fiercely independent types and it could be impossible – or take generations – to set standards for design and manufacturing that are more common in the industrial trades. We made a conscious decision to trust our collective instincts and be a peer group rather than a watchdog group. Like anything borne out of enthusiasm and from a group of creative types, we’ll hope we made the right choice!
So how will you know who’s next in line!?
Early on it was discussed that we’d never be about superiority, or the lightest, or most expensive, or any superlative-goes-here. We trust that our experiences at the workbench, online, and in the marketplace are our common bonds. Now that we’ve officially formed, we’ll take pro-active steps to include like-minded folks whose business models mirror ours. That will be an ongoing effort, but in tandem with it we plan to reach out to our less experienced craftsmen brothers and sisters as well as to folks considering a framebuilder’s career path, and share with these people all that we have learned since we entered the trade.
Will TFC accept builders that work in a variety of materials and construction techniques?
Yes it will. TFC accepts builders working in any commercially viable material using any appropriate technique.
Does TFC accept builders of all types of bicycles?
TFC believes that all types of bicycle frames are of equal value and deserve consideration.
I’m a framebuilder who would like to be considered for membership in TFC. How do I apply?
If you feel you meet the qualifications to be a member, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.