Titanium Fabricators - Oh Hai - CycleBlaze

Titanium Fabricators

I may choose not to wear a helmet myself but I need to make sure the Crutch Monkey is safe.
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I now own two titanium bikes which were fabricated by a company somewhere in Asia. 

The first of these two bikes was purchased from Habanero back in 2007. I'd 'met' Mark, the owner, on rec.bicycles.misc and he'd said that, on the grounds that he had once lived in China and us laowai need to stick together, he'd give me a sweetheart deal if I ever decided to get a nice bike. It took me a few years to go from "holy fuck, one of those frames costs more than I'd ever spend on three bikes" to "yeah, I want one of those" but, when I did, he did in fact give me a sweetheart deal.

Because I live in Asia, it was prudent to have my frame shipped to me direct from the factory instead of having it go Factory → United States → Marian with both of those "→" representing a trip across the Pacific Ocean and the associated Customs, Duty, and shipping costs. Just cutting those out was a substantial discount off of the cost even before Mark's sweetheart deal. I'm not sure if the factory were just being lazy or if they really couldn't hide their Chinese name and address when they sent me my frame, but I found out pretty quickly who Mark had making his bikes.

Even if they hadn't leaked their full name and address to me, it would not have remained much of a secret to me for very long as I was actively involved in working at international events for the Chinese Cycling Association at that time. The factory had had their own brand name that they'd been selling bikes under for the last two or three years at that point, but many more years OEMing bikes for many many brands and literally dozens of people who saw my bike parked in various offices would see it and say things like "Nice [Factory Name] bike!"

(Once, at Ironman China, an international attendee with a titanium bike of her own gave me shit about someone parking a Habanero behind the Info Desk and who would bring such a shitty brand to a triathlon and and and all sorts of other annoying triathlete blather only for me to later on take the opportunity to surreptitiously check out her frame and confirm that it came from the same factory as mine.)

You'll notice I'm rather intentionally not mentioning the name of the Factory or of the house brands they sell themselves or even where they are located in Asia. This is because you really really really really don't want to deal with this factory as an individual buyer and, it wouldn't be fair to Mark to have his company name too easily linked to them.

Unfortunately for me, my new tour bike is factory direct instead of a Habanero.

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