We all love nice and shiny things. However, anywhere, and at
FAIR bicycle in particular, a business has to move within certain,
reasonable for its case, limitations.
All of our products can have visual imperfections. The key here is the
word visual. Anything with functional imperfections will, and does
get sorted out.
Here are two examples to illustrate the context behind visual imperfections:
TRANSPORT & PACKAGING
Especially our machined parts undergo some journeys during their creation. From the billet supplier to the machining supplier (some surfaces remain raw from the billet to save time, cost, energy). From machining to surface treatment supplier. From there back. From there to us. We assemble, we laser mark. Et cetera. Many hands touch our beloved bicycle things. We do not want to single package every small part, that's ecologic nonsense. It is normal that small scratches/imperfections appear. They are traces of reality. Were we to eliminate all of that, it would be impossible to create a viable business case within fair trade and circular economy standards.
DETAILING & MACHINING TIME
Albeit it seems like a machined part pops out of a fancy 5-axis machine,
ready to bolt on the bike, that is not exactly true.
Many manual operations follow, like deburring, quality control measurements using metal instruments, handling between machining steps. Et cetera. Each requiring proper skills even to keep visual imperfections to a minimum (try measuring an aluminum machined part with hardened steel calipers all day long, day in, day out, and you will see how demanding that is).
These are all steps where cosmetic damage can occur.
While we could achieve visually immaculate products (like jewellery), we have actively decided to not afford this. One, for environmental reasons: That implicates many more rejected parts, and that is a waste of resources. Second, for economical reasons: We operate within a very tight financial structure to make FAIR bicycle work, since we strictly operate to fair trade and circular economy standards. Considering that, it is impossible and makes no sense, to go to the 'nth degree in detailing and machining surfaces just to gain the last 5-10% in visual perfection.
Now that this is all said, get out there and ride your bike.
Thanks for being part of this!