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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » All in the cards » » Card Quality (Bikes) (1 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Profile of DoctorAmazo
Has the quality of Bicycle cards dropped recently? It seems that no matter where I buy them, decks are cut off-center. No big deal for most purposes (and great for "one-way deck" effects!) But I make a lot of gaffs, and I'm constantly fighting misalignment.

At first I thought maybe Walmart-type stores were getting factory seconds; but I'm finding low-quality stock everywhere.

Anyone else notice this? (Now that I brought it up, I bet you will NOW! lol)
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Profile of Card-Shark
Find out why here: www.release-the-power.com
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Profile of calle225
Why change? What's wrong with bicycle?
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Profile of ruediger
Go to the site Card-Shark listed above your post...watch the videos...
There are also some interesting threads about the Phoenix Deck here on the Café. Just use the search function...or start here:


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Profile of AKMan
I think the quality has gone down. I think mass merchandisers are getting seconds. I switched to Phoenix cards and love them. I have only begun to explore all the features of these decks; things like one way backs AND fronts! The finish and feel remind me of the Tahoes of the 80's. Lots of gaffs are available for the Phoenix which will be handy if the rumors are true that USPCC plans to stop making gaffs. Well worth the switch. Bikes are now my practice decks.
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Profile of Poof-Daddy
DoctorAmazo, I make a lot of my own gaffs also and since swtching over to Phoenix brand, I have done a lot of remaking (converting specific gaffs to a phoenix back) they are just as easy to split and remake. The quality is great and, more importantly, consistant (after the first couple runs, they have it down now. There are many gaffs already being made and even more to come.

Check out the link that Ruediger posted. It is a thread I started after a lot of frusteration with Bikes in their recent trademark / copyright actons. Also go to the link Card-Shark posted to learn all the ins and outs of these fine "made for magicians by a magician" decks. Sign up for the newsletter to get the code to view the online dvd. You wont get a bunch of spam but you will get special sales notices that arent always availible on the regular site. And if you use the mobile site, there is (very fast) free shipping on orders over $75 (also not availible on the regular site).

At least there is a lot of info between these two links but once you check it all out, you may want to try them out.
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Profile of KokoB
I like Phoenix decks they are great quality bikes have gone down on their quality to bad people at times think you are using a fake deck with the Phoenix but after they examine it they feel bit better the world is use to bikes unfortunately.
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Profile of magicphill
I tend to steer clear of Bikes these days and go for the higher end cards

Bizarrely though I've noticed the Bicycle decks specifically made for Europe with the slightly different gold margined case are far superior and faro perfectly with smooth edges. Never understood why
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Profile of Atom3339
I like PRACTICING with Bikes; perform with Tally-Ho's. Smile

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Profile of Terrible Wizard
Just watched the Phoenix videos. Genius. I'll be buying Phoenix for my next batch of cards.
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Profile of TimsWheel
The miscut that I see most often isn't even mis-alignment, but lack of uniform card sizing, based on the stock not being uniformly bent at the point of the cards being cut. Have you ever had a card or two in the pack that seems to always bow? Flatten it out and compare its size to the rest of the pack. I've had a bad run lately where it seems like every pack of bikes seems to have a card that's wider by about 1/3mm.

Once you know about this it can be fairly handy, as effectively you have Bicycle made key cards, and the variation is typically small enough that audiences won't spot it. It can be a real pain in the neck though if you use key cards anyway, as a brand new pack of cards could easily end up with a few bowed key cards from regular use.
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Profile of Nemesus
I noticed it too, I found no problems with Tally-Ho playing cards... Aristocrat playing cards are also great!
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Profile of darksage
I still favor the bikes because of the gaff cards I use, but I guess I am fortunate that I still have quite a few of the Cincinnati produced bikes. They seem to be better quality than the current ones.
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Profile of arthur stead
I use Bikes because they are more commonly known among laymen. That way it's less likely that spectators will assume it's a gaffed deck. And also, I've used Bikes since getting started in card magic about 40 years ago. Just feels "right." As regards quality, I buy a 12 pack from Costco (6 red and 6 blue decks for less than $15) and have never had an issue. That said, I don't Faro, so maybe that's where folks are having a problem.
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Profile of LesL
Costco has a great price and I have purchased Bikes there as well as other retail stores. But to me, the newer decks have much rougher edges than the older Cincinatti Bikes and just a different feel. About a year and a half ago, I found a whole display rack of Cincinnati Rider backs on sale for $2 a deck at my local supermarket. They must have been clearing out their inventory for "newer" Standard rider backs which they were selling for almost $4. Needless to say, I bought the whole display.
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Profile of RogerTheShrubber
The last time I bought Bikes from Costco, the blue decks were fine and the red decks felt cheap and poorly cut around the edges. I never expected anything like that and have no real ixdea why. As such, the red decks are being used for cribbage.

Truth be told, though, there's only one trick I do regularly that really requires a white border on the back, and I can easily do without it, so I now usually just rely on Bee cards. I've never gotten a bad Bee deck and laymen seem less inclined to think they're marked. Since I'm not anywhere around the level of many of you and my repertoire is limited, I stick to decks that are readily available in 7-11 and supermarkets, ones people are familiar with, but now that I'm not really comfortable buying Bicycle for tricks anymore it looks like I'm with Bees until I start doing tricks where a white border is crucial.
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Profile of MrSteve
I'm surprised that no one has mentioned Richard Turner's Bicycle decks. These are basically Bicycle cards printed on the slightly heavier Bee stock. Plus, they are cut more carefully to provide total uniformity and a clean side-of-deck. Truly, "cards for the professional."
Even though USPCC is apparently not printing gaff cards any more, they don't have a problem with printing Bikes on Bee stock. These cards are great.
You can find them at Richard's own site but only in combo packages with DVDs, or from Penguin, or various other retailers. I just paid $5 a deck over the weekend at Magic Galore in Southern California. They're worth more.
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Profile of Snidini
The poor quality of the 'bikes' is why I started using Phoenix decks. I haven't looked back. MrSteve, the Turner gold seal decks are very good but they are getting harder to find at a good price.
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Profile of DavidKenney
Not to mention that Phoenix decks are made by Bike. Bicycle's policy is that Q1 controls are put on every custom deck. So decks from E, T11 etc are always going to be smoother and straighter than Costco cheaps.

So.... there are lots of great Bike decks out there with Q1 controls, smooth edges and round corners. Turner's bike for 1, which isn't hard to find, they are always at Penguin magic. The titanium decks from T11 are just as good. Good decks are out there if you know where to look.

If you want the truth about Bicycle Cut, Stock & Finish watch this: http://tinyurl.com/USPCCcutandfinish
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Profile of LesL
On Nov 23, 2014, DavidKenney wrote:
Not to mention that Phoenix decks are made by Bike. Bicycle's policy is that Q1 controls are put on every custom deck.

I'm not sure what you mean by a custom deck. Are you saying that every Kickstarter deck with a Bicycle brand is produced at Q1 quality?
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