Is theory11 honest?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by card, Jan 14, 2013.

  1. i was wondering if theory11 sells bicycle rider backs or standard bicycle cards? just wondering. :)
  2. Are they not they same thing?
  3. Standard is the new name for Rider Backs.
  4. they are the same design, but there are differences. The Rider Backs pictured in the T11 photo are the ones made in Cincinnati, Ohio, before USPCC moved to Erlanger, Kentucky. The box design changed and now says "Standard" instead of "Rider Back" on it.

    This is the old design:

    This is the new design:

    The key difference is that the old Cincinnati made Rider Backs are generally accepted to be higher quality and handle better than the new "Standard" Rider Backs made by USPCC. Also the box design is different, obviously. USPCC doesn't make the old rider backs anymore, so the question is whether or not T11 has an old stockpile that they're selling, or if they're not being "honest" and selling the new rider backs while using the old photo.
  5. The other option is that they are custom printing the decks with the old box design. I'd be interested to know the answer, because my stock of the classic Rider Backs is down to around 50. I'd love to pick up some bricks at that price.
  6. First....get off your high horse. Bikes were not great even when they came from Ohio. When I was doing my card reviews( Three years and over 35 decks each deck given up to a months worth of heavy abuse) I used the Ohio bikes as a bell weather average. Because most the decks I was reviewing were custom decks given a little extra care in construction the vast majority of the decks I reviewed out performed Bikes. Even decks that were not custom, just old USPCC brands like Arrrco, and Steamboat, generally outperformed Bikes. Bikes have been the mass produced card of USPCC even back when USPCC was still Russel & Morgan. It was the card made for the masses and thus(though it is quite a bit better in quality than the average cheap plastic tourist shop cards made in China) the 8o8s rarely measured up to the quality standards of the other two most common cards made by USPCC. Those being Bees and Tally-Ho.

    Bikes of today are thinner and a bit more stiff than say the bikes of 2006. They are actually quite a bit better than the 2009 Ohio bikes(regarded by many to be the low point in 808 quality.) If you go drudging up old old internet posts, say circa 2003, you will see plenty of people complaining about the quality of 808s. They have always ebbed and flowed in quality and I suspect that dates back to the early 1900s.

    So to answer your question. I suppose that T-11 is probably selling Kentucky bikes at this point. I also think they are being honest in their advertising. Not every picture will get updated on a web site that sells as many products as T-11. I really doubt they are trying to fool anyone. As far as USPCC is concerned the Bicycle cards they are selling today are the same as were being sold five years ago. The only thing that has changed is the factory they are produced in. If that is how USPCC looks at the Bicycle card then that is more than enough of an excuse for T-11 not to bother updating an old photo on their website.

    Sorry for the rant. I just think it is a little unfair to assume that there is any dishonesty or conspiracy on the part of T-11 regardless of whether or not they still have a few old Ohio bikes kicking around or if they are selling Kentucky bikes but haven't updated their website yet.
  7. Hey guys!

    All of our stock is new, however we do not purchase the "Standard" tuck cases. Instead, we purchase Bikes with the "Classic" tuck case. New cards, old box design. The box design works better for many magic tricks (and we think it looks much better), so this is what we carry. They are new, Kentucky printed decks, just without the "Standard" box design. This is not some old stockpile, we receive new shipments in from the USPCC on a regular basis.

    As always, if you have any questions, hit up me or the rest of the support team at We are there to help straighten out any questions!

    Have an awesome week!

    // L
  8. notice how I used quotes around the word dishonest? The OP's words, not mine. And I'm not saying that the Ohio bikes are the end-all-be-all for playing card quality, but compared to new bikes they are better for the most part. (I am aware of the "low point" of Cincinnati quality right before they moved to Kentucky)
  9. Isn't that a little unethical? On the box it says that they were made in Ohio, but they were actually made in Kentucky? Particularly when there is a difference in the quality of the cards.
  10. There is. Although my first experience with the Kentucky bikes were very bad. The brick I`ve got felt like sandpaper, the edges were extremely fuzzy as if they had massive problems with their glue, they changed the size of the pips for experience purposes and the cut wasn`t consistent (some packs had a classic cut, others not).
    The Kentucky bikes I have got now, with colored Jokers, however are even better than my Ohio bikes. The cut is consistent, the edges are not fuzzy, the cards are more stiff and feel very good for my purposes and the pips are the same as the "old" Ohio bikes.
    If they keep this quality, I´m fine.
  11. Hiya! I agree about that Todays (2012) made bicycle decks are very good and better quality than previous years 2009-2010. And maybe than old cincinati decks, becouse i agree too ohio decks have some issue too.
    And yes USPCC still produce old box with new cards. Also i want to point that for me Even Aviator cards are very high quality compared lets say.. all of the decks in Europe or Chine for the price. You guys are lucky to live in usa and have so good cards in low cost. My wish is prices in Theory11 to be same when i will be in Usa to shop in Summer... So.. Just enjoy the cards guys. Best quality and best price what else you need.
  12. That is a little strong. Waddingtons is about the same price as bikes and they are the same quality. They have a different feel and you might not like the looks as much as the rider backs but the quality is about the same. Now...Buy the time you have them shipped across the pond to America they cost twice as much which makes them not such a good buy in the US. Also the price in parts of Europe for brands like Fournier and Piatnik is a lot cheaper than we pay for them here. Both of those cards far surpass Bicycle in terms of quality. If I had to pay an extra euro for either of those brands it would be well worth it. Sadly, after shipping charges and tariffs and the whole 9 yards in importing fees we have to pay through the nose for those brands. When I was living in Korea it was well worth it because the 808s sold for $7.00!

    I do agree that we are lucky to get such high quality cards for such a cheap price in the US. I just also think that most magicians rarely work enough with non-uspcc cards to learn to appreciate the qualities of different manufacturers. That is obviously a boon for USPCC. I am not saying they are not good cards. They are GREAT cards. They just are not as good as some people like to think.

    @sr15 - Sorry about that. I redirect my rant to just a rant in general.

    @LyleBorders - Thanks for clearing that up. I actually know exactly what you guys are talking about. There are a lot of great effects and even gimmicks on the market that use the old box. It would be a shame for all of those to get dumped in the trash just because of the change in box design. I'm glad you guys are doing that!

    @ Chis Weins - I also agree that the Kentucky plant is getting much better. I believe the upgrade from Ohio to Kentucky was always intended to improve the overall quality of the cards. I just think it took them a while to get used to the new presses. I have been very happy with the Kentucky cards of late.
  13. #13 AceOfhearts_, Jan 15, 2013
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 15, 2013
    I do not have Waddingtons but from what i saw from youtube and comments, i do not agree Waddingtons are same as bicycle in quality(for magic) and cost. If someone can choose Bicycle or Waddingtons, ofc he will choose bicycle. Also i believe they are bridge size and poker size cost more.. You can have Bicycle ~13$ for 12pack in Cotsco or here 2$ for a deck. Waddingtons are i believe 1.5 pounds/deck
    Piatnik classic/standart cards are far away to be able to compare with bicycle. They are not cheeper neither. And i have aviator and piatnik and aviator is 2x better. Just texture/quality is higher (for magic) and they last longer. Piatnik just can't fan good after less than week and got sticky very quickly. Fournier i believe in europe cost more than bicycle there.
    Bicycle Is number one deck for magic and for its price. And from here you even can have Bee/Tally ho for almost same price.
  14. Ermmm...No. Waddingtons are different. They are more like a Bee than a Bike. They last about as long as a bike. I have found them comparable in price to Bikes(across the pond) But I agree, as I already said, that I wouldn't recommend them for someone in the States. Most people trash on them you are correct. However, Most people let the way the card looks influence them. I ran them in a head to head test and the two are comparable.

    You are doing the same thing most people do. You have a particular "style" and you make assumptions about "Best deck" based on your style and not accounting for other styles. There are a bazillion different magic and cardistry styles in the world but for how those styles are effected by the cards we use I break it into three simple styles. Soft decks, medium decks, and stiffer decks. All other things being equal a softer deck will shuffle, spread, and fan better. Thus, classic card manipulation and XCM that uses long spread catches tends to be great with these. They are also easier to faro, buckle for a bottom deal, so the old Bee decks(that softened up really nicely) have been the staple of demo guys since Vernon was a baby.

    Medium stiff decks, like most USPCC, are good "Jack of all trade" decks. They will do most things well but they do not tend to excel at anything. T-11 cards tend to be about as stiff as you can get them and still call it a medium stiff deck. That is why some of their custom decks are the most highly regarded cards in the market. (my personal favorite is the Sentinels but the Monarchs perform almost the same.

    Stiff decks are for burly guys, or little guys with strong hands, who love knuckle busting card magic. Lee Asher didn't pick Fournier because they were the only company who would talk to him. On the contrary, with the language barrier it was actually very difficult for him to work with them. But, if you have ever studied and understood Asher's style of card magic it will become quite evident why he went through all the extra hoops to work with Fournier. These decks tend to double the best and do one handed moves with much more security than other decks. Flourishing wise they hold together great for multi-packet cuts and also aerial cuts. The trade off is usually fanning but if you learn how to use them and how to condition them you won't have any troubles. They will never fan as well as a broken in deck of Aristocrats that came off the web press but they will easily match an off the shelf bike provided you know how to handle them.

    So you can't ever say there is a best deck. You can say there is a best deck for me but trying to insinuate that what is best for you is best for everyone is like saying coke is better than pepsi or vice verse. And in regards to the cost...It is tough to compete with the $13.00 costco brick but here is some math to consider. When I was busy trashing decks for reviews I could kill off a deck of bikes in between one and two weeks. Costco bikes were generally some of the poorer bikes and I recall(this is five years ago mind you the memory fades) burning through the costco run in about a week per deck. So that is $13.00 for 12 weeks of fun. My first deck of Fourniers lasted me three months(12 weeks). I bought a brick so each deck cost me $9.00 but even if I bought them individually at $12.00 the benefits are clear.

    Where I would happily support your argument is for the working walk around performer. The kind of guy who goes out and signs away 1/2 a deck of cards / gig. If that is how you are losing your cards then Bikes are the way to go. Add to that the best selection of card gaffs available and it is clear why they have become an industry standard.

    Still for hobbyists and guys who just love practicing with cards there are clearly better values on the market if you know where to look. If you add quality on top of durability you see even more reasons people are willing to fork over a little extra. And finally, if you add peoples artistic sensibilities to the equation it becomes clear why high quality custom decks have become such a major part of the magic industry.

    So all this leads back to my original ire with the insinuation(not by sr15 btw!) that T-11 is being somehow disingenuous. Squabbling over the quality control of the 808 is just rediculous because this years run might be awesome and next years might make 2009 look like a banner year. Bikes are NOT made for magicians they are made for the masses. If you want a card made by magicians, for magicians, a card with a certain amount of confidence that it will be a good deck, and one that happens to look like a Rider Back 808 you have two wonderful options on the market. Richard Turner Gold Seal Bikes and the new Mandolin decks. Both of these are made to specs provided by Richard Turner and he, more than anyone in the industry, understands how a card should perform. If you buy one of those decks and don't like what you got, then you have a reason to complain and spark conspiracy theories.
  15. Which is better, Maker's Mark or Chivas Regal? Both are luxury items, but which is better?

    That was a trick question, they are both equal, they get the job done and make the night a blurr.
  16. How about a 15 year old Laphroig?
  17. Someone has good tastes...though I hope my original point came across well.
  18. Am I in the minority here where I can't actually feel the difference in cards and just use them till I trash them? I don't get cards signed but use them over and over until they're horrible and dirty in the way they look.


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