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Who makes the best custom bikes?

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Who makes the best custom bikes?

Old 08-18-07, 06:51 PM
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daneellaw
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Who makes the best custom bikes?

Due to my relatively unusual measurements, I'm considering a custom built bike in order to get the fit I can't really get off my off-the-rack bike. There seem to be a bazillion custom manufacturers out there, so I'm wondering who people think make the best custom bikes - best quality, truest to the measurements, reliability, etc. I'm not sure what "best" means - whatever you want it to mean - i want to be sure I go with a manufacturer that will be able to build a bike I'll be happy to ride. I keep hearing about Seven and Serotta, but are they the best?

Thanks.
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Old 08-18-07, 06:57 PM
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AnthonyG
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You said it yourself. Your not sure what "best" means and neither do we.

So my advise is to relax. All custom builders make good bikes and getting the best results involves making the best communication. This means talking directly to the builder and being fitted by the builder so a builder who is conveniently close is usualy the best.

Regards, Anthony
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Old 08-18-07, 07:00 PM
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If you give an desciption of the type of bike you want (road, touring, cyclocross, etc...) and frame material the various framebuilders can be narrowed down.
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Old 08-18-07, 07:13 PM
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www.sevencycles.com
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Old 08-18-07, 07:16 PM
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How unusual are your measurements? There's a lot of leeway in setback/nonsetback and stem length to fit almost everyone.
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Old 08-18-07, 07:29 PM
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Pick one: http://www.sandsmachine.com/fbplist.htm

I own customs from Strong, Kirk, Crumpton, Davidson, Moots and Vanilla. All good.
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Old 08-18-07, 07:40 PM
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Originally Posted by terry b View Post
Hey! Great link. Thanks.
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Old 08-18-07, 07:43 PM
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terry b
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Here's another one, prefaced by a good article.

http://www.velonews.com/tech/report/...es/7605.0.html
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Old 08-18-07, 07:45 PM
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Originally Posted by terry b View Post
Here's another one, prefaced by a good article.

http://www.velonews.com/tech/report/...es/7605.0.html
You DA MAN!
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Old 08-18-07, 08:54 PM
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It REALLY depends on how much money you have to spend, doesn't it?
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Old 08-18-07, 09:04 PM
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Every now and then I read a story about Bilenky making a bike for someone with "out-of-spec" dimensions. www.bilenky.com East coast guy
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Old 08-18-07, 09:48 PM
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http://ifbikes.com/

They have wide range of materials and models and the welds aren't to be believed.
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Old 08-18-07, 10:30 PM
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Originally Posted by AnthonyG View Post
You said it yourself. Your not sure what "best" means and neither do we.

So my advise is to relax. All custom builders make good bikes and getting the best results involves making the best communication. This means talking directly to the builder and being fitted by the builder so a builder who is conveniently close is usualy the best.

Regards, Anthony
+1

For all practical purposes, the thread is over with post quoted above.
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Old 08-19-07, 12:18 AM
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Originally Posted by ronjon10 View Post
http://ifbikes.com/

They have wide range of materials and models and the welds aren't to be believed.
+1 IF welds have got to be the cleanest I've ever seen.
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Old 08-19-07, 12:35 AM
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clean welds

Some amazing beads!

Ted Wojcik:

I use a technique called pulse TIG which puts little heat in the tubing. And there's no substitute for spending hours and hours at the welding table. So the technique lends two advantages to the frame. One is the appearance after the frame's painted. The weld is almost invisible. And the amount of heat that is put in the frame is very small. And the welds are untouched. The only time I might put a file on it is where the bead starts or stops, I might get a little bead there. But there's no finish to the welding other than the paint. And that saves a lot of time too. And the frame retains even more strength.

http://www.tedwojcikcustombicycles.com/index.html
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Old 08-19-07, 12:50 AM
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I like the bikes this guy makes.

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Old 08-19-07, 04:46 AM
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Originally Posted by georgiaboy View Post
That is a really nice bike. I wish you didn't post that pic. How am I going to convice my wife I need a new one?

Seriously, price wise he gets $1500 for the frame and $250 for the fork. That's what Waterford charges. I would go with a Waterford. I own 2 and they've been in the business for years. Plus the factory warranty if it fails. Good luck

Tim
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Old 08-19-07, 09:53 AM
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custom bikes, i personally cannot think there a case were you cannot use a stock frame and seatposts and stems to complish a perfect fit. i think that several customar builders have exploited the custom fit to their advantage! imho only!
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Old 08-19-07, 09:57 AM
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Originally Posted by alancw3 View Post
custom bikes, i personally cannot think there a case were you cannot use a stock frame and seatposts and stems to complish a perfect fit. i think that several customar builders have exploited the custom fit to their advantage! imho only!
Why is that you hardly ever hear of anybody complaining about their custom bike? I don't see any of these custom builders becoming rich from making these frames.
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Old 08-19-07, 09:59 AM
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Originally Posted by alancw3 View Post
custom bikes, i personally cannot think there a case were you cannot use a stock frame and seatposts and stems to complish a perfect fit.
More than likely true.

But find me a 3.25 lb. Reynolds 731 frame with a 2% sloping 56.8 top tube in mint green and I will buy it.

Custom is almost always knocked as "very few need it" when it has nothing to do with that. Custom is about getting what you want, and almost always what I want is not sold at a corner bike store.
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Old 08-19-07, 10:09 AM
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Originally Posted by alancw3 View Post
custom bikes, i personally cannot think there a case were you cannot use a stock frame and seatposts and stems to complish a perfect fit. i think that several customar builders have exploited the custom fit to their advantage! imho only!
Ok, so my custom frame is 52cm seattube (C-C) (or 53.6cm C-Top of toptube), 59cm toptube (C-C) and a 140mm stem. My saddle height is 73cm C of BB to top of saddle. Now I challenge you to find a stock frame that is similar to my current setup. I used to ride a 56 Cannondale and to achieve similar measurements, I would need a 170cm, negative rise stem. Do you know of anyone that makes such a stem? Or I guess I could ride a 63cm frame and have no stand over clearance with a stem with even greater negative rise.

Anyway, do you know how you want to build your bike geometry wise? I think for a lot of the "bigger" custom builders, they have tacked on a "Geometry fee" for figuring out your bike through measurments. If you know how you want your bike built and don't need that consultation (minus anything that can't be done), I'd choose a smaller builder. But if you aren't sure, or don't have a clue, go with IF, Seven, Serrotta.
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Old 08-19-07, 10:16 AM
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Try here: http://www.henryjames.com/blocator.html

or here: http://www.frameforum.net/forum2/index.php?act=home

or if you are not in a hurry, here: http://handmadebicycleshow.com/
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