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Why not go custom?

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Why not go custom?

Old 11-29-19, 07:23 PM
  #51  
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Tommasini and Colnago both make high quality, off the shelf steel bikes
A real nice campy chorus 12 build kit can be had for around 2K, with careful shopping. Add 400 to get record .
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Old 11-30-19, 06:57 AM
  #52  
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Originally Posted by DaveSSS View Post
Some might not build you one without their own personal fitting session. If you're located far from the builder, that's going to add more to the cost and hassle.
Yep. You canít buy an Engin without at least one in person consultation. At least two is preferred. The shop is 12 miles from my house by bike, so that wasnít an issue for me. After I closed on mine I rode it home.
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Old 11-30-19, 07:11 AM
  #53  
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Paint bling customization

...."Sizing is is not the only reason to go custom."
_____________________________________________
could buy a standard frameset of your choice and add a VERY bling paint job to make truly yours.


Last edited by stormpeakco; 11-30-19 at 07:28 AM.
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Old 11-30-19, 07:20 AM
  #54  
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Originally Posted by DaveSSS View Post
A real nice campy chorus 12 build kit can be had for around 2K, with careful shopping. Add 400 to get record .
Quite a bit better pricing than that available. Tempting..

https://www.texascyclesport.com/camp...t-special-buy/
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Old 11-30-19, 07:54 AM
  #55  
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Originally Posted by Sy Reene View Post
Quite a bit better pricing than that available. Tempting..

https://www.texascyclesport.com/camp...t-special-buy/
A build kit would include, seatpost, saddle, bars, wheels, and tires not just a groupset. My chorus 12 groupsets cost $1060 from pinkjersey.com

I added Easton ec90 bars, FSA K-force post, SMP stratos saddle, campy zonda wheels, zipp stem. You have to find some good deals to stay under $2000.
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Old 11-30-19, 08:27 AM
  #56  
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Custom paint is cool, but it could easily double the price of a frame. In the case of the stem painting, it probably quadruples the cost of the stem.

It's the same with my hot rod hobby. You could pay up to $50K for a paint job and the the car is then too precious to drive, so it gets trailered to car shows.
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Old 11-30-19, 02:32 PM
  #57  
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Originally Posted by DaveSSS View Post
Custom paint is cool, but it could easily double the price of a frame. In the case of the stem painting, it probably quadruples the cost of the stem.

It's the same with my hot rod hobby. You could pay up to $50K for a paint job and the the car is then too precious to drive, so it gets trailered to car shows.
I could see that being a challenge with cars. I do believe that my bike is a tool as well as a jewel, it has some nicks and scratches but despite the custom paint I ride it as my only two wheeled fun between 3-4 days per week.
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Old 11-30-19, 05:28 PM
  #58  
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(IMO) the terms custom and budget are pretty mutually exclusive...sheltering a classic bike with a bling paint job is easier than with a vehicle.
Yeah, I remember picking and choosing where to drive, park, day of the week, time of day to drive our older 911SC (now, happily in the possession of someone else).
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Old 12-02-19, 01:01 PM
  #59  
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Every custom bike is a prototype.
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Old 12-02-19, 01:10 PM
  #60  
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Originally Posted by TiHabanero View Post
From another thread where the rider had an appropriately large budget, they chose an off the shelf frame instead of custom. I don't understand why one forgoes a bike that can be built specifically for their body measurements and component likes for a bike that is not built to their body and comes pre-equipped.
Given the appropriately large budgets involved, why don't pro teams get custom-designed frames built specifically for the body measurements of all their riders?
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Old 12-02-19, 01:22 PM
  #61  
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For my most recent bike purchase, my wife told me to get what I wanted without regard to the cost; I went with a custom steel frame, built up exactly as I wanted it - right down to the spoke nipples and headset. For a lot less money, I could've gotten something pretty close that would've worked pretty well.
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Old 12-02-19, 03:17 PM
  #62  
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A custom frame built to do what I want it to do would cost $6k+ just for the frame and fork (I've gone through the options with my local builder). I'd be on a one-off nearly-irreplaceable bike, which would be on mind every time I dove into a corner or rode elbow to elbow in a race. My $7k factory bike can do almost everything the custom can do, but has the added bonus of being fixed/replaced by a Trek dealer anywhere in the world.
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Old 12-03-19, 07:59 AM
  #63  
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There are good reasons to buy custom and good reasons not to, depending on each riders''s wants and needs.

I wouldn't buy custom because my fitness level changes so much---I cannot be sure that a perfect fit today would work at all six months from now. I would need to be swapping stems, bars, spacers ....

If I still rode a lot, I would get a custom Ti bike tapped fro custom racks ... and Arkel panniers, which i have wanted forever .... but for now, I can still haul the groceries with my cheap Nashbar bags.

If I raced a $7 K bike, knowing how long race bikes might last (rules change, crashes happen, miles definitely add up, and the bikes get transported a lot) I would already be a little uneasy. Each to his own.

My current "fast" bike is a Chinese clone of a last-generation Cervelo R-series. It has weird tube lengths---in particular a tall head tube, for a racy frame---which make it ideally suited to my weird body. if I lost it, I doubt i could buy a bike off the shelf which would fit me .... but i am not sure i could justify the cost of custom carbon.

if however, my bike budget was eight grand instead of $2200 .....
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Old 12-06-19, 03:48 PM
  #64  
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Originally Posted by stormpeakco View Post
...."Sizing is is not the only reason to go custom."
_____________________________________________
could buy a standard frameset of your choice and add a VERY bling paint job to make truly yours.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?reload=9&v=CJN-kIrZYY0
It's not easy/possible to just buy a "standard" high-end steel frameset.
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Old 12-06-19, 05:47 PM
  #65  
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Originally Posted by bocobiking View Post
It's not easy/possible to just buy a "standard" high-end steel frameset.
What's high end? A Fairlight Strael comes in 10 frame sizes, 2 colors, and has the following-
- reynolds 853 and 853 pro team main triangle. the top tube is 7/4/7 ovalized and the down tube is 7/5/7 bi-oval.
- reynolds butted 8/6 631 round chainstays.
- reynolds .6 725 seat stays.
- full carbon fork, flatmount thru axle, di2 compatible.
- 3d printed cable guides, fender mounts, and rear rack mounts.
- mix of brazed rear triangle with welded front triangle.
https://fairlightcycles.com/product/...v=7516fd43adaa

I saw a 54cm frame and fork is about 2250g combined and builds up to a sub 20# bike with an ultegra drivetrain and hardly expensive or weight weenie wheels.

Seems quite complete and expansive. Not sure what more is wanted/expefted in a modern 'standard' steel road frame.
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Old 12-06-19, 06:28 PM
  #66  
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post

Seems quite complete and expansive. Not sure what more is wanted/expefted in a modern 'standard' steel road frame.
Sounds nice.. but I couldn't find one frameset in stock (using link below) and therefore I couldn't order one if I wanted. Doesn't fit the "easy" part of the request.
https://fairlightcycles.com/strael/s...v=7516fd43adaa
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Old 12-06-19, 06:42 PM
  #67  
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Originally Posted by Sy Reene View Post
Sounds nice.. but I couldn't find one frameset in stock (using link below) and therefore I couldn't order one if I wanted. Doesn't fit the "easy" part of the request.
https://fairlightcycles.com/strael/s...v=7516fd43adaa
I guess that's one way to interpret 'easy'. Though I would never say its hard to buy the Strael. They show when each frame is in stock and you pay a deposit to reserve one- it's quite simple really, I did it with their Secan frameset and it was ready 3 weeks earlier than expected.

Outside of a few large bike brands(and even them at times), it's quite common for models to not be available at a given time due to production.
Kona, Jamis, GT, Black Mountain, Salsa, etc. The list of brands that are short/out of stock on models and/or sizes is seemingly never ending. It's the norm.
Because of this reality, I didnt even consider waiting 6-12 weeks(depending on size) to be a 'hard' part of the buying process.

If someone wants/needs a bike right now, the I would agree that it could be tough to get a 'standard' high end steel frame.
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Old 12-06-19, 08:07 PM
  #68  
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
What's high end? A Fairlight Strael comes in 10 frame sizes, 2 colors, and has the following-
- reynolds 853 and 853 pro team main triangle. the top tube is 7/4/7 ovalized and the down tube is 7/5/7 bi-oval.
- reynolds butted 8/6 631 round chainstays.
- reynolds .6 725 seat stays.
- full carbon fork, flatmount thru axle, di2 compatible.
- 3d printed cable guides, fender mounts, and rear rack mounts.
- mix of brazed rear triangle with welded front triangle.
https://fairlightcycles.com/product/...v=7516fd43adaa

I saw a 54cm frame and fork is about 2250g combined and builds up to a sub 20# bike with an ultegra drivetrain and hardly expensive or weight weenie wheels.

Seems quite complete and expansive. Not sure what more is wanted/expefted in a modern 'standard' steel road frame.
Well, I see you found a nice steel bike, although you had to go to Europe for it from a little known company. I think I meant that walking into a normal American bicycle store, all you see are carbon and aluminum bikes. It seems impossible to find a steel road bike that is equal to, say, a Specialized Roubaix. For that, you need to find a small, non-mainstream company.

Which is what you did. However, the only ďadvantageĒ Fairlight has over Waterford is that its bikes are in set dimensions rather than custom. Fairlight wouldnít work for me because I need a size 63cm bike. With Waterford, a person can deal with a local shop, which will then work with Waterford, an American company, who will then build him a custom steel bike, with a steel fork if he wants (I do).

Also with Waterford, I like being able to call them up at any time to talk to them about my bike. There is always a person there to answer the phone, something Fairlight apparently doesnít have.

I donít want to say that Waterford is better than Fairlight; Iím sure the latter builds as high a quality bike as the former. What I want to say is that one needs to go far afield to find a high quality steel frame, and that might mean going custom.

Back to my original reply to this thread about whether a person needs a custom bike: Sometimes he needs custom, not for any particular size, but because the dominant American market isnít able or willing to supply the type of bike he wants.
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Old 12-06-19, 08:24 PM
  #69  
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Originally Posted by bocobiking View Post
Well, I see you found a nice steel bike, although you had to go to Europe for it from a little known company. I think I meant that walking into a normal American bicycle store, all you see are carbon and aluminum bikes. It seems impossible to find a steel road bike that is equal to, say, a Specialized Roubaix. For that, you need to find a small, non-mainstream company.

Which is what you did. However, the only ďadvantageĒ Fairlight has over Waterford is that its bikes are in set dimensions rather than custom. Fairlight wouldnít work for me because I need a size 63cm bike. With Waterford, a person can deal with a local shop, which will then work with Waterford, an American company, who will then build him a custom steel bike, with a steel fork if he wants (I do).

Also with Waterford, I like being able to call them up at any time to talk to them about my bike. There is always a person there to answer the phone, something Fairlight apparently doesnít have.

I donít want to say that Waterford is better than Fairlight; Iím sure the latter builds as high a quality bike as the former. What I want to say is that one needs to go far afield to find a high quality steel frame, and that might mean going custom.

Back to my original reply to this thread about whether a person needs a custom bike: Sometimes he needs custom, not for any particular size, but because the dominant American market isnít able or willing to supply the type of bike he wants.
Oh, totally agreed that overall, shops dont stock high quality steel road bikes. It isnt in demand, so they dont stock em.
Since you mention needing a 63cm frame, the 61T size has a stack height of 639mm, so it's basically the same as a level top tube 64cm frame with 405mm of reach.

I dont really consider buying this bike as having to 'go to Europe', but do understand your overall point.
Quality domesticly available production bikes would include the AllCity ZigZag, Black Mountain Cycles road, Kona Roadhouse, Ritchey road, and more. But as you mention- they arent sitting in shops built and ready to ride.
...but neither are Waterford...and those cost gobs more. Even Gunnar costs gobs more.
Not sure why you couldn't call fairlight if you want- they have telephones in England. I chose to email with the owners probably a dozen times and they were prompt in response.

Agreed that the domestic production market may not be able to readily provide what a consumer wants. It's a good reason to go custom then.
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Old 12-06-19, 10:39 PM
  #70  
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I had to go custom to get a cast iron bike made for me. It's so stiff it transfers all my power! I fly by other cyclists, as long as we're going down hill.
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Old 12-12-19, 05:47 AM
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Not sure what qualifies as "high-end" steel these days.

Columbus tubing? https://masibikes.com/collections/cl...ssico-frameset

Columbus with thru-axle and oversized headtubes? https://masibikes.com/collections/cl...ssico-frameset

Jamis offers their Quest in male and female specific designs in a range of sizes, your choice of 4130, 520, 631 tubes -- complete bikes under 2,000.
https://www.jamisbikes.com/usa/questseries.html

If you want Disc-brakes, seems the market is more or less limited to 4130 and "All-Road" bikes, but your choice of Kona's, All-City, and Surly; and sure enough, All-City makes some frames (rim-brake) frames of higher end tubing as well (https://www.konaworld.com/rove_st.cfm, https://allcitycycles.com/bikes/mr_p...th_anniversary)

BikesDirect has a snazzy looking 853 complete as well (and had a frame-set package too); http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...ross-bikes.htm

-------------------

These are just production bikes --- then there are the "small production" brands -- Velo-Orange appears popular among the Randonneurs https://velo-orange.com/collections/types?q=frames;

Slightly more expensive, Crust Bikes (https://crustbikes.com/product-category/bikes/frames/), Fairlight Bikes (as mentioned, https://fairlightcycles.com/product/...v=79cba1185463).

------------------

Did I miss any? Oh yeah (https://www.cyclingnews.com/features...lable-in-2019/) Niner, Ritchey, Cinelli, Bombtrack, Mason, Ritte, Mosaic, Enigma, --- most well outside my budget, and I hope "high enough quality".

Options are great. My problem has rarely been finding the perfect frame, but finding the "perfect frame in my size and in my budget". Nonetheless, I've also lusted after a custom frame more than a time or two, but for now I'm budget-limited to off-the-shelf (and almost entry-level).
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Old 12-12-19, 08:34 PM
  #72  
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..

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Old 12-13-19, 08:42 AM
  #73  
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Originally Posted by Boxkite View Post
I'm sure they do for some of the riders. I remember seeing Team 7-11's 'Huffy' racing bicycles in the peloton but they weren't built by Huffy! They were all custom fab jobs! I'm always a big fan of the 'climbers' and I'm sure Nairo Quintana's ride is custom. If an off-the-shelf item fits then it's a moot point probably. It would be interesting to know what teams fit custom frames to their riders.
It's also observed that some components (especially eg. stems) are made to custom lengths for the pros.. eg Froome's 121mm stem, because 120mm wasn't cutting it:


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Old 12-14-19, 08:27 PM
  #74  
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Originally Posted by Boxkite View Post
I'm sure they do for some of the riders. I remember seeing Team 7-11's 'Huffy' racing bicycles in the peloton but they weren't built by Huffy! They were all custom fab jobs! I'm always a big fan of the 'climbers' and I'm sure Nairo Quintana's ride is custom. If an off-the-shelf item fits then it's a moot point probably. It would be interesting to know what teams fit custom frames to their riders.
Nairo Quintanaís frame is almost certainly an off-the-shelf Canyon Ultimate CF SLX, with a custom paint job. Modern major bike companies pretty much donít make custom carbon monocoque frames, itís just too expensive, and itís just easier to dial in a riderís position starting from a standard size by adjusting seat and bar position.

Back when race bikes were all hand-made steel anyway, it was a lot less of an additional hassle to make a frame out of a made-to-measure tube set. My LBS has an old TdF-ridden bike from the 80s on display. It was crashed in Belgium during the classics, sent back to the Raleigh factory in Nottingham for repairs, then returned to the rider in France in time to win 2 stages of the Tour in July. Nowadays if a carbon frame gets damaged in a race it gets replaced.

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Old 12-16-19, 05:23 AM
  #75  
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As far as I know, custom bikes are not allowed in the peloton, to discourage crazy and expensive competition for the next great breakthrough---similar reason why the minimum weight is so high. As far as I know, riders have to actually ride models offered by the makes---though all the accessories can be whatever 9like the custom stems mentioned above.) I believe they all use off-the-shelf drivetrains to keep costs down .... though they can buy anything on the market, there is so much available that getting hand-built one-off gear (and then spares) would eat up the budget.

That's pretty much how the UCI wants it----Not a competition of Bike versus Bike, but instead .... which rider has the best pharmacist.
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