Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Road Cycling
Reload this Page >

Best steel bike maker

Notices
Road Cycling ďIt is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.Ē -- Ernest Hemingway

Best steel bike maker

Old 06-28-21, 06:20 PM
  #101  
Jburrow
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2021
Posts: 36
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 24 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by 79pmooney View Post
"She is hard to fit" My warning flags went right up when I saw that. This changes the whole game. If you go with one builder for the two of you, it has to be one that will serve her well. It might actually turn out to be easier to go to two different builders. A thought I had was seeing about Sweetpea for your wife. Sweetpea here in Portland, OR. Owners Natalie and Austin Ramsland. Natalie is the heart of the company and a quality framebuilder. She started out building in the quarters of one of the nation's finest traditional builders and what I've seen is very clean work. I haven't seen her work recently but the variety of what I have seen is impressive. Her goal is to provide the women who come to her with the bike that's is truly "their's". (Sweetpea works closely with Gladys Bikes, also in Portland. Gladys Bikes has a full fitting setup and the owner will work closely with Sweatpea.

An idea I just had - I'll bet the Gladys founder and owner (a woman not named Gladys) would be willing to talk to the builder of your bike to work out paint and details to make your two bikes look like a pair together. (Or possibly Austin of Sweetpea to face the reality that a man talking to the almost certainly male builder of your bike might go better. Sucks but that is what way too often is.)

Edit: if you went with Sweetpea, it might make sense for you also to go to a Portland builder. That would be kinda rough. So few to choose from! I'll bet TiCycles could make you a TIG'd steel frame and work closely with Natalie to get the matching details.
i appreciate the continued feedback! My wife is still interested in the custom steel route, so this is very helpful information!
Jburrow is offline  
Old 06-28-21, 06:50 PM
  #102  
CliffordK
Senior Member
 
CliffordK's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Eugene, Oregon, USA
Posts: 26,869
Mentioned: 213 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 15636 Post(s)
Liked 3,104 Times in 2,311 Posts
Originally Posted by shelbyfv View Post
Y'all can cool your jets. OP has moved on to carbon.
There are a few custom Carbon Fiber builders in the USA.

Parlee makes a fully custom CF frame.

I think Calfee also makes custom Carbon Fiber

There should be several other companies also, if you hunt for them.

You can even get custom CF Tandem bikes.

For steel, there is also this thread to watch:
https://www.bikeforums.net/classic-v...stand-out.html
CliffordK is offline  
Old 07-01-21, 03:57 PM
  #103  
Bob Ross
your god hates me
 
Bob Ross's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 4,183

Bikes: 2018 Cannondale CAADX 105 SE, 2016 Richard Sachs, 2010 Carl Strong, 2006 Cannondale Synapse

Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 718 Post(s)
Liked 405 Times in 232 Posts
Originally Posted by CliffordK View Post
There are a few custom Carbon Fiber builders in the USA.

Parlee makes a fully custom CF frame.

I think Calfee also makes custom Carbon Fiber

There should be several other companies also, if you hunt for them.
No mention of custom carbon would be complete without Crumpton. Or Pursuit.
Bob Ross is offline  
Likes For Bob Ross:
Old 07-01-21, 04:23 PM
  #104  
Sy Reene
Advocatus Diaboli
 
Sy Reene's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Wherever I am
Posts: 7,757

Bikes: Merlin Cyrene, Nashbar steel CX

Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4173 Post(s)
Liked 1,167 Times in 765 Posts
Take a look thru here for your budget:
https://www.condorcycles.com/collections/sale-bikes
Sy Reene is offline  
Old 07-10-21, 09:34 AM
  #105  
Jburrow
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2021
Posts: 36
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 24 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by 79pmooney View Post
"She is hard to fit" My warning flags went right up when I saw that. This changes the whole game. If you go with one builder for the two of you, it has to be one that will serve her well. It might actually turn out to be easier to go to two different builders. A thought I had was seeing about Sweetpea for your wife. Sweetpea here in Portland, OR. Owners Natalie and Austin Ramsland. Natalie is the heart of the company and a quality framebuilder. She started out building in the quarters of one of the nation's finest traditional builders and what I've seen is very clean work. I haven't seen her work recently but the variety of what I have seen is impressive. Her goal is to provide the women who come to her with the bike that's is truly "their's". (Sweetpea works closely with Gladys Bikes, also in Portland. Gladys Bikes has a full fitting setup and the owner will work closely with Sweatpea.

An idea I just had - I'll bet the Gladys founder and owner (a woman not named Gladys) would be willing to talk to the builder of your bike to work out paint and details to make your two bikes look like a pair together. (Or possibly Austin of Sweetpea to face the reality that a man talking to the almost certainly male builder of your bike might go better. Sucks but that is what way too often is.)

Edit: if you went with Sweetpea, it might make sense for you also to go to a Portland builder. That would be kinda rough. So few to choose from! I'll bet TiCycles could make you a TIG'd steel frame and work closely with Natalie to get the matching details.
After long discussions with the wife, we are pretty much set on the custom steel route. We were sidetracked by the carbon offerings - but, that is marketing and head leading the way. While I am sure we would love a CF bike, we would miss not having a steel bike that would last a while.

We have sketched out what our ideal bike would be able to do, options we would want, and components we like. Steel is what we want in a material, we want something that will do fast road rides, comfortable for centuries and some randonneuring, light bike packing, and some light gravel duty.

We want something in the 20-22lbs with pedals and cages on the high end of the scale. We currently ride heavier bikes which are fine, but they arenít built for what we are wanting to do right now (hybrids with 7-8 cassettes).

With all of the research and conversations, along with knowing what we want, we just need to find a builder and shop that we like. We found Wildcard in Alabama that isnít too far away. We canít find much info on customer reviews and testimonials, but it is close and custom.

Breadwinner is still a solid option for us. They were so friendly to us with our general inquiries, and that goes a long way in my book. Gunnar/Waterford has yet to respond to any of my emails. Speedvagen seems cool, but it is just so expensive. Again, the budget for a complete bike is in the $5-$6k range. We also looked into the Rodriguez option, and it seems almost too good to be true. Great price, etc.

Someone mentioned Dave Kirk to me recently along with Sklar. I absolutely love the looks of the Sklar bikes - probably the best looking bikes in my opinion (my tastes). However, I know he is a young builder (not that this makes any difference), and I donít know much about his work.

thank you all for your continued help with this endeavor. There has been a lot of suggestions here, and indeed as many of you have said very little separates the good builders out there - style and customer care are about the only major differences. However, the names of builders that keep being thrown out there the most often by you all are: breadwinner, Gunnar, Waterford, Ritchey, and anyone close by. Breadwinner and someone close at hand seem to me to be logical choices.

again, thank you all so far!

Last edited by Jburrow; 07-10-21 at 09:35 PM.
Jburrow is offline  
Old 07-10-21, 09:32 PM
  #106  
robbyville
Senior Member
 
robbyville's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Palm Desert, CA
Posts: 2,441

Bikes: Speedvagen Steel

Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 402 Post(s)
Liked 197 Times in 135 Posts
Obviously Iím partial to Speedvagen but if going for both breadwinner (beautiful bikes) are the only bivouac choice. Cant wait to see the finished products!
robbyville is offline  
Old 07-10-21, 09:36 PM
  #107  
Jburrow
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2021
Posts: 36
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 24 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by robbyville View Post
Obviously Iím partial to Speedvagen but if going for both breadwinner (beautiful bikes) are the only bivouac choice. Cant wait to see the finished products!
thanks! Yeah I donít really think between breadwinner, Speedvagen, Sklar, Waterford, or Wild Card will be a disappointment. We should get killer bikes in our price range.
Jburrow is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.