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Custom frame builders......(24 posts)

Custom frame builders......Dave Hickey
Sep 3, 2002 3:17 PM
I'm looking at having a custom single speed frameset built. I want the frame to have track dropouts and 135mm rear spacing(Chris King single speed hubs). I'm looking to pay $1500-1800 for a lugged steel frame/fork. I've sent requests to Moon Cycles, Strong Cycles, and a couple of local Texas builders. Anyone out there recommend any other good frame builders?
You sure about that rear drop out spacing?Spoke Wrench
Sep 3, 2002 3:25 PM
The reason I ask is Chris King BMX single speed cassette hubs are 110mm.
You sure about that rear drop out spacing?Dave Hickey
Sep 3, 2002 3:39 PM
Positive. King sells the BMX at 110mm and Single Speed at 135mm. Here is the link to the single speed.

What's your thoughts on the rear spacing? I want to use King hubs, I never thought of his BMX hubs. Any advantages/disadvantages?
135 spacing for a single speed sounds goofy to me.Spoke Wrench
Sep 3, 2002 5:10 PM
As I understand it, we went from 126 to 130mm to make space for the 8th and 9th cassette cog. Spreading the dropouts out to 135mm to accomodate just one cog sounds excessive to me. I assume that Chris King makes the single speed hubs that wide so that they will fit into conventional mountain bike frames.

If I were having a custom frame built for a single speed, my first thought would be to go for a 110mm frame. If, however, my frame builder had a different idea, I'd probably follow his advice.
single speed hubs come in many styles, but consider eccentric BBoff roadie
Sep 4, 2002 5:39 AM
I have a SS MTB. The rear hub is a Surly 1x1, 135mm with freweheel threading on both sides. Surly also makes a new rear with track threading on both sides. There's other high-end 135mm singlespeed hubs, both freehub style (like the Chris King) and regualr freewheel / fixed style (Phil Wood, Spot, Bullseye).

Those are really good in terms of letting you use conventional MTB frames (though vertical drops requirew adaptation of some sort) and are super stiff laterally (very wide flange spacing) but they are probably overkill for a singlespeed road bike. 110 would do, and allow use of BMX freehub style technology instead of track hubs with a freewheel. Since you are going with a King hub, I guess you really can just choice based on personal taste. 110 seems better for aerodymics and looks, if a pure road SS is your goal.

You might want to consider an ecentric BB instead of track dropouts. Given custom construction and a King hub, the extra cost is a pitance. Its nice to never have to worry about your hub slipping or re-setting your rear brake when changing gear combos, but the nicest trick is that you can use a quick release!
You sure about that rear drop out spacing?gtx
Sep 3, 2002 7:47 PM
I'd go with 120mm--standard for track hubs. Check out the Phil Wood flip flop hubs. That's the way I'm gonna go when I finally go the route you describe. (I was thinking of a more affordable builder like Teesdale). Have fun!
How about Dean at the low end and Spectrum at the high?sn69
Sep 3, 2002 3:53 PM
Custom frame builder listingTig
Sep 3, 2002 4:03 PM
Here's more info than you need with this listing of 91 US custom frame builders:
perfect. Thanks nmDave Hickey
Sep 3, 2002 4:36 PM
Dave- who did you contact in Texas.?MXL02
Sep 3, 2002 6:12 PM
I contacted two.Dave Hickey
Sep 4, 2002 2:14 AM

I don't know much about McSpadden but they are very nice looking frames.
How about Romic?MXL02
Sep 4, 2002 3:39 AM
Do they still make customs?
How about Romic?Dave Hickey
Sep 4, 2002 4:24 AM
I've never heard of them. Where are they?
About RomicTig
Sep 4, 2002 6:04 AM
Romic (I forgot the builder's actual name) has been building bikes for a very long time in Houston. He once worked for Schwinn way back when they were on top, and designed their tandems. I'm not sure, but I think the original man has died and his son has taken over the business.

Romic is known for custom steel lugged frames built the classic way... quality. They specialize in track and single speed frames. I've ridden one of their track frames and enjoyed the quality craftmanship and geometry. I know a few people that have been riding their road Romics for almost 20 years. Here's their contact info:

Romic Cycle, Co.
4434 Steffani Lane
Houston, TX 77041

I also ran across someone's personal page showing an older Romic track bike at:
Thanks, I'll give him a call. nmDave Hickey
Sep 4, 2002 6:20 AM
Why 135mm?boneman
Sep 4, 2002 12:43 AM
If it's just to use CK hubs, fine. Standard rear track width is 120mm so if you want wider comptibility with track hubs, you may want to reconsider the width.

I had a custom single frameset built last year here in the UK by Chas Roberts. FWIW, I specified enough clearance for 25mm (you might want to spec. 28mm) as well as clearance and brazed on mounts for fenders. I also had the front fork drilled, rear brake bridge, two sets of water bottle bosses, rear brake cable guides and an extended (15mm)headtube.

A lot of builders in the States but having had 3 custom steels made, I would suggest going to someone you can actually visit, get measured and discuss your requirements.

As for getting a Moon, you clearly have way too much coin.

Good luck.

My thinking behind 135mm rear is...Dave Hickey
Sep 4, 2002 2:19 AM
I'm only interested in a single speed bike. I have no interest in fixed gear. Chris King makes Single Speed hubs in 135 and BMX hubs in 110. The BMX hubs only come in 36 hole, while the Single Speed come in 32 hole.
135mm / 32 hole vs 110mm / 36 holeoff roadie
Sep 4, 2002 6:33 AM
The 110mm BMX hub is probably a good bit lighter than the 135mm MTB hub. You'd likely get a lighter wheel even with the 4 extra spokes, and it would be stiffer (all else equal).

If you want the potential to convert to a gearie, 135 may be the way to go, but 110mm seems cool otherwise. I'd expect Chris King could do a custom drilling on the BMX hub, if you really want 32 (or fewer) spokes on a 110mm hubbed SS wheel.

Alternately, it is possible to do a good balanced lacing of a 32 hole rim on a 48 hole hub, and I'm pretty sure CK sells a 48 hole BMX hub. Below is a pic of one way to lace it, using 3 diffrent spoke lengths shown in diffrent colors.
135mm / 32 hole vs 110mm / 36 holeDave Hickey
Sep 4, 2002 6:38 AM
Thanks for the info. I might re-think the rear spacing.
one near me..Gordon Borthwick in Grinnell, Iowa...IAmtnbikr
Sep 4, 2002 3:39 AM
I can find his # if you'd like, but I believe you will find information with a search engine. A friend has had a bike or two done by him, he does it all, fabrication to painting. Mainly works with steel too. Nice quality!
Sep 4, 2002 5:59 AM
Cool town.
Went through there on Ragbrai two years ago.
Went to college there . . .Look381i
Sep 5, 2002 3:58 AM
Was just back for a reunion at the end of May. One of the principal activities over the weekend was a series of group rides. Good bike shop in town, too. If you go back, stop in to have coffee and a snack at Jeff Phelps' coffee shop near the bike shop.
Not steel but>>ozone
Sep 4, 2002 6:33 AM
How about Moots. They now offer the hard or soft tail in a SS.
I went through the same thingPaulMC
Sep 4, 2002 7:36 AM
I worried about this for months but it was the picture in the gallery of another guys bike that I kept looking at that sold me and went with Anvil about two weeks ago. The frame that convinced is this one There are some other pictures of it and another of his frames at gallery. Don told me he builds all his fixed gear road frames as lugged bikes and mine is being built with Columbus Max and some other tubes and with stainless steal dropouts like the one in the picture. Price was a lot less than I expected.