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custom or stock frameset(3 posts)

custom or stock framesetscorpionking
Nov 1, 2002 4:12 PM
I'm am about to re enter road biking after a 4 year layoff. I had previously always been hard to fit and am wondering, should I buy a stock bike, ride it and then go for custom after I have my position and fitness level improved or should I go custom right out of the gate and who would you suggest if I go custom. Looking for a good century type bike and training bike, with no crits or stuff like that.
re: custom or stock framesetHeron Todd
Nov 1, 2002 8:05 PM
You should get a professional fitting first and then see what your options may be. I'd say that 95% of riders can fit just fine on a stock geometry frame. If you do decide to go custom, keep in mind that "custom" can mean one of 3 things. 1) It can mean a built-to-order frame which allows selection of paint, frame fittings, and other options, but not necessarily geometry (although the geometry options are often great than a stock production frame). 2) It can mean a frame that is designed by a builder based on your measurements, but not necessarily using a geometry you specify (so, the frame will reflect that builder's preferences and prejudices). 3) It can mean a frame that is designed completely from a clean sheet incorporating your own design objectives.

A professional fitting can tell you how far away from a stock geometry you may be and whether a stock frame can be made to fit, if a built-to-order frame can be made to fit, or if you need a full-custom. Option #2 above may work well if you know a builder that you see eye-to-eye with.

Todd Kuzma
Heron Bicycles
LaSalle, IL
re: custom or stock framesetgtx
Nov 2, 2002 10:18 AM
I guess it depends what you mean by hard to fit. If you have trouble with standover, there are a lot of compact style frames on the market now. New riders or people who don't ride much are often "hard to fit" because they don't have the conditioning or experience to know what feels right. If you don't have a bike now, I would just buy something and start riding. If you stick with it and still feel you'd benefit from custom, go for it. But for the time being, I'd go test ride some Lemonds, Bianchis, Giants, etc., and see how they feel. Also check this guys site for some great deals on some nice bikes.

Oh, and here are some good fit formulas

As the guy from Heron bikes noted above, most people should be able to fit fine on a stock bike. Good luck.