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Any Seven and Serotta owners decide NOT go custom?(18 posts)

Any Seven and Serotta owners decide NOT go custom?Fez
Jan 27, 2003 10:33 AM
Is custom bike building a series of compromises? If you modify the tube angles and tube lengths to fit to your exact body measurements, does the ride or handling characteristic change? (i.e. solving one problem just brings another)

I heard a few stories about toe overlap and poor measuring by the fitter, resulting in a custom bike that was less than ideal.

I think a slightly sloping top tube and a head tube extension are pretty good ideas that do not have adverse effects, but I am a little apprehensive to get a complete custom fit and reinvent the wheel when I fit pretty darn good on a stock size Seven.

Any feedback regarding the fitting is welcome. I already know Seven and Serotta build great bikes.
Any Good custom bike builder............Len J
Jan 27, 2003 10:58 AM
will not allow modifications that would affect the ride or handling characteristics in a way that was not acceptable to the buyer. I Know that Kelly at Serotta (The Final Bike designer) Will go back and forth with both the fitter and the customer if he thinks that a spec will negativly affect the Bikehandling or provide a ride that the customer doesn't want.

I don't think a custom is a series of compromises, just the opposite , in fact. If you know what you are going to use the bike for, and you know what kind of ride you want, and you have a good fitter, a custom can design & build exactly what you want. I think that most stock frames involve some compromise. Maybe it's no braze ons for racks, maybe no pump peg, maybe the front end needs more spacers than you would loke, maybe the chainstays are too short for the kind of riding you want to do....... etc etc.

Re fitting on a stock seven. If you do and you don't want any customization (including color, go for it, otherwise......compromiise.

Any Good custom bike builder............Fez
Jan 27, 2003 11:18 AM
Thanks for the reply. Nice Serotta, by the way. I take it you are a satisfied customer.

If I get a Seven, I will take advantage of getting custom features, like relative stiffness, choosing headtube diameter, paint and/or decal options, etc. Seven signature sizes just refer to stock (noncustom) geometries, and they go in 1 cm increments.

I fit fine on the stock geometry, and custom fit gives me 2 concerns:

1) Whether the measuring is accurate. Certainly the shop guy is more skilled than me, but every time I measure bike stuff, I end up doing it multiple times because of a slight (few mm) variation. And I have had a prior bad experience with a local bike shop when I got a fitting done. The guy must have been drunk because although he knew his stuff, his measuring was very inaccurate.

2) If any variation in tube angle and tube length from the stock Seven would really provide any improvement. TJ and others have said that there is plenty of range within stock sizes to fit most of the population, and I have average proportions and good conditioning so I don't see an inherent reason for me to go custom. And if the measuring is inaccurate, it would seem that you could be worse off than if you took the stock size.
I can relate.........Len J
Jan 27, 2003 11:50 AM
Two thoughts:

1.) I had two different fitters, at two different shops, do my fitting independantly. I figured that an extra $125 was nothing compared to the price I was spending on the bike. While both fitters came in close there were differences that were more philisophical than anything. By asking many questions and listening to the answers and thinking about what I wanted the bike to be, I was able to get comfortable with the final specs. I was lucky in that I was traveling at the time & was able to get a fitting in the city I was working in. I was also up front with the second fitter as to why I was doing it & also bought some accessories there to keep him happy.

2.) Re Custom; To me there are several components of custom as follows:

a.) Physical Fit. This appears to be the one you are speaking to. If you fit a stock size in height, TT length and Seat tube angles to ensure proper CG over the bike than a stock size may be the ticket.

b.) Other (Non asetetic) cutomization. What about drivetrain stiffness, Vertical compliance, Headtube extensions, Pump pegs, Rack Mounts, Chainstay length, Toe overlap correction, Handling? All of these things can be addressed with a custom bike. You have to decide if any or all of them are important (and worth the extra price) to you.

c.) Aestetic customization. Paint, Decals, etc. Again personal choice.

I'm not sure what your situitation is & I also can't remember the upcharge Seven charges for customization. With Serotta, if you take a stock size in a stock color with no other changes it's $200 less. There is also an upcharge for speciality colors.

TJ is right that most of the population would (physically) fit a stock frame, the better question is Do you fit this particular stock frame.

My situationFez
Jan 27, 2003 12:13 PM
My current bike is good, but the manufacturer only offers increments of 2cm in odd sizes. I've ridden both, and although both are pretty good, neither is perfect.

Ideally, I am right in between those 2 sizes, and there is a Seven Signature size that fits the bill.

All I need now is a good explanation to tell the wife that I need a Seven. Everybody says proper fit is important, but the greatest fit is nothing if you have an unhappy spouse.
Just don't.........Len J
Jan 27, 2003 12:22 PM
pull out the infamous.............But honey, it's the last bike I'll ever want!..............Paybacks are hell!

How much money are you talking about once you sell your existing bike?


ps. Good luck
Just don't.........Fez
Jan 27, 2003 5:07 PM
I just sold one Ti bike (the smaller one). I got a decent price for it, but then again, it only had 350 miles on it and not a speck of dirt. I lucked out, and so did the buyer.

I probably will keep the other Ti bike (the larger one) for now. Having a 2nd ride has its advantages, and the used bike market is soft, so I probably wouldn't get much for it.

As for the Seven, I am guessing the Axiom Ti frame is $3,000 (I don't remember seeing a price). Add an Ouzo, Open Pros and a DuraAce kit and I guess nobody gets out for less than $4,700. Choose some different wheels and I guess its more like $5K.
Jan 27, 2003 6:27 PM
I got an Axiom ti with Ouzo Pro fork, OP wheelset, and Dura Ace kit and I think I walked away for $4300 including tax. Not to say that it doesn't hurt (ouch) but unless you get swanky wheels you shouldn't hit the $5k mark.
Did you get a deal?Fez
Jan 27, 2003 6:47 PM
These are my loose numbers:

$3,000 frame only
330 Ouzo pro
1,350 Dura Ace bike build w/ Open Pros

Estimated total $4700 + sales tax.

Did you get a discount or is it typically full retail on these build to order bikes?

Did you get your new and improved bike?
I really don't think so...jtolleson
Jan 28, 2003 9:49 AM
I can't remember the price breakdown but I was thinking that the frame was more like $2800 and fork maybe $275 (can't recall). I think Excel's DA kit was $1300... I'm drawing a blank.

But it wasn't a sale or anything... I got a credit for already having a saddle and seatpost though, now that I recall. That may have helped.
Have you gotten it back yet?Len J
Jan 28, 2003 4:20 AM
It has arrivedjtolleson
Jan 28, 2003 9:51 AM
but I haven't picked it up. How lame is that! I'm in trial next week and have been burning the candle at both ends (OK, never too busy to pop in here) and have not yet been able to get up to Boulder during business hours.

I've been getting by on the Bianchi but with our mild winter am anxious to get the Seven back and check it out. I'll report!
Any Good custom bike builder............bugleboy
Jan 27, 2003 11:52 AM
As a seven dealer we also do the measurements multiple times. It doesn't cost any less to go complete custom compared to their signature(stock) frames. The fact that you can actually get a signature frame for every .5 cm of measurement would be a harder choice than to just get measured. Once the measuring is complete the #'s are sent in to seven and in a few days the fax back the bike measurements. If you can compare it to a signature series, great, but they might have some variance that they would suggest. Every Seven that we have has been the best bike that the customer has ridden.
re: Any Seven and Serotta owners decide NOT go custom?cdale02
Jan 27, 2003 11:02 AM
I would get measured and see how far off the "custom" variations are from the stock, then make your decision. If you don't vary the geometry, Seven can still make the bike as stiff or compliant as you like.

I picked up a used Seven Axiom Ti a couple of years ago. It is a stock size 61cm (signature size). The ride is awesome.

I called Seven with the serial number to find out the ride characteristics. It was built with a drive train rigidity of 10, vertical compliance 4 of 5. It does have a head tube extension... not sure how large 1cm?

The bike rides and fits great. I run it with a 130mm stem and no spacers (maybe one 5mm). I have also owned a 62cm OCLV that I couldn't get comfortable on (too small), a 60cm CAAD3 (too small), and I currently also have a 63cm c-t CAAD5 maybe a "hair" large.... but 60 is def. too small).

Good Luck.
Stock SerottaAlex-in-Evanston
Jan 27, 2003 11:27 AM
I was measured on the size cycle and the recommendation came in at 58 with a 58 top tube. Well, the stock 58 has a 57.5 top tube. I got the stock 59 and saved myself a couple hundred bucks. One less spacer to boot.

Regarding the head tube extension - I think it's a brilliant idea. Without it, threadless can be very painful or very unsightly. I don't know if the extension is available on stock serotta frames, or if it automatically triggers the full custom upcharge. Ask your dealer.

Stock SerottaFez
Jan 27, 2003 11:35 AM
What was the full custom upcharge?

Serotta still has stock sizes, but the website says all frames are build to order. So its unclear if there still is a custom upcharge.
Stock SerottaLen J
Jan 27, 2003 11:52 AM
Standard comes with a 1.5 cm Headtube extension.

I you take a stock Serotta in a stock Color they reduce the list price by $200.

Serotta's list price is for a custom built frame. nmdavet
Jan 27, 2003 2:50 PM