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Tom Kellogg or Bill Holland Which would you choose?(18 posts)

Tom Kellogg or Bill Holland Which would you choose?SteveChap
Apr 15, 2003 10:39 AM

I'm finally going to get a frame that fits me properly. I was wondering if anyone has had experience with these two builders.

I've been leaning towards Tom Kellogg (Spectrum Cycles) since I know a bit more about his work and his happy customers and it seems like he might have access to more tubing and technology options via Merlin/Litespeed, I've seen a couple plain un-painted Hollands as well which were very nice too.

The Spectrums seemed to have a bit more finish work done to them. The Spectrums have standard internal brake cable routing where it is about a $200 option on the Holland frame. I know you can get a Joe Bell paint job added to the Holland as well for more $$$ as well while the Spectrums come clearcoated or with a basic paint scheme as part of the package.

The Hollands I've seen all have straight tubing, no bends while the Spectrums have hour glass seat-stays and the rest of the tubes are straight. The welds on the Spectrums are smooth (Kellogg calls it no-push welds) while the welds on the Holland are the more standard TIG welds, both looked perfectly done and extremely even. Those are the difference I am aware of.

My work travels take me fairly close to either so I could visit in person. I know Spectrums are built by the ABG Merlin Litespeed group and Holland builds the frames himself. Are there any big differences other than that between the builders? Am I missing anything major about these two builders?


re: Tom Kellogg or Bill Holland Which would you choose?rbb
Apr 15, 2003 10:54 AM
Being from the greater Philadelphia area, racing at T-town and riding regularly out of t-town- my choice between a spectrum and any other frame would be SPECTRUM! I'm not fortunate enough to own one (yet), but by seeing the bikes TK has built first hand and the riders who have acheived so much on them- they are by far superior to others! The craftmanship that are put into spectrum frames is unbelievable. And by the way, Tom builds Spectrum frames in his shop outside of t-town. Very nice work, superior fitting, and much better looking than most custom built frames. Hands-down, the best!! Take care
Merlin builds Spectrum's ti bikesRJF
Apr 15, 2003 11:25 AM
Simply as a point of clarification, Tom Kellog builds the Spectrum steel bikes; his ti bikes are made by Merlin to his specs. Not that it matters; given his amazing attention to detail, I'm sure he would make the ti himself if he thought he could do better. What beautiful bikes those are.
Holland builds a really nice frame;Ron L
Apr 15, 2003 12:07 PM
If not for Moots (I've been riding for 7 yrs) I would be riding a Holland. I've been riding the new VaMoots -SL for about 3 months. As for the detail and workmenship I think Moots, Seven(I don't care much for, but they still do nice work), and Holland are at the top of the food chain. Here in San Diego, we don't see much of Spectrum if any at all. What I saw of them at the show was not impressive.
As for the ride quality of the frame, that's going to depend on what you ask for.
That is simply stunning! nmsn69
Apr 15, 2003 1:06 PM
What didn't you like about the Spectrum Ti frames?SteveChap
Apr 15, 2003 3:23 PM
Hi Ron,

I'm really curious what you did not like about the Spectrum Ti frame? Was it the construction of the frame of the design that you didn't like?

Your Moots is beautiful by the way. I think Holland is now building with the seamless 6/4 Ti from Reynolds as well as the 3.25TI, I think I am probably sticking with 3.25 with this frame.

Holland builds a really nice frame;Ti-Boy
Apr 16, 2003 3:40 PM
Ron: How do you like the SL compared to the 3/2.5Ti? Who did the adonizing? What fork is on that beautiful bike? I'm on a new old fashion Vamoots and debated going with the SL.
Tom Kelloggpurplepaul
Apr 15, 2003 12:45 PM
I'm waiting for my Spectrum now (half way there). Tom's such a great guy I'm happy to spend my money with him. He took 2-3 hours on a Saturday to fit me. I also like that he doesn't gouge on the components. He said he'd be happy to put on components that I supplied for $125, but in the end I couldn't get them for much cheaper.

Don't know a thing about Holland, but I can't imagine you wouldn't be happy with either.
Tom KelloggSteveChap
Apr 15, 2003 3:33 PM
Which frame did you end up getting? Did he make many changes to your position on the bike?

Both Kellogg and Holland were nearly exactly the same price on build kits, Holland's prices are Colorado Cyclist prices plut $150 to build the bike come out about exactly the same as Spectrum kits. I coudn't do much better on my own and then still have to assemble the kit when I could be riding.

Tom Kelloggpurplepaul
Apr 15, 2003 3:36 PM
I got the Ti Super (butted tubes). He didn't make any changes to my position on the bike. He made changes to the bike to fit my position.
Few questions.......Len J
Apr 15, 2003 1:44 PM
and a few answers.

What material are you buying?

If you are talking a steel frame, I would vote for Spectrum (over Holland). Hollands reputation is as one of the best Ti builders in the country. I am not sure, but I don't hear many comments on him building steel. Does he even build steel. That being said, at Spectrums prices, I would look at several other steel custom builders before I made my choice. The trump card for Spectrum is that you get Tom Kellogg to fit you & design your bike. If you get a Spectrum, make sure you make the trip to Allentown personally.

Holland is reputed to be one of the best Ti builders in the world. In addition, he shares space with one of the best painters (Joe Bell) in the world. If I had access to San Diego, & wanted a Ti Bike, I would consider a Holland in a minute.

If it's Ti you are looking for, you owe it to yourself (at these prices) to look, ride several of the top Ti frames. I would include in this, Seven, Holland, Moots, Serotta, Spectrum, and on the outside Merlin. Merlin is part of the Lightspeed group of Companies & are made in the same plant as Lightspeed (Perportedly with seperate welders). Merlin manufactures all Spectrum frames to Tom's specs, and all Are inspected by Tom. If I was going to get a Merlin, I would go to Tom & get a Spectrum (a Merlin custom designed and inspected by Tom with Spectrums paint).

I just went through the search for the perfect Ti bike and found that there were noticible differences in ride, style, paint choices, tubing choices (as you've noted)and philosophy between all of these Ti builders. You owe it to yourself to take your time & learn as much as possible. In the end my choice (for many personal reasons) came down to Serotta or Spectrum. I chose a Serotta Legend Ti frankly because I loved the ride and I've always loved the lines of his tapered and shaped tubes ("It's the tubes dammit!").

At these prices, you deserve to take your time and end up as excited by your choice as I am with mine.

Good Luck

Titanium for both Bill Holland and Tom KelloggSteveChap
Apr 15, 2003 3:19 PM
I'm looking at Ti from both of these guys. I really still can't decide which way to go. There are things I like about both of them. I looked at Moots but they are not really big into doing custom so it seems that builders more specialize in helping me get fit right would be the way to go. I've tried stock geometry for years but have never been happy, always get stuck with a frame that I can barely stand over to get a reasonalble top tube length so I don't have to run a ridiculous stem.
Titanium for both Bill Holland and Tom Kelloggpurplepaul
Apr 15, 2003 3:34 PM
Well, while Tom was fitting me he said, "Have you ever broken your collar bone?" I was impressed that he noticed a slight difference in body position and quickly determined the cause. He is a master at fitting. That's really why I chose him.
Some Ideas.Len J
Apr 15, 2003 3:35 PM
It sounds like your biggest concern is fit. If so, why not pay for a fitting from both Tom & Bill Holland with the understanding that whoever you choose the fit fee reduces the purchase price. You are buying a several thousand dollar frame, a $100 or $150 is a small price to pay for a good fit.

Worst case, you get to compare the two fits as a cross check, best case, you get to spend time with the people that will be designing your frame (& in Bills case, building it). They may even let you ride a frame while you are there. If these are the two you are down to, I would have both of them fit me.

Listen to what they say, pay attention to the questions they ask, probe them on their fit ideas.

If it helps any, I have never talked to anyone who went up to visit Tom, who didn't come away awed. People from the Left coast can speak better to personal experience with Bill.

In the end, either frame will be a wonderful frame, fit by two people that are passionate about bikes. Honestly, there is very little risk in either choice. Go with the one that speaks to you.


PS Be absolutly honest with the fitters and you will be rewarded.
Spectrum Info.Len J
Apr 15, 2003 3:38 PM
I don't know if you have visited the Spectrum owners forum, but if not, here is the link.

Talk to them both about your needs, I did...koala
Apr 15, 2003 4:23 PM
and the answer to your question becomes very clear.
Talk to them both about your needs, I did...SteveChap
Apr 15, 2003 7:33 PM
Hello Koala,

Out of curiosity who did you pick? I have talked to both of them, not in depth but just about the basics. I need to talk to them more but at first pass I liked them both. I'm curious what you thought was the big difference between the two that made your choice clear.

Talk to them both about your needs, I did...koala
Apr 16, 2003 4:36 AM
In the end Mr Kellog was my choice. He listened to me about my fit needs and spent more time on my unique fit issues. Toms bike winds up being less money as well because he quoted me 3000 for butted ti frame, fork, headset and paint of choice for a custom. He is a legendary fitter and it didnt hurt that he lives a long drive from me. This was some months ago. Biggest problem with his frame is the eternal wait to get one at some times of the year.