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A couple questions on a custom frame (who to get from?)(21 posts)

A couple questions on a custom frame (who to get from?)Zonic Man
Aug 11, 2003 5:39 AM
I'm looking to get a bike built for me, and I'm looking for a custom bike.

I'm 5'9", 190-195, more of a sprinter-type, but I like longer rides too for up to 4 hours in the saddle.

I currently have a litespeed Aluminum/carbon bike, but it's too harsh for my tender sensibilities, so I'm looking for something a bit more compliant.

First question: Steel? Ti? Carbon?

Steel I don't know about...Wondering if Ti would just have to be too heavy to resist the flex, and if I'd break carbon (I'd get an Aegis).

Second: Who do I get to build it?

Thanks a ton for responding...but more importantly for giving me something to do at work!
re: A couple questions on a custom frame (who to get from?)Jusme
Aug 11, 2003 5:46 AM
How much are you looking to spend?

Check out True North ( for a sweet steel, custom bike. Added bonus: They're not ubiquitous.
re: A couple questions on a custom frame (who to get from?)03Vortex
Aug 11, 2003 5:51 AM
Have you tried the other Litespeed titaniums like the vortex, Tuscany, etc. Will be a much better ride tha aluminum. I have a vortex.
Litespeeds are GREAT, but are a dime a dozen around here! (nm)Zonic Man
Aug 11, 2003 7:17 AM
Litespeeds are GREAT, but are a dime a dozen around here! (nm)03Vortex
Aug 11, 2003 9:52 AM
Generally true and i agree but if you want Ti I do think that LS is the way to go in terms of quality and craftmanship. It is nice to have something truly unique though
re: A couple questions on a custom frame (who to get from?)nhl856
Aug 11, 2003 5:54 AM
Well I would say steel would be your best bet for your type of riding and size. Steel is the most forgiving of the 3 and by far the strongest when applied correctly. I would say look at Independent Fabricatins, they make beautiful bikes and will custom build it anyway you want.
re: A couple questions on a custom frame (who to get from?)ryder1
Aug 11, 2003 6:07 AM
I agree. I bike shop near me opened that has IF bikes and they are beautiful. Light too. The built up steel IF's he had rivaled the weights of the lightest Ti bikes.
IF is currently the front runner! (nm)Zonic Man
Aug 11, 2003 7:19 AM
Lots of custom steel out thereMR_GRUMPY
Aug 11, 2003 5:58 AM
What are your looking for ? Lugs ? Tig? Fancy? Business like? I'm partial to Waterford, myself. They are all custom.
Do you really need custom ???? Most people don't....
re: A couple questions on a custom frame (who to get from?)brian n
Aug 11, 2003 5:59 AM

you might want to check out Curtlo cycles. They have custom fillet brazed steel frames for around $700. I am waiting for delivery of a custom mtn frame from them (any day now... I can't wait), and the whole ordering process was very easy. You take a bunch of measurements of you and your bike, fax them in, and then call and discuss what you want the bike to ride/feel like. the frames are powdercoated by the same guy who paints the frames at Strong Racing Cycles, so they get a top notch paint job too.

oh yeah, check it:

of course, if your body measurements are such that you don't need a custom frame then you might not want to deal with the 2 month wait on delivery time.

my next road frame is due any day too.moschika
Aug 11, 2003 10:39 AM
i'm just waiting for the rest of my parts to come in. been a great experience.

i love my mtb from him too.

Zonic - What about Jericho? you metioned them like they were the way to go when i talked to you at D-ville? doesn't he do both off the rack and custom builds?
re: A couple questions on a custom frame (who to get from?)gtx
Aug 11, 2003 6:17 AM
it's all about the design/fit/geometry, not the materials
Steel, take your pick of manufacturers.MXL02
Aug 11, 2003 6:39 AM
At your (our) weight and height, there is very little advantage, IMHO, in carbon or Ti, except perhaps more stiffness. If you race and need the stiffness to hammer a win at the finish line, then it might be worth the extra expense, but for my money, the new lightweight steel alloys are the most comfortable, and best values going. The list of good custom manufacturers is fairly well known...Strong, Steelman, Cherry, Sachs, Moon, Seven, Serotta, etc, etc. A search for "custom bicycle frames" on Yahoo will give you a fairly comprehensive list. Call several and check them out.
Tell me more about Sachs..........PLEASE! (nm)Zonic Man
Aug 11, 2003 7:19 AM
Tell me more about Sachs..........PLEASE! (nm)MXL02
Aug 11, 2003 7:26 AM
Richard Sachs is considered by many people to be the top custom steel frame maker in the country. He does made to measure, not true custom, in other words, you can't order any geometry you want, he measures you and builds the bike,
i himself.
The wait is long and the price is high...I have no personal experience, but owners who post on this board say it is their favorite bike. Check out his website...don't have the address but easy enough to search for it.
Richard SachsDMoore
Aug 11, 2003 9:31 AM

Last time I checked, Richard is charging $2500 for his Signature frame and fork, and the waiting time was over a year. I got mine in '98. Although I have several bikes (steel, Al, Al/carbon, and Ti) the RS is my absolute favorite ride. I'm 6-1, 175#, and since I don't need an especially stiff bike, it isn't. But no worries, Richard will build a bike to suit any rider.

His limited production and high cost keep the bike very exclusive. In the 5 years I've had mine in Southern California, I've seen exactly *one* other RS.

Best damned bike I've ever owned.
I'm just like you and bought:: Fondriest Status X-Carb::bikenj
Aug 11, 2003 7:25 AM
I'm just as heavy as you and wanted a bike that I could take on all day rides, but also perform in local crits. What I found was that Fondriest Status X-Carb fit the bill.

Best steal, TIG welded, carbon rear and phenomenal worksmanship... and it's light to boot.

I also think Fondriest bikes are the sexiest bikes out there i.e., bike porn.

Their customer services is the best and if you end up contacting them, ask for Will. He help me out a lot!

Good luck, but make sure you check these beauties out before doing anything else.
Sure you need custom?pmf1
Aug 11, 2003 8:15 AM
Most men do not. Bikes are made to fit the male anatomy. Unless you're dragging your knuckles on the ground, or have some other odd dimension, you probably don't need a custom bike. Seatpost, stem and saddle position can be changed to work for you. Why pay a bunch of extra money when in the end, you'll get something close to, if not exactly like, a stock frame.

I've had a lot of different road bikes and always found alumium ones to be the least comfortable. But I'm sure you could make an uncomfortable bike out of just about anything. FWIW, I like carbon fiber bikes. I've had a Kestrel 200 Sci for 10 years and a Colnago C-40 for almost 3. Both are nice riding bikes. You aren't going to break them. Carbon bikes are as tough as any other. I also have a titanium bike (Litespeed Ultimate) that is nice in a different way. For long rides, I find carbon to be the most comfortable. Its all subjective though. A lot of folks think carbon feels "dead". Go out and try to ride some different bikes at a shop or borrowed from friends.

Lastly, Aegis bikes are nice.
Check out Strong Frames at (NM)miposy
Aug 11, 2003 9:15 AM
Steve Rex in Sactown...Lon Norder
Aug 11, 2003 9:46 AM

I haven't ridden one myself, but the Davis Bike Club people I've talked to really rave about them.
IF IF IF IF IFcustomsteel
Aug 11, 2003 5:37 PM
Go IndyFab is you want the perfect custom ride. I'm 6'5" and have a custom 64cm Planet X and it is an amazing ride. Turnaround time was good as well at 3.5 weeks! They have plentiful stock sizes available which might fit and still not have the cookie cutter feel of a litespeed, merlin, etc, although I think all their bikes now have full custom at no extra charge. Spend the cash and get on the road before the end of summer!

~I ride my bicycle to ride my bicycle~