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Sep 2, 2003 5:34 AM
Is ther any ranking of frame builders that anyone knows of. I am looking for the consumer report on custom frame builders.

Looking for info on who is best, who is a rip off. Is there anyone close to Richard Sachs, but at less cost. Is Waterford good? Is Strong good? Would I be crazy to go with Teesdale?

I can't afford Sachs, IF or Rivendale. At the most strong and Waterford at at my outermost range. Are these guys as good as Sachs (are they at least close)? Should I go with a more lowend builder such as Oswald, will I get just as good a frame? Thanks for the help. Fred
Sep 2, 2003 5:54 AM
Will you get just as good a frame at a lower price? No.

But you will get one that's very close to as good. Consider whether your dimensions or other factor really require a custom frame - because if they don't, you're probably much better off buying a stock frame, which will likely be more bike for the money than a lower-end custom frame.

But I own both a Sachs and a Teesdale, and while the Teesdale is not as "good" as the Sachs, it is a fine bicycle.
what TJ saidgtx
Sep 2, 2003 6:57 AM
I'd also ask around locally to see if there is a good custom builder near you.

hey TJ, I didn't know you had a Sachs. When did you get that?
Recent addition,TJeanloz
Sep 2, 2003 7:54 AM
This year. It has approximately 80 miles on it. I don't get out much...
when you have the time...gtx
Sep 2, 2003 8:21 AM
and after you get a few more miles on it, you should post a review of the bike/ordering process, etc. I'm sure a lot of us are interested (and jealous).
what TJ saidMattso
Sep 2, 2003 5:36 PM
Second that. I've got a Hujsak frame. Skip Hujsak is a low volume Texas builder, and this is the best bike I've had by far.
Sep 2, 2003 10:31 AM
in my experience, more doesn't always = better. the higher cost of some builders doesn't always mean a better build. i think there are lots of small and good builders around, some definitely more obscure then others but no less quality. my complete curtlo wasn't much more then a sycip frame and fork and i can't say that sycip quality is any better then curtlo, just more brand recognition.

depends on what you're looking for, lugged, fillet brazed, tigged, bonded, etc.

if you're thinking of Sachs and Rivendale, take a look at Richard Moon. He does exceptional lugged frames.
What does "good" mean???miposy
Sep 2, 2003 11:15 AM
Hi Fred,

"Good" is pretty subjective on this board. There are several builders who are universally recognized as good and/or great including Strong, IF, Sachs, and Waterford. You are not likely to have a bad experience with any of them. The differences are often attributed to details such as the welds, paint/powdercoat, lugs when applicable, geometries, etc.

Carl Strong I know personally. I ride his bikes and know his "style" so to speak. Carl makes Aluminum, Steel, and Ti bikes out of many different materials. He has ti bikes available in three different types of ti alone depending on what you want to spend, and also has vast experience with several steels including Columbus Foco and Reynolds 853.

They are very well made with beautiful frames, and price out differently depending on how you want to build the bike. Give him a call and talk to him to see what kind of vibe you get, but call in a few days as he just got married.

Good luck,

Sep 2, 2003 12:12 PM

you might want to try Curtlo at

their fillet brazed steel frames run about $700 using true temper ox platinum tubing. i am waiting delivery on a custom mtb from them (any day now... its killing me). their price is truly astonishing for the quality that i've seen. made in USA, 1 man shop, etc. i'll post pictures when i get the frame in.

ps- i'm a metallurgist who thinks about welding vs lugs vs fillet brazing all the time, so when i chose my builder i thought a good deal about all that stuff. i went with this builder because it was truly custom at a price i could afford. also, fillet brazing affects the as received tubing strength less than welding so it can build a stronger frame (depending on builder skill of course).
A 'new' oldtimer........davet
Sep 3, 2003 3:28 AM
would be Dave Kirk of KirkFrameWorks: . He worked for Serotta as their custom bike builder for years, and now he's building under his own name. He's generated a lot of "buzz" on the Serotta Owners Forum and do a search for 'Dave Kirk' There is an picture gallery there showing some of his frames from start to finish.
Sep 3, 2003 7:36 AM
You will do very well with a Teesdale. Tom has been a biker for over 30 years, and has been building for about 25 years. He has made frames for a number of companies over the years. I have seen many Teesdales, and all looked good. Some are still in use after many years of hard riding. The fact that he is a "small" operation would not concern me. His bikes compare well with the top name customs I have seen.
I have no connection or interest in Teesdale Bikes---just an observer.
Good luck.