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Sep 6, 2003 8:04 AM
If you could have only one custom steel frame and were choosing between IF, Waterman and Carl Strong. Who do you go with for a custom steel bike. Bike would NOT be raced, for training and just plain enjoying the ride use. This will be the last bike I will ever buy and want to be sure I make the right decision.

I am a big guy at 6' 200lbs and at 40 years old plan nothing more than just getting out and riding. I like to climb. Can anyone help me with this tough decision. I don't want to spend 3 to 4 K and regret it. Thanks for the help.
You mean WaterfordPicshooter
Sep 6, 2003 8:25 AM
Both weld up nice bikes. I have a Strong and like it a lot. It's the bike I have been riding the most. I believe it's a great value for the money too. Give Carl a call, he can build pretty much any type frame you would like from several different tubing choices.You won't regret it.
No! Waterman & Green Goblin Vs. Spider-man & Hulk!the bull
Sep 6, 2003 8:40 AM
Dont worry Marvel will make a movie on this one too!

I Like Independent Fabrication even though they dont have lugs. It is 2003 and the paint is to die for!
Sep 6, 2003 8:30 AM
You're a little young to be selecting a "last" bike. And I assume you mean Waterford. I'd probably chose their lugged frame over the other two, but if you're going TIG I'd be torn between the IF and the Strong. Basically you can't go wrong with any of these. I'd also consider Serotta and Steelman.
So pretty............nmrwbadley
Sep 6, 2003 8:36 AM
So pretty............nmIronbutt
Sep 6, 2003 8:43 AM
Not just so pretty-it's gorgeous! I wish that I had sprung for the stainless steel lugs on mine. Oh, well, next time.
Dont forget Vanilla Bicycles if you like lugs and chrome....10speedfiend
Sep 6, 2003 9:36 AM
and steel. Check out their website, very fancy nice work.
This frame is elegance personified, IMHO. nmsn69
Sep 6, 2003 10:20 AM
overpriced nmishmael
Sep 6, 2003 10:35 AM
Sep 6, 2003 11:23 AM
Of those three, I'd pick the Waterford. But I really like Steelman better.
I would choose one that is close and be a real pain...TFerguson
Sep 6, 2003 11:59 AM
I live about an hour from Waterford and have had a tour. Wouldn't it be great to be there when they go into the stock room and pick out YOUR tubing? And the next day...
Right now Carl Strong has a 20 percent off custom sale...n.m.koala
Sep 6, 2003 1:35 PM
re: IF V. WATERMAN V. STRONGrollinrob
Sep 6, 2003 8:25 PM
I have both a steel waterford2200 and a IF crown jewel. Both bikes are awesome but have signifigantly different geometrys. My Waterford is a 51 cm with a 75 degree seatube
and a 72.5 headtube. toptube is 52.25 cm.
My IF has a 73 degree seatube and a 72 degree headtube with a 52 cm toptube.
Both bikes are set up with ultegra components and Mavic OP rims.
I love both of these bikes and try to switch them out every other ride. If you were to put a gun to my head and ask me to pick one it would be a very difficult choice. I love the If becouse it is so darn comfy on long rides, I love the waterford becouse of its quick, precise handling
and steep seatube which seems to help me during climbs.
If I could only have one bike it would be a combo ofthe two, woth a 74 degree seatube angle and a 72 degree headtube.
For what its worth the paint on the If is much better than what is on the Waterford. I got both these bikes off ebay. I had the waterford repainted at waterford and it is already chipping. The IF paint is really durable and looks good.
It is tough choice that I am glad I do not have make.
re: IF V. WATERMAN V. STRONGfredstaple
Sep 7, 2003 3:32 AM
Thanks. I don't have either and the choice is killing me.
Sep 7, 2003 6:24 AM
Get a Colnago Master X-light. You get a great paint job, and lots of chrome a truly great steel frame. May even cost less from
Believe it or not, I have to disagree.MXL02
Sep 8, 2003 5:50 AM
Even though I am as much a Colnago fan as anyone, I have always been a little concerned that I could have purchased a complete custom frame and fork for what I paid for the MXL. Personally, between IF, Waterford, and Strong, I would simply call all three, and go with whomever gave me the best "gut" feel. They are all very reputable builders.
Its all about the FITtorquer
Sep 8, 2003 7:55 AM
If you're going to be paying for a custom frame (of any material), you should first be concerned about getting it fit perfectly.

When I consider my next (steel) frame, I am leaning towards IF or Serrota because I trust the shops that would fit me for either one; while I'm sure Strong, Steelman, Vanilla, etc. make great bikes, I just don't trust the fitting process done via the 'net or phone/fax.

Whatever builder offers a hands-on fitting would be my choice.

Sorry, but I can't resist the following:
I'm looking for what would be my last fine writing instrument...