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CUSTOM STEEL ROAD BIKE(20 posts)

CUSTOM STEEL ROAD BIKEfredstaple
Oct 18, 2003 11:49 PM
I have narraowed my search down to two custom builders: Serotta and Carl Strong. Is the Serotta worth all the extra money? The difference in cost is over $500.00 for the frame alone. Carl Strong is also running a 20% discount right now too, additionally, he has a really nice price on a Chorus (some record) group set.

The Serotta dealor wants about 400.00 more for the same group (total savings of almost a grand with the Strong). Is the Serotta worth this much more. Any reason not to go with Carl Strong and save enough to buy almost all the parts for my foul weather bike?
Richard SachsNASA Noddler
Oct 19, 2003 3:48 AM
No -nmgf99
Oct 19, 2003 4:01 AM
re: CUSTOM STEEL ROAD BIKEkoala
Oct 19, 2003 4:25 AM
I went through exactly what you did. I live 4 miles from a Serotta dealer. I just received a new Strong custom semi-compact. The welds are impressive, but the powdercoat seems contaminated with black flecks. You have to look closely to see it and its only in half of the two color fade but its dissapointing. I will give a ride report when I get some miles on it.
Send it back, Carl will recoat it... (NM)miposy
Oct 20, 2003 8:58 AM
re: CUSTOM STEEL ROAD BIKERusty Coggs
Oct 19, 2003 5:45 AM
I've never heard a bad thing about Strong and you get good bang for the buck,but maybe more style points for the Serotta name. Seems as tho I heard that Setotta is no longer doing the lugged SCi, and the lugs are the reason I went for the Serotta,but that is just a personal thing.
Serotta is doing CSiSpiderman
Oct 19, 2003 6:02 AM
Serotta is still building their CSi. Beautiful bikes, great service, beautiful paint. It is a bit more expensive, probably due to the tubing Serotta uses. I don't know much about Strong, unfortunately. You can also look at a David Kirk frame.

Kirk worked as a builder/designer for Serotta for about 7 years or so, then went to Strong to build/design. Now he is out on his own making, from what i have heard, great bikes. I don't know what kind of tubing he uses, i think he'll build with whatever fits your style (you describe how you want it to ride and he'll figure out which ones are best). I don't know the website but you can google it or something.
Strongterry b
Oct 19, 2003 6:25 AM
Carl built one for me last year - great bike, great quality, great experience, fantastic guy to work with. Short wait time. I plan on doing a second one with him in the future.
Hey Terry..koala
Oct 19, 2003 7:37 AM
I just got my new Strong and the frost yellow has tiny flecks of black, like little pepper marks. Is yours the frost yellow-silver fade in the Strong gallery, and if so does yours hve these flecks?
Good question.terry b
Oct 19, 2003 11:00 AM
Mine is the yellow/silver fade, and it did come out kind of funny in the fade zones - they two colors together produced an interesting green color. Not what I expected, but I liked it.

Just dragged it out in the sunshine - no black flecks. Powder-coating though is a somewhat inexact science, and cross-contamination is always a possibility. I'm betting he'll make it right if it's bugging you.
Good question.koala
Oct 19, 2003 12:18 PM
Thanks for checking. I just stopped at my LBS and he said its looks cool to him cause its so uniform throughout the yellow. This one is also a compact(6.7 degree slope) so I am having trouble adjusting to the look. I really like the reynolds ouzo lite fork, though. Its light(354 grams before the cut) and its devoid of clearcoat so its very flat black in appearance.
Compacts are funnyterry b
Oct 19, 2003 1:57 PM
I've got one also - not sure of the slope - and while I love the ride I sometimes just look at it and say "huh?"

The speckles sound pretty neat to me, especially as you've described their uniformity. It was nice to go out and look at mine this morning, I guess I'd forgotten what a nice color Frost Yellow is. We tend to look right past the bike we're riding, appreciating in detail was a nice diversion.

Yours sounds pretty cool, post some pix when you have them.
Compacts are funnykoala
Oct 19, 2003 2:18 PM
Thanks for taking the time, I will post some pics.
Strongmickey-mac
Oct 19, 2003 10:36 AM
I got mine in March '01 and agree with everything Terry says. I'll be buying my next frame from Carl.
have you ridden either of them?eflayer2
Oct 19, 2003 8:56 AM
Wondering why you would consider either if you have not ridden and discerned what you like, plus any differences? Buy what you like. If you don't know what you like, buy less expensive new or used in nearly the right size until you know. Then spend the big bucks on custom.
How do you ride a custom that's built to your specs?terry b
Oct 19, 2003 11:02 AM
it's a crapshoot, but then I've never test ridden any of my bikes. agree though that you need to have a sense of what you like from a fit perspective, but with custom there is rarely a chance to try out what could become "your bike."
Another happy Strong ownerPicshooter
Oct 19, 2003 12:30 PM
I have a full FOCO Strong, green to silver fade. The powdercoat is holding up great. Doing business with Carl was a pleasure. He delivered a great frame at a fair price.
I believe Serotta builds great bikes too, but I believe Carl gives you more value for the money.
How do you ride a custom that's built to your specs?eflayer2
Oct 19, 2003 2:54 PM
Doesn't sound like you are worried about fit as much as the feel of the material the frame is made out of. A CSi is going to be made out of Serotta tubes and a Strong will be made out of whatever tubes you choose.

If I was in your shoes I'd want to work directly with the builder and be able to describe the kind of riding and the kind of feel you are looking for. In this case, I think you would want to trust the builder to translate your needs into the bike you want.

If you read the Serotta message board, some people there have purchased new customs from Dave Kirk. Sounds like Kirk is expert at designing with your needs in mind. Good luck.
There are dealers with demoslyleseven
Oct 19, 2003 5:32 PM
A good Serotta or Seven dealer will have bikes to ride even though they are not to your exact custom specs. I found a steel Seven that way and it is awesome. For the buck, Mikkelsen builds a fantastic steel custom bike for $800 with a great paint job. Have one of those too.
FWIW.....coonass
Oct 19, 2003 5:26 PM
Have you considered a Waterford 2200??? beautiful in every respect....