Cyclocross - custom frame
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12-11-06, 05:08 PM
now that i'm officially addicted, and since i can get it cheap through my road team, i'm looking at getting a frame through my team for next season and i've been asked the following quesitons:
-anything else i can think of
now i'm wondering what all of you think about:
-is 'cross-specific' a 'real' thing? or a necessary thing?
-aluminum vs. steel (for RACING, not multi-purpose riding)
-this is my first foray into the world of custom anything: what should i consider? what am i forgetting? help!?
12-12-06, 07:40 AM
To me, a custom frame is mostly about fit. What I would do is ride as many CX, or even road bikes as I could. Figure out what works for you, and what doesn't. I would pay attention to things like top tube and front center length, saddle/bar drop, and the fore aft position of the saddle with respect to the BB spindle. Bring a tape measure with you, and spend some time dialing in the bike you are test riding as best you can. There are tons of variables, and you can't control them all, but you should be able to get sort of a feel for what works for you. After you've done your research, talk to the frame builder.
I'll be racing on a custom single speed palermo bicycle (http://www.palermobicycles.com/) next year.
I would talk to the framebuilder as much as possible because they're the experts. Tom asked me to pay special attention to the way my current bike handled and to ride other cross bikes to compare and contrast.
How does it climb? How does it take tight turns? Descend? sprint? etc. The framebuilder should know how to translate this into what kind of bicycle you need.
I work in a shop and a lot of times, a little technical knowledge can be worse than none at all. If you start telling your builder how steep to make the headtube etc. etc. etc. because you think you know what you're talking about then you are putting limits on what they can do. I started out thinking I knew what I wanted and went to him with a pretty long list (perfect example of a little technical knowledge being worse than none at all). But TOM PALERMO (http://www.palermobicycles.com/)(plug plug) helped me realize that some of the things that I thought I wanted, were actually not the best way to go. Some we kept and some we scrapped, and he also came up with some other things that I would never have thought of.
I still try to provide technical info, but anecdotal info has seemed to be more helpful.
But, if you can get a pro-fit on your current bike, that will probably help a lot.
12-12-06, 01:09 PM
yeah, i've tried out the cannonedale, a redline, and my poprad (obviously), and it's funny, i've definetely found myself trying to translate things into headtube and seatube angles, fork rake, standover, etc...
when will you get your new frame? what did you go to the builder with (in terms of anecdotal, 'ride feel' concerns)? what material did you end up choosing and why?
the builder is a friend of mine. His frame shop is located in the back of the shop where I work. He only does steel which is my preference anyway we aren't 100% on the tubeset yet.
I ride a surly cross check now which has been a pretty great all around bike, but I think it's the fact that it's a great Do-everything bike compromises it's performance for racing a little. That said, I can get a lot more results from modifying my training and diet than getting a custom bike. but I deserved to treat myself a little and it should motivate me to improve the training and diet so I can do the bike justice.
12-12-06, 09:56 PM
I think it's the fact that it's a great Do-everything bike compromises it's performance for racing a little. That said, I can get a lot more results from modifying my training and diet than getting a custom bike. but I deserved to treat myself a little and it should motivate me to improve the training and diet so I can do the bike justice.
-my thoughts exactly!
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