Well guys, it was a while in the making but worth the wait. I wanted to post my experience with Kirk Frameworks and my bike.
Several years ago I was in the market for a steel frame. After shopping around it seemed like the best match for me was a builder out of Montana, Dave Kirk. It was a few years after that before I had my pennies saved to actually order one though.
So last April I placed my order. I can't tell you how easy Dave is to talk to and to work with. Ever step of the way he proved to me that he was the right choice for my frame set. Never once did I question his abilities or my decision. I talked to him at length several times on my ideas of how I wanted the bike to ride, handle, and look. He delivered in every regard!
This is my second custom frame. The first frame was a terrible experience. One that almost made me decide not to go custom again. Working with Dave was totally different though.
At two points in the process I had some... "problems" with one of the build details. Dave gets customer service right. He made me feel totally comfortable that if there was a "problem" that it would be rectified. As it turns out it wasn't a problem but the way that Dave handled it was world class. He wins.
He has the famous Joe Bell do his paint. The paint is top notch and JB gets customer service right too. It gives me warm fuzzies that Dave has chosen such fine company.
Of course you should consult a number of frame builders out there and choose the one you are most comfortable with. I just want to tell you that if he promises something he'll deliver. A pleasure to work with!
For those interested here's what I built my bike with:
Kirk Frameworks custom steel frame and fork
Chris King NoThread headset
Kestrel EMS handlebar
Record 10 speed carbon shifters/brake levers
Douglas carbon headset spacers
Sella Italia Pro-link saddle
Campy Record carbon seapost
Campy Record crank bearings
Campy Record front derailleur
Campy Chorus compact 34/50 cranks
Campy Chorus 13/26 casette
Campy Chorus rear derailleur
Cyclops PowerTap 2.4SL rear hub (2 cross)
DT Swiss 240 radial front hub (radial)
Mavic CXP33 28 hole rims
Look KEO Sprint pedals
And pics (I wish the pics could do the paint justice. The frame is the most amazing white pearl I've ever seen):
Better get your orders in now, as the word gets out his lead times are increasing!