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  1. #1
    Senior Member High_Ram's Avatar
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    Might as well go custom?

    So I'm saving up for a frame and was initially thinking of getting a Mondonico Futura Leggero Nemo frame for roughly $1500 sans fork, then I saw the Mondonico Spirit which could be had for around $1900 also w/out the fork.

    Now I'm thinking, if I'm going to spend that much, should I just get a custom frame? As you can see, I would like to get a lugged steel frame. Suggestions/opinions welcome!

    Thanks,
    Jay

  2. #2
    Decrepit Member Scooper's Avatar
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    There are lots of choices for custom lugged steel at your price point.

    Anderson in St. Paul, MN has custom lugged steel framesets, including fork for $1,975. Custom lugged 953 with fork starts at $2,575.
    - Stan

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    I have a custom frame myself, but I'm not sure that everyone really needs that. Frames like the Mondonicos come in enough size increments to fit almost anybody. Unless you have some kind of less common, unusual proportion, it's likely that any custom frame will end up without anything truly custom about it anyway.

  4. #4
    Senior Member High_Ram's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Longfemur View Post
    I have a custom frame myself, but I'm not sure that everyone really needs that. Frames like the Mondonicos come in enough size increments to fit almost anybody. Unless you have some kind of less common, unusual proportion, it's likely that any custom frame will end up without anything truly custom about it anyway.
    I think that's why I'm leaning towards the Mondonico. I would like to think I'm pretty close to proportional. Maybe I'm wanting a custom frame just because it's a "custom" frame?

  5. #5
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    Can't you get custom Mondonico frames anymore?

  6. #6
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    Well look at it this way, it's going to be a custom bike if you get a bare Mondonico frame and you decide yourself what you're gong to hang on it. As I said before, many custom-made frames end up being not too different than one that wasn't custom-made. I've never had a Mondonico, and the closest I've come to Italian is my Marinoni-made frame, but they certainly look like great frames. There's a special quality to owning and riding a fine, traditional lugged frame, and you can't go wrong with that. You can go out and sneer at all those heart rate monitoring permanently time trialing plastic riders :-)

  7. #7
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    For that money why not go custom, if you have the time. Touring bikes are ideal for custom because the bike does more stuff as far as having stuff fitted to it like racks, bottles fenders lights. Few stock bikes will handle that stuff gracefully.

    " Unless you have some kind of less common, unusual proportion,"

    Most people probably do, though your point is fair as far as people being able to adjust to the frame anyway. At least 2 dimensionally, when one throws in weight it isn't as simple.

    However, for 2K you should expect more, and the first thing that really maters is fit. Lugs are just window dressing, though for that price you can get the bike dressed as you want also.

  8. #8
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    While you may not need a custom frame for the sizing aspect. I think that owning a bike that was made specifically for you can be really fulfilling. I can also see the merit in owning a really nice classic frame by a company that you admire. So, I would say that at your price point you can choose either, it all depends on what you want more. I am sure that both options will lead to a high quality awesome ride.

  9. #9
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    Custom offers you the option for a taller head tube so you can eliminate a bunch of spacer necessary to get your handlebar height correct. Most off the shelf frames have shorter head tubes. A good value for a custom steel would be Landshark, you get custom paint and other extras if you want (chain hanger, pump peg, fender mounts, extended seat tube or chaiinstay length). They are quality frames, ride great.

  10. #10
    Decrepit Member Scooper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by steppinrazor View Post
    Custom offers you the option for a taller head tube so you can eliminate a bunch of spacer necessary to get your handlebar height correct. Most off the shelf frames have shorter head tubes. A good value for a custom steel would be Landshark, you get custom paint and other extras if you want (chain hanger, pump peg, fender mounts, extended seat tube or chaiinstay length). They are quality frames, ride great.
    The OP said has wanted a lugged steel frame. It doesn't look like Slawta at Land Shark offers lugged frames. Nice looking fillet brazed frames, though.
    - Stan

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    Quote Originally Posted by Scooper View Post
    The OP said has wanted a lugged steel frame. It doesn't look like Slawta at Land Shark offers lugged frames. Nice looking fillet brazed frames, though.
    John Slawta is a framebuilder, guys like that always have lugs lying around to build with. He is doing fillet brazed but can probably put together a lugged bike if requested. That is the thing about him, he's very flexible with his customers demands. I've asked for a lot of options for my bike that are not listed on his website and he's done them, give him a call and ask about a lugged frame.

  12. #12
    Senior Member High_Ram's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by steppinrazor View Post
    John Slawta is a framebuilder, guys like that always have lugs lying around to build with. He is doing fillet brazed but can probably put together a lugged bike if requested. That is the thing about him, he's very flexible with his customers demands. I've asked for a lot of options for my bike that are not listed on his website and he's done them, give him a call and ask about a lugged frame.
    Land Shark is definitely top of my list for cutom. I heard that he'll do lugged.

  13. #13
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    Bill Davidson at Davidson Handbuilt Cycles is still building a fair number of lugged steel frames. They're beautiful (he also builds Tig-welded and Ti as well).

    http://www.davidsonbicycles.com/


    He is co-located with my LBS (Elliott Bay Cycles in Seattle), so I get to see customer bikes in the showroom before customers have picked them up. The more of his bikes I see, the more I like them...

    Also, I met these guys at the bike show in Portland last year. Pretty nice bikes if you want something really special looking:

    http://www.vendettacycles.com/vendet...es/default.htm
    Last edited by BengeBoy; 09-09-08 at 11:11 AM.

  14. #14
    Darcy Jayne
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    Quote Originally Posted by BengeBoy View Post
    Bill Davidson at Davidson Handbuilt Cycles is still building a fair number of lugged steel frames. They're beautiful (he also builds Tig-welded and Ti as well).

    He is co-located with my LBS (Elliott Bay Cycles in Seattle), so I get to see customer bikes in the showroom before customers have picked them up. The more of his bikes I see, the more I like them...
    Bill Davidson can build lovely bikes...when he wants to. Bill doesn't touch many of the frames these days, and barely touches the ones he actually works on himself. He doesn't keep track of what's coming out of the frame shop particularly well, either. Check out the issues that this frame was delivered with just a week ago: http://www.flickr.com/photos/daynger...7607704494832/

    I used to be a fan of Bill Davidson and of Elliott Bay Bicycles. After a year of trying to get a problem fixed, I've given up on both of them.

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