Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  


Go Back   > >

General Cycling Discussion Have a cycling related question or comment that doesn't fit in one of the other specialty forums? Drop on in and post in here! When possible, please select the forum above that most fits your post!

User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 08-19-07, 12:01 AM   #1
neilwheel
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Bikes:
Posts: 21
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Define "custom"

I'd like to hear from the bike-riding public as opposed to the bike-building public how they would define "custom".

My defiition is a lot more than a choice of handlebar tape and tire sidewall colors, but how would you - the folks who'd rather ride them than build them - see it?

What does "custom" encompass in your opinion? What do you look for when making that greatest of all great shopping experiences, i.e. buying a new bike?

If you're a dealer, where would you start defining a sale as "custom" and not "stock model with extras"?

Thanks.
neilwheel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-19-07, 12:27 AM   #2
UmneyDurak
RacingBear
 
UmneyDurak's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: NorCal
Bikes:
Posts: 8,608
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 43 Post(s)
To me there are two levels of custom. The truelly custom is when someone builds a frame specifically for you, then you chose what components you want. Second level is when you buy everything you want/can afford, including the frame, and you or someone else put it together. Buying a complete bike and swapping some parts is called upgrading.
UmneyDurak is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-19-07, 05:40 AM   #3
HandsomeRyan
Pants are for suckaz
 
HandsomeRyan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Mt. Airy, MD
Bikes: Hardtail MTB, Fixed gear, and Commuter bike
Posts: 2,578
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by UmneyDurak View Post
To me there are two levels of custom. The truely custom is when someone builds a frame specifically for you, then you chose what components you want. Second level is when you buy everything you want/can afford, including the frame, and you or someone else put it together. Buying a complete bike and swapping some parts is called upgrading.
well said Umney! i agree completely.
HandsomeRyan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-19-07, 08:31 AM   #4
bac
Senior Member
 
bac's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Pennsylvania
Bikes: Too many to list!
Posts: 7,481
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by neilwheel View Post
I'd like to hear from the bike-riding public as opposed to the bike-building public how they would define "custom".[/B]

Thanks.
For me, custom means a custom frame - made to MY exact specs. Of course, I will also hand pick all the components - that's a given for any bike I buy/build.

... Brad
bac is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-19-07, 10:42 AM   #5
Bushman
Grumbly Goat
 
Bushman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Bikes: bicycles with round wheels
Posts: 895
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Custom = hand cut tubing, hand welded (not robot welded), hand cut threads, hand faced headtube/bb shell, my geometry choice, extra braze ons, hand picked by me components, built up by me., my specs for wheel building components
Bushman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-19-07, 11:13 AM   #6
roadfix
hello
 
roadfix's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Los Angeles
Bikes:
Posts: 18,590
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 27 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by UmneyDurak View Post
To me there are two levels of custom. The truelly custom is when someone builds a frame specifically for you, then you chose what components you want. Second level is when you buy everything you want/can afford, including the frame, and you or someone else put it together. Buying a complete bike and swapping some parts is called upgrading.
I absolutely, positively agree with this statement!
roadfix is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-19-07, 11:41 AM   #7
DieselDan
Senior Member
 
DieselDan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Beaufort, South Carolina, USA and surrounding islands.
Bikes: Cannondale R500, Motobecane Messenger
Posts: 8,521
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
A custom bike is a frame built to my specific body size, and with the components, wheels, and parts that suit me the best.
DieselDan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-19-07, 02:11 PM   #8
stapfam
Time for a change.
 
stapfam's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: 6 miles inland from the coast of Sussex, in the South East of England
Bikes: Dale MT2000. Bianchi FS920 Kona Explosif. Giant TCR C. Boreas Ignis. Pinarello Fp Uno.
Posts: 19,915
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zumba View Post
I wouldn't dwell too deep into the "handmade" aspect of custom frames. It's done because of necessity rather than preference. With the exception of the hand TIG welds, none of the other processes are done better on manual machines than CNC machines. Doing it manually has the benefit of requiring a whole lot less fixturing.
There is a lot to be said for a "Hand Made" frame. That Frame can be adjusted to suit the rider and the care that is put into that frame as opposed to a Factory built one is far better. Only thing is- a Factory built frame will be as good as the robots can build it and every frame will be the same.

To me a custom Build is a hand made frame- Even if it is a standard Hand built frame and not modified to suit the rider- and the parts left to the selection of the rider. Could be a $500 frame with a complete Sora Groupset fitted- Or a darn sight more expensive frame with the top of the range overpriced individually selected parts from specialist manufacturers.
__________________
How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


Spike Milligan
stapfam is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-19-07, 02:28 PM   #9
Bushman
Grumbly Goat
 
Bushman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Bikes: bicycles with round wheels
Posts: 895
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by stapfam View Post
There is a lot to be said for a "Hand Made" frame. That Frame can be adjusted to suit the rider and the care that is put into that frame as opposed to a Factory built one is far better. Only thing is- a Factory built frame will be as good as the robots can build it and every frame will be the same.

To me a custom Build is a hand made frame- Even if it is a standard Hand built frame and not modified to suit the rider- and the parts left to the selection of the rider. Could be a $500 frame with a complete Sora Groupset fitted- Or a darn sight more expensive frame with the top of the range overpriced individually selected parts from specialist manufacturers.

+ 1 key word here is :"care put into it"
Bushman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-19-07, 03:03 PM   #10
Allen
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Bikes:
Posts: 4,749
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I ride a frameset with components of my choice, but to me a custom bike is a handmade frame.

By the way, welcome over here, Neil.

Last edited by Allen; 08-19-07 at 05:50 PM.
Allen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-19-07, 04:58 PM   #11
DieselDan
Senior Member
 
DieselDan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Beaufort, South Carolina, USA and surrounding islands.
Bikes: Cannondale R500, Motobecane Messenger
Posts: 8,521
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
To confuse the argument, I have a 56cm Cannondale 2.8 frame. It started life, and my ownership, as a stock R500 of 1995 vintage. The only original factory installed components are the right/rear brifter, the left crank arm, and the right crank arm and spider.

Both derailers are Shimano 105 (5600)
The front shifter is a Suntour downtube.
The front brake lever is a Shimano RSX
The brakes are Shimano Ultegra (6600)
The chainrings are now Sugino 30/40/50
The headset is now Campagnolo Record (1" threaded)
The fork is now Nashbar carbon fiber (only 1" threaded steerer I could find)
The seatpost is a Kalloy Guizzo
The BB has been replaced twice since purchase
The chain is a SRAM PC-58
I've used five different cassettes trying to find my best gearing, but the orginal cassette has been worn out and now adorns a shop wall I don't work at anymore.
Wheels? I still have the factory orginal RSX hubs laced to Mavic CXP 23 rims, but I also have a set of Shimano 600 hubs laced to Mavic Open Pro rims and a newly aquired Roval areo wheelset that uses a freewheel.

So is that custom?
DieselDan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-20-07, 12:07 AM   #12
CdCf
Videre non videri
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Gothenburg, Sweden
Bikes: 1 road bike (simple, light), 1 TT bike (could be more aero, could be lighter), 1 all-weather commuter and winter bike, 1 Monark 828E ergometer indoor bike
Posts: 3,208
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
To me, custom = a bike that is not a stock model found in a catalogue (also excluding custom options listed for a model, such as a groupset option or a choice of wheelset). Even stock frames could be perfect for the vast majority of riders, so to disqualify a custom bike build as custom simply because there was no need to make a specific frame, is just silly!
CdCf is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-20-07, 02:26 AM   #13
neilwheel
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Bikes:
Posts: 21
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by DieselDan View Post
To confuse the argument, I have a 56cm Cannondale 2.8 frame. It started life, and my ownership, as a stock R500 of 1995 vintage. The only original factory installed components are the right/rear brifter, the left crank arm, and the right crank arm and spider.

Both derailers are Shimano 105 (5600)
The front shifter is a Suntour downtube.
The front brake lever is a Shimano RSX
The brakes are Shimano Ultegra (6600)
The chainrings are now Sugino 30/40/50
The headset is now Campagnolo Record (1" threaded)
The fork is now Nashbar carbon fiber (only 1" threaded steerer I could find)
The seatpost is a Kalloy Guizzo
The BB has been replaced twice since purchase
The chain is a SRAM PC-58
I've used five different cassettes trying to find my best gearing, but the orginal cassette has been worn out and now adorns a shop wall I don't work at anymore.
Wheels? I still have the factory orginal RSX hubs laced to Mavic CXP 23 rims, but I also have a set of Shimano 600 hubs laced to Mavic Open Pro rims and a newly aquired Roval areo wheelset that uses a freewheel.

So is that custom?
I wouldn't call it "custom".

It's more of a "bitsa"...."bitsa this, bitsa that". It never started out as what most people would call "custom"....
neilwheel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-20-07, 02:44 AM   #14
cs1
Senior Member
 
cs1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Clev Oh
Bikes: Specialized, Schwinn
Posts: 6,705
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 34 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by DieselDan View Post
So is that custom?
No, it's custom. It's customized.

A bike like that might be called a semi custom.


Tim
cs1 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-20-07, 02:48 AM   #15
Deconstruction
professional failure
 
Deconstruction's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Cleveland,Ohio
Bikes: Fully custom, ask me about details sometime.
Posts: 42
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
That depends, custom bike? custom frame? you know. If you said custom bike my first thought would be that this person selected each one of the components and the frame themselves. But if you said something like custom parts or frame I'm prone to thinking that person probably either modified or fabricated either of which if not both.
Deconstruction is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-20-07, 03:41 AM   #16
neilwheel
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Bikes:
Posts: 21
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by cs1 View Post
No, it's custom. It's customized.

A bike like that might be called a semi custom.


Tim
So, by that line of thinking, a bike that started out as a stock model and has been maintained/repaired over its lifetime, maybe has a cassette swapped out to get another gear or two, becomes a custom bike in the process?
neilwheel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-20-07, 08:38 AM   #17
Steve Hamlin
Loco Motive Member
 
Steve Hamlin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Bikes:
Posts: 165
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I'd say only frame up build is truly custom.

Consider how we talk about a custom-made suit. Alterations are pretty well a give with any off-the-rack suit. But that doesn't make it a custom suit, does it?
__________________
Roll away the dew!
Steve Hamlin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-20-07, 01:27 PM   #18
MKahrl
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Columbus, Ohio
Bikes: Rivendell A.Homer Hilsen, Paramount P13, (4) Falcon bicycles, Mondia Special, Rodriguez Tandem
Posts: 1,030
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
As things stand now custom frames are primarily steel with some titanium, possibly aluminum but I can't say I've heard of a custom carbon fiber frame.

Custom frames are often lighter because a production frame has to be strong enough to support the very heaviest rider who might buy that size frame. Being lighter isn't that important but using light double butted tubes that match the rider often makes for a resilient frame that has a nice ride.
MKahrl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-20-07, 01:52 PM   #19
Bob Ross
your god hates me
 
Bob Ross's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Bikes:
Posts: 3,230
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 35 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by UmneyDurak View Post
when someone builds a frame specifically for you

That's the definition that works best for me. I don't care so much about whether or not *I* specify the design or the dimensions or the angle or the components; I'd be just as happy to defer most of those decisions to the builder (presuming of course that the builder understands my wants, needs, intended uses, riding style etc). To me a "custom" bike is when the builder goes into his shop in the morning and says to himself "Today I will work on Bob Ross' bike" and every decision he makes about the work he does on that bike is based on what he knows about *me*.
Bob Ross is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-20-07, 01:55 PM   #20
Bob Ross
your god hates me
 
Bob Ross's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Bikes:
Posts: 3,230
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 35 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bushman View Post
Custom = hand cut tubing, hand welded (not robot welded), hand cut threads, hand faced headtube/bb shell...

To me that's not custom, that's just hand-built. It's purely by coincidence (as well as prudent economics) that all hand-built bicycles are also custom-built. But from a purely semantic stance, the two can be mutually exclusive.
Bob Ross is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-20-07, 01:59 PM   #21
Bob Ross
your god hates me
 
Bob Ross's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Bikes:
Posts: 3,230
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 35 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by MKahrl View Post
I can't say I've heard of a custom carbon fiber frame.

Parlee
Crumpton
Calfee
I think some of the Aegis models can be "custom" ...though that gets back to how one defines "custom"
Bob Ross is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-20-07, 02:14 PM   #22
caloso
Packfodding 3
 
caloso's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Sacramento, California, USA
Bikes: Ridley Excalibur, Gazelle Champion Mondial, On-One Pompino, Specialized Rock Hopper
Posts: 34,111
Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 250 Post(s)
Steve Rex is now making CF frames too. They're gorgeous.

Anyway, I agree with Bob and Umney: a custom is when the frame is built specifically for you according to your body and riding style.

As for a bike that's been built up with components specifically chosen by the rider, all my bikes are like that. I wouldn't call those customs. How about "hand-assembled" ?
caloso is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-20-07, 04:43 PM   #23
HDFACTORYCERTIF
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: mountains
Bikes: Alex Singer+ cheap mountain bike
Posts: 117
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Custom?
http://s170.photobucket.com/albums/u...t=singer21.jpg
HDFACTORYCERTIF is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-20-07, 05:09 PM   #24
UmneyDurak
RacingBear
 
UmneyDurak's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: NorCal
Bikes:
Posts: 8,608
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 43 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by caloso View Post
Steve Rex is now making CF frames too. They're gorgeous.

Anyway, I agree with Bob and Umney: a custom is when the frame is built specifically for you according to your body and riding style.

As for a bike that's been built up with components specifically chosen by the rider, all my bikes are like that. I wouldn't call those customs. How about "hand-assembled" ?
Check out this bike (not mine):

UmneyDurak is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-21-07, 12:18 AM   #25
CdCf
Videre non videri
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Gothenburg, Sweden
Bikes: 1 road bike (simple, light), 1 TT bike (could be more aero, could be lighter), 1 all-weather commuter and winter bike, 1 Monark 828E ergometer indoor bike
Posts: 3,208
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
So, what is a "custom" car, then? One that is hand welded with driver's position adjusted for one specific individual? Or just a stock car chassis with all or a majority of all other parts picked and chosen at the whim of the builder?

Again, to me, anything that isn't stock is custom.

Quote:
Main entry: 2custom
Function: adjective
Date: 1830
1 : made or performed according to personal order
says Merriam-Webster.com...
CdCf is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:54 PM.