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  1. #1
    Senior Member Wildwood's Avatar
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    Recommend a little known framebuilder?

    Was unpacking from our latest move and ran across a 4130 tubeset and lugs from Henry James. I purchased it about 4 years ago when my son was taking a high school class and his "final project" got aborted. I don't need a new bike but got to thinking about finding a lesser known framebuilder who might do a lugged bike for a modest price, I'm thinking around $500 - $600.

    I live in the Seattle area and work in the Portland area.

    Any recommendations?

  2. #2
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    I don't know if Curtlo in Mazama qualifies as "little known" but he charges $825 for a road frame. Would he do it for $600 if you supplied tubing and lugs? No idea.

    http://www.curtlo.com/pricing.html

  3. #3
    Super Biker Mtn Mike's Avatar
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    Harry Gary out of Spokane. Very small operation, but he makes really nice steel bikes. No website I don't hitnk, but here's some info: http://www.aboutus.org/HairyGary.com

  4. #4
    Senior Member Wildwood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BengeBoy View Post
    I don't know if Curtlo in Mazama qualifies as "little known" but he charges $825 for a road frame. Would he do it for $600 if you supplied tubing and lugs? No idea.

    http://www.curtlo.com/pricing.html
    I have only seen TIGed frames from Curtlo and he is quite a bit out of the I-5 corridor. Tough for me to get to central WA.
    Thanks for the response.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Wildwood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mtn Mike View Post
    Harry Gary out of Spokane. Very small operation, but he makes really nice steel bikes. No website I don't hitnk, but here's some info: http://www.aboutus.org/HairyGary.com
    Thanks, I will call Gary. Never heard of him before.
    Looking for someone near the I-5 corridor and preferably not south of Salem.
    I know, I'm trying to make this too easy for myself.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Wildwood's Avatar
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    Several of my friends have suggested I take a framebuilding course, apparently there is one in Oregon. Work and family issues make that impractical and it's not really an interest.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wildwood View Post
    Thanks, I will call Gary. Never heard of him before.
    Looking for someone near the I-5 corridor and preferably not south of Salem.
    I know, I'm trying to make this too easy for myself.
    There is a small-scale, highly respected framebuilder in Olympia whose name escapes me right now (sorry, I'm embarrassed); I tried to quickly google him last night for you but couldn't find him. I just heard about him a few months ago...I think he does (or used to do) fabrication for other folks but does do frames under his own names. I'm sure one of the clubs/shops in Olympia might know. BF Forum member Flowerblossom lives in Olympia, I think; maybe she would know?

  8. #8
    Sore saddle cyclist Shifty's Avatar
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    If you are interested in Titanium you might contact Vertigo Bicycles in Portland. It's a one man operation and he makes a beautiful frame. Here is his website, it's not a great website, but it does have his contact information and price list.
    http://www.vertigocycles.com/index.html
    Those voices in your head aren't real, but they have some great ideas

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by BengeBoy View Post
    There is a small-scale, highly respected framebuilder in Olympia whose name escapes me right now (sorry, I'm embarrassed); I tried to quickly google him last night for you but couldn't find him. I just heard about him a few months ago...I think he does (or used to do) fabrication for other folks but does do frames under his own names. I'm sure one of the clubs/shops in Olympia might know. BF Forum member Flowerblossom lives in Olympia, I think; maybe she would know?
    Is that Bill Stevenson?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by HardyWeinberg View Post
    Yes, that's who I was thinking of, though in glancing at his price list just now I don't think he's likely to be a candidate at the budget quoted.
    Last edited by BengeBoy; 01-08-09 at 03:09 PM.

  11. #11
    Senior Member late's Avatar
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    You can get a Surly for less than that. They make a good bike. If you are going to a custom guy,
    the tubing is just a part of it; and it would be a bit silly to spend many hundreds of bucks on a custom design; welding up some old 4130.

    What you need to find is an old welder. If you are lucky, he'll be a good one. Ask for very relaxed geometry and that will compensate to a degree for
    minor misalignments in the frame.

    Personally, if you don't know someone who is a magician with a welding torch, I'd contribute the tubes to a welding class.
    We are as gods, we might as well get good at it.
    Stewart Brand

  12. #12
    Senior Member
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    I use Mike O'Brien in the Northgate area of Seattle. A one man shop, like others he's sometimes doing other stuff for a living and frames sometimes take a little time. But you can get almost anything you want. Doesn't hurt to ask. http://www.obriencycles.com/

    Here is the steel he did for me some time ago, which I still use when the Ti isn't right -
    Attached Images Attached Images
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]TITANIUM BIKE CLUB #015

  13. #13
    sss
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    Wow, I had no idea that O'Brien was still building bicycles. I ride an O'Brien that I bought in 1986.

  14. #14
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    Hey, we could start a club! Mine is from 1990 IIRC. Later I added Ti and he can't do Ti. I need a CF bike now to round out the stable.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]TITANIUM BIKE CLUB #015

  15. #15
    **** that mattm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BengeBoy View Post
    I don't know if Curtlo in Mazama qualifies as "little known" but he charges $825 for a road frame. Would he do it for $600 if you supplied tubing and lugs? No idea.

    http://www.curtlo.com/pricing.html
    wow, i had no idea a custom frame could be so (relatively) cheap!

    any idea what the turn-around for Curtlo is like?
    cat 1.

    blog

  16. #16
    Whistler-bound dminor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mtn Mike View Post
    Hairy Gary out of Spokane. Very small operation, but he makes really nice steel bikes. No website I don't hitnk, but here's some info: http://www.aboutus.org/HairyGary.com
    I'll second Gary "Hairy Gary" Selner - - great guy and real skookum builder. Gary is a full-time machinist who does bikes on the side and is well-known and well-respected around here by everyone from elite triathletes to downhillers.

  17. #17
    Senior Member swc7916's Avatar
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    There's a guy in Sequim named Mitch LaMoure that I found on the web. Don't know anything about him, though.

    http://www.lamourebikes.com/index.html

  18. #18
    My tank takes chocolate. FlowerBlossom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HardyWeinberg View Post
    Beat me to it.
    Feminism is the profound notion that women are human beings.

  19. #19
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by sss View Post
    Wow, I had no idea that O'Brien was still building bicycles. I ride an O'Brien that I bought in 1986.
    I had not heard of him before -- has he always been a one-person operation? Has he built bikes for other folks?

  20. #20
    Senior Member Wildwood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mattm View Post
    wow, i had no idea a custom frame could be so (relatively) cheap!
    any idea what the turn-around for Curtlo is like?
    I know a guy in Portland that has purchased 4 Curtlos over the years. Not sure of the turnaround but I think historically it has been 10 weeks or less. The dozen or so frames I've seen have had good workmanship and every owner had positive comments.

    His shop is in a small town north of Wenatchee WA (I think).

  21. #21
    Just a student norsehabanero's Avatar
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    there is a frame builder out of yakima his name is oscar his company simple bicycles
    not sure what he charges but does nice work
    http://www.thebicyclingguitarist.net.../bios/bike.gif about to start winter quarter , enjoying school so far

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by norsehabanero View Post
    there is a frame builder out of yakima his name is oscar his company simple bicycles
    not sure what he charges but does nice work
    I think this new brand of bike available in Seattle - the Baron - is made in Yakima

    http://www.baronbicycles.com/order.htm

  23. #23
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by BengeBoy View Post
    I had not heard of him before -- has he always been a one-person operation? Has he built bikes for other folks?
    Don't recall where he "apprenticed," he's from Tacoma originally. AFAIK one man with occasional assistants when business warrants. In the late eighties, he was producing customs and semi customs for Gregg's Greenlake for a while and local racers/buffs.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]TITANIUM BIKE CLUB #015

  24. #24
    Just a student norsehabanero's Avatar
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    http://www.simplebicycleco.com/
    this was the one i was talking about nice guy builds a wide range of frames
    http://www.thebicyclingguitarist.net.../bios/bike.gif about to start winter quarter , enjoying school so far

  25. #25
    **** that mattm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BengeBoy View Post
    I think this new brand of bike available in Seattle - the Baron - is made in Yakima

    http://www.baronbicycles.com/order.htm
    they have a great blurb on the site:

    If we sell you this frame - you better do it justice and put good stuff on it. If I find you with an Alex wheelset, Tektro brakes, and 8sp Ultegra components circa 1994 I will phyisically take the bike back. This frame is too nice for that sh[1]t.
    lol!
    cat 1.

    blog

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