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Old 01-08-09, 12:12 AM   #1
Wildwood
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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?
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Old 01-08-09, 12:30 AM   #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
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Old 01-08-09, 08:37 AM   #3
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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
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Old 01-08-09, 10:00 AM   #4
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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
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.
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Old 01-08-09, 10:05 AM   #5
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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
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.
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Old 01-08-09, 10:14 AM   #6
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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.
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Old 01-08-09, 10:46 AM   #7
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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?
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Old 01-08-09, 02:50 PM   #8
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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
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Old 01-08-09, 03:26 PM   #9
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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?
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Old 01-08-09, 04:01 PM   #10
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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.

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Old 01-08-09, 04:13 PM   #11
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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.
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Old 01-08-09, 05:13 PM   #12
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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 -
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Old 01-08-09, 11:21 PM   #13
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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.
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Old 01-09-09, 12:26 PM   #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.
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Old 01-09-09, 12:48 PM   #15
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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
wow, i had no idea a custom frame could be so (relatively) cheap!

any idea what the turn-around for Curtlo is like?
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Old 01-09-09, 12:55 PM   #16
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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.
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Old 01-09-09, 02:21 PM   #17
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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
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Old 01-09-09, 02:35 PM   #18
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Old 01-09-09, 04:45 PM   #19
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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.
I had not heard of him before -- has he always been a one-person operation? Has he built bikes for other folks?
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Old 01-09-09, 07:50 PM   #20
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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).
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Old 01-09-09, 08:30 PM   #21
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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
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Old 01-09-09, 09:17 PM   #22
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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
I think this new brand of bike available in Seattle - the Baron - is made in Yakima

http://www.baronbicycles.com/order.htm
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Old 01-10-09, 12:44 AM   #23
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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.
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Old 01-10-09, 12:51 AM   #24
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http://www.simplebicycleco.com/
this was the one i was talking about nice guy builds a wide range of frames
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Old 01-12-09, 01:40 PM   #25
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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:

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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!
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