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Thread: Custom?

  1. #1
    Retrogrouch in Training bostontrevor's Avatar
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    Custom?

    Help! I've been on one too (or is that one two) many rides with jrowedc and his pretty pretty Kalavinka. It has me jonesing for a custom of my own pretty badly. Please, talk me down from the ledge. Tell me there's a perfectly fine off-the-peg offering for half the price.

    What I want is a track-like frame. I haven't decided if I want true track angles or if I'd like to relax them a little. In theory, I'd prefer a slightly less upright geometry and maybe slightly longer chainstays for better climbing. In practice, my old Fuji has a pretty true track geometry (pretty much the same as the current Track Pro, in fact) and I'm quite happy with it. In any event, I want to keep a tall bottom bracket which many non-track frames don't have.

    I want a drilled fork though I'm thinking brakeless bridge out back. I want bottle mounts, clearance for fat tires and fenders if I want, eyelets and braze-ons for a rack should I so desire, as well. I would like to be able to turn this thing into a light tourer if the mood strikes me.

    I think good guy Mike Flanigan could hook me up for $1100 (I want a custom color, mang).

    Does such a beast exist retail? Am I really just wanting to buy a bike built for me and me alone? Save me, BikeForums!

  2. #2
    Radio Bemba 00.0 EnLaCalle's Avatar
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    I feel your pain BT. Back when that Jonnycycles thread was up, I just about lost my mind and came super close to throwing down a deposit immediately. But somehow, I talked myself out of it and think, in the end, i'm better off for it.

    I don't understand why you want all that "stuff" on a bike that's tracky...

    I'm just a simple man, but if I were you, I would build up a Surly Crosscheck (or something similar... there's the occasional SMOKING deals on Nashbar brand touring frame... there's a great thread about it by regularguy in the touring forum) and make it fixed. The only thing the crosscheck lacks for your needs is the high BB and track geo.

    Then, I would get a straight-up track as all hell custom track frame, smooth as a youngin's backside, sans holes.

    Like I said. I feel your pain. The custom-lust is a slippery slope. Mind ye well and be careful

  3. #3
    downtube shifter Jose R's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bostontrevor
    What I want is a track-like frame. I haven't decided if I want true track angles or if I'd like to relax them a little. In theory, I'd prefer a slightly less upright geometry and maybe slightly longer chainstays for better climbing. In practice, my old Fuji has a pretty true track geometry (pretty much the same as the current Track Pro, in fact) and I'm quite happy with it. In any event, I want to keep a tall bottom bracket which many non-track frames don't have.

    I think good guy Mike Flanigan could hook me up for $1100 (I want a custom color, mang).
    Slightly longer chainstays will be slower on climbs than short chainstays. The benefit of longer chainstays is it lengthens the wheelbase which will give you a more comfortable ride over most terrain. But, it won't get you over a hill quicker.

    My recommedation is find a frame with 73/74 degree angles. ~41cm chainstay length. ~6.0cm BB drop. And a fork with a 40mm rake.

    Many custom builders will have semi-custom frames in various ready to go sizes, with an upcharge for true custom.

    DeSalvo : Columbus Zona for $975

    Rich Adams : Deda Tres for $800

  4. #4
    Retrogrouch in Training bostontrevor's Avatar
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    Longer chainstays prevent the front wheel from lifting on in-the-saddle climbs. They also give you a more stable ride at speed.

    Those other bikes look nice, but those prices approach what I'd be looking at if I went with an ANT, so it doesn't really help me with my dilemma.

    Call me plain jane, but personally I like the look of a bike that's ready for heavy duty. Eyelets and brazeons don't make you go slower and don't make the bike handle differently, so why not have them except for silly aesthetic fetishism?

  5. #5
    downtube shifter Jose R's Avatar
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    Longer chainstays do not prevent front end wobble during climbs. Proper weight distribution keeps your front wheel glued to the ground. I personally have never encountered front end lift while climbing, regardless of steepness.

    If you are a tall rider and use a setback seatpost with your weight on the back wheel and use a short stem (<120mm) and grip the tops of the bars, yes you will do wheelies going up a climb. Just fix your position on the bike.

    From Technical Q&A with Lennard Zinn from Inside Triathlon

    Big guys on bikes
    Dear Lennard,
    As the specialist in bicycles for tall people, I wonder if you have any thoughts about how to tame an unruly front end on a 64cm frame?

    I am 6 foot 4 and ride a Colnago Master Olympic with a straight steel fork, an ITM Goccia quill. The quill diameter is 22.2mm, length is 120mm with 76 deg rise. When climbing, I like to sit up and ride with my hands on the tops of the bars. When I do, the front end gets squirrelly, as if the bike wants to pull a wheelie. No problems when I am riding on the hooks or in the drops.

    I've tried riding with my hands spread wide apart, but the front end still feels "light." What can I do to address this problem?
    David

    Dear David,
    Tall bikes under tall riders have a tendency to feel light on the front end, especially if the top tube is too short. It is a weight distribution problem, and I can explain why it happens more to taller riders. In general, road frames from a given company tend to have the same chainstay length for all sizes of a given model. Furthermore, the seat tube on the bigger frames is not only longer, but it is usually also tilted back at a shallower angle.

    This means that your butt is higher and further back over the rear wheel, effectively placing your center of gravity further back relative to the wheels than a shorter rider. Combine this with insufficient reach to the bars for the taller rider relative to the shorter one, and you have a bike that will pull wheelies when you climb holding onto the bar tops.

    With this bike, I suggest deeply bending your elbows and lowering your chest when climbing to put more weight on the bars. It's not ideal to be forced to do this, but you actually will work your glutes more as a benefit.

    You might also try the free frame fit calculator on my Web site: www.zinncycles.com, to see if you have a relatively short top tube and stem, in which case you could increase your stem length and help it a bit.

    Lowering your stem will also help, but that may not be ideal, since tall riders on stock frames generally have relatively more drop to the bars from the saddle than shorter riders.
    Lennard
    And stability at speed is dependent on trail and BB drop. The lower the BB drop the more stable the ride. The longer the trail is the more stable the ride.

    You may encounter problems with stability, balance and COG if you use a frame with a high BB and then proceed to dump weight on it through racks and bags. Doesn't Rivendell have a write-up on this?

    So, what's wrong with the Kogswell Model G then? I assume the low BB and slack seat angle?

  6. #6
    Frankly, Mr. Shankly absntr's Avatar
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    I was about to suggest the Model G as well. Sounds about right - I suppose the low BB as Jose suggested?

    I may also throw Bob Jackson out there as well. Their off the peg Vigorelly is about $650 shipped from the UK and the last time I talked to them about two months ago, the wait was about 10 weeks. Not bad and you get choice of paint color, lug pinstriping and decal.

    Also: "Fully cast bottom bracket shell, crown & dropouts, also comes with 1 set of bottle fittings, drilled for front brake & takes 19-28mm tyres. Available with mudguard fittings for winter use at no extra cost if required."

    http://www.bobjacksoncycles.co.uk/pr...roducts_id=307

  7. #7
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    Check out Terraferma cycles: www.terrafermacycles.com

    Columbus Brain track frames start at $625.

  8. #8
    Slow in traffic Paul And Pista's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jose R
    Rich Adams : Deda Tres for $800
    Wooo... I never heard of Rich Adams. And he's pretty close, too. He's going on my list. Thanks!

  9. #9
    The normal school
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    I say get a frame (non custom) and have it painted your custom color. You can even get decals saying "Custom Built for Trevor" and no one except for you and the painter will ever know. After a while you may even fool yourself.
    Now if you were rich....Independent Fabrications is a sweet local company offering Titanium...

  10. #10
    spin The LT's Avatar
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    I know this is off topic but what is the point of the curved chain stays on some of the bob jackson models ( http://www.bobjacksoncycles.co.uk/pr...products_id=95 ) ? I like them no matter what the purpose.

  11. #11
    downtube shifter Jose R's Avatar
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    Curved chain stays are old school stylin' from Hetchins.


    See this discussion on the frame builders forum.

    Johnny Coast showed me one his showpiece frames in his studio which had those kind of curvy stays. It looked real pretty.

    But, from my understanding, they are flexy. Which is ok, if you understand what you are going after in frame design. But, not ok if you want a stiff track frame.

    Edit: Also, David Kirk does some nice work with curved seat stays:


  12. #12
    Dog is my co-pilot 2manybikes's Avatar
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    If you are drowning in a sea of bike lust, please allow me to hand you a 100lb anchor. Sorry.

    The new Cycling Plus magazine has an article about three off the shelf fixed bikes sold in the UK. The new Fuji is one of them, an On One "IL pompino" and a Setavento custom Ti bike. Just thought you might like it. Some good information in it.

    Have you talked to Circle A? I think you can get what you want very reasonably, but I would invest in paint from another source.

  13. #13
    Retrogrouch in Training bostontrevor's Avatar
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    I'd forgotten about the Vigorelli. That should give me just about everthing I want for a not-too-bad price. Part of me is simply in love with the idea of a bike crafted just for me, it's pure luxury. A repaint won't give me that same feeling. I also like the idea that I can just roll down to Holliston one day and talk things over with the guy or swing by and pick it up myself. It's not entirely rational.

    And frankly, I have no doubt that Mike can build as good a bike as anyone at IF. I mean he was their welder and painter back in the day. Ti? I guess it's probably nice, but I don't really yearn for it. Paint and a round of Frame Saver is all it needs. This would be a nice day ride, I'd keep the beater for crappy weather.

    I may have a life choice coming up in the next few days that will help inform this decision.
    Last edited by bostontrevor; 09-08-05 at 12:57 PM.

  14. #14
    Senior Member auroch's Avatar
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    You're right custom bikes are terrible.

    I got Thylacine to build me a custom road bike and
    it pisses me off how amazing it is. I can't get over
    how comfortable it is and how I made no compromises.

    what pisses me off is that now I can't go back to
    stock and now I want a custom fix-gear too.

    "Custom bikes: so awesome you'll want to off yourself"

    jeff

  15. #15
    Senior Member
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    That cracks me up, but it's so true. My first custom bike has only convinced me that I need another custom bike, but it will be a road bike.

  16. #16
    Make it a Single Speed! wasabiboys's Avatar
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    dude got with a Indy Fabrie....sick bike!

  17. #17
    ganbatte! sashae's Avatar
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    Jose, I was just going to post about kirk as well. If I ever get a custom, I'm getting one from him... Unbelievable.







    Sadly, it's probably like $2500, but man... SO hot.

    -s

  18. #18
    MADE IN TAIWAN wangster's Avatar
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    those curved chainstays are amazing. Those kirks are beautiful. I've always thought Vanillas were creame of the crop and still do, but since getting into fixed, I've been steering more towards somthing like jonnycycles or even a Mercian. I need a job that pays more...
    "Oh, I see. Running away, eh? You yellow bastard. Come back here and take what's coming to you. I'll bite your legs off."

  19. #19
    Retrogrouch in Training bostontrevor's Avatar
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    Idunno. I think the work that goes into that kind of ornate stuff is amazing. I think Hetchins are just astounding. I just don't think I want to ride something like that.

    It's like living in a baroque villa, way too much going on. I'm a more subdued person. If I want flash, it's going to be accents, like a pearlescent paint job or nervex-style lugs.

  20. #20
    MADE IN TAIWAN wangster's Avatar
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    Wow, I just checked out the KIRK website, those are some beautiful bikes.

    Does weight make a difference with seatstays like that? I don't weigh that much so would it affect me as much as someone that's 175? Or is it completely impractical for actually velo racing?
    "Oh, I see. Running away, eh? You yellow bastard. Come back here and take what's coming to you. I'll bite your legs off."

  21. #21
    terminate THIS! Col. Kurtz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wangster
    Wow, I just checked out the KIRK website, those are some beautiful bikes.

    Does weight make a difference with seatstays like that? I don't weigh that much so would it affect me as much as someone that's 175? Or is it completely impractical for actually velo racing?
    If i am mistaken, please let me know, but I didnt see any track bikes on the Kirk site.
    Theres lots of other builders that make pretty, performance designed machines like http://rexcycles.com/
    and http://www.rocklobstercycles.com/ and http://www.davidsonbicycles.com/html/home.shtml
    and what about http://donwalkercycles.com/ , theres plennty of builders who make supernice rigs.

    Walt
    are you an assassin?

  22. #22
    ganbatte! sashae's Avatar
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    Kirk does build fix -- the seat cluster below is from a fixed frame he built.


  23. #23
    MADE IN TAIWAN wangster's Avatar
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    I love that image... Those lugs are the most beautiful I've seen, don't see those kind around. I'm loving this thread because I'm discovering builders I've never even heard of before, a great eye opener. Now I just need to sell a few organs to pay for a frame... kidney anyone?
    "Oh, I see. Running away, eh? You yellow bastard. Come back here and take what's coming to you. I'll bite your legs off."

  24. #24
    terminate THIS! Col. Kurtz's Avatar
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    If you want to see nice lugs, try going here http://www.bikelugs.com/pacentigallery/index.html where there is a whole page setup of nothing but framebuilders and lugshots
    Try going here http://vintagecyclestudios.com/ for some of the best lugs and paintjobs and go here http://www.cwo.com/~lunarlab/1800pic.htm and here http://www.cwo.com/~lunarlab/3200pic.htm for some kickbutt lugwrk.
    The carving is nice, but my fave is the simple, clean lines of this http://spectrum-cycles.com/53.htm
    are you an assassin?

  25. #25
    Just tighten everything
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    You know, the relevancy of the term 'bike pr0n' doesn't really sink in until someone points to a site with 'nice lugs' and you proceed to spend thirty minutes at work wishing you had a bike with lugs that nice.

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