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Singlespeed & Fixed Gear "I still feel that variable gears are only for people over forty-five. Isn't it better to triumph by the strength of your muscles than by the artifice of a derailer? We are getting soft...As for me, give me a fixed gear!"-- Henri Desgrange (31 January 1865 - 16 August 1940)

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Old 05-14-06, 10:59 AM   #1
ImOnCrank
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I've been meaning to do this for a long time

Ok so it's been two weeks and two days since it arrived and I haven't posted a damned thing but I'm finally off my bike for long enough to post.

As you may or may not remember I put down a deposit for a custom bike by Barrie Witcomb, the last framebuilder in London a few months ago. After around 7 weeks of anticipation my bike arrived to my absolute elation. Although the process didn't go exactly how I wanted it to, the final product is the best damned thing to happen to me besides moving to London for a year. She's absolutely spectacular to ride and from the first second I got on her I knew that I had made the right decision. I'll spare the minutiae here as I've posted her on velospace http://velospace.org/node/398 but the long and short of it is that it's so damned sweet to me. As for prices the whole frame and fork including the custom lug paint, zeus crown, cicloitalia lugset, and upgraded tubing was £550 or about $1010 and it took 7.5 weeks from start to finish.

The only thing I'm thinking about tinkering with is the bartape/saddle combo and trying to score an old school track tubular wheelset. As of right now I have a Selle Campionissmo with fizik synthetic perforated leather tape (see pics) but I'm thinking about swapping it out for a brown brooks professional and brooks leather tape. Any suggestions?

Anyways, thanks to Barrie Witcomb for building me this bike and I strongly, strongly reccommend him to anyone looking to get a custom frame built. If you're toying with the idea I definitely say go for it and don't look back.
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Old 05-14-06, 11:04 AM   #2
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super hot. the brown saddle and tape might look more "classic," but the white accents are hot too. gotta love it.
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Old 05-14-06, 11:08 AM   #3
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If the white stays more or less white, it's way hotter than brown, IMHO. Esp. as the bike has white decals.
Congrats.
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Old 05-14-06, 11:23 AM   #4
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Super nice -- classy.I like the white since it matches the lugs.

On a side note and not to stir the pot or anything -- what do you mean by "Although the process didn't go exactly how I wanted it to"? I think I remember the old post where you might have alluded to something like so but was just curious.

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Old 05-14-06, 11:32 AM   #5
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i have some track tubular rims you might like.
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Old 05-14-06, 11:37 AM   #6
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Thanks everyone.

As for the process, there were lots of unsure points in the entire thing. First of all, I felt like I could have been sized a little bit more completely although that turned out to be a false worry. 2nd of all I didn't want 631 for the main triangle. I couldn't afford the 853 (although damn do i wish i could have) so I asked him for graduated (as in not stepped) colombus tubing. Barrie is a busy guy so he wasn't the best at getting back to me and I had to call him a few times a week to get any info out about tubes or updates and it turned out that he just went with a blend of 631 and some form of colombus. I still don't know exactly what it is but logic leads me to nivachrome. He didn't keep on top of the enameler so it stayed there, unpainted, for almost a month, and in general Barrie sort of gave vague answers to my questions about geometry and lug work.

However, after this entirely bad sounding review, I have to say that I wasn't all that uncomfortable without knowing these things because Barrie has been building for 40 years and taught people like Richard Sachs (for a while) and others and I trusted his ability to put together a bike. Fortunately my trust was well placed and the whole thing came out perfectly. Even better than I expected with the addition of the Zeus crown. Damn is that thing sweet. Just gotta grab some model paint and finish the job on her.
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Old 05-14-06, 11:42 AM   #7
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keep the white
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Old 05-14-06, 12:01 PM   #8
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I wish I were still in London so that you could be riding me as well as this. Jealousy is tearing my chest apart like a beast fighting a dragon. Stay away from bus stops with this one
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Old 05-14-06, 12:03 PM   #9
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Yeah, a show Witcomb some love thread.

IOCs bike is very very sweet; Barrie really knows how to build but his customer service is a little dodgy. Hes a little unorganised at times.

I got Witcomb to build me a custom fork, and it really changed the whole way my bike feels. My tired ol' ride now feels lively and new again.

Sadly Witcomb doesn't have a website, which is a shame as I think they do great work and he's the last frame builder in London.

But theres a 'fan' site here: http://www.freewebs.com/barriewitcombcycles/
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Old 05-14-06, 12:07 PM   #10
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Quack you know I'll always love to ride you with the fury of the storm on a black winter's night. Unfortunately you're not as tight as the bike.
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Old 05-14-06, 12:10 PM   #11
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My lack of tightness is definitely your fault...you are huge
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Old 05-14-06, 12:14 PM   #12
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True true.
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Old 05-14-06, 01:12 PM   #13
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Just cut the bar tape down so it only covers the bottom of the drops. Much better now. I'm definitely sticking with the white.

Is it weird that I sit in my room just staring watery-eyed at my bike? Don't answer that.
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Old 05-14-06, 01:26 PM   #14
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don't you have that silver rap too? this looks massively bigger.

killer crown, btw
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Old 05-14-06, 09:56 PM   #15
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mikey, is that really you? are you back in madison?

jack, awesome bike. i think i'd go with the brooks leather if i were you because i prefer a classic look, but the white is damn classy
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Old 05-15-06, 01:07 AM   #16
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Eddie: yeah I do. The rap is in fact we smaller and the angles aren't as gnarly (I think). It's mad fun to chuck her around but unfortunately the RAP's wee size has been screwing up my knee (or so I think). It's great for sprinting but not so good for 9-10 hour work days on the bike. The witcomb on the other hand just feels perfect and effortless.

Boots: Thanks boss. See you next month?
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Old 05-15-06, 01:26 AM   #17
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I agree with keeping the white saddle and bar tape
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Old 05-15-06, 02:34 AM   #18
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That's a nice bike, although I think the other one with the yellow tyre is a bit nicer...

Those quick photos don't really do justice to this bike. I think that it would look good with a brooks and some leather tape, but it looks damn good at the moment so save the money for the tub wheelset. Model paint on the fork crown is a damn good idea though.
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Old 05-15-06, 06:41 AM   #19
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the whites nice.. nice bike too
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Old 05-15-06, 07:42 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walkercycles
Dont forget JP Weigle...
True true Don. I heard he had something to do with Serotta as well but that may just be unfounded myth.

PS: What yellow bike with a yellow tyre? I thought that was a crane?
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Old 05-15-06, 04:03 PM   #21
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That bike is BEAUTIFUL! I love that color scheme. I don't think you should change it to a black/brown theme.

That black/white is HOT! Real elegant.
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Old 05-15-06, 04:52 PM   #22
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Scored a cam here's some more detail shots
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Head-lugs.jpg (93.9 KB, 15 views)
File Type: jpg BB-Shell.jpg (99.5 KB, 12 views)
File Type: jpg Seat-cluster.jpg (92.9 KB, 15 views)
File Type: jpg Seatpost.jpg (99.0 KB, 10 views)
File Type: jpg Campy-Cranks.jpg (98.4 KB, 6 views)
File Type: jpg Cinelli-bars.jpg (99.4 KB, 12 views)
File Type: jpg Chainline.jpg (98.7 KB, 6 views)
File Type: jpg Witcomb_full.jpg (98.5 KB, 8 views)
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Old 05-15-06, 06:04 PM   #23
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Hot DAMN that is a killer paintjob what with the lugs and all. Very very nice. Glad things worked out well for you.
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