Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 60
  1. #1
    Zen Master Miles2go's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    On the water in Western Washington
    My Bikes
    More than a few.
    Posts
    862
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Custom Touring Bikes - Builders Honor Roll

    The following list covers field-proven custom built touring bicycles; where the frameset is made to order(custom sizing, tubing angles, etc.), depending on the needs and wishes of the customer.

    The definition of "touring bike" for purposes of this resource is defined…well, by the bicycle industry. A touring bike is one that has eyelets for racks and fenders, a longer wheelbase and affords touring tire widths, etc. They are that bikes that most frame builders call "touring bikes", not to be confused with a any other custom made bicycle that someone happens to tour on.

    To attempt in keeping the list useful to those in search of custom touring bikes, the following criteria(which may evolve) are set for list inclusion:

    1) Known recent experience over several years in providing custom-framed touring bikes for customers.
    2) Demonstrated successful use by many happy owners who have toured on the frames/bikes.
    3) Currently offer at least one, if not a range of proven touring models and custom builds.
    4) If the builder has a website, the homepage really should include the touring bikes offered and/or built.

    This list is being built and will be added to and subtracted from as needed.

    In alphabetical order to make it fair and quick to reference:

    ANT Bicycles | www.antbikemike.wordpress.com - US
    Arvon Cycles | Alberta Canada (no website)
    Baum Cycles | www.baumcycles.com - AU
    Bike Friday | www.bikefriday.com - US
    Bilenky Cycle Works | www.bilenky.com - US
    Bruce Gordon Cycles | www.bgcycles.com/rocknroad.html - US
    Chapman Cycles | www.chapmancycles.com - US
    Co-Motion Cycles | www.co-motion.com - US
    Dave Yates Cycles | www.daveyatescycles.co.uk - UK (frames only)
    Ellis Cycles | www.elliscycles.com - US
    Gunnar Bikes | www.gunnarbikes.com - US
    Hewitt | www.hewittcycles.co.uk/hewitt - UK
    Lynskey | www.lynskeyperformance.com - US
    Mercian Cycles | www.merciancycles.co.uk - UK
    Patria | www.patria.net/en/home/ - DE
    Rex Cycles | www.rexcycles.com - US
    Rivendell Bicycle Works | www.rivbike.com - US
    Roberts Cycles | www.robertscycles.com - UK
    Rodriguez Cycles | www.rodbikes.com - US
    Seven Cycles | www.sevencycles.com - US
    True North Cycles | www.truenorthcycles.com - CAN
    Van Nicholas | www.vannicholas.com - NL
    Waterford | www.waterfordbikes.com - US

    ****** Thanks to the above builders of custom touring bikes and custom touring bike frames!!!!!!!! Thanks for supporting the touring community and we all hope that you will keep it up!******


    Cheers!
    Last edited by Miles2go; 08-12-14 at 07:36 PM.
    Ron - Washington
    The Loaded Touring Bike - Photo Gallery
    Since 2005 - Worldwide - No Ads - Just Inspiration

  2. #2
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    NW,Oregon Coast
    My Bikes
    7
    Posts
    1,432
    Mentioned
    32 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Skipped Gordon and Beckman and British French and German builders and a few in Japan.

    Bikeschool.com has an extensive list of builders and industry addresses..

    http://www.bikeschool.com/resources/bike-industry-links


    a '75 DIY lugged build at the Community college art department metals studios &

    '90 I worked with the guy at HPM in C.A.T. Oregon, to build Mine .. Cargo bike and Burly tandem materials .
    Last edited by fietsbob; 08-08-14 at 11:44 AM.

  3. #3
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    I ride where the thylacine roamed!
    My Bikes
    Lots
    Posts
    39,172
    Mentioned
    36 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    What about Marinoni?
    Cycles Marinoni
    http://www.labicycletta.ca/cycles-ma...rld-meets-new/

    They've got standard products, but they also do custom builds.

  4. #4
    Zen Master Miles2go's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    On the water in Western Washington
    My Bikes
    More than a few.
    Posts
    862
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Didn't "skip" anyone. It's a fluid list which will be built upon, and taken away from if justified. Had to get out on my walk on the beach before sunset and felt those 5 where enough to get the ball rolling. It will be collective experience and knowledge that shapes this list, so I'm certainly not claiming to know them all…but I want all who meet the criteria to be among those held in this regard…worldwide if possible.

    Couple of questions about Bruce Gordon before I can add this builder. I know they offer a couple of solid touring bikes but thought they were *not* custom specced frames. Are they?
    Ron - Washington
    The Loaded Touring Bike - Photo Gallery
    Since 2005 - Worldwide - No Ads - Just Inspiration

  5. #5
    Zen Master Miles2go's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    On the water in Western Washington
    My Bikes
    More than a few.
    Posts
    862
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    What about Marinoni?
    Cycles Marinoni
    Cycles Marinoni - Old World Meets New | La Bicycletta

    They've got standard products, but they also do custom builds.
    Custom builds, as in part swaps or custom touring frames? I know the Turismo line is offered to tourers but will they make me a 55/57 if I need it to go see France? Change the location of the mid-fork rack mount? Etc.? Thanks.
    Ron - Washington
    The Loaded Touring Bike - Photo Gallery
    Since 2005 - Worldwide - No Ads - Just Inspiration

  6. #6
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    NW,Oregon Coast
    My Bikes
    7
    Posts
    1,432
    Mentioned
    32 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Bruce got a batch of frames thru TW contractors to try to compete with Surly And everyone else that contracts out the frames

    But has always been a Custom BTO shop since the 70s in Eugene.


    Berthoud in France ..
    ask the Trade sections of the French and other countries Embassies , yourself ..

    Just about anyone who builds frames will take on modifications to your existing stuff, and built to your desires.

    Dave Yates-M Steel was running in 1991*. now they sell other people's bikes, run a retail shop , not make their own,at last check.

    * they did a quick fabrication of a front mini-rack .. for me then,
    as I passed thru Tyneside on my way to a ferry to Norway
    Last edited by fietsbob; 08-07-14 at 12:11 PM.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    131
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Miles2go View Post
    Couple of questions about Bruce Gordon before I can add this builder. I know they offer a couple of solid touring bikes but thought they were *not* custom specced frames. Are they?
    I have built Custom bikes of all kinds - including Touring frames since 1976.
    Regards,
    Bruce Gordon
    Bruce Gordon Cycles
    Bruce Gordon Cycles | Hand Made Touring Bikes, Racks & Custom Cantilever Brakes

  8. #8
    Zen Master Miles2go's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    On the water in Western Washington
    My Bikes
    More than a few.
    Posts
    862
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Thanks Bruce. Added.
    Ron - Washington
    The Loaded Touring Bike - Photo Gallery
    Since 2005 - Worldwide - No Ads - Just Inspiration

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Philly
    My Bikes
    IF SCJ SE, Surly LHT, BikeFriday NWT, Cannondale M300, Raleigh 700
    Posts
    4,116
    Mentioned
    5 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Rivendell.

  10. #10
    Zen Master Miles2go's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    On the water in Western Washington
    My Bikes
    More than a few.
    Posts
    862
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
    Rivendell.
    Thanks…though they are already on the list. Adding two more however.
    Ron - Washington
    The Loaded Touring Bike - Photo Gallery
    Since 2005 - Worldwide - No Ads - Just Inspiration

  11. #11
    Sore saddle cyclist Shifty's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Eugene, OR
    My Bikes
    Road, touring and mountain
    Posts
    3,770
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Lighthouse Bicycles and Tim Neenan. Tim designed the Expedition, Sequoia and Stumpjumper for Specialized in the 1980's. He is now building the Sequoia and Expedition touring bikes under his Lighthouse brand. Thanks Tim for your contribution to touring and all types of cycling, you are a true legend in the industry.
    Lighthouse Cycles
    Those voices in your head aren't real, but they have some great ideas

  12. #12
    Zen Master Miles2go's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    On the water in Western Washington
    My Bikes
    More than a few.
    Posts
    862
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Shifty View Post
    Lighthouse Bicycles and Tim Neenan. Tim designed the Expedition, Sequoia and Stumpjumper for Specialized in the 1980's. He is now building the Sequoia and Expedition touring bikes under his Lighthouse brand. Thanks Tim for your contribution to touring and all types of cycling, you are a true legend in the industry.
    Lighthouse Cycles
    Thanks Shifty. A builder's "legendary" status is not what this list is about; another thread perhaps to honor past contributions, and legend. Great idea. That said, this list is about current touring bike builders with a well documented experience over the last 5 years in providing touring bikes for customers. As soon as any of these builders stop offering touring bikes, they're off of it because the past is for another thread.
    Ron - Washington
    The Loaded Touring Bike - Photo Gallery
    Since 2005 - Worldwide - No Ads - Just Inspiration

  13. #13
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    1,524
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I think the standards are all wrong personally. All that maters is that you make great touring bikes.

    If you don't have a web site what does that have to do with it. All the more reason to be on a list so that at least your locals can find you.

    I don't care if you have two or more models. The biggest name in frames is probably Surly, and they only really have the one frame, regardless of what MTBS they dump in the sector. Not custom, but they like to do their own thing, and won't just add a frame unless it is something new they really want to see out there.

    Arvon Stacey should be on your list, but doesn't qualify as far as I can see.

    I really like the stuff Rob English does, but he does race and mountain bikes.

    Naked.

    As far as I can see Riv doesn't make your list for several reasons. Though they were on your first draft. Of course they are a monster touring presence, but that is another mater. Are they really custom? They sound sorta reluctant about it. They don't want to hear your ideas on the mater (smart of them, by the way). And they do offer things a lot like mountain bikes, or maybe city bikes.

    A good place to find prospects is on the S&S builder's list. It is extensive, and obviously a lot of folks are making touring bikes.

    Bruce Gordon won NAHBS one year, he should be at the top of any list. Those are slightly unrelated. He was big long before NAHBS.

    I think it would be useful to have a number of touring frames delivered as a criteria. There are some posers out there who have made some very few strong frames, but really never sold more than a few bikes. Some of these guys have great ideas, but they just aren't up on the business side, they may live too far from anything, for one thing. Of course it is real difficult, to get numbers like that, and it would displace a few of my personal favourites.

    I am also a little leary of the folks who just bought someone else's numbers in an acquisition.
    Last edited by MassiveD; 08-07-14 at 12:09 PM.

  14. #14
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    NW,Oregon Coast
    My Bikes
    7
    Posts
    1,432
    Mentioned
    32 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I there a purpose to this or is it just another Hamster Wheel exercise?

  15. #15
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    1,524
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    It could be good if the list ended up a good list and then got stickied.

  16. #16
    Zen Master Miles2go's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    On the water in Western Washington
    My Bikes
    More than a few.
    Posts
    862
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by MassiveD View Post
    It could be good if the list ended up a good list and then got stickied.
    "Good" is in the eyes of the person looking for a custom framed touring bike, for any number of reasons, and finds this list. I am a person currently looking for a custom framed touring bike…for a number of reasons and so I started this "service to the touring community" with a starting point of my ideas of how to make such a resource legit for others.

    In response to some of your points in your first reply: This list is alphabetical for a very good reason; all other orders are subjective, or arguable, in regards to who should be on the "top of the list". I think that's about as bloody fair as it can be, right?

    AFAIK: You *can* get a custom built frame and customize the build of said bike though Rivendell, can't you? It's what I thought but if this is wrong, they're off *this* list but can still likely be found on the list of every touring bike made, or whatever that list is called. Again, an objective measure.

    I agree that it would be great to know the number of touring frames delivered (in the last few years) as a way to better guarantee that everyone on it truly does have a depth of recent experience in providing for and dealing with touring buyers. Nailing down such numbers with any real assurance that they are accurate would require I be paid for this effort. In other words, it would take a heck of a lot of work, if it's even possible. This is why I'm counting on some of the other criteria to somewhat assure that builders are actively building custom touring bikes today.

    I was first only considering builders who take it from raw tubes to a complete bike but realized it would be a shame to rule out active touring frame builders who just enjoy building the framesets, but in these cases, there has to be significant evidence that customers have been able to take these frames, have them built up and successfully tour on them. Dave Yates is the example of being able to easily find plenty of evidence that he'd be providing a proven touring frameset.

    Edit to add: Why did I make "at least two models" part of the criteria?
    It goes back something of proof that they are truly catering and adapting to the touring market. I think any good touring bike builder will offer a 700c based touring bike as well as a 26" based tourer, simply based on the fact that there's a division of the market there. Also, perhaps an internally geared hub model, again because a large segment of the touring populous have interest in such options. Just seems to me that any builder with enough experience will see the value in offering more than just one frameset.
    Last edited by Miles2go; 08-07-14 at 12:53 PM.
    Ron - Washington
    The Loaded Touring Bike - Photo Gallery
    Since 2005 - Worldwide - No Ads - Just Inspiration

  17. #17
    Sore saddle cyclist Shifty's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Eugene, OR
    My Bikes
    Road, touring and mountain
    Posts
    3,770
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Shifty View Post
    Lighthouse Bicycles and Tim Neenan. Tim designed the Expedition, Sequoia and Stumpjumper for Specialized in the 1980's. He is now building the Sequoia and Expedition touring bikes under his Lighthouse brand. Thanks Tim for your contribution to touring and all types of cycling, you are a true legend in the industry.
    Lighthouse Cycles
    You, your rules and this thread s**k.
    Those voices in your head aren't real, but they have some great ideas

  18. #18
    Senior Member bikemig's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Middle Earth
    My Bikes
    A lot of old bikes and a few new ones
    Posts
    4,360
    Mentioned
    28 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    I there a purpose to this or is it just another Hamster Wheel exercise?
    Sounds like the latter . . . .

  19. #19
    Zen Master Miles2go's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    On the water in Western Washington
    My Bikes
    More than a few.
    Posts
    862
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Shifty View Post
    You, your rules and this thread s**k.
    Seems to me like you want to get banned and if I were a mod on a forum I'd think about it with that. That said, I'm in the neighborhood, let's just go for a ride. It might cheer you up.

    Customs are expensive. Thus, the criteria was setup to help people looking for proven touring platforms. The criteria is also setup to include builders in the future, who weren't up to it today. So I don't get any just cause for your "disappointment".

    What I found online after a good bit of searching is that you guys have been getting the word out about Lighthouse (mainly the road bike and on road bike forums) for a few years now but I couldn't find a tour journal featuring an owner and the only photos of the touring version (Expedition) on the site doesn't show it built up. The blog-like postings of customer bikes are mostly shorter wheelbase road bikes.

    Don't know what to tell ya. Maybe we'll learn that Lighthouse is a proven touring platform tomorrow, or the next day. Meanwhile I wish Tim and Lighthouse all the best of luck.
    Ron - Washington
    The Loaded Touring Bike - Photo Gallery
    Since 2005 - Worldwide - No Ads - Just Inspiration

  20. #20
    nun
    nun is offline
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    My Bikes
    Rivendell Quickbeam, Rivendell Rambouillet, Rivendell Atlantis, Circle A town bike, De Rosa Neo Primato, Cervelo RS
    Posts
    2,525
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I admire the skills of custom bike builders and own a custom bike myself, but is a custom bike better than a well sized quality, mass produced bike? I can see custom being useful if you are very tall, short or have some other non-standard physical requirements, but for most riders custom bikes are really about vanity.

  21. #21
    Zen Master Miles2go's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    On the water in Western Washington
    My Bikes
    More than a few.
    Posts
    862
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by nun View Post
    I admire the skills of custom bike builders and own a custom bike myself, but is a custom bike better than a well sized quality, mass produced bike? I can see custom being useful if you are very tall, short or have some other non-standard physical requirements, but for most riders custom bikes are really about vanity.
    Nice one Clive.
    Ron - Washington
    The Loaded Touring Bike - Photo Gallery
    Since 2005 - Worldwide - No Ads - Just Inspiration

  22. #22
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    1,524
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Miles2go View Post
    "Good" is in the eyes of the person looking for a custom framed touring bike, for any number of reasons, and finds this list. I am a person currently looking for a custom framed touring bike…for a number of reasons and so I started this "service to the touring community" with a starting point of my ideas of how to make such a resource legit for others.
    I think the idea is good, and to boot, I would love it if we had a separate thread, stickied, not only for this, but for pictures of custom bikes. Within reason the pics could even be of home made customs, basically anything custom.

    In response to some of your points in your first reply: This list is alphabetical for a very good reason; all other orders are subjective, or arguable, in regards to who should be on the "top of the list". I think that's about as bloody fair as it can be, right?
    I don't have a view on any of that, just that the one there didn't meet the criteria.

    AFAIK: You *can* get a custom built frame and customize the build of said bike though Rivendell, can't you? It's what I thought but if this is wrong, they're off *this* list but can still likely be found on the list of every touring bike made, or whatever that list is called. Again, an objective measure.
    Well I don't see them meeting your criteria. Not sure about the two, but they probably could argue that. Definetly not interested in executing your wish list unless it happens to be the same as theirs. Mainly they seem to offer the option of custom fit, which is a large part of it, but it is bespoke more than custom. They are not only a touring type company, they make many other bikes, and frankly run many other businesses. So they violate for sure a few of your rules.

    I agree that it would be great to know the number of touring frames delivered (in the last few years) as a way to better guarantee that everyone on it truly does have a depth of recent experience in providing for and dealing with touring buyers. Nailing down such numbers with any real assurance that they are accurate would require I be paid for this effort. In other words, it would take a heck of a lot of work, if it's even possible. This is why I'm counting on some of the other criteria to somewhat assure that builders are actively building custom touring bikes today.
    I agree the numbers would be impossible, though one other approach is the NAHBS approach which is like 5 year sin the business. Imperfect, but there are some flashes in the pan. Would I rather see a guy who has been building for 25 years but doesn't have a web presence, than a guy with a great site who has only a few bikes under his belt.

    Also, there is the whole Rob English kind of deal. I doubt he has made 100 bikes custom, though he may very well have. I don't know if he is 5 years around. But he has an engineering background, and worked at a high level at Bike Friday. He did it the best way. Also, his racing background is really invaluable, even to tourists. He probably isn't technically eligible for the list, which is a huge mistake. Basically if there is a good reason for putting someone on the list, the reasons or boxes ticked don't mater.

    I was first only considering builders who take it from raw tubes to a complete bike but realized it would be a shame to rule out active touring frame builders who just enjoy building the framesets, but in these cases, there has to be significant evidence that customers have been able to take these frames, have them built up and successfully tour on them. Dave Yates is the example of being able to easily find plenty of evidence that he'd be providing a proven touring frameset.
    That is a little weird, because there really isn't a huge custom bike builder business outside of the frames. It seems to be better business to sell complete bikes, but the bike biz is all fractured into parts suppliers, virtually nobody makes bikes.

    Edit to add: Why did I make "at least two models" part of the criteria?
    It goes back something of proof that they are truly catering and adapting to the touring market. I think any good touring bike builder will offer a 700c based touring bike as well as a 26" based tourer, simply based on the fact that there's a division of the market there. Also, perhaps an internally geared hub model, again because a large segment of the touring populous have interest in such options. Just seems to me that any builder with enough experience will see the value in offering more than just one frameset.
    It probably is a good idea to have various models, but I don't think it is a useful idea to require that. If there was a guy out there making a success of selling only one model, who are we to second guess the market? There may be people who serve niches, or people who have no models and never make the same thing twice, or not so often they have a model. I really don't see that as being anything we need to regulate. And there are people who tour on MTBS or Racing bikes, why should that be a forbidden model.

  23. #23
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    1,524
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by nun View Post
    I admire the skills of custom bike builders and own a custom bike myself, but is a custom bike better than a well sized quality, mass produced bike? I can see custom being useful if you are very tall, short or have some other non-standard physical requirements, but for most riders custom bikes are really about vanity.
    That is so many shades of wrong.

    Starting at the bottom, even if it is a mater of vanity, which is pretty much something you can say about any purchase that touches our dreams etc... Our nature. People quite clearly are all jazzed about who their LHT makes them out to be also. Even if so, so what? people still need to know where to buy them. Reverse snobbism is just as much snobbism as snobbism. The only requirement for bike touring is a bike that works better than walking at any level you wish to chose (slow but I get to sit down, is fine). Everything else is not necessary. And what is more, there is someone out there having a far better time than you, and doing more with about that level of gear.

    I admire the skills of custom bike builders and own a custom bike myself, but is a custom bike better than a well sized quality, mass produced bike?
    Obviously yes, better, in hundreds of ways. I think the term "custom" really doesn't describe what it is all about, or one end of it can be about, and one can pull a Clinton on the "meaning of better". But really in what realm of human endeavour is the cheap crap, the short cut, the ugly, the inexperienced, etc.. just right up there with the best. When you buy a production frame you are buying Walmart quality, you are just getting 10 dollar a set tubing, rather than the anodized aluminum, suspension set with the miles of perfect dimes on it of the Walmart bike. It just happens there is a far larger demand for bikes that don't make a kid drop his chocolate bar in the parking lot pot hole, than there are for bikes for serious touring. We pay what we pay not because the frames are more elite, but because there market is small.

    Custom bikes are not about vanity entirely. Some people like nice stuff. The good, or better, experience the computer salesmen are always talking about. This is why we prefer to do stuff like tour in nice places. A nice touring location is satisfying, a nice bike is satisfying. Together it is a better experience. Money is tight for me, but there are millions of wealthy people out there, some of them buy bikes.

    When one sets out to make a perfect custom frame on looks at the bike and the racks and bags as a whole, and designs every single part to be perfect for it's use and to suit the rider perfectly, there are hundreds of possible improvements and upgrades, no compromises, or kludges.

    The underlying sensible question is what difference all this makes. As you say, there is the whole fit thing. That is huge. I think it makes sense that better designed and executed equipment contributes more than just satisfaction, there should be an efficiency piece, and a reliability piece. But the overlooked part is that a lot of touring is actually a low mileage use compared to stuff like racing, and commuting. It can be awkward the places where gear breaks down, comparatively. Overall, the good gear is certainly better, but you do not need it to play.

    I think when we compare comsumer attitudes, what I see are a lot of people who own a large number of expensive, but third rate bikes. Like some of those listed under your name (depends a lot on execution of those builds). You see the same thing in fashion. One can get a pretty good tailored suit for the price of a half dozen pairs of jeans and some expensive T-shirts. There are many people who end up with hundreds of those cheap garments in their wardrobe, and who could have easily assembled a decent set of basic clothes, tailor made. Of course in either case there are good reasons for having more crap. But there is also the fact that custom stuff is not marketed as heavily, and we are taught to believe the nonsense that at some level the cheap junk in altogether better. We buy high margin brand crap over lower margin, better quality expensive gear, that requires more commitment to own. All fine, just so long as we know we are being played.

    As far as the relatively routine skills involved in making the frames, not something to be all that fussed about. There are millions of people with skill of that kind in the world. It takes a special extra something to run a small boutique business, and in addition, some of the makers are stars of a sort. Combine all these things, and there are some skilful people involved, but we shouldn't exaggerate the importance of the skill. The product is still the key part of the deal, and it needs to justify itself moreso than because the person making it has some routine set of skills.

  24. #24
    Senior Member Germany_chris's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Southern Germany
    Posts
    699
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I would start with this list then pare down

    Custom Frame Builders List by State/Country - The Paceline Forum

    The I would visit Vsalon and ask over there since the industry is small they're likely to know all the ones we don't
    I'm an angry angst ridden anarcho-punk socialist you should just generally disregard my posts--Germany_chris

  25. #25
    nun
    nun is offline
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    My Bikes
    Rivendell Quickbeam, Rivendell Rambouillet, Rivendell Atlantis, Circle A town bike, De Rosa Neo Primato, Cervelo RS
    Posts
    2,525
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by MassiveD View Post

    When one sets out to make a perfect custom frame on looks at the bike and the racks and bags as a whole, and designs every single part to be perfect for it's use and to suit the rider perfectly, there are hundreds of possible improvements and upgrades, no compromises, or kludges.
    People are certainly free to spend their money on what they want, and vanity is not necessarily a bad thing as it also has an element of pride and doing a good job, but I don't believe that a custom bike necessarily fits better than an off the shelf bike. When it comes to quality obviously a Walmart bike will not compare to a custom, but there are numerous manufacturers that sell high quality bikes at a fraction of the cost of a custom. Basically, I don't believe a custom bike is worth the extra cost over a good quality off the shelf bike if all you are interested in is performance. But riding a shinny custom bike is fun and if people what to do that that's just fine.

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •