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Custom or Italian?

Old 03-17-19, 08:02 PM
  #26  
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You want to sprint, go fast, or go around corners at break neck speed? Then its Italian all the way. You want to tour, then go custom.

In my opinion, Italian bikes are just flat out fast. They are meant for speed. I think folks that go custom are not looking for flat out speed or aggressive geometry, but more of an all-around solid, steady, all-day ride.
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Old 03-17-19, 09:29 PM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by Giacomo 1 View Post
You want to sprint, go fast, or go around corners at break neck speed? Then its Italian all the way. You want to tour, then go custom.

In my opinion, Italian bikes are just flat out fast. They are meant for speed. I think folks that go custom are not looking for flat out speed or aggressive geometry, but more of an all-around solid, steady, all-day ride.
...Unless those folks happen to be named Andy Hampsten, Davis Phiney, Dag Otto-Lauritzen, Bob Roll, Alexi Grewal, or Greg Lemond.

It seems to me that we are using "custom" to mean North American Custom in this thread so my list of names is of notable racers who rode bikes by U.S. custom builders; but we should not forget that many of the bikes of top professional racers have been custom made for many years, not only in North America but in Europe, Japan, Colombia and probably others that I'm forgetting. Most of those famous Italian names which we honor on this forum were custom builders for the racers before they started building the stock bikes that many of us own.
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Old 03-17-19, 09:59 PM
  #28  
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Custom

New and different carbon, steel alloys, magnesium alloys, joinery, improved drive systems -for new advanced frame design. I find all interesting and something I wouldn't mind experiencing.

Of course I dig vintage and retro too, like the brand new 'classic' Italian models being reintroduced and made to order.

BTW: I hear 2019 NAHBS has record attendance

https://m.pinkbike.com/news/orth-ame...show-2019.html

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Old 03-17-19, 10:32 PM
  #29  
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I’ve got an American frame that was custom built for someone else back in 1981.

It came up advertised 53 cm. My go to size seat tube length, and a stated 54 top tube sounded like the extra bit of torso space I needed. When I met the seller, I noticed we shared very similar height and build. A positive sign.

The bike is all out comfortable, and fits like a glove. No doubt that the Italian tube set adds tremendous ride quality to the builders design. I can’t help but to believe that had I ordered a custom frame back in 81’, this is exactly the frame I would have wound up with!

I’d go ahead and say it’s sports touring geometry which seems to have been so popular around the time. And which fits the bill for my commuting needs as well as really taking off when the feeling comes around. Extremely agile. Fun!

Totally satisfied.
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Old 03-18-19, 06:17 AM
  #30  
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I love flashy old Italian racing bikes, but they don't really fit my needs.
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Old 03-18-19, 07:15 AM
  #31  
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Impossible for me to say. With three Pinarellos, '80s and a '90, three Tommisnins, '80 and two '90s, a '91 Colnago and an '80s CIOCC mixed in with my three customs '84, '93 and 2000 customs, some are better than others on certain rides but in general impossible to rank order. Much of the problem with differentiating is in groupsets, 6 to 11 speed, and wheel weight.
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Old 03-18-19, 07:24 AM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by Bianchigirll View Post
I would go full custome. A Hetchins Mixte with 'Vibrant' chainstays, Bates style fork and Hellenic seat stays. Built with sport tour geometry with room for fenders, a set of bottle bosses on top and under the DT. a set of bottle bosses on the left seat stay, Zefal HPX pum attachments under the twin tubes, rack braces. Oh uber fancy lugs and HT extended about 2" so I can sit up right.
OK, I'll bite... How can you have Hellenic seat stays on a mixte?
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Old 03-18-19, 08:18 AM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by Rocket-Sauce View Post
OK, I'll bite... How can you have Hellenic seat stays on a mixte?
Absinthe.
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Old 03-18-19, 08:43 AM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by CycleryNorth81 View Post
Which bike would you prefer? A custom frame made by your favorite frame builder or a stock Italian frame and why the preference. No cheating by saying you want a custom frame by an Italian frame maker.
That's what Aaron @KonAaron Snake did. He even visited the builder in Italy!

What @Giacomo 1 says is kind of true. With slower riding, you probably want special features such as braze-ons, paint, or dimensions. If you just want a light, fast frame, a stock Italian one is great.
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Old 03-18-19, 09:12 AM
  #35  
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At this point I wouldn't know what to specify geometry/ride quality from a custom builder that I couldn't find in a nice top shelf production bike, Italian or otherwise. That being said, one day I might identify some special to me features I might want in a bike, but I think it might actually be a touring bike.
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Old 03-18-19, 09:33 AM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by CycleryNorth81 View Post
Which bike would you prefer? A custom frame made by your favorite frame builder or a stock Italian frame and why the preference. No cheating by saying you want a custom frame by an Italian frame maker.
custom. Every time.
there is nothing magical about the country of Italy. A frame is simply angles and finish.

getting those ideal angles and a quality finish makes for a bike that one can wax poetically about.

I dont own a frame made in Italy, and probably never will due to lack of stock size, so perhaps that's clouded my view. Or perhaps all the example pics of poor paint, poor brazing, and hurried finish have clouded my view.
also- Italian is a huge general category. There is a range of quality within that designation.

I would take a custom frame from a competent Japanese, Italian, English, American, or Canadian builder every time over a general Italian frame for sure.
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Old 03-18-19, 09:38 AM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by Giacomo 1 View Post
You want to sprint, go fast, or go around corners at break neck speed? Then its Italian all the way. You want to tour, then go custom.

In my opinion, Italian bikes are just flat out fast. They are meant for speed. I think folks that go custom are not looking for flat out speed or aggressive geometry, but more of an all-around solid, steady, all-day ride.
what? A custom frame can be built at whatever angles you want. You want the same angles as the generalized Italian bike you mention?...custome can do it.
Pljs, compared to historical versions of Italian frames thst I've seen, there is a good chance the paint and finish is better on the custom.

C&v Italian frames vary in quality and geometry. There were tons of reslly unimpressive frames. And there were tons of more relaxed geometry frames.

you phrased itnwas of fast = Italian and slow relaxed touring = custom.
couldn't be further from accurate. Custom road bikes have been a thing and continue to be a thing.
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Old 03-18-19, 09:52 AM
  #38  
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If my favorite builder hadn't retired, it'd be a no brainer. As it is, I'll just keep what I have: Merckx Team Sc and Mondia Super 650b conversion.

I worked on too many stock Italian frames BITD to be at all impressed with most of them.
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Old 03-18-19, 10:47 AM
  #39  
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Off the peg red Cinelli. Tig welded oversized tubes with the latest Campy Super Record. But I want to pick it up in person and do some of the famous Giro stage routes before I have Cinelli ship it back to me here.
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Old 03-18-19, 11:54 AM
  #40  
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Why not both? As Doc said, there are lots of Italian builders who can do custom. This pic on the Bixxis instagram is very intriguing....if Doriano starts offering these then I may well be sending him money.

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Old 03-18-19, 11:57 AM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by Barrettscv View Post
​​​​​​There is more to this statement than normal preferences.
like what?...
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Old 03-18-19, 12:28 PM
  #42  
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I will say custom........but that is shaded by already having a de rosa

At this stage in my life I want a custom at some point..... and a true custom is not just about if a person is an odd bpdu size. It is about getting the all little details and over all tuning, even custom fork

Personally I really want 2 Dave Kirk customs (call them my grail, bucket list what ever) this is what would do now for the build (subject to change as time goes by

1) What he call a Montana Road bike. Clearance for big 28 to 30 or so with fenders, fender and rack brazeons, Nitto cockpit and seatpost, brooks saddle of some sort, probably ultegra hydraulic disk, possible non parallel to ground top tube to allow little more put a leg over room in the future. vision is a fast all weather commuter do every thing bike. My zombie Apocalypse bke.

2) Light, fast road bike. Only used on nice sunny days. level top tube, chain hanger and water bottlle braze ons, Nitto cockpit and seatpost, Tubular wheels, light seat (brooks or sella italia) Dura Ace. (probable electronic shifting, especially if Shimano ever goes wireless....... or campy if campy beats shimano to wireless (don't like sram)
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Old 03-18-19, 12:41 PM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by squirtdad View Post
and a true custom is not just about if a person is an odd bpdu size. It is about getting the all little details and over all tuning, even custom fork
Bingo. I fit a stock frame just fine but I wanted a lugged frame, steel fork, post mounted Paul Racer M brakes and room for 32mm tires. Try finding that on the shelf anywhere.....which is why Steve Hampsten built a Strada Bianca for me.

Personally I really want 2 Dave Kirk customs (call them my grail, bucket list what ever)
Dave does incredible work.
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Old 03-18-19, 12:58 PM
  #44  
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I agree about custom builds which have clearance for wider tires. You can then pick any tire size you choose to ride.

One of the things I do not understand is the reduction in clearance between the tire and brakes on a racing bike. Reducing the clearance does not make the race bike go any faster.
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Old 03-18-19, 02:07 PM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by Giacomo 1 View Post
You want to sprint, go fast, or go around corners at break neck speed? Then its Italian all the way. You want to tour, then go custom.

In my opinion, Italian bikes are just flat out fast. They are meant for speed. I think folks that go custom are not looking for flat out speed or aggressive geometry, but more of an all-around solid, steady, all-day ride.
I have 3 "custom" bikes none of which I ordered myself. Just lucked into them. Two Canadian and one English all full on race bikes. All three of them will run circles around any Italian bike I have ever ridden. Just because its Italian doesen't mean its the best.
And I actually know who built them.
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Old 03-18-19, 02:20 PM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by Wileyone View Post
All three of them will run circles around any Italian bike I have ever ridden. Just because its Italian doesen't mean its the best.
And I actually know who built them.
That's quite a statement, but if you say so...
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Old 03-18-19, 02:21 PM
  #47  
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I feel it matters more who built the bike than where it was built.
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Old 03-18-19, 02:30 PM
  #48  
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This is quickly turning into this recent thread:

Whats so special about Italian bikes?
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Old 03-18-19, 02:45 PM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
@KonAaron Snake

What @Giacomo 1 says is kind of true. With slower riding, you probably want special features such as braze-ons, paint, or dimensions. If you just want a light, fast frame, a stock Italian one is great.
Spot on.

That's exactly what I meant.
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Old 03-18-19, 10:29 PM
  #50  
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Originally Posted by Reynolds 531 View Post
Absinthe.
Uzo
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