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should I ....have a custom made frame made for me?

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should I ....have a custom made frame made for me?

Old 02-01-13, 11:54 AM
  #1  
puchfinnland
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should I ....have a custom made frame made for me?

Working in the bike shop may have benefits...

there is this NEW made-to-order columbus tubed frameset that is chromed.
it is drop dead gorgeous.



I asked the boss what It would cost ME for a handmade one exactly to my measurements,
my choice of lugs, bosses etc.
price 1000 = 1400usd

I would go vert drops, set up for 10 speed campy, and twin bottles

Half of me says do it, the other half is just plain cheap!
(it would take another grand to find the groupset!)
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Old 02-01-13, 12:02 PM
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For that kind of money, wouldn't you rather have a vintage grail bike in your size? If only for resale value?
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Old 02-01-13, 12:05 PM
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not worth it
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Old 02-01-13, 12:15 PM
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You only live once. Plus, it's not my money. I say go for it!!
You know True Torch can build you a custom 26" Torker frame for half of that...
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Old 02-01-13, 12:18 PM
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As you are now working at a shop that builds custom frames, how about convincing the boss to let you learn (on your own time, of course) how to build the frame yourself? It should result in a big reduction to the final cost of the frameset, plus you get to learn how to do it. And you can maybe even put your signature on the final product with the Boss's blessing.
Who knows, after that you might even build Nelli all her frames in the future too!

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Old 02-01-13, 12:19 PM
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its a thought not to
- yes I want my dambed grail bike but it is just that "Grail"
there were maybe 300 frames per year made x 3 years
one slipped through my fingers last spring-
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Old 02-01-13, 12:20 PM
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If $1400 is real money, no, it's not worth it. If $1400 is like play money to you, then why not?

$1400 is real money to me, and a lot of it. No way I'd ever go for a custom frame unless it was going to be really unusual and couldn't be had any other way.
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Old 02-01-13, 12:27 PM
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You're not likely to find a custom built to your specs for any lower than $1400, that is about the lowest you can get a frame/fork in the US, I don't know about Finland, so only you can make that decision.
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Old 02-01-13, 12:41 PM
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Cheap for a custom, but still a lot of money. Your call
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Old 02-01-13, 12:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Chombi View Post
As you are now working at a shop that builds custom frames, how about convincing the boss to let you learn (on your own time, of course) how to build the frame yourself? It should result in a big reduction to the final cost of the frameset, plus you get to learn how to do it. And you can maybe even put your signature on the final product with the Boss's blessing.
Who knows, after that you might even build Nelli all her frames in the future too!

Chombi
+1

Not only would it allow you to get a frame for less money, it also will make you a more valuable employee. Most bosses like that kinda "go get'em" attitude.
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Old 02-01-13, 12:53 PM
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I agree with the "Vintage Grail Bike" camp. Customs can be a mixed bag ride-wise, where the characteristics of the classics is pretty well documented.

You'll also take a hit if you don't like it or need to sell for any reason. A carefully selected classics should hold value or increase.

Having said that, I have a custom which I like a lot, but for some reason, the vintage stuff inspires me to ride more.
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Old 02-01-13, 01:06 PM
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$1,400 is reasonable. Do you need a custom bike because of fit issues? If you don't, and ride a "production" sized bike then go for a used grail bike.
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Old 02-01-13, 01:17 PM
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IMHO, it's reasonable. In particular, you do such a good job getting the flippers for dirt, you probably can make it all back in doing only 5-10 transactions.
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Old 02-01-13, 01:27 PM
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A couple of factors to consider.

Is there something about your body that makes it difficult to impossible to get a frame that feels right to you? If the answer is yes, a custom is for you. If the answer is no, a custom is optional. You can still go for it if you can afford it - lots of folks who can be fitted perfectly well off the rack still have their clothes custom tailored.

How much experience does the builder have? And not just building experience, but designing experience. It makes all the difference. Unless you have tons of experience riding a bunch of different frame geometries for significant periods of time so that you know - and I mean know - to the fraction of a millimeter or degree what measurements yield the perfect ride for you in various different applications, you don't want to be designing your own frame. Likewise, in a custom build, you really want a builder who has that kind of experience. You want someone who has enough experience so that you can answer his or her questions about your measurements and your riding preferences and they can translate that into the ride of your dreams. Can this person do that? If so, $1,400 sounds dirt cheap to me. If not, no amount of money is a bargain.
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Old 02-01-13, 01:28 PM
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In these days of $3-7K asplosive CF race bikes on display and for sale at most better bike shops, A custom steel frame made from top notch materials and custom finish of your choice at those prices is not unreasonable at all IMO. Heck, people sell their C&V NOS SLX or 753 frames close to those prices!...and most of the time the only reason they can sell it for so much is because of what the decals on the frame tubes says....
JMO....

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Old 02-01-13, 01:32 PM
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Originally Posted by rhm View Post
If $1400 is real money, no, it's not worth it. If $1400 is like play money to you, then why not?

$1400 is real money to me, and a lot of it. No way I'd ever go for a custom frame unless it was going to be really unusual and couldn't be had any other way.
This.
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Old 02-01-13, 01:32 PM
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I asked myself the same question 32 years ago, and decided to have Bruce Gordon build me a frame. I've been 100% satisfied riding that bike since then. $1400 today was essentially $550 in '81. I paid $770.
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Old 02-01-13, 01:40 PM
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the frame would be made in Italy buy a top builder.
My boss has customs made there in ALU,Carbon,Lugged Steel,and TI, he has 3 different builders who does the work.

But he has shown me a columbus SLX frame NOS that is very available to me but its chrome and purple.

he honestly said I can buy ebay new campy for less then his cost in finland.

mike
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Old 02-01-13, 01:43 PM
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Originally Posted by puchfinnland View Post
the frame would be made in Italy buy a top builder.
My boss has customs made there in ALU,Carbon,Lugged Steel,and TI, he has 3 different builders who does the work.

But he has shown me a columbus SLX frame NOS that is very available to me but its chrome and purple.

he honestly said I can buy ebay new campy for less then his cost in finland.

mike
I thought your boss actually built them at his shop....]
Thanks for the clarification on where it will be built.
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Old 02-01-13, 01:46 PM
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It's impossible to tell you what something is worth to you, but I'm awfully glad that I spent money for one. I think there is a difference between how well my custom feels compared to other bikes, but I think the quality of the builder matters.
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Old 02-01-13, 02:09 PM
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In general, a builder has a style of bike, sometimes styles of frame that he is comfortable building. If the "basic bike" that builder makes is appealing to you then the minor modifications to get you an optimum fit and details may be worth it.
Don't assume the builder will digest your dimensions and come up with the same shape of frame as you expect.
If you want something totally different than what the builder normally makes, move on.
Sometimes it is all about aesthetics, so that is the driving force.
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Old 02-01-13, 02:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Chombi View Post
I thought your boss actually built them at his shop....]
Thanks for the clarification on where it will be built.
They are all reputable builders, I have heard the names of some of them.
I know ALAN makes his carbon frames,
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Old 02-01-13, 02:48 PM
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Where I come from, that is a month's take home pay for your average bike shop employee. Would I ever pay a month's salary for I bike? No.
Would I ever pay a month's salary for a frame? HECK NO!
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Old 02-01-13, 05:32 PM
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Originally Posted by rhm View Post
If $1400 is real money, no, it's not worth it. If $1400 is like play money to you, then why not?

$1400 is real money to me, and a lot of it. No way I'd ever go for a custom frame unless it was going to be really unusual and couldn't be had any other way.
+1 $1400 is so far above my budget for a complete bike, and this one is just a frameset. Wow.
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Old 02-01-13, 05:55 PM
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$1,400 for a custom frameset is a value, if it is exactly what you want.

I am lining up a custom purchase from a local builder and it will be a beautiful bicycle when all is said and done.

A custom bicycle is so much more than fit, it is a total package from the builder that you have to believe in.

I had to sell a lot of bicycles to do this and I simply can't wait.

These are lifetime purchases, so I have a lot of fun with the process, yet take the research pretty seriously.
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