Cyclocross and Gravelbiking (Recreational) This has to be the most physically intense sport ever invented. It's high speed bicycle racing on a short off road course or riding the off pavement rides on gravel like :The Dirty Kanza". We also have a dedicated Racing forum for the Cyclocross Hard Core Racers.

I wanted to buy a custom boutique bike...

Old 06-04-19, 04:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Junkbeast View Post
But I'll probably have to buy something more mainstream. I prefer to get products that are of good quality but generally aren't well known. I might not be able to this time.

I really need some ideas and insight into bikes that I can get fully built from LBSs. I ride mostly road but want to spend more time on gravel if I can (think like 75/25 road/gravel).
Please provide some opinions and options. Thanks!
Its about the 75% road.
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Old 06-05-19, 05:40 PM
  #27  
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One question. If you go super high end, boutique bike, are you tough enough not to cry, cringe or puke, after about your second or third "gravel" trip, and you see chips, scratches, mud, etc.. on that custom paint and all that shines, when you wash it? Or when you have your first major crash, which is almost inevitable on a "gravel" bike? Just curious. How about two bikes? One dedicated gravel bike on a quality, but lower end bike, and a road bike that can stay nice an "new" looking for a decade.

J.
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Old 06-05-19, 09:00 PM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by jbylake View Post
One question. If you go super high end, boutique bike, are you tough enough not to cry, cringe or puke, after about your second or third "gravel" trip, and you see chips, scratches, mud, etc.. on that custom paint and all that shines, when you wash it? Or when you have your first major crash, which is almost inevitable on a "gravel" bike? Just curious. How about two bikes? One dedicated gravel bike on a quality, but lower end bike, and a road bike that can stay nice an "new" looking for a decade.

J.
I dunno. Is a Flaanimal really super high end? I've already established I'm highly unlikely to buy some $5K dream bike but will probably get away with something around $3K. I really like the Flaanimal's design and would like to try a steel bike. That's a $1.3K frameset...while not cheap isn't like the $3K+ frames that would be great to own. I just also prefer to own things that are a little more rare and that meant "boutique" brands.

Custom paint is just a means to get a color I like in the case where lame ones are available on stock bikes; I'm not talking about all that fancy graphic design stuff some bikes have. And who would like their bike scratched up? I wouldn't but I could live with standard chips and stuff that happen. What I actually worry about most is a crash with a carbon bike that compromises the integrity then the bike is toast, or a crash with steel and then rust happening in the damaged areas. I've been riding a long time and my current bike is 13 years old and around 30K miles and I've only really crashed like once.

Look, I ride a friggin' Trek 7.3 FX anywhere from 20-60 miles at a time so I must be a glutton for punishment. Michigan roads are absolute crap. I mean when the current governor used fixing roads as an election platform they must be. I like the road but the road is like a 3rd world country around here. The combination of bad roads and being 200+ lbs means I need a bike with better performance and can use some wider tires, and also want to be able to explore dirt roads if I choose to. I've been riding my FX with Donnely X'Plor USH 35s on more dirt roads lately. It does okay if I don't get too near the edge of the road. My ride today was 25 miles with 5 miles of dirt/gravel. I have to go at least 10 miles to even get to dirt so yeah, road is my primary use but I am looking at "gravel" bikes and not just road bikes due to quality of roads and wider tire choices.

I ride alone--I don't do races or events, don't meet up with groups or anything like that--so I'm not trying to get something to impress others. I don't wear the cycling uniform. I don't know a lot about the industry or the people/products in it. I don't know a lot about bike geometry. I don't know much about cadence. I don't know if I'm fast or slow, or if my endurance is good or bad. I just like to go out and ride my bike to get exercise and think. I want a capable bike of high quality that will perform better than what I have and maybe be a little unique. If I can get away from the cars for 20% of my ride by going on a dirt road then that's great. I also thought it'd be fun to buy a bike from a company where I can pick and choose some parts instead of just walking into the Trek/Specialized #95868 dealership and getting whatever they had on the floor in my size.

However, I feel I MIGHT have to buy a more commercially available/pre-configured bike so I was looking for suggestions beyond the boutique arena but not in the GM/Fords of the bike world.
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Old 06-05-19, 09:30 PM
  #29  
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I understand, now, I think. A bike you can have options on but not spending 10K plus to get it. Just not an "off the rack" bike. If that's what you're saying, yes, I'd go your route, and get it over with, instead of leaving a pile of expensive "stock" parts, to replace them later for more custom, and probably much more aftermarket parts, as you go.

J
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Old 06-06-19, 01:30 AM
  #30  
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I see someone say they want a custom bike and I laugh.
I built this Centurion ProTour for some where around $1500. I ride in Cambodia and laugh at your roads, Granted we do not have frost heaves like you might but the base road here is pitiful.

IMG_20161122_124629931 by Bwilli88, on Flickr
My costs;
Frame from BikeForums - $225.00
Wheels Deore LX hubs, Velocity Dyad rims from BikeForums - $225.00
Shimano 105 RD-5701 Road Bike Bicycle Rear Derailleur 10 Speed $33.15
Shimano 105 FD $6
Shimano 105 5700 Triple shifters - $105.00
Shimano CS-M771 MTB 11-36T 10-speed Cassette - $46.00
Sakae CR Triple Touring Road Bike Crankset 28/46/50 T 170mm $39.99
Tires Schwalbe Marathon Plus Tour 700c X 42 $78
Thorn proof tubes from BF shipping $12.95
Velo Orange VO Zeppelin 52mm Fenders 700c Set Polished Silver Aluminum Alloy- $28.56 + $8.49=$37.05
Nitto M1 Mark's Rack Rivendell - $85
Nitto 42cm struts - $22.00
KMC Chain 10 speed $28.00
Brooks Flyer and Cannondale leather bar tape $120.00
Sakae riser stem $15.65 + $5.90 = $21.55
Velo Orange Mojave Bicycle Bottle Cage $24.94 + $6.80 = $31.74
DIA COMPE FRONT CENTER PULL BRAKE CABLE HANGER 1" $7.99
Dia-Compe 1501 Ss Top Tube Casing Clips 25.4 Silver 3 $12.98
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Acorn Med Randonneur Bag $195.00
Acorn Tool Roll $72.00
Cables, housing from Lancaster, Pa Co-op $15
$1417.10
__________________
My Cambodia bikes; ?? Zunow, 81 Centurion Pro Tour, 85 Gazelle Mens Market bike, ?? Maxwell Allroad, 12 Fuji Stratos.

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Old 06-06-19, 06:32 AM
  #31  
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Well I've never been to Cambodia but the roads here probably compare; as I said it's like a 3rd world country in a lot of places. I laugh at people who need to laugh at others for buying what they want and minding their own business.

These pics represent pretty typical roads in my area.





This is the one where the crew fixing potholes got stuck in the huge pothole.
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Old 06-06-19, 07:03 AM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by bwilli88 View Post
I see someone say they want a custom bike and I laugh.
I built this Centurion ProTour for some where around $1500. I ride in Cambodia and laugh at your roads, Granted we do not have frost heaves like you might but the base road here is pitiful.
Comin on aggressive there! Why would you laugh at someone wanting a custom bike? Thats pretty lame to do. And congrats on your PT build, its clear you are proud of it, but that doesnt mean others should be feel shame for wanting a custom bike or even a small brand production bike.
Also, why laugh at the OP's roads? This isnt a pissing contest- so why try to make it one? The OP wants a modern versatile bike with wide tires from a smaller brand- seems reasonable.


This hobby is great because its so diverse. Some like restoring old frames and modernizing them like you(and me). Some like the latest tech and latest frame design. Some like modern steel(me). None is right and none is wrong.
Laughing at someone who wants a custom bike is pretty lame. Perhaps I have too big a dog in this fight since I worked with a local builder and learned how to build a custom frame, so I obviously take issue with your comment.
I own refurbished 80s frames, refurbished 90s frames, new steel from a smaller brand, and a custom bike- i find all those options to be legitimate and valuable.
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Old 06-06-19, 07:11 AM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by TimothyH View Post
You are a good man.

Unfortunately, too many lie to their wives and the rest of the men out there think that's OK, even funny.


-Tim-
As much as I have complained about my wife on prior occasions, the one thing that I am grateful for is that she has never, ever, complained about any of my bike purchases. She knows what cycling means to me, both for my physical and mental health, so she lets me splurge, sometimes frivolously, on bike-related purchases.

Lying is not good.
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Old 06-06-19, 07:23 AM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by Junkbeast View Post
I dunno. Is a Flaanimal really super high end? I've already established I'm highly unlikely to buy some $5K dream bike but will probably get away with something around $3K. I really like the Flaanimal's design and would like to try a steel bike. That's a $1.3K frameset...while not cheap isn't like the $3K+ frames that would be great to own. I just also prefer to own things that are a little more rare and that meant "boutique" brands.
Not sure if this was mentioned- https://fairlightcycles.com/product/...v=7516fd43adaa
Its a small brand, quality steel main triangle, well thought out formed rear triangle, and a mix of brazing and welding. Main triangle is welded and rear triangle is mostly brazed.
The frameset plus headset and seatpost collar is about $1350usd.
You can have fairlight build a full bike or just take the frame and build it yourself. A 105 drivetrain bike is $2700 from them(details of all the spec online) and you could do dozens of different builds for the same general price or less on your own if you have the time.

There is a 2-3 month wait, but hey- you wanted boutique/custom so thats just right in line with the experience!
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Old 06-06-19, 07:50 AM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by eja_ bottecchia View Post
As much as I have complained about my wife on prior occasions, the one thing that I am grateful for is that she has never, ever, complained about any of my bike purchases. She knows what cycling means to me, both for my physical and mental health, so she lets me splurge, sometimes frivolously, on bike-related purchases.

Lying is not good.
Right. Health. And so many other reasons.

I would think that a wife would encourage her husband to engage in vigorous physical exercise and that a husband would encourage his wife. Nobody wants an unhealthy spouse. Bonus if they enjoy it together.

I remember an post at an online dating site - the woman wrote, "Oh, and hobbies. Have some."

The photo of the truck stuck in the pot hole is great, by the way.


-Tim-

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Old 06-06-19, 09:28 AM
  #36  
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I'm really craving an Allied bike. They are built in my home state and have just came out with a new Gravel bike called the Able.




The Allroad is the model I would like.

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Old 06-06-19, 10:49 AM
  #37  
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Thanks for the updates and opinions. I'm going to check the stuff people have mentioned throughout the thread and more. I'm not in a huge hurry and I want to get the right bike for me so I'm gonna do it right.
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Old 06-06-19, 11:00 AM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by Junkbeast View Post
Well I've never been to Cambodia but the roads here probably compare; as I said it's like a 3rd world country in a lot of places. I laugh at people who need to laugh at others for buying what they want and minding their own business.

These pics represent pretty typical roads in my area.





This is the one where the crew fixing potholes got stuck in the huge pothole.
Wow, a pavement truck stuck in a giant pot hole. I doubt anyone short of a mountain biker can top that for pucker power on a bike
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Old 06-06-19, 07:49 PM
  #39  
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Like you I started out looking at super high end gravel bikes but ended up buying something just as good, though way better value. I ended up getting a Giant Revolt Advanced 0 for $2950 out the door. Having spent the equivalent value of a BMW 5-series on road & MB's bikes the last three years, I just didn't have the stomach to drop another $5-12K on another bike. My $3K Revolt is just as high performing on gravel as my super bikes on the road. And being all black, you can hardly see the Giant logo
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Old 06-06-19, 10:18 PM
  #40  
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Looks nice. What is that front chainring? I almost thought the Giant logo was a Pivot logo.
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Old 06-06-19, 11:11 PM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by Junkbeast View Post
Looks nice. What is that front chainring? I almost thought the Giant logo was a Pivot logo.
It's an Ultegra crank with Absolute Black 48-32 oval chainrings.
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Old 06-07-19, 07:13 AM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by jbylake View Post
One question. If you go super high end, boutique bike, are you tough enough not to cry, cringe or puke, after about your second or third "gravel" trip, and you see chips, scratches, mud, etc.. on that custom paint and all that shines, when you wash it? Or when you have your first major crash, which is almost inevitable on a "gravel" bike? Just curious. How about two bikes? One dedicated gravel bike on a quality, but lower end bike, and a road bike that can stay nice an "new" looking for a decade.

J.
Ha, I joined up with a group at D2R2 a number of years back and there was a guy on some crazy custom bike in the group who commented on just that - he said he flinched a bit every time a rock pinged off his frame. Meanwhile I was on my cheapo internet special aluminum CX bike without a care in the world.

OP: I do have another suggestion if you aren't in a rush: you might try your luck perusing the for sale ads at some of the fancy-bike forums. That's how I got my Geekhouse for relatively short money.

Admittedly perusing sales only works if you get lucky with sizing or are willing to compromise a bit. Otherwise... seems to me to be hard to go wrong with a Flaanimal or any of the other options mentioned.
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Old 06-07-19, 12:38 PM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by Noctilux.95 View Post
And being all black, you can hardly see the Giant logo
What is it about Giant? I've always respected the quality of their frames and think they offer a great value proposition. But at the end of the day it feels like getting a sensible Japanese sedan instead of the unreliable European car you really love.

The Revolt looks like a great bike on paper. You vouch for it?
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Old 06-07-19, 10:06 PM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by HarborBandS View Post
What is it about Giant? I've always respected the quality of their frames and think they offer a great value proposition. But at the end of the day it feels like getting a sensible Japanese sedan instead of the unreliable European car you really love.

The Revolt looks like a great bike on paper. You vouch for it?
I can absolutely vouch for it!
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Old 06-07-19, 11:33 PM
  #45  
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Many of the things people mentioned here are still going to be too much. I'm tempted to order a Flaanimal build like LeFreakyBone got but they are out of 61cm in the color I want. I'm not going to spend all that money on a color I don't want. Maybe that's dumb but I don't care.

I'm not 100% that 61cm is what I need; 59cm MIGHT be okay but I haven't gotten fitted so I don't want to just pull the trigger. Shops around here aren't returning my messages about fitting so I'm kind of in a holding pattern. My Trek seat tube is about 22.5 in. which equates to 57.15 mm and I've always felt it's just a bit small. I don't know if a 58/59cm would do the trick or if I need to make the jump right to 61cm, so I don't want to buy in haste. Hopefully I can get a fitting where they provide me the info even if I don't buy the bike from them. Seems like shops don't like that maybe...

If I buy something locally here are some possible considerations:
1. Jamis Renegade Expert or Escapade (steel or carbon? )
2. Breezer Inversion Team
3. All City Cosmic Stallion
4. Fuji Jari 1.1 (not crazy about aluminum)
5. Raleigh Tamland 2

Or online:
1. Canyon Grail CF SL 8.0
2. Canyon Endurance CF SL Disc 8.0 Pro (anyone know how wide a tire I could use?)

Any of these seem worthwhile?
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Old 06-08-19, 05:35 AM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by Junkbeast View Post
Lynskey GR270 and GR Pro with Shimano 105 mechnical sets are on sale for over 40% off.
I hate you for making me look at their website. The GR270 frame set is very appealing!
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Old 06-09-19, 11:03 AM
  #47  
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When I was trying to figure out whether the GH f/f I'd bought years before would actually work for me I tried setting up a fitting appointment just to use the local shop's fitter's time to help me figure it out. They basically wouldn't do it (they did give me free advice), they set up the fit just so, and that's it. YMMV. it's a small shop.

If you're just looking to figure out what frame size you take in general, I'd just go to the best local bike shop and tell them you aren't sure what size you take. They should size you for bikes they sell. Angles matter and all, but it would at least give you something of a ballpark figure to work with.

Honestly, if I were you I'd go ride a bunch of bikes and see what you think. Maybe something with scream out at you.
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