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Framebuilders Thinking about a custom frame? Lugged vs Fillet Brazed. Different Frame materials? Newvex or Pacenti Lugs? why get a custom Road, Mountain, or Track Frame? Got a question about framebuilding? Lets discuss framebuilding at it's finest.

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Old 03-02-06, 02:48 PM   #1
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An Idiot's Plea

Alright I know many of you are gonna let out a little sigh when you read this but I've decided to take the plunge and go custom. Either tomorrow or Saturday I'm gonna head down to Witcomb Cycles in Deptford again and put down my deposit and figure out what I wanna do. So before I go I was wondering if the framebuilding community would be so kind as to help a fool like me out.

So I'm going in for an old school, very plain styled track bike. Pretty standard lugs, long but not ornate, flat crown fork, no brazeons, etc. I'm used to and would like pretty traditional track geometry however I'm thinking about riding it sort of street fixed style and on some tours. This brings me to my first question. What would the feasibility be of having two forks, one undrilled for track and one drilled and a bit slacker for longer and street rides.

Also I'd like to keep the tubing pretty traditional. The two most basic options Witcomb has are Columbus SL and 531. I was going to go with the SL because the tubes he had in stock seemed to be of higher quality (to my completely untrained eye) and he said they were a little easier to get in. Do you all have any suggestions on tubing, should I upgrade to a newer set of tubes? I've ridden SLX and 531 bikes before and they're both great rides and I highly doubt I'll be able to tell the difference but why not ask while I can?

In terms of dropouts and track ends I was thinking about going with the Campy track ends and whatever he had in stock for fork ends. Anything I should know about either fork or track ends?

Finally any advice on how to be a good customer. I'd really like to walk in there knowing what the hell I'm talking about so that I don't waste my time and his. What questions are important to ask and what's stupid isht to avoid?

Thanks a ton,
Bloodstains, speed kills, fast bikes, cheap thrills, French girls, fine wine...
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Old 03-03-06, 08:27 PM   #2
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I'm not the best guy to answer all your questions but here's my take on custom.
1. You gotta feel comfortable that the person building the bike is very good at building frames.
2. You need a person to fit you who has lots of experience at fitting
3. You have to tell them exactly what you want out of the bike (intended use, stiffness, handling, etc)
4. They need to see you ride your current bike and find out what you like and what you would change
5. Ask to see the frame drawing before they start cutting tubes

The process has to be more complete than taking some measurements of your body and telling you what you need. My last 3 bikes have been custom and while I don't really NEED custom sizing I have thoroughly enjoyed the process and feel the bikes are unique to my desires/needs.

Good luck.
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