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Custom Builder Recommendation

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Custom Builder Recommendation

Old 09-26-14, 04:25 PM
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Tbobx
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Custom Builder Recommendation

I am just starting to look at upgrading to a custom road bike and looking for recommended builders, preferably near Washington DC.

I am 5'11" and 215 lbs on a good day. I ride 100+ miles per week on roads and trails as long as the temperature is above freezing. My current bike is a Trek aluminum which I regret buying because of the harsh ride. Prior to that I had a steel Specialized Allez which was old and heavy but in near new condition.

I am also considering a Colnago Master which when fitted with Campagnolo gruppo reaches into the price range that I might as well look at a custom bike too.

The forums thoughts on good builders and custom vs high end Italian appreciated.
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Old 09-26-14, 05:53 PM
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Next year's North American Handmade Bicycle Show will be at the Kentucky International Convention Center in Louisville, March 6-8, 2015. If you're thinking about getting a custom road bike, you owe it to yourself to attend. There's nothing quite like looking at hundreds of custom bikes and talking to the builders in one place at the same time.

2015 NAHBS
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Old 09-26-14, 07:37 PM
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What tires/pressure you riding?
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Old 09-26-14, 09:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Scooper View Post
Next year's North American Handmade Bicycle Show will be at the Kentucky International Convention Center in Louisville, March 6-8, 2015. If you're thinking about getting a custom road bike, you owe it to yourself to attend. There's nothing quite like looking at hundreds of custom bikes and talking to the builders in one place at the same time.

2015 NAHBS
I've considered that but was hoping Santa Claus would bring this kid a new bike.
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Old 09-26-14, 09:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Craig Ryan View Post
What tires/pressure you riding?
Recently put Bontrager tires on the original Bontrager wheels with blade spokes. I keep tire pressure at 105-110 psi.
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Old 09-26-14, 09:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Tbobx View Post
I've considered that but was hoping Santa Claus would bring this kid a new bike.
Look, depending on what builder you go with and the time of year you may be looking at a lead time of anywhere from 4-6 weeks minimum (For larger custom shops like say Seven or Moots employing teams of people) to many months (big name individual artisan builders working solo by themselves). Even ordering and having all the designwork done right now today, you might not have a frameset before March.

If you want to aim for a December XMas present. You can make it happen, but it will likely mean going with larger shops rather than individual builders. That isn't to say there's anything wrong with a Seven or Moots over a say a Strong....but some people want that individual artisan touch where one man does all the designwork/metalwork/paint/customer-service. I myself am the happy owner of a Seven, and loved the experience of getting exactly what I asked for and getting a tag with the signatures of the individuals who designed/prepped/welded/finished my frameset.

Originally Posted by Tbobx View Post
Recently put Bontrager tires on the original Bontrager wheels with blade spokes. I keep tire pressure at 105-110 psi.
You want bigger tires at a lower pressure, am I correct in guessing you're riding 23mm?
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Old 09-26-14, 10:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Marcus_Ti View Post
Look, depending on what builder you go with and the time of year you may be looking at a lead time of anywhere from 4-6 weeks minimum (For larger custom shops like say Seven or Moots employing teams of people) to many months (big name individual artisan builders working solo by themselves). Even ordering and having all the designwork done right now today, you might not have a frameset before March.

If you want to aim for a December XMas present. You can make it happen, but it will likely mean going with larger shops rather than individual builders. That isn't to say there's anything wrong with a Seven or Moots over a say a Strong....but some people want that individual artisan touch where one man does all the designwork/metalwork/paint/customer-service. I myself am the happy owner of a Seven, and loved the experience of getting exactly what I asked for and getting a tag with the signatures of the individuals who designed/prepped/welded/finished my frameset.



You want bigger tires at a lower pressure, am I correct in guessing you're riding 23mm?
Yes i realize I have sat on my butt perhaps too long for a custom bike by Christmas. But the holiday isn't going to drive the decision. Having the bike late winter for riding in early spring is probably more realistic. Where are Moots and Seven located and what was the ordering process like?

Youre correct about 700x23mm tires.

Thanks.
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Old 09-27-14, 06:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Tbobx View Post
Yes i realize I have sat on my butt perhaps too long for a custom bike by Christmas. But the holiday isn't going to drive the decision. Having the bike late winter for riding in early spring is probably more realistic. Where are Moots and Seven located and what was the ordering process like?

Youre correct about 700x23mm tires.

Thanks.
Moots and Seven work through local affiliated dealer shops. Their websites have dealer locators. For fitting and trying out rides. Otherwise Sevens are built in Watertown, MA and Moots in Steamboat Springs, CO. They aren't the only large custom builders around, they're the ones I went to as a titanium shopper.

-Seven, has the client do a body measurement session at their dealer
-then client then has a 10 page or so document to fill out regarding just about everything. You can download the PDF from their website to see it. The current client bike (make/model/year for geometry), past bikes, what they like/dislike about the current/past rides, what they want in handling of their new bike, what salient design points the client wants from their Seven (fenders, racks, tire clearance, custom top tube slope, toe overlap, disc brakes, bottom-bracket style, headset style, wheel spacing, derailleur mounting, etc.)...after all that is done it gets sent to Seven...
-someone from Seven gives you a phone call at your liesure, y'all talk about your answers and any questions cleared up. Mine was about an hour.
-A bit later (maybe a week)...your local dealer will get a copy of the prototypical body fit they designed (if you let them do the fit and didn't have a frame geometry you specified and stuck too). They'll take one of their bikes and do their damndest to replicate the relative riding position so you can try it out before anything is welded/fabricated. You offer any feedback.
-Then you wait for it to be fabricated and shipped.

IIRC, Moots does something similar for their custom work. The biggest thing is knowing exactly what you what. If you know what you want they can build it.


Now regarding tire choice...at 215#s...well you do not belong on 23mm tires. 25mm at a minimum. My own rule of thumb is that for comfort, use what tire size allows you to keep PSI down to 90-95 without pinch flatting. Now, if your current bike doesn't permit 25mm or larger (and lots of consumer race bikes have taken to doing this stupid practice), that is another thing. When I designed my Seven roadie I specifically asked for 28mm tire clearance.
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Old 11-11-14, 03:37 AM
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what do you think of the carbon material for you bike ,if you don't mind ,the carbon is in good quality,may be you can try.
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Old 11-11-14, 08:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Tbobx View Post
I've considered that but was hoping Santa Claus would bring this kid a new bike.
Your timing for Santa to deliver a custom bike by Christmas is not reasonable, even late Winter.

Go to the Show. There will be goofy stuff and plenty to really consider too.

You mentioned the Allez was heavy...no mention on the ride. Personally weight I think is a non issue.

Last edited by repechage; 11-11-14 at 08:25 AM.
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Old 11-12-14, 02:16 PM
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The elves say they'll have my bike on Santa's sleigh in time to be under my tree.

Here's to hoping for a blue sky Christmas!
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Old 11-12-14, 05:27 PM
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