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How much $ for a custom frame?

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How much $ for a custom frame?

Old 07-19-17, 11:49 AM
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MikeOK
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How much $ for a custom frame?

I'm a strange fit and have been told I would be a candidate for a custom frame. About what would it set me back for a custom frame? I was able to make my current bike work but I had to make compromises. Does anybody have a link to any builders?
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Old 07-19-17, 12:02 PM
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Around here it should cost ~$1,800. My suggestion would be to find someone local, or at least close enough that you can go talk, get measured, etc.
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Old 07-19-17, 05:53 PM
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Frame material will affect price. ~$1,800 would not get you half the custom ti frame (without fork) I had made for me a few years ago. Assuming the builder is taking orders again, frame alone will likely be close to $4K.

Agree that you should try to by local for the reasons noted.
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Old 07-19-17, 06:00 PM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
Frame material will affect price. ~$1,800 would not get you half the custom ti frame (without fork) I had made for me a few years ago. Assuming the builder is taking orders again, frame alone will likely be close to $4K.

Agree that you should try to by local for the reasons noted.
Wow that's a lot of cash. It would be hard for me to justify that.
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Old 07-19-17, 06:10 PM
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A local builder is best. Another option if you want custom Ti on a budget is Habanero, that's the route I went and I am pleased. Last I checked they charge $1200 for custom Ti.
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Old 07-19-17, 06:17 PM
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Originally Posted by MikeOK View Post
Wow that's a lot of cash. It would be hard for me to justify that.
That's for ti built by a sole proprietor who is a perfectionist:

Engin Cycles | Handmade Titanium Bicycles Philadelphia, PA

His shop is amazing.

Something like a steel frame would be less.
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Old 07-19-17, 06:18 PM
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You can get a Gunnar for < $2000. My Waterford and my Gunnar are my favorite bikes.

Custom Bicycle Frames from Gunnar Cycles USA

There are several Waterford and Gunnar owners here on BF if you have questions.
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Old 07-19-17, 06:19 PM
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I bet you can be fitted to an off the shelf frame with judicious choices of handlebars, stem, and seatpost. A custom frame is rarely justified even by an unusual physique.
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Old 07-19-17, 06:21 PM
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Think about Yellow Jersey if you'd like to order a delicious Gunnar/Waterford. (Ignore the 90's looking website. They are legit)
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Old 07-19-17, 06:26 PM
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I have a Habanero would recommend call him ( Mark ) the owner. I will be you get the best service and price. Not as bad as you think.
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Old 07-19-17, 06:26 PM
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If I recall correctly, @carpediemracing had a custom Al frame made from Tsunami Bikes (in AZ). I believe the price was fairly reasonable (<$1000).

Keep in mind, small local builders are likely to be somewhat cheaper than the "big names". Depending on what you're looking for.
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Old 07-19-17, 07:10 PM
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What's so odd about your fit that you need a custom frame? Was the place that told you that associated with a custom builder, like their fit shop?
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Old 07-19-17, 07:14 PM
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I'm 5' 7 1/2" with a 32" inseam. I'm riding a 54 with an 80 stem and it's slightly big for me, I'm just a little too stretched out on it. Plus my bars are just maybe 1/2" lower than the seat. I'm only showing about 6" of seatpost.
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Old 07-19-17, 07:18 PM
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Originally Posted by MikeOK View Post
I'm 5' 7 1/2" with a 32" inseam.
So what's the odd part?
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Old 07-19-17, 07:25 PM
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I did have Joseph Wells of Tsunami Bikes make me a frame. Not a "frameset" since no fork. I had one done in 2010, another one in 2011, then had the original 2010 one modified (shorten the chainstays)... in 2013? He charged me very little to shorten the chainstays as he was unable to paint the frame after. I had a local guy who happened to be painting his car spray some paint on my frame.

My geometry is definitely unique - 40 cm c-c seat tube (based on an aluminum Giant TCR from back in the day), 56.5 cm effective top tube, 75.5 deg seat tube angle. With such a long front-center I need short stays, 39 cm is about the minimum. My second frame, with aero style tubing, has 39.0 cm stays. The modified regular tubed frame has 39.3 cm stays.

I got the frames as working tools, for racing crits. I expected to commission many builds as I experimented with various frame specs. I figured I'd eventually buy a "nice" frame with whatever geometry.

The reality is that I don't feel the need to do anything more. I may commission one more frame but it's more for UCI legality than functionality - I want to raise the BB to see if I can keep a UCI legal position without compromising my out-of-saddle sprint style/position. Otherwise I don't see the need to change the frames I have now.

The original frame is I think 1200g, maybe 1250g? It was 1450g or so when I first got it. The aero tube frame is 1650g. Both are plenty stiff. Although I primarily race crits, both have carried me on long rides, 10 hours or so.
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Old 07-19-17, 07:29 PM
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Originally Posted by WhyFi View Post
So what's the odd part?
The main thing that bothers me is the seat post, it makes the bike look too big for me.
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Old 07-19-17, 08:52 PM
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Originally Posted by MikeOK View Post
I'm 5' 7 1/2" with a 32" inseam. I'm riding a 54 with an 80 stem and it's slightly big for me, I'm just a little too stretched out on it. Plus my bars are just maybe 1/2" lower than the seat. I'm only showing about 6" of seatpost.
Originally Posted by MikeOK View Post
The main thing that bothers me is the seat post, it makes the bike look too big for me.
Is it a sloping or kevel top tube?
6" of seatpost and bars 1/2" under saddle doesnt sound like anything excessivley wonky.
If you are too stretched out, maybe a 53 or 52cm frame? Or maybe some compact handlebars with less reach than your current ones?
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Old 07-19-17, 09:11 PM
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Sloping top tube. It works I'm just at a stage my life that I can afford a good bike. This one is good don't get me wrong, I just always wanted a top end bike.
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Old 07-19-17, 09:13 PM
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Originally Posted by MikeOK View Post
I'm 5' 7 1/2" with a 32" inseam. I'm riding a 54 with an 80 stem and it's slightly big for me, I'm just a little too stretched out on it. Plus my bars are just maybe 1/2" lower than the seat. I'm only showing about 6" of seatpost.
I kind of have similar built, long legs short torso, 5'8 with 33" inseam.
I just received my custom Titanium frame 2 months ago and I surely recommend going the custom route
the thing is it's from a chinese company, so maybe not everyone's cup of tea
I only have 700km on it, but it's been great so far
and it's $800 for the frame only, so it doesn't hurt the bank
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Old 07-19-17, 09:16 PM
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About all of them are Chinese these days. My Motobecane was built in Taiwan.

Do you have a link?

Last edited by MikeOK; 07-19-17 at 09:40 PM.
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Old 07-19-17, 09:22 PM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
Is it a sloping or kevel top tube?
6" of seatpost and bars 1/2" under saddle doesnt sound like anything excessivley wonky.
If you are too stretched out, maybe a 53 or 52cm frame? Or maybe some compact handlebars with less reach than your current ones?
I thought you could only shorten the reach with the stem. Are you saying they make bars that shorten your reach? I think 1" would make a world of difference.
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Old 07-19-17, 09:49 PM
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Yeah, you can get bars in a wide array of reaches and drops. My first CX bike came with a very compact bar, which I absolutely could not get comfortable-- I need a longer reach and a bigger drop. You should look at compact bars-- I know Specialized makes some "short reach" bars with like 65mm of reach and 125mm of drop. By comparison, my Easton bars have 85mm of reach and 145mm of drop.
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Old 07-19-17, 09:58 PM
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Originally Posted by carpediemracing View Post

The original frame is I think 1200g, maybe 1250g? It was 1450g or so when I first got it. The aero tube frame is 1650g. Both are plenty stiff. Although I primarily race crits, both have carried me on long rides, 10 hours or so.
Really, 10 hours on a race frame? I don't think I could have done that when I was riding 200+ miles/week.
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Old 07-19-17, 10:00 PM
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If you find the right builder and develop a good rapport with him, you may find the experience of both the you have and the bike that results is enough that you will not regret the money spent.

I found a builder in Portland through a recommendation for a builder to build me a custom stem. Landed the job that paid enough that having the bike I had wanted since I test road an early Merlin many years before. Went to the builder of my stem, Dave Levy of TiCycles, with a quite specific idea of what I wanted but quite open as to how to achieve it. He built me a bike that his unique, felt perfect from the first ride. (Oh, I had to do the usual tweaking of seat position and bars and hoods. But everything fell completely within the norm, most at mid-adjustment. The seat set-back was an exception. I spec'ed a 74 seat angle to allow decent sized tires, rear wheel well forward and room for fenders. All to get the bike I REALLY wanted. That meant a good deal of seatpost setback was needed. First go-round, I used an Avocet seatpost and the seat slammed. Worked until the post broke. I ended up with a custom TiCycles post with tons of setback. Elegant, does the job perfectly (clamp no mid-rail, not slammed) and very expensive!

End result of this collaboration? Well I now have another TiCycles custom. They have done very significant repairs on two of my other bikes and built me custom drivetrain parts for my current project. All 5 of my bikes are significantly better because of this. I have close to a dream fleet of bikes now that are all a joy to ride and that I trust completely. I also have a bank account that is significanty lighter. It's a deal that works for me.

I'm actually not quite done. The Peter Mooney will get a badly needed paint job at the end of the summer. I'll have TiCycles do a touch of maintenance work, move a cable guide that now is in the wrong place (for reasons that couldn't have been anticipated 40 years ago) and add a third set of WB bosses under the down tube. (This will be the bike's third paint job. The second was at year 5 after a fork ending crash. Ed Litton of Richmond, CA, just starting out on his own, charged me way too little for a perfect Imron paint job. (There was one pinprick of an imperfection on the inside of the chainstay that I never found again after the bike was built up. But 25 years of life, moving and riding have taken their toll.

Ben
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Old 07-19-17, 10:17 PM
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Originally Posted by MikeOK View Post
About all of them are Chinese these days. My Motobecane was built in Taiwan.

Do you have a link?
not many chinese brand offering custom geometry and single order
Waltly - Makers of custom high-end titanium bicycle frames, forks and small parts is their web though not many info about their build process
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