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I'm thinking of going through the custom steel process

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I'm thinking of going through the custom steel process

Old 11-24-13, 10:02 AM
  #26  
garciawork
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Originally Posted by halfspeed View Post
Lots of old school builders work that way. Tell them what you want out of the bike, ride with them for a while and then they build you something. OTOH, a friend of mine let a builder run wild and ended up with this:

He loves it.
As one with a fatbike sitting at the buliders waiting on a front wheel to arrive before shipping... that thing above is awesome!!!

I would LOVE to be able to give a builder my measurements, whether I am leaning road or mountain, and let him run free and come up with something like that one day.
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Old 11-24-13, 10:05 AM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by chaadster View Post
That Peacock-thingy fat bike is sweet; the color matched calipers too outrageous! Dunno why one would want single speed, but hey, I'm sure it's not the only bike they've got!

BTW, what is this ISP you guys are talking about?
Integrated Seat Post. Tall column extension of the seat tube. You cut it to proper length (carefully) and mount a small clamp device on top of it to hold the saddle instead of using a sliding seat post.
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Old 11-24-13, 10:57 AM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by rpenmanparker View Post
Integrated Seat Post. Tall column extension of the seat tube. You cut it to proper length (carefully) and mount a small clamp device on top of it to hold the saddle instead of using a sliding seat post.
Oh, of course. Thanks.

I wonder what type of steel tube they'd use for that application?
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Old 11-24-13, 11:16 AM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by chaadster View Post
Oh, of course. Thanks.

I wonder what type of steel tube they'd use for that application?
Whatever the bike is made of, but I imagine some thought about the proper gauge and butting would be needed.
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Old 11-24-13, 11:51 AM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by rpenmanparker View Post
Whatever the bike is made of, but I imagine some thought about the proper gauge and butting would be needed.
Yeah, well, that's what I mean. I don't know of any standard tube set that includes a steel ISM, so I'd think that'd get pretty expensive to have one extruded for a custom build. I'd be curious to know if the builder does that, plans to weld an extension, or replaces the tube set seat tube with another, suitably long tube of different spec.

I don't know Elephant, but looking at their site-- sweetest bike gallery ever, btw-- he really looks like an artisan builder more comfy with established techniques rather than a technical design innovator, but I don't know. I'd be curious to see how that concept plays out. I've seen English do it with a carbon ISM seat tube within an otherwise steel frame, which was sweet.
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Old 11-24-13, 11:58 AM
  #31  
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I have custom steel lust myself after going to Circle A Cycles open house in Sept. Little shop in Providence RI that does gorgeous work. I just need to scrape together the $$$ to do it.
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Old 11-24-13, 12:00 PM
  #32  
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Seems all the Elephant riders here in Spokane are happy with there bikes. I almost went with one but settled for a Co-motion Espresso instead. Really for custom geometry Glen does offer a great deal. Just don't forget to post pics!
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Old 11-24-13, 12:23 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by chaadster View Post
Yeah, well, that's what I mean. I don't know of any standard tube set that includes a steel ISM, so I'd think that'd get pretty expensive to have one extruded for a custom build. I'd be curious to know if the builder does that, plans to weld an extension, or replaces the tube set seat tube with another, suitably long tube of different spec.

I don't know Elephant, but looking at their site-- sweetest bike gallery ever, btw-- he really looks like an artisan builder more comfy with established techniques rather than a technical design innovator, but I don't know. I'd be curious to see how that concept plays out. I've seen English do it with a carbon ISM seat tube within an otherwise steel frame, which was sweet.
Yeah, I know my answer was kind of a cop out. Sorry. Welds are as strong as the base articles so it sjluould 't be a problem. Maybe all the incoming piefes are welded together in one place, the seat tube, the top tube, the mast fort the saddle. Don't know.
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Old 11-24-13, 12:43 PM
  #34  
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If I were working with Glen, I'd ask if he would consider Reynolds 921 stainless; Reynolds is taking orders for early 2014 delivery. Since he already offers 853 as an option he might be interested in 921. Pricing for the 921 tubeset is roughly 2/3 the price of KVA MS2, the current stainless low price leader.



Reynolds 921 Stainless Steel Tubeset Revealed
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Old 11-24-13, 04:29 PM
  #35  
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FWIW, I have been told by multiple builders that stainless is very hard (physically) and does not have the same feel as high-end non-stainless steel from Dedacciai, Reynolds, or Columbus. If you're worried about rust, buy a can of T9.

A modern steel bike with T9 will outlive you.

Before going stainless, talk to the builder about what you want and why. Mine talked me out of it, and I don't regret it.
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Old 11-24-13, 04:59 PM
  #36  
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Actually, s/s wasn't on my radar

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Old 11-24-13, 07:15 PM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by adrien View Post
FWIW, I have been told by multiple builders that stainless is very hard (physically) and does not have the same feel as high-end non-stainless steel from Dedacciai, Reynolds, or Columbus. If you're worried about rust, buy a can of T9.

A modern steel bike with T9 will outlive you.

Before going stainless, talk to the builder about what you want and why. Mine talked me out of it, and I don't regret it.
By all means, please talk to Glen. Talk to other framebuilders like Dave Wages, Dave Anderson, Carl Strong, Sam Whittington, and many others who use stainless. Talk to customers who have ridden steel bikes all their lives, had stainless frames built, and love the ride.

All steels, including stainless, have the same Young's Modulus (200 GPa), virtually the same elongation (~12%), and virtually the same density (~8,000 kg/cu/meter).

Please don't dismiss stainless because of anecdotal mythology. I've ridden this Reynolds 953 stainless bike for thousands of miles over the last six years, and it's my "go to" bike for 90% of my riding.

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Old 11-25-13, 12:37 AM
  #38  
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Yeah, stainless is dope; is Rhygin still around?

Relatedly, here's a Ted James 953 stainless 29er cruiser style with ISM:

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Old 11-25-13, 06:11 AM
  #39  
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Not a road bike, but I like Glen's work.

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Old 11-25-13, 08:30 AM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by Scooper View Post
By all means, please talk to Glen. Talk to other framebuilders like Dave Wages, Dave Anderson, Carl Strong, Sam Whittington, and many others who use stainless. Talk to customers who have ridden steel bikes all their lives, had stainless frames built, and love the ride.

All steels, including stainless, have the same Young's Modulus (200 GPa), virtually the same elongation (~12%), and virtually the same density (~8,000 kg/cu/meter).

Please don't dismiss stainless because of anecdotal mythology. I've ridden this Reynolds 953 stainless bike for thousands of miles over the last six years, and it's my "go to" bike for 90% of my riding.

So, to paraphrase: talk and listen to your builder. Unless he or she contradicts your views, in which case don't listen to them. Okay.

FWIW, I was told by several that Stainless is harder to work, harder to tune for ride characteristics, and offers no intrinsic advantages unless you want to leave it unpainted or outside. Since I wanted mine painted and din't plan on leaving it outside, I followed my builder's advice. I don't believe that the considered opinions of people who build bikes for a living are anecdotal mythology.

Is that frame unpainted? If so, I get the stainless thing. I have stainless on mine, and those sections are unpainted, too.
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Old 11-25-13, 09:21 AM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by adrien View Post
So, to paraphrase: talk and listen to your builder. Unless he or she contradicts your views, in which case don't listen to them. Okay.

FWIW, I was told by several that Stainless is harder to work, harder to tune for ride characteristics, and offers no intrinsic advantages unless you want to leave it unpainted or outside. Since I wanted mine painted and din't plan on leaving it outside, I followed my builder's advice. I don't believe that the considered opinions of people who build bikes for a living are anecdotal mythology.

Is that frame unpainted? If so, I get the stainless thing. I have stainless on mine, and those sections are unpainted, too.
The thing about steel bikes is that paint doesn't fully protect them. First of all it chips and scratches and leaves areas unprotected. Second rust just seems to find a way to start under the paint, or perhaps if there is a minuscule defect you can't see, that is where rust will start. Despite rust-proofing the insides of the tubes do rust, especially the seat tube where moisture gets in around the seat post and the head tube. Stainless rules whether all or partly painted or not. Who cares if it is harder to work. I'm not working it, just paying for it.
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Old 11-25-13, 09:30 AM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by adrien View Post
So, to paraphrase: talk and listen to your builder. Unless he or she contradicts your views, in which case don't listen to them. Okay
I think a better way to look at it is talk to your builder about what you want to achieve. Weight, stiffness, ride, aesthetics, durability, fit, budget, etc. Focus on goals, not the solution. Make sure your priorities are clear, as well as how to balance conflicts. For example, if stiffness is priority 1 and weight is priority 2, how much weight are you willing to sacrifice to improve stiffness? If you have your heart set on a particular tubeset, tell the builder why.

Let the builder get "in your head" and then give them the freedom to figure out the best implementation. Design is a game of trade-offs and if you constrain too many variables, the builder won't be able to get to the optimal solution. If you don't trust the builder to come up with an optimal solution, then you should probably choose a different builder. The great frame builders are infinitely more than just "guys who are good with a torch".
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Old 11-25-13, 09:59 AM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by adrien View Post
FWIW, I have been told by multiple builders that stainless is very hard (physically) and does not have the same feel as high-end non-stainless steel from Dedacciai, Reynolds, or Columbus[/. If you're worried about rust, buy a can of T9.
It is the underlined part of your comment I objected to. There simply is no evidence that stainless won't have exactly the same "feel" as high-end non-stainless steel given the same tube diameters, wall thicknesses and butting. Steel is steel.

Originally Posted by adrien View Post
So, to paraphrase: talk and listen to your builder. Unless he or she contradicts your views, in which case don't listen to them. Okay.

FWIW, I was told by several that Stainless is harder to work, harder to tune for ride characteristics, and offers no intrinsic advantages unless you want to leave it unpainted or outside. Since I wanted mine painted and din't plan on leaving it outside, I followed my builder's advice. I don't believe that the considered opinions of people who build bikes for a living are anecdotal mythology.
It's not about mine or anyone elses "views"... Some stainless tubing like 953 is hard on tooling, and all of the current stainless steels used for bicycle tubing require lots of practice with a brazing torch to get exactly the right temperature to avoid overheating the tubes. For these reasons many builders simply don't like to work with it and will steer customers toward non-stainless steels. That's fine, but to say the "feel" is different simply isn't true.

Originally Posted by adrien View Post
Is that frame unpainted? If so, I get the stainless thing. I have stainless on mine, and those sections are unpainted, too.
Yes; it is unpainted and has six years and thousands of miles of riding on it; it still looks brand new. The frame is polished, though, which gives the bare steel the appearance of having been chrome plated.
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Old 11-25-13, 11:44 AM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by rpenmanparker View Post
Many folks just want to be more involved in the nitty-gritty.
From the builders I know and work with, this is a frustrating exercise that often results in disappointment. What I am saying is that any good build will start with a clear understanding of a rider's wants and needs - let the builder do the rest. It is not the whim of the builder, rather the builder trying to do what he thinks is best for the rider given his building style and available materials. Attempting to micromanage this process will add delays and frustration on both parts. For each builder, certain welding styles and materials will be used to achieve a desired product. This will vary from each builder according to his own methods, materials, and experience. Thus your choice of builder needs to take these factors into account. It is the buyer's job to best determine who best fits his ideal build, not the other way around.

Asking random builders to use the newest ultralight unobtainium tubes or unfamiliar processes often results in a sub optimal frame. Moreover, Glen Copus has forgotten more about bikes than anyone in this thread will ever know. Part of getting a custom frame from him will be utilizing his VAST experience building bikes based on your needs. If you want some random internet person's opinion to overrule his, you should really look elsewhere for a frame. Try asking Richard Sachs for a fillet brazed frame with the material de jour and see what happens.
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Old 11-25-13, 12:08 PM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by qqy View Post
From the builders I know and work with, this is a frustrating exercise that often results in disappointment. What I am saying is that any good build will start with a clear understanding of a rider's wants and needs - let the builder do the rest. It is not the whim of the builder, rather the builder trying to do what he thinks is best for the rider given his building style and available materials. Attempting to micromanage this process will add delays and frustration on both parts. For each builder, certain welding styles and materials will be used to achieve a desired product. This will vary from each builder according to his own methods, materials, and experience. Thus your choice of builder needs to take these factors into account. It is the buyer's job to best determine who best fits his ideal build, not the other way around.

Asking random builders to use the newest ultralight unobtainium tubes or unfamiliar processes often results in a sub optimal frame. Moreover, Glen Copus has forgotten more about bikes than anyone in this thread will ever know. Part of getting a custom frame from him will be utilizing his VAST experience building bikes based on your needs. If you want some random internet person's opinion to overrule his, you should really look elsewhere for a frame. Try asking Richard Sachs for a fillet brazed frame with the material de jour and see what happens.
This is all very true, and it's clear the OP wants to have Glen build his custom steel bike, which is why I said:

Originally Posted by Scooper View Post
If I were working with Glen, I'd ask if he would consider Reynolds 921 stainless...
He can always say no, that he prefers to use the materials and methods he feels comfortable with.
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Old 11-26-13, 11:28 AM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by Scooper View Post
It is the underlined part of your comment I objected to. There simply is no evidence that stainless won't have exactly the same "feel" as high-end non-stainless steel given the same tube diameters, wall thicknesses and butting. Steel is steel.



It's not about mine or anyone elses "views"... Some stainless tubing like 953 is hard on tooling, and all of the current stainless steels used for bicycle tubing require lots of practice with a brazing torch to get exactly the right temperature to avoid overheating the tubes. For these reasons many builders simply don't like to work with it and will steer customers toward non-stainless steels. That's fine, but to say the "feel" is different simply isn't true.

This is what EVERY builder told me that worked with SS at the Denver hand made show.

I claim Dave Wages as a friend, and he sure does make a few SS bikes, including the one Scooper has shown.
He told me that it was a steel bike and would feel the same. He could build it just like my other steel Ellis, and the only difference was it would not rust as quickly and would polish up to a very nice shine. But as far as ride goes, exactly the same. He had no reason to say this to me. Dave does both steel and SS. In fact, it would have been more $$$ for him if I would have ordered a SS rather than a steel one.

I would trust the builder I picked out to decide what tubes and how to join them.

It's a fun process. Please enjoy it as much as you enjoy your bike when you get it.
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Old 11-26-13, 11:41 AM
  #47  
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Well, submitting my measurements this afternoon. I'll keep posting to the thread as the process unfolds. I would consider myself a pretty low-demand customer, no princess-and-the-pea syndrome from me. The only must haves so far are bb30 and ISP. I like the idea of oversized tubes as well, when I have that conversation with Glen, I'll let everyone who has participated here know. Thanks all for your comments/questions.
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Old 11-26-13, 12:36 PM
  #48  
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Subscribed, looking forward to it. Thoughts on paint?
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Old 11-26-13, 12:53 PM
  #49  
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FWIW, John Speare at Elephant says Glen has built (and will build) KVA MS2 stainless frames. For stainless, add $600 to the price of any frame.

Admittedly, that's a substantial premium. It's worth it to some, not to others.
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Old 11-26-13, 01:42 PM
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Originally Posted by qqy View Post
From the builders I know and work with, this is a frustrating exercise that often results in disappointment. What I am saying is that any good build will start with a clear understanding of a rider's wants and needs - let the builder do the rest. It is not the whim of the builder, rather the builder trying to do what he thinks is best for the rider given his building style and available materials. Attempting to micromanage this process will add delays and frustration on both parts. For each builder, certain welding styles and materials will be used to achieve a desired product. This will vary from each builder according to his own methods, materials, and experience. Thus your choice of builder needs to take these factors into account. It is the buyer's job to best determine who best fits his ideal build, not the other way around.

Asking random builders to use the newest ultralight unobtainium tubes or unfamiliar processes often results in a sub optimal frame. Moreover, Glen Copus has forgotten more about bikes than anyone in this thread will ever know. Part of getting a custom frame from him will be utilizing his VAST experience building bikes based on your needs. If you want some random internet person's opinion to overrule his, you should really look elsewhere for a frame. Try asking Richard Sachs for a fillet brazed frame with the material de jour and see what happens.
I think you misunderstood my intent. I did not mean that the customer should be looking over the builder's shoulder and micromanaging the design and build process step by step. But the buyer should get what he wants and not settle for what the builder likes to build. After all, if that is not true, than exactly what does custom mean. Not just made-to-measure. Yes, if that means there is a disconnect and a different builder would be more suitable, so be it. The buyer needs to shop for a builder who is sympatico with him. But if a buyer can't say I want ultra-light weight stainless tubes, what is the point of a custom build? Or in a different sense, if the buyer can't ask the builder how would he accomplish the best compromise of light and stiff, why use the guy. These are just examples; other features would be subject to the same choice. Sure a builder can say, "I don't do that. I am opposed to that on principle." No problem. That doesn't mean the preferences are the only right way to build a bike just because they guy has history and a reputation. The buyer needs to find someone more in tune with his thinking. If the buyer is making a mistake, that is his right and his money.

It's funny. Some people like the self-service meat case, some people like dealing with the butcher in a specialty shop. But just because you want to talk to the butcher, doesn't mean you should get sold the cut he thinks is best, or the one he overbought on and needs to move out before it goes bad. It is your money, your choice.
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