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how about custom steel frames from china?

Old 11-30-16, 05:07 AM
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how about custom steel frames from china?

was continuing the fruitless search for a reasonably-priced
steel fork with a super-long steering tube and came across
this frame builder advertising on taobao.

looks like he has steel lugged frames starting at around $250,
depending on (taiwan production) tubing selection.

https://item.taobao.com/item.htm?id=523046893901

also has some sort of DIY design your own steel frame starting under $200.
(you can see some customers posted photos of completed bikes, scroll down a bit
until the search bar with orange magnifying glass appears....couple inches to
right, click the orange number to see comments.) 2-week production time?

https://item.taobao.com/item.htm?spm...id=40423792181

chatted with him late last night, says he can make me a fork to
my specs (i asked about 400mm steerer) for about $50.

also asked about a big-boy 25" mtb frame, he sent me a photo of a
surly troll and said to send him desired dimensions.
..........this could be fun. (current bike ~ troll XL size)

ok, so i'm thinking jet black XXL troll with stainless steel lugs?
maybe a few skulls and crossbones under the clearcoat,
and a "zombie-killer slayer" logo as a badge. sweet.

Last edited by saddlesores; 11-30-16 at 05:17 AM.
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Old 11-30-16, 05:31 AM
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lovely looking framesets.
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Old 11-30-16, 07:09 AM
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jinkies! check out the 3D laser carving!!



https://item.taobao.com/item.htm?spm...7-c0f1d182535f
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Old 11-30-16, 08:13 AM
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Originally Posted by saddlesores
maybe a few skulls and crossbones under the clearcoat,
and a "zombie-killer slayer" logo as a badge.
Heh, thatd be legendary status if you actually put such a reference on your bike.
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Old 11-30-16, 08:19 AM
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Can you choose what type/ grade of steel?
Does the builder seem trust worthy?
Any ideas, cost etc. about shipping to the U.S.
Good luck with it.
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Old 11-30-16, 08:38 AM
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Originally Posted by Squeezebox
Can you choose what type/ grade of steel?
Does the builder seem trust worthy?
Any ideas, cost etc. about shipping to the U.S.
Good luck with it.
sure, can always choose brand/version of tubing.
i assume the starting prices are for "entry level" steel.
in this case it's columbus cromor.
it's slightly thicker at 0.09/0.06/0.09 than the lighter
0.08/0/05/0.08 reynolds. no biggie, and i'd prefer
thicker tubing for touring anyways.

trusty? dunno, it's a dude on the interwebs. but has
good feedback on taobao page with comments and
photos from satisfied customers.

don't know about shipping to the usa, but shouldn't
be more than $50 or so. could contact seller if
interested. shipping within china is under $10
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Old 11-30-16, 09:12 AM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr
Heh, thatd be legendary status if you actually put such a reference on your bike.
here's a rough idea for the head badge.
imagine it in 3D....and i'm ready for the katy!
i might even get it silkscreened onto my
winter thermal denim cycling tights!
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Old 11-30-16, 10:02 AM
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do it
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Old 11-30-16, 10:53 AM
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if you scroll down the page he uses Reynolds and Columbus tubing or am i reading that wrong..
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Old 11-30-16, 11:13 AM
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Sounds cool, go for it and please post pics !
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Old 11-30-16, 11:21 AM
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Originally Posted by antokelly
if you scroll down the page he uses Reynolds and Columbus tubing or am i reading that wrong..
reynolds: 525, 531, 725, 853

columbus: cromor, slx
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Old 11-30-16, 11:41 AM
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I worry about the factory cutting too many corners to save money in production.

How are you going to know what steel tubing was actually used?
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Old 11-30-16, 01:02 PM
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This is going to probably be offensive, but that site is absolutely everything I would figure a Chinese C2C or B2C website would be. Just an overwhelming of the senses.

I have no reason to assume the frame isnt quality and wouldnt be legit, its just shocking that a small builder would have access to that many models of tubing. I dont know which ones require specific training, but am positive some domestic builders dont use one brand and model or another due to not being certified. Surprising this seller has access to all of them.

If all that is legit, those are some really well finished frames.
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Old 11-30-16, 02:46 PM
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Originally Posted by saddlesores
reynolds: 525, 531, 725, 853

columbus: cromor, slx
yeah if i had extra cash i would be hitting the button on the 853 as long as you get the size right your on a winner i reckon.
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Old 11-30-16, 07:28 PM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr
This is going to probably be offensive, but that site is absolutely everything I would figure a Chinese C2C or B2C website would be. Just an overwhelming of the senses....
absolutely! that's just the way it's done here.
if you've ever walked down the street in chinatown,
the complete overwhelming chaos of signs and banners and
carp hanging from lamppoles....

we've gotten used to clean and efficient websites, with
simple and attractive front pages, organized with logical
submenus.

chinese websites resemble chinatown back alleys.
everything forced onto one page that scrolls (hey, chinese
love scrolls!) down forever, and almost everything is
clickable as a link.

haha, wanna talk about chinese PPT's?
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Old 11-30-16, 07:33 PM
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Originally Posted by rm -rf
...How are you going to know what steel tubing was actually used?
you know it's legit, cause it's got an official label!
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Old 11-30-16, 07:44 PM
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Custom steel frame from China ? Seems like an oxymoron.
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Old 11-30-16, 10:10 PM
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https://www.wearefactoryfive.com/

Bike shop in Shanghai owned by a Canadian I went to school with. I just bought a frame from them. Great products at half the price of what you'd pay in North America, made for them by a factory in south China. Let me just say, I know a thing or two about bikes and their welds are unbelievable. Their smooth welded aluminum frames are better done than the old US made Cannondales, and on their steel frames, some of the best TIG welding I've ever seen. They do fillet brazing and lugged too. Their site lists only fixed gear frames but they do all types of frames upon request.

The only caveat is geometry. I'd stick with a North American builder if you want a true custom dimension frame.

I can't vouch for the builder in the OP's link. I wouldn't dismiss Chinese builders categorically. There's great stuff and crap stuff coming from this country.
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Old 11-30-16, 11:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Yan
Oh man, that lattice chain ring with the Omnium is sweet in silver
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Old 12-01-16, 01:15 AM
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I'll try out the dnomaiD wooden pedals. It they are as advertised, I'll be placing a frame order shortly thereafter.

linky link
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Old 12-01-16, 04:46 AM
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saddkesores, No doubt that there are some talented bicycle frame builders in China, but to me a custom frame includes personalized geometry. Caveat: Unless there is a preferred mass produced model that the builder can replicate and then apply the tubing choice(s) and custom touches a prospective buyer desires.

Another thought ocurred to me. This could be a venue for those tourists and Clydes/Athenas dealing with extra heavy loads to spec a bike with a 73 mm BB shell and 145 mm rear drop out spacing...

Brad
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Old 12-03-16, 10:07 AM
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Originally Posted by martianone
Custom steel frame from China ? Seems like an oxymoron.
How about custom cotton shirts from Hong Kong? Wool suits too?

I have been getting them since 1971, and much better quality than anything I have purchased in Canada/USA.
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Old 12-03-16, 01:27 PM
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My, Custom touring frame has 2 Tubes that form the rear triangle and run parallel for the top tube , and has a Twin plate fork crown with an Offset + a bit of rake in the Blades ,,

I was In the Shop while it was getting Built , and argues out details as they came up ..

I couldn't do that with a remote shop, in China Unless I Lived there and spoke the language and could see the tube rack ,
to know what my options were..

Maybe you can ,, the frames look really typical ..
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Old 12-03-16, 03:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Yan
https://www.wearefactoryfive.com/
They do fillet brazing and lugged too. .
I can't speak for all of their frames, but the F5Pista framesets are made for them by Colossi. They're effectively rebranded Mondial Track frames. Not that it matters much--Colossi outsources their production frames to a factory in China as well, and only does their custom work in Italy still.

Regardless, F5 is doing some innovative stuff and deserve all the cred. The Titan stem is a pretty huge accomplishment IMO.
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Old 12-03-16, 08:38 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob
My, Custom touring frame has 2 Tubes that form the rear triangle and run parallel for the top tube , ......
....with an integrated water bottle holder near the stem!
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