Custom Ti Singlespeed Cross Frame- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Custom Ti Singlespeed Cross Frame

    I'm interested in getting a custom titanium cyclocross frame that I can ride and commute on for the majority of the year as a single speed and then gear for cross racing in the fall. The builders I've been considering are Carl Strong, Mike DeSalvo, Jim Kish, and Kent Eriksen, and needless to say it's impossible for me to decide. I know they all make wonderful frames but does anyone have any insight as to why one of those builders may be a better fit based simply on the type of frame I want and how I plan on using it? I have a feeling from some of the posts I've read regarding custom builds that the solution may be to call each builder and decide after speaking with them, but any advice would be most appreciated.

  2. #2
    ahb
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    I think the choice which would leave the widest number of builders open for you would be to get a custom ti cx bike, and then build a rear hub with a white industries ENO eccentric rear hub to run ss. I just did that with a mountain bike and it worked quite well. if you let the builder know you're going to run the ENO as well as the gears, they'll make sure everything fits where it's supposed to and works just so. I think any of those guys could probably do a good job. Kish is probably who I'd go with based on reputation, but I've never owned a ti bike and as such am not too sure. where are you? if any of them is local to you that might be an advantage in terms of being able to visit the shop, get fitted, meet the builder in person, etc.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by ahb
    where are you? if any of them is local to you that might be an advantage in terms of being able to visit the shop, get fitted, meet the builder in person, etc.
    That's great advice. I did that when I had my frame built -- I visited with James of Black Sheep in Fort Collins and he said all the right things and showed me all the right things and then the decision was easy. Any of those builders you named and a number more can make the perfect bike, so perhaps the local connection would be a basis for choosing...
    "The plural of anecdote is not data." -- Attributed to various people in a variety of forms, but always worth remembering...

  4. #4
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    I sort of disagree. While it's great to be able to go and visit the person who'll be building your bike, why limit yourself like that? The fact that you're here means you have a wealth of good information at your fingertips, one assumes you know how to use a telephone or AIM/Skype, so you're in the best position ever to be able to buy anything from anywhere.

    That means you can get the best bike, period.

    Infact, there's another bonus to doing all or some things remotely. You have a written record of everything. That's handy for you because you know exactly what you have agreed to with your builder, and your chances of a mis-communication are minimised because you have agreed features and/or changes in writing.
    No longer member of the bike industry nor society, so don't hassle me.

  5. #5
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    Thanks for the help. I never would have thought to use the ENO rear hub and it sounds like a really good solution.

    I live in Boston, MA so none of the builders are local. And as much as I would love to meet the builder in person and see their shop, I do agree with Thylacine in regards to having a written record of everything even if it's just for reference.

  6. #6
    just ride
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    ifbikes.com

    Independent Fabrications in Somerville MA will do you right-guaranteed

  7. #7
    Schipperkes are cool.
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    Kent will blow IF away with custom options.
    Quote Originally Posted by mikesee
    Better suited to non-aggressive 125# gals named Russell.
    I ride so slow, your Garmin will shut off.

  8. #8
    just ride
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    Not really sure how many truly unique custom options are actually available on a ti SS... but Kent is a great builder...as are the rest of the listed builders. However, IF is approx 45 minutes from Boston if you're into a local builder

  9. #9
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    I haven't ruled out IF but the other builders seemed a little more appealing. And in fact I have a Moots which I absolutely love and they're not out of the running either. Seven is out of the equation though. At this point I'm just curious to see what a 'one man show' has to offer.

  10. #10
    I wasn't Kung Fu fighting
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    Kish is my vote...

    Tons of guys making Ti frames today learned how to weld Ti from Jim Kish... So why buy from the pupil when you can buy from the teacher? Here are some pics of my 4 year old ti SS mtb, and my brand new steel SS cross bike. (just waiting for a cable hanger to finish).
    Attached Images Attached Images

  11. #11
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    You made a big mistake. You should've bought from the guys who taught Jim.
    No longer member of the bike industry nor society, so don't hassle me.

  12. #12
    I wasn't Kung Fu fighting
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    I might have...

    if Albert Eisentraut were still making his own frames... That guy was a legend before I was born.

  13. #13
    ahb
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    last time I checked (a few months back in all honesty) albert was still working out of his shop in oakland. he's about two blocks from one of my favorite places to get vietnamese noodles. call him up! he does his own paint, even. so rad....

  14. #14
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    I'd go with Kent. I recently received the bike below and couldn't be happier. From the initial phone call all the way through the final delivery, Kent was 100% focussed on building me the bike I've always dreamt of. In my case he delivered in spades.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    • File Type: jpg 1.JPG (114.5 KB, 390 views)

  15. #15
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    KISH

    on a budget, I'd call Quiring or Dean though there are horror stories upon horror stories with Dean. The Paragon modular drops might be a good option to provide you with flexibility to go from geared-single speed.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by bykegnurd
    Tons of guys making Ti frames today learned how to weld Ti from Jim Kish... So why buy from the pupil when you can buy from the teacher? Here are some pics of my 4 year old ti SS mtb, and my brand new steel SS cross bike. (just waiting for a cable hanger to finish).

    That is a really cool color on the cross bike. What color is it, and was it painted at Spectrum or Sycip. Here is my Kish steel road bike-Black powder coat from Sycip. Kish was a joy to deal with.
    <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/171428664/" title="Photo Sharing"><img src="https://static.flickr.com/78/171428664_ea74b4f26c.jpg" width="500" height="374" alt="P1010036" /></a>

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