Taking a step back and need some direction- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Taking a step back and need some direction

    I decided it is time to get a high end/ custome bike. I ride singlespeed 95% of the time and fell in love with a Moots Uno. After posting a few questions on the boards I got some very valuable feedback that essentially caused me to slow down and take a step back which is great because I now know of two great shops in the area that I can go to if I went for either a Moots or a Seven. I haven't checked out all of the custom builders (Strong, DeSalvo, etc...) yet but plan to.

    A more basic question I have now is trying to figure out whether I should be leaning more towards steel or ti. Are there any good resources (websites) that I could so some research? I am a heavier rider with my weight ranging from 200 - 220lb.s and ride aggressive XC (as far as I can tell). I ride a steel SS now and like the ride quality very much (as long as I have the right tires on to match the terrain). I would like to go custom because although I feel my current bike is the perfect fit, I have never had the luxury of riding a bike designed for me specifically.

    Thanks all!
    I guarantee I will never, ever be accused of bringing sexy back...

  2. #2
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    Just my € 0.02:
    Looks like custom builders would have a pretty good idea of how to cope with rider weight and riding styles, by using the right kinds of tubing.

    Titanium would be lighter and it will not rust. Whether that is worth another $1,000 ...

  3. #3
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    I totally agree regarding the tubing- in fact I would imagine the tubing will translate into a better ride than tweaking a few angles a degree here or a degree there. I guess I was thinking in "broader" terms regarding the differences between steel and ti- as you pointed out with the heavier weight of steel. Isn't ti typically more flexy or is that really just a result of tubing selection? Regarding rust, I'm not sure if that really warrants the increased price of ti as you suggested. Regardless, I am not dismissing ti if I can determine there is a difference that would warrent the extra $1,000- you know do it right the first time
    I guarantee I will never, ever be accused of bringing sexy back...

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Molasses
    I totally agree regarding the tubing- in fact I would imagine the tubing will translate into a better ride than tweaking a few angles a degree here or a degree there. I guess I was thinking in "broader" terms regarding the differences between steel and ti- as you pointed out with the heavier weight of steel. Isn't ti typically more flexy or is that really just a result of tubing selection? Regarding rust, I'm not sure if that really warrants the increased price of ti as you suggested. Regardless, I am not dismissing ti if I can determine there is a difference that would warrent the extra $1,000- you know do it right the first time
    I think that the frame flex is mostly just a result of the tubing. I don't think that there's anything inherent about the Ti frames made today that makes them super-flexy. I have a custom ti dean colonel, and it has an oversized downtube (1.75"), and the front triangle is certainly not whippy, imo. Just looking at the front triangle (and ignoring the welds), if the frame were painted, you would think it was an aluminum frame. The frame feels pretty nice going through chatter, and when I ride through little g-outs, it does feel sort of "springy," like a lot of people say Ti feels. I've never ridden a steel frame, so I can't compare the two, but I'd bet that you could get one built to feel any way you wanted. My uneducated guess is that there's more tubing options with steel with regards to diameter and butting (butted ti is real expensive).

    Ti is definitely really nice, especially since it doesn't rust, but now is kind of a bad time to get it. The prices of ti tubing has supposedly increased a lot, causing a lot of the major frame-builders to increase their msrp's. I think that a dean colonel has gone up ~$600 (used to be $1100-$1200), and there's a thread in the 29'er forum about IF increasing their prices a similar amount. Given that, if it were me, I'd look into steel frames. There are a ton of small, custom-builders out there. You could get a good frame probably from ~$800 (curtlo, vulture) to upwards of $1500 (seven, strong, etc), depending on how fancy you want it. Most of the custom ti frames are going to be well over $2000, especially if you want to go with something really chi-chi.

    Either way, getting a custom frame is a fun process. Take your time figuring out what you want, and also be patient with the build process. It usually takes longer than you expect.

  5. #5
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    Steel for bigger riders

    I'm a little lighter at 185 but the only ti frame I've had (not custom and not high end) was very flexible latterally - whippy. I have a custom steel frame that is built pretty stiff but it seems to dampen the same as the ti and handles 10 times better. My steel bike with a custom rigid fork by Walt Works and 2.3" tires at 28 psi feels pretty close to my old ti frame with 2.1" at 40 psi and a 3" fork. The only Ti frame I've seen that looks stiff and light enough for me to consider is the Titus Eleven with interchangeable dropouts that my LBS owner has, but I haven't been able to test ride it yet, different pedal cleats. Its twice the price of my custom steel with a bro deal! There's a wider range of steel tubing and for less you can get a showpiece frame, just be as careful with it as the you have to be with the components in the wet. If you are an aggressive bike handler theres no question its steel. My 0.02 anyway

  6. #6
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    I'd agree, to me steel in the better material for the heavier guy...

  7. #7
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    Just J

    I think the Tracer is going on ebay... I'm gonna give it another go this weekend and we'll see...

    Any new projects you have going on?
    I guarantee I will never, ever be accused of bringing sexy back...

  8. #8
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    Hey Molasses!

    If I'm 100% honest I haven't missed my Tracers at all, I ride the Implant SS all the time and I love it!

    I'm experimenting with a 1x9 setup at the moment - Dura-ace rear mech, bar con shofters and Paul Thumbies with a PG-990 cassette. It's pretty sweet, the nicest shifting I've ever experienced, but my heart is in to SS too much, I think I'll be after a dedicated SS (probably a 29er) soon...

    I'm liking Funk Cycles a lot at the moment!...

  9. #9
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    My goal for a custom build is to really just have one bike in the garage. I want something that will be a SS 99% of the time and can be coverted to a geared setup 1 X 8sp when necessary
    I guarantee I will never, ever be accused of bringing sexy back...

  10. #10
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    Check TET

    Check Tom Teesdale for a custom steel singlespeed with all hangers and cable stops, an ebb, built from Columbus Zona which would be a good tube set for you, thats what part of my custom is. On SALE $699, WOW for a great old school/longtime builder.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Molasses
    My goal for a custom build is to really just have one bike in the garage. I want something that will be a SS 99% of the time and can be coverted to a geared setup 1 X 8sp when necessary
    That's definitely a good option to go with... Personally I would go with 853 or Ti, speak to someone like www.kenteriksen.com or Badger...

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