Why did you choose your custom frame builder?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Why did you choose your custom frame builder?

    hey,

    for those people who got custom frames, why did you choose to go with whatever frame builder that you went with? I understand the reasons for going with a high end builder like seven or moots because they have a reputation. I'm more curious about why people pick other frame builders - builders that are in the second or third tier. Like if you wanted a steel hardtail. Practically any small frame shop will do that for you. Why yours?

    -don

  2. #2

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    More to the point.....

    Quote Originally Posted by blehargh
    hey,

    for those people who got custom frames, why did you choose to go with whatever frame builder that you went with? I understand the reasons for going with a high end builder like seven or moots because they have a reputation. I'm more curious about why people pick other frame builders - builders that are in the second or third tier. Like if you wanted a steel hardtail. Practically any small frame shop will do that for you. Why yours?

    -don
    ...why are you considering a custom frame? By custom, I assume made-to-measure, custom spec of tubing gauges and diameters specifically for you, and frame angles and dimensions tailored for you. Not off the shelf. Just wondering., because it's been my experience that probably 95 percent of riders can be fit and served perfectly by a production frame. Are you of unusual bodily dimensions well outside of the statistical bell curve?

  3. #3
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    Add IF to your list of top builders

    In any case, my reason for IF was simple. They were the only builder with an LBS local to me. I went full custom and the shop took a good hour or more to take and retake all the measurements required. I felt confident going through a shop instead of trying to take the measurements myself. Didn't cost any more and I had someone else to worry about delivery, etc. My steel Deluxe was done in just over a week anyway because IF was facing a shortage of Ti tubing at the time and put steel up front.

    I had always wanted an IF. Why, I don't really know. Certainly Seven was as good as was Moots and a few others. This was my first custom bike and I couldn't see saving a few hundred dollars as an excuse to go with what you referred to as a second tier builder. Maybe I just liked their catalog pictures.

    Would I have fit a standard frame? Yes, but not quite as well. I have basically a 17" frame with a 23.5" top tube. I can feel the difference so it was worth it for me.

    Can I justify the cost? Hell no. Its a bike. You adjust to whatever you are riding but for once in my life, I did not want to settle.

    I am very satisfied and would use IF again if I needed another frame but I really do not see ever needing another hardtail. There is no reason this frame should not live as long as me.

  4. #4
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    I have a custom (made to measure) Vulture cycles 29" single speed with EBB. The reasons I got the vulture were price ($500 at the time), the frame type I wanted wasn't widely available (Surly Karate Monkey only real option or custom), and most importantly FIT. I have relatively short legs but long arms, and I really hate being uncomfortable on a bike. I am very satisfied with my Vulture, it fits well, rides nice, and the price at the time was phenominal. I have considered another Vulture frame, I just need to raise some cash for it.
    SB
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    Someone please tell me it's not a train.
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  5. #5
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    Custom byStickel.

    Reasons for picking him as a custom builder: willing to customize more than just the geometry, confidence in dealing with him, reasonable price. Many custom builders are only "custom" when it comes to geometry, everything else is standard (dropout, seat stay bridge, disc mounts, eBB, etc...). Steve was willing to customize all that, and he had some great design ideas.

    I talked to several local custom builders, and when I started asking for some unusual stuff (like 1.25 steerer tube, ISO disc mounts between the seat & chain stay, Rolhoff dropouts, etc...) they either said "no", or the price doubled (which usually means "don't wnat to do it").

    Cheers,

    Tom

  6. #6
    jrm
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    I went with Curtlo

    Curtlo will build a frame using XO trutemper XO platinum tubing which i like alot. His pricing was real good and the overall product was exceptional.

  7. #7

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    stickel

    Steve Stickel is the real deal. His company is comprised of himself and his dog. Every piece is hand crafted with an almost neurotic drive to perfection. The disc tabs, cable guides, bottle openers, head badges and everything else are engineered and made all by himself. From welding to painting he controls it all. His innovative designs and attention to detail will set him apart from everyone else out there. The larger "custom" companies have alot going for them, but if you want a truly one-off custom design for a reasonable price, Stickel has alot going for him. His website should be up sometime, but in the meantime if you are interested you can call 540.437.3038, he should be picking up.

  8. #8
    If you have to ask...
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    I chose Sycip

    because I wanted disc brakes. At the time they were the ONLY builder making a disc-specific SS. I have not regretted it at all. As it turns out, they made me the best mountain bike the world has ever seen.

    miles
    It's 7:09 California time

  9. #9

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    entropy: stuff breaks

    . There is no reason this frame should not live as long as me.

    On yesterday's ride, the bottom bracket shell on my Litespeed-built Alpinestars Ti Mega frame broke clean off. The frame was built in 1990. I got other bikes, other ti hardtails. Still a sad day.

    Titanium is not break-proof, even good titanium welded by good welders from reputable companies.

  10. #10
    Lazy People Suck
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    Steve Stickel of ByStickel

    I chose Steve for my custom single speed for the fact that I wanted something a bit unusual (custom steel EBB SS frame with a 1.5 headtube for a headshock). Steve lived in my town for a couple of years and I had gotten to know him before he moved to Virginia. The guy is a true artist in every sense. He has been educated in design. When he wanted to become a better welder he enrolled in welding classes to make sure he was rock solid on the basics. I think he does everything the right way from start to finish. He had a good job in the corporate world and left it to do what he loved, and as a previous poster had mentioned, he has an almost neurotic attention to detail and thinks through everything he does.

    I may be the only person who owns two ByStickel frames (I could be wrong on that). The first one he built was one of the first he built after deciding to go at frame building full time. It was a 24" wheel frame for my 10 yr old. You have alot of standards to go by when building an adult sized MTB frame, but it is a different story for trying to build a quality kids frame. He put a ton of work into researching geometry when there really was not alot of data for a kids 24" bike. My son probably does not appreciate how good of a bike he has.

    I would recommend Steve completely (you probably guessed that)
    "Son, The world needs ditchdiggers, too"-Ted Knight, Caddyshack

  11. #11
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    nope. i'm not actually looking to buy a custom bike. I was just curious about why people choose to go to the people that they go to. that's all.

  12. #12
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    just curious what you would have done had IF not had a local dealer? would you have sought out an IF dealer far far away? chosen someone else? if so who would that have been and why?

    thanks for answerng my annoying questions.

    -don

  13. #13
    drev-il, not Dr. Evil!
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    Matt Chester

    I chose my builder because of his stellar reputation, the raves that he gets on various boards, his choice of metal, the cost, and the custom geometry. In addition, he's an all- around nice guy.

    I've owned the bike for over two years, and I am completely satisfied with it.
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  14. #14
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    Nice Big Cheese (grips)! Hell... nice bike! Let's see more!

    d./

  15. #15
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    Second Law, eh?

    How's that related to bike frames failing? Maybe you could consult with Boltzmann.

    dd..''

  16. #16
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    Second Law, eh?

    How's that related to bike frames failing? Maybe you could consult with Boltzmann.

    dd..''

  17. #17
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    i chose curtlo...

    to build my steel softail because no one else is doing the type of quality work at reasonable prices that doug curtis is.
    EAST COAST
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  18. #18

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    I first decided on which bike design I liked the best, which was the Titus Racer X. Titus is the only builder of this suspension design, so the choice of builder was easy. The next decision was frame material, which I chose Ti. Titus only builds ti as custom frames, so thats how I got to a custom frame. I was measured twice by the shop, who worked directly with Chris from Titus on the perfect dimensions. I ended up with a frame that was just a hair different then stock. The biggest change was the top tube lenght, head tube length, and seat tube lengths. These measurments resulted in better standover hight, and a more aggressive reach. In my case the custom specifications was a perc of wanting a Racer X in Ti.

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