Recommend mid-range frame- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Recommend mid-range frame

    Hi All,
    Here's the deal, I've been riding my SS exclusivly since I built it up from an old MB-4 frame about 6 months ago. Its rigid steel and I really like it, but its a 14 year old frame and I'm a pretty big rider (220lbs) and I'm worried about it falling apart. Also I have the ENO rear hub and I was having trouble keeping it tight, but I think I have that figured out yet.

    Long story short, I want a new bike. Mainly cause new bikes are fun and I want one! So, here's the deal, there are waaaaaaaay too many builders/brands out there to choose from. Also, I'm kinda indecisive...... So I think I want a mid range frame (300-700) but then I think that if I get a $700 factory frame I should just pony up the extra few hundred for a custom frame. But then I'm looking at quite a bit of cash to build it up and all.

    So...
    1) Is a custom frame worth it? Any 'buyers remorse' out there?
    2) If you were me what would you buy?
    3) Why?

    Thanks!
    Labrat73

  2. #2
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    For the mid-range frame, I love my Surly 1x1 if you were to decide to go that route. I know quite a few people with custom SS frames and not one of them appear to have any buyer's remorse as all love their rides (friends with 4 DeSalvo owners and a couple of Soulcraft owners). The main question is your budget. I wouldn't suggest the custom frame to someone who doesn't love SSing but you have already caught the bug. That said, if you could stretch to afford it and could see yourself eventually wanting one you might as well bite the bullet and get one or else you would end up buying a mid-range frame and then still down the road end up buying the custom one. Then again, a lot of people are perfectly happy for years on their 1x1's, On-Ones, etc. and would never think of buying anything else. It all comes down to what you can afford and what you really want. I doubt you'll regret either decision unless you don't get what you were truly wanting all along.

  3. #3
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    Good point, thanks for the advice!

    The other thing is that there are only a few trails around here that are really good for a SS and so the bike becomes a trail specific bike, and not one I can ride exclusivly. Having said that, since I built my SS I have only ridden the SSable trails because I'm having so much fun on my SS.

    Labrat

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by labrat73
    Good point, thanks for the advice!

    The other thing is that there are only a few trails around here that are really good for a SS and so the bike becomes a trail specific bike, and not one I can ride exclusivly. Having said that, since I built my SS I have only ridden the SSable trails because I'm having so much fun on my SS.

    Labrat
    I think your definition of SS-able trails will expand as you continue to ride SS. I can clean things on my SS now that I used to think was impossible for all but the strongest riders to accomplish. I have many friends that ride SS exclusively and the most any of them worry about which trails to ride is that a few trails with especially steep and long climbs might prompt them to throw a bigger cog on the back for that ride but those rides are very, very few. It isn't as if all of the trails around here are gently rolling easy rides, either. I have a difficult time deciding where to take a beginner on rides as many are discouraged by some of the climbs around here in NorCal.

  5. #5
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    On the custom bike side of thisng, I was very happy with my Salsa for years (and still like taking it out now and again) but got my first custom bike (a custom SS made by Salsa frame builder John Hammond) almost 10 years ago and never looked back. Since then Rock Lobster built me a cross bike and Soulcraft has made me a road bike and a MTB (plus a cross bike for the wife). Working with a quality frame builder to give you that magic ride based on your unique traits is unreal. With the new paragon sliders, you could even turn a Soulcraft into a geared bike if you wanted/needed to. If you can make the strecth, I recommend to go for it

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by labrat73
    So...
    1) Is a custom frame worth it? Any 'buyers remorse' out there?
    2) If you were me what would you buy?
    3) Why?
    1) If the 220# is, ummm, distributed, eg. your body is tall, and otherwise average proportions then stock bikes can fit just fine. I rode the snot out of an On-One for a year. Probably would still have it but I wanted to go with disc brakes after a snow ride (another story). The On-One Inbreds are great bikes, as are the 1x1s and Somas out there. Custom allows one on one time with the builder, color choices, angles, tubing, braze-ons.... the list is lengthy.

    2) My situation was similar to yours, started with a converted MB-3, then went to the On-One, and now ride a non-custom steel Dean converted with an EBB from Vulture. So far so good. I lust after a DeSalvo, Vulture or Soul Craft. So if I had a lump of cash lying around..... Those are on the short list. The list is rather lenghty

    3) Everyone has their personal reasons for going custom or stock. I like stock because of cost and availibility. Cost no object I would go custom just to do it. I bought the Dean from someone on MTBR, so I got a "pre-owned" price. It runs very fine, thank you very much, now I need to work on the operator....

    This probably did not help at all. Good luck!
    Tuff Schist

  7. #7
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    I know. Thats the thing I think everyone has to figure out for themselves, but is hard to do without prior knowledge. Custom or Factory. I also really hate that you cant test ride ANY bikes unless you find someone with the bike/size/setup you like. Having said that, I think you can pretty adjust any frame to fit anyone (within reason).

    Anyway, thanks for all the great suggestions! So another option is to buy a custom frame used and built as you can often times get a really screamin' deal. But then you're riding someone else's geometry so.....

    While I dont have a pile of cash laying around, I dont NEED the frame today. I mean, I NEED it, dont get me wrong, but I can save if need be to get the bike of my dreams.

    But then I have to decide on rigid or shock, disks or.......

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by labrat73
    So another option is to buy a custom frame used and built as you can often times get a really screamin' deal. But then you're riding someone else's geometry so.....
    That would work, if it is not too weird.

    Quote Originally Posted by labrat73
    While I dont have a pile of cash laying around, I dont NEED the frame today. I mean, I NEED it, dont get me wrong, but I can save if need be to get the bike of my dreams.
    Sometimes it is worth the wait. Personally, if you have the desire to get custom (thinking down the road) save the extra $300-500 instead of throwing it twice.

    Quote Originally Posted by labrat73
    But then I have to decide on rigid or shock, disks or.......
    If you need help, run discs and rigid Here is inspiration....(thank me later). Not trying to be vain, this is what about $800 will do on the new and used approach.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Tuff Schist

  9. #9
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    Sweet Bike! What kind of frame is that? Is it an EBB? I am a little nervous about anything other than horizontal dropouts. The EBB does seem like a nice thing, I'm just worried that it'll slip, and thats something I REALLY dont need....

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by labrat73
    Sweet Bike! What kind of frame is that? Is it an EBB? I am a little nervous about anything other than horizontal dropouts. The EBB does seem like a nice thing, I'm just worried that it'll slip, and thats something I REALLY dont need....
    Thanks! It is an older steel Dean that was indeed converted to an EBB. I only had it slip one time after I got it back from the powder coater. Now it is fine. I have had it over 1.5 years and it continues to be fun, which afterall, is what it is about. My other bike gets used less frequently. I have been known to scab the nice parts from the other bike to get the SS down a little lighter, yet durable weight wise.
    Tuff Schist

  11. #11
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    If you like the On-One, but want something a bit stronger, you can go with the Inbred 456. I have one built SS now and love it; the only drawback - heavy.
    Castigo corpus meum

  12. #12
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    Soma!!

    Go Soma and don't look back!

    I just purchased a Soma used from a local riding buddy and I'm loving it!! Man it just feels so great and rides wonderful. I love the feel of steel and the light bike.

    I think retail for their frames is around $400


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