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  1. #1
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    Sifting through frame builders...

    I want to go the custom frame route for my build over this upcoming winter. There are an insane amount of custom frame builders and I don't even know where to start... I have been checking out Gunnar and Soulcraft, but there are so many more out there.

    I need someone that will take odd requests like no cable guides, no rear brake mount, etc but can also help me pinpoint the geo I want. It seems like a lot of places have "standard" builds and you can just tweak them a bit if you want, or at least thats the impression I get?

    Help!

  2. #2
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    buy something stock. custom is a WASTE of time and money IMO

    a new Ti IF takes like 30 weeks and $6000

    my FSI rigid, with a carbon ENVE fork, is a superior machine in all but one way - no rear sliders.

    Here are a few names:
    Moots - semi custom Ti
    Mosaic - Boulder, CO w/ Ti or Steel
    Baum - Australia with Ti
    Last edited by lucky73; 07-27-2016 at 11:26 PM.

  3. #3
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    Where are you located?

    There are guys doing great work from afar. But if you don't know exactly what you want, it might be easier to work it out with someone local.
    Yeah I only carry cans cause I'm a weight weenie.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by lucky73 View Post
    buy something stock. custom is a WASTE of time and money IMO
    If one has special needs that can't be met by the available stock frames, or you simply have the budget to splurge, then it makes sense, IMO.

    Waltworks has reasonable prices, reasonable wait time, and a good reputation. He'd be at the top of my list, especially since rigid forks are his specialty.

  5. #5
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    Yeah...unless you have some odd body dimensions...full custom for most people probably isn't worth it. But if there's a bike that you absolutely love but maybe has a unique geo and is only available in one frame material and you want something different...then custom might be a good option. The Misfit diSSent would be a good example for me. I LOVED that bike but the aluminum was harsh and the slider design sucked. If I had the money I'd have a diSSent built in steel or Ti in a heartbeat but with 44mm headtube, better sliders, 12x142 rearend...but with the exact same geometry as the original.
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  6. #6
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    custom frames start around $1400. you can spend way more on an off the shelf frame and not end up with the right size, or exactly what you want. IDK why people say not to go custom? it's not your money.
    Rigid SS 29er
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    Stop asking how much it weighs and just go ride it.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by DualRollers View Post
    I want to go the custom frame route for my build over this upcoming winter. There are an insane amount of custom frame builders and I don't even know where to start...
    Gosh, I just don't see it that way. "An insane amount of custom frame builders." Really? In AZ there's basically just one who makes an honest living at it, Steve Garro at Coconino Cycles. https://mollybilker.files.wordpress....ro-profile.jpg

    His bikes are amazing and I'm pleased and proud to own one, a signature model singlespeed.

    Sifting through frame builders...-10930889_10152937564523123_4674149744371485217_n.jpg

    RockyChrysler.com: Just about a bike: Coconino Cycles Signature singlespeed

    If you can afford it (was hard for me; took me two years to save the coin), I cannot more highly recommend a custom bike built by a qualified builder. Mine makes beautiful music for me, unlike any other bike I own. Can't really say why, but it does.
    Last edited by rockychrysler; 07-28-2016 at 11:38 AM.
    "May your trails be winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view." - Ed Abbey
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nubster View Post
    Yeah...unless you have some odd body dimensions...full custom for most people probably isn't worth it. But if there's a bike that you absolutely love but maybe has a unique geo and is only available in one frame material and you want something different...then custom might be a good option. The Misfit diSSent would be a good example for me. I LOVED that bike but the aluminum was harsh and the slider design sucked. If I had the money I'd have a diSSent built in steel or Ti in a heartbeat but with 44mm headtube, better sliders, 12x142 rearend...but with the exact same geometry as the original.
    diSSent with current "standards". Sign me up!
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  9. #9
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    Granted, I've never ridden the Misfit Dissent, and I do recall it had a strong following years back, but looking at the geo just now, I'm wondering what the allure is. 72d HTA and long stays (17.6-18.5 inches)? Ick. Misfit's website says this was the original geo. That geo was commonplace 10 years ago. I've owned a couple SS frames with that geo and have no desire to go back.

    Seeing how effective seat tube angle is adjustable, and chainstay length is adjustable, and HTA can largely be determined by the fork you choose, my question is: how can anyone get hung up on SS geo? It doesn't vary much from frame to frame, and each is very adjustable. My only concern is that new steel SS frames are getting scarce (which makes custom designs more appealing).

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by *OneSpeed* View Post
    custom frames start around $1400. you can spend way more on an off the shelf frame and not end up with the right size, or exactly what you want. IDK why people say not to go custom? it's not your money.
    Quote Originally Posted by rockychrysler View Post
    ....
    If you can afford it (was hard for me; took me two years to save the coin), I cannot more highly recommend a custom bike built by a qualified builder. Mine makes beautiful music for me, unlike any other bike I own. Can't really say why, but it does.
    100% agreed. Custom bike with tubing specific to the rider and terrain, dialed in geo, built by a master frame builder.....worth every penny.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ryder1 View Post
    Granted, I've never ridden the Misfit Dissent, and I do recall it had a strong following years back, but looking at the geo just now, I'm wondering what the allure is. 72d HTA and long stays (17.6-18.5 inches)? Ick. Misfit's website says this was the original geo. That geo was commonplace 10 years ago. I've owned a couple SS frames with that geo and have no desire to go back.
    Also agree here. 10 year old 29er geo is akin to going back to NORBA geo. Doesn't make a whole lot of sense living in the age of 69* HTA, 420mm CS. And FAT tire clearance.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by *OneSpeed* View Post
    custom frames start around $1400. you can spend way more on an off the shelf frame and not end up with the right size, or exactly what you want. IDK why people say not to go custom? it's not your money.
    Asked for opinions on an open forum, got opinions. That's how it works. You must be new to the internet. Welcome and enjoy your stay.
    Super snowflake = when an avatar offends you so much you have to cry about it and report it to admin. Life must suck for you.

  12. #12
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    I'm surprised there are so many naysayers concerning custom frames. If you are not looking for a standard setup, custom is a great way to go. I'm awaiting my third custom build and have been very happy with the first 2. I guess my tastes are not mainstream, as I can never find what I want of the shelf. And I'm not talking about just geometry, lots of other things to consider that a custom builder can tailor to your liking. I say go for it!

    First thing you need to do to narrow down your search is decide what material you want and what your budget is. You'll get much better recommendation if you narrow that down first.

    If you are looking for steel, it's hard to go wrong with Waltworks. He is reasonably priced, has excellent communication, and will take care of whatever weird requests you have.

    This thread needs some pictures, so here is my Waltworks, lots of weird stuff going on here:Sifting through frame builders...-5-21-ride-2.jpg

  13. #13
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    I have a custom steel Dean Colonel which is one of the best riding bikes Ive ever had...and Ive had way more than my share.

    It seriously feels almost like a soft tail. Amazing what a good builder can do with steel.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikeny View Post
    I'm surprised there are so many naysayers concerning custom frames. If you are not looking for a standard setup, custom is a great way to go. I'm awaiting my third custom build and have been very happy with the first 2. I guess my tastes are not mainstream, as I can never find what I want of the shelf. And I'm not talking about just geometry, lots of other things to consider that a custom builder can tailor to your liking. I say go for it!
    I'm not terribly surprised, it is the internet after all. This is right on though. There are people the emerging standards don't work for, for one reason or another. I have 2 very nice sets of wheels built around 135mm hubs - in a year or two there will not be an off the shelf frame I can fit these to if my beloved karate monkey breaks. That $1400 for a sweet custom frame with track ends starts to look like a bargain when you stack it up against rebuilding or replacing wheels, new forks or headsets, etc... If you go the remote route Waltworks would have my vote too - I got a fork from him a few years ago that has been terrific. I've coveted a frame from him for a long time, someday I will probably favor local first though, because it seems like it'd be easier for a builder to help me determine what I want if (s)he can actually watch me ride.

    I like the idea of adding pictures. I wanted a bike with 1980s road racing geometry and only minor concessions to allow for huge tires. And rim brakes/130mm rear spacing. And sliders so I could run it single speed. And a 68mm bottom bracket shell. And a steel fork with "pave rake". Good luck finding one on the shelf



    To everyone jumping in with "just buy off the shelf" maybe read the first 8 words of the post, and just hit the back button?
    Yeah I only carry cans cause I'm a weight weenie.

  15. #15
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    "IDK why people say not to go custom? it's not your money."

    b.c its the interweb and we sling opinions around for fun and annoyance

    "special needs"...there may be a better term to justify a custom than that one

  16. #16
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    Cannondale F29 carbon converted single speed


    of course the person with a similar set-up to me rides the same as me...

  17. #17
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    I have no experience with waltworks, but based on reading his site, I would be looking at him most likely. Seems like he will do whatever the heck you want.

    The Niner SIR checked all of the boxes for me, and I have been completely satisfied with the bike, and see nothing I would improve on. I like the new EBB so much I would want one in a custom frame.

  18. #18
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    There are actually a lot of frames out there that will fit me, I fit right into the target market of how most frames are built (5'-9" 170lbs) but I have some off the wall requests and some geo tweaks that don't seem to be very common among off the shelf steel frames.

    Long story short, I built a fixed gear 29er last winter out of an On One Inbred just to see how I would like it, and after riding it this season I want to build something a lot nicer (I spend quite a bit of time on the fixie). I don't want any cable attachment points, no rear caliper mount, etc. I would also like a HTA around the 70 degree mark as opposed to the 71+ that a lot of traditional steel frames run. I would also imagine that having the build optimized for my fork of choice would be nice.

    My current rides for this season are the Inbred fixie, and a Trek Stache (run SS obviously), and the basic idea is to take elements from the Stache, which I love, and elements from a traditional steel frame like the Inbred and marry the two. Which means a bare bones steel frame (no braze-ons, cage mounts, cable guides, etc) with a little more progressive geo, like 69-70 degree HTA with short chainstays.

    This is my vision anyways... I am looking for a frame builder that can either accommodate me or tell me I am completely off my rocker.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by DualRollers View Post
    There are actually a lot of frames out there that will fit me, I fit right into the target market of how most frames are built (5'-9" 170lbs) but I have some off the wall requests and some geo tweaks that don't seem to be very common among off the shelf steel frames.

    Long story short, I built a fixed gear 29er last winter out of an On One Inbred just to see how I would like it, and after riding it this season I want to build something a lot nicer (I spend quite a bit of time on the fixie). I don't want any cable attachment points, no rear caliper mount, etc. I would also like a HTA around the 70 degree mark as opposed to the 71+ that a lot of traditional steel frames run. I would also imagine that having the build optimized for my fork of choice would be nice.

    My current rides for this season are the Inbred fixie, and a Trek Stache (run SS obviously), and the basic idea is to take elements from the Stache, which I love, and elements from a traditional steel frame like the Inbred and marry the two. Which means a bare bones steel frame (no braze-ons, cage mounts, cable guides, etc) with a little more progressive geo, like 69-70 degree HTA with short chainstays.

    This is my vision anyways... I am looking for a frame builder that can either accommodate me or tell me I am completely off my rocker.
    Walt could build that with his eyes closed! Sounds like an interesting bike, but not for me.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by garcia View Post
    I like the new EBB so much I would want one in a custom frame.
    I agree! My Waltworks actually uses a Niner EBB, although spaced to fit an 83mm BB.

  21. #21
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    You would be doing yourself a favor by having a look what Kris Henry does here in New Hampshire:

    44 Bikes : Made to Shred™ - 44 Bikes
    SIR 9 SS
    Fatboy

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by DualRollers View Post
    no braze-ons, cage mounts, cable guides, etc
    i am totally with you and your brand of crazy (also have had and loved a waltworks more dearly than any other bike i have ever owned) BUT no cage mounts? why would you limit yourself to no waterbottles EVER???

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by max-a-mill View Post
    i am totally with you and your brand of crazy (also have had and loved a waltworks more dearly than any other bike i have ever owned) BUT no cage mounts? why would you limit yourself to no waterbottles EVER???
    Ha. I am super weird when it comes to having a bunch of junk bolted to my bike... its throws off my brain symmetry or something... I ride with jerseys that have the pockets in back and I stick my water bottles in there. I definitely don't ride without water, the midwest summers are brutal.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by thepedalingfool View Post
    You would be doing yourself a favor by having a look what Kris Henry does here in New Hampshire:

    44 Bikes : Made to Shred™ - 44 Bikes
    Wow, thank you for the link... that Kid Dangerous looks mighty fine.

  25. #25
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    The Kid Dangerous does look rad. Someday I shall own some top grade custom steel. Crom will be proud. I still dig Rock Lobster, but I like old school stuff, and obviously cant really make any recommendations.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by DualRollers View Post
    Ha. I am super weird when it comes to having a bunch of junk bolted to my bike... its throws off my brain symmetry or something... I ride with jerseys that have the pockets in back and I stick my water bottles in there. I definitely don't ride without water, the midwest summers are brutal.
    Looks like he's your man.

    Waltworks Bicycles: A picture of a bike!

  27. #27
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    I had a Ted Wojcik custom a while back. Fantastic bike, good price and a short wait. Not sure about time frame these days, but if I went custom again, he would be on my short list.

    Ted Wojcik Custom Bicycles

  28. #28
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    Just putting a little Canadian input into the mix. When I go custom I'm going to use Sam from Naked Bikes on Quadra Island on the west coast of BC. Dirt Rag issue 162 features his stunning white steel 29er. It's decked out with gold I9 and Chris King bling. Being in Canadian dollars it might be cheaper.

    Scroll down in his gallery and u will see it. Dirt Rag article also says to enter 117 @ Dirt Rag | Since 1989 for web exclusive content. Good luck.
    Cheers
    Ease & Flow Where Ever I Go

  29. #29
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    So I couldn't find his bike with the 177# so while on the DR site I searched for Naked Bikes and it came up on the first page. Enjoy
    Ease & Flow Where Ever I Go

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by lucky73 View Post
    buy something stock. custom is a WASTE of time and money IMO
    All of cycling is a waste of money... unless you have a pro career racing in the tour de france. Basically cycling is sorta a fun way to waste money.

    In terms of bikes... you spend a lot of time with the bike you ride. What a rider "needs" is pretty simple (especially for single speed). What works well for a rider is more complex. In my case there are lots of little things that add up to transform my personal bike from a hunk of metal, rubber, plastic, and paint into something that feels alive.

    Custom is about more then simply finding a bike that fits you and your riding style. Fit, handling, and performance are VERY important but really not that hard to achieve with stock or custom options. Having a custom bike includes fit and handling but also should factor in little things like the way the cable guides are routed, paint scheme, little imperfections that show it was made a craft person and not churned out of a factory working with plastic molds.

    Builders can also help riders better understand their choices. Often bike builders are themselves cyclists with experience and understand that will meld with what the customer is looking for. In particular single speeding is special and IMHO this ideally influences bicycle design. With SS slightly more relaxed head tube angle and shorter chain stays work well paired with a slightly steeper seat tube and longer front center work well because we generally climb the steep stuff out of the saddle. On a geared bike the reverse is true because climbing is done in low gears where the front end can become too light. Past experiences and other bikes in the riders stable are also things to consider. In my own case, I ride SS mountain bike most of the time and in response when I built myself a road bike, I went with a 69.5 degree head tube angle with the long front center my road bike is a strange bird but it works well enough with the intentionally non-ideal geometry because my system is programed to connect mostly with my primary riding experience as a single speeder. Sometimes imperfections are required to make things awesome.

    My personal mountain bike:


    My personal road bike.


    Good luck in your quest.

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