who to go to for a custom stem?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    who to go to for a custom stem?

    Hey all,

    I'm looking into getting a custom stem made for my Matt Chester inspired...uhh..."monster cross" bike.

    I'm a tall guy and I run Midges so I have some of the typical cockpit problems that you get with this type of setup.

    So I'm looking for someone who will understand this particular variety of frame style pretty well, probably something steel, fillet brazed, and fairly minimal in appearance. bonus points for having the steerer clamp on the side or otherwise out of the way.

    Any leads? I've already contacted Rick Hunter and Wade at Vulture as likely suspects.

  2. #2
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    You can try Jim Kish at Kish Cycles. He was making them a few years ago, not sure if he still is though.

  3. #3
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    Also http://www.calaveracycles.com
    "ssissy" on this forum
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  4. #4
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    I should note that I'm also looking for someone who is willing to work with me on what angle and extension I need. I'm willing to pay a bit extra for this.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by ink1373
    I should note that I'm also looking for someone who is willing to work with me on what angle and extension I need. I'm willing to pay a bit extra for this.
    Then you better find a local builder and/or a shop with a Salsa Size-o-matic Stem or similar adjustable stem.
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  6. #6
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    so...

    Quote Originally Posted by shiggy
    Then you better find a local builder and/or a shop with a Salsa Size-o-matic Stem or similar adjustable stem.
    you really think that determining this sort of thing will be impossible just based on measurements, riding style, current setup, etc? i've always thought that the salsa sizing stems were hokey because you can't ride with them. its easy to convince yourself that a size-o-matic is comfortable when you can't spent any time on it.

    i've heard numerous similar stories with the serrota size-cycles. people end up ordering a custom frame that is a terrible fit because it's too easy to think "yeah, this feels right" when you're motionless.

  7. #7
    those are Rollercams...
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    Cunningham Fitfinder Stem. Mount it on the bike and ride. You could go nuts playing with different reaches/rises. When you had dialed in your optimal position, you sent the dimensions off to your builder and voila, the perfect stem. There are still some of these in existence, ask around.

    Truly a wealth of useless information.


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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by ink1373
    you really think that determining this sort of thing will be impossible just based on measurements, riding style, current setup, etc? i've always thought that the salsa sizing stems were hokey because you can't ride with them. its easy to convince yourself that a size-o-matic is comfortable when you can't spent any time on it.

    i've heard numerous similar stories with the serrota size-cycles. people end up ordering a custom frame that is a terrible fit because it's too easy to think "yeah, this feels right" when you're motionless.
    And guessing is better? There is usually a narrow range of positions that work. I have been riding drops for 20 years and still need to experiment with stems on every new bike. Even on my Chester I ended up using a slightly longer stem with more rise than the size Matt used in his design.
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  9. #9
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    well, i don't think that a "guess" is what i was going for. perhaps an informed, educated estimation.

    if no builder is going to feel confident enough in their idea of proper fit to do this, then what recourse have i?

    i'm interested in a custom stem precisely because there aren't any production stems that offer what i'm after. do most people who buy custom stems get the same measurements as their current setup? isn't the whole idea that you get something that isn't available in mass production?

    i think that calling custom frame fitting "guess" work is a bit of an over-simplification.

  10. #10
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    Quiring cycles

    I think Scott Quiring from Quiring cycles does custom stems. He mentions it on his website. http://www.quiringcycles.net/ Probably best to call.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by ink1373
    well, i don't think that a "guess" is what i was going for. perhaps an informed, educated estimation.

    if no builder is going to feel confident enough in their idea of proper fit to do this, then what recourse have i?...
    If you can not work face-to-face with the builder you have to figure out what you need. There are too many variations in head tube lengths, head tube angles, bar reach and drop and ways that stems are made to do an accurate remote fit. That is why I suggested the adjustable fitting stem.

    When I had my first custom stem made I had to make a guess ("an informed, educated estimation") based on the stems I had been using and holding onto the bars in weird ways to rase my position (knuckles of my closed fist resting on the top of the bar in the drops). Considered the effect of the HTA and gave the rise/reach specs to the builder. Came out pretty close.
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  12. #12
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    well, this thread seems to be full of an unmoderated level of agressive bad vibes and/or miscommunication, so i'm going to continue this process with the various builders that everyone has helped me get in contact with, rather than on the boards.

    thank you everyone.

    over and out.

  13. #13
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    Hi Ink1373,

    Well I am still trying to sort out US insurance....its a tough one and I'll keep you updated.

    On the stem front, when I have designed a frame I have always worked with a "regular" stem size for starters as these can be got pretty cheap "off the shelf" (in the US Dimension and Salsa do a good range of sizes / $) so the customer has a) somewhere to start from and b) a range of sizes / angles either side to fine-tune things.

    For the last "monster cross" I built I also did a custom stem for the midge bars, but the customer already had a bike with them on and had played about with the position until he found the sweet-spot. The stem ended up a 120mm x 30deg with a longer than normal steerer clamp to remove the need for ugly spacers.

    If the customer was not sure about the stem needed I would build round an off-the-shelf size, let them experiment from my reccomended starting point (20 a stem and you can always Ebay them after!) and once they were happy then build the stem if they still needed an in-between size / something matching the frame+forks.

    Just my $0.02

    Alex
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Singlespeedpunk
    Hi Ink1373,

    Well I am still trying to sort out US insurance....its a tough one and I'll keep you updated.

    On the stem front, when I have designed a frame I have always worked with a "regular" stem size for starters as these can be got pretty cheap "off the shelf" (in the US Dimension and Salsa do a good range of sizes / $) so the customer has a) somewhere to start from and b) a range of sizes / angles either side to fine-tune things.

    For the last "monster cross" I built I also did a custom stem for the midge bars, but the customer already had a bike with them on and had played about with the position until he found the sweet-spot. The stem ended up a 120mm x 30deg with a longer than normal steerer clamp to remove the need for ugly spacers.

    If the customer was not sure about the stem needed I would build round an off-the-shelf size, let them experiment from my reccomended starting point (20 a stem and you can always Ebay them after!) and once they were happy then build the stem if they still needed an in-between size / something matching the frame+forks.

    Just my $0.02

    Alex
    Basically what I was trying to say, Alex.

    Heck, I must have (or had) 10 different brands and lengths of 40 degree stems, six 25 degree stems, a Zoom stem riser and 100mm of spacers around for fitting purposes.

    I have not needed a custom stem since the quill-types except for my Coiler. I fabricated that one and it is adjustable.
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  15. #15
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    just to clarify, i've pretty much taken all of the steps that Alex recommends.

    i have a pretty darn good idea of what dimensions i want on this stem, but i want a builder who understands the type of riding i'm doing.

    i didn't mean to make it sound as though i was just looking for a builder who i could go to and say "make me comfortable" and expect it to happen. just someone who has some insight and is willing to have a conversation or two about fit and handling.

    i would feel uncomfortable buying a $200 (possibly more) stem without that rapport.

  16. #16
    jl
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    Quote Originally Posted by ink1373
    i would feel uncomfortable buying a $200 (possibly more) stem without that rapport.
    It's no periscopa....

    I think John could make what you need--it might be $200 .

    http://www.columbinecycle.com/pages/index003.html
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  17. #17
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    I've heard that curtlo will do custom stems.


  18. #18
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    Ink,

    Contact Scott Quiring at www.quiringcycles.net .

    He will work with you on whatever you want. He will help you make decisions and offer suggestions to you. He is a top notch builder. His work is beautiful and percise. He also has a wonderful attention to detail. You won't be let down.

  19. #19
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    What About Rick...

    Hunter. I believe that he 1) built the stem(s) that Matt uses on his own rig, which I gather posed some 'unique' fit challenges & 2) rides Cross rigs exclusively himself and as such would almost certainly be able to help you with the fit. Rick is a Great guy!!

    http://www.huntercycles.com/
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  20. #20
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    Vanilla makes custom stems. so does pereira cycles. http://www.pereiracycles.com/gallery...ages/1stem.php

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