Who has had a frame made ?

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
greyingbeard
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Joined: 24 Mar 2015, 10:41pm

Who has had a frame made ?

Postby greyingbeard » 23 Aug 2020, 4:57am

Many questions, hopefully some interesting replies

What did you choose ?
did you get what you wanted ?
Did you know what you wanted ?
Is it the best bike you've ever ridden ?
What would you do differently next time ?
Who made it ?
Have you since changed your mind and ordered something else ?
how has it stood up to use ?
Was it worth it ?
what was the process like ?
Any advice ?

tatanab
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Re: Who has had a frame made ?

Postby tatanab » 23 Aug 2020, 7:00am

I've had many over the years, probably more than 20 (Edit - having thought about it I count 9) with the first custom frame was in 1972. Too many to answer your questions. My advice might be to go to a local builder, somebody you can eyeball and talk to. The frame builder will have ideas about what they want to build you from experience, mainly tube types and frame angles etc. You will have ideas about what brazed fittings you want or custom features, possibly ones that the builder has not thought of. Write down everything you decide on with position of brazed fittings, possibly a simple sketch. I did that 40 years ago with a tandem frame that I insisted on seeing before painting. I had some brake cable guides moved to improve the cable run.

Disappointed - only once did I get a frame that was not really what I imagined, this was from a remote builder that I dealt with by phone. It was still more than adequate and a nice ride. Some years later I gave that frame to another builder to add some brazed fittings and it came back wrong because he had not understood something I thought simple - a dynamo bracket.
Last edited by tatanab on 23 Aug 2020, 10:38am, edited 1 time in total.

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geomannie
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Re: Who has had a frame made ?

Postby geomannie » 23 Aug 2020, 7:35am

greyingbeard wrote:Many questions, hopefully some interesting replies

What did you choose ?
did you get what you wanted ?
Did you know what you wanted ?
Is it the best bike you've ever ridden ?
What would you do differently next time ?
Who made it ?
Have you since changed your mind and ordered something else ?
how has it stood up to use ?
Was it worth it ?
what was the process like ?
Any advice ?


About 3 years ago I wanted to treat myself to a custom frame. I tried a young local frame builder first explaining the sort of frame I wanted, the riding I do, but he became lost in his software giving me thousands of bewildering options, any which might have worked. I walked away confused.

I had ridden a Dave Yates frame before and thought it very nice so decided to try him, even though he were in Lincolnshire, me in Glasgow. I went to visit. He listened to my description of my riding and type of frame wanted, asked pertinent questions on braze-ons and made a simple proposal. I accepted.

To answer your questions:

What did you choose ?
A light tourer/audax frame

did you get what you wanted ?
Absolutely. It's the best fitting, most comfortable frame I have ever ridden. Comfort was one of my criteria.

Did you know what you wanted ?
The general type of bike, but not the details. I needed guidance. That is why the builder in Glasgow confused me his infinite options.

Is it the best bike you've ever ridden ?
Arguably yes. Certainly the best I've ever owned.

What would you do differently next time ?
I might change a few details, e.g. add mounts to the front forks.

Who made it ?
http://www.daveyatescycles.co.uk/

Have you since changed your mind and ordered something else ?
No

how has it stood up to use ?
Perfect

Was it worth it ?
Expensive initially but I love it. No regrets.

what was the process like ?
Difficult at a distance & a bit nerve wracking (am l making the right choices, will it ride well?)

Any advice ?
Find an experienced frame builder who can offer sound advice and help turn your (likely) not fully formed concept into a reality.
geomannie

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Mick F
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Re: Who has had a frame made ?

Postby Mick F » 23 Aug 2020, 9:08am

Mercian.

I'd had a series of bikes over the years and as I became more and more commuting by bike, I needed better ones.
Eventually, when living in the west of Scotland, I bought a Raleigh Clubman - 531main tubes 6sp double.
Modified it over the few years I had it for - better saddle, 7sp, better brake blocks etc etc

The good thing about that bike, was that it was just the right size for me, so it led me onto getting a frame made by Mercian in 1986 in exactly the same dimensions. Fitted all the stuff I'd fitted to the Clubman, and bought new stuff too - handlebars, seatpin, chainset, pedals etc etc etc

Took a month or so, but I eventually had a clone of the Clubman but with a marvellous frame. Basically, still the same bike now and I'm still madly in love with it.

Advice?
Find out exactly what you want. If you're happy with what you have now, but just wand a new frame, get one made to the same dimensions and you'll know it'll fit.
Mick F. Cornwall

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geomannie
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Re: Who has had a frame made ?

Postby geomannie » 23 Aug 2020, 10:13am

Find out exactly what you want. If you're happy with what you have now, but just wand a new frame, get one made to the same dimensions and you'll know it'll fit.


Exactly. That was Dave Yates advice. Bring in a bike that fits you well and start from there.
geomannie

tatanab
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Re: Who has had a frame made ?

Postby tatanab » 23 Aug 2020, 10:21am

geomannie wrote:
Find out exactly what you want. If you're happy with what you have now, but just wand a new frame, get one made to the same dimensions and you'll know it'll fit.

Exactly. That was Dave Yates advice. Bring in a bike that fits you well and start from there.
I did that on a frame building course - I want a copy of this frame but with 700C clearance instead of 27" and ---etc. A frame builder I used asked for the measurements of the contact points on my favourite machine, so a similar approach.

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531colin
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Re: Who has had a frame made ?

Postby 531colin » 23 Aug 2020, 2:11pm

greyingbeard wrote:.......
Any advice ?


Sort out your riding position before you order your frame.
Even frame-builders are subject to the laws of physics. To be comfortable, your bum has to be a certain distance behind the bottom bracket. If you are then going to want a short reach to the handlebars as well as plenty of toe clearance, you may have to accept a compromise....
https://www.bing.com/images/search?view=detailV2&ccid=5An4E4CL&id=9634128D3AC3108E0B5EF8F58CA0A408F46F35A1&thid=OIP.5An4E4CLeWl5XnTD3XX93AHaFj&mediaurl=https%3A%2F%2Fbsinthemidwest.files.wordpress.com%2F2012%2F06%2Fterry-outfit.jpg&exph=2448&expw=3264&q=georgina+terry+bicycles&simid=607995991407986022&ck=2892F8D9D06C439B514DBC92C3D6C5AD&selectedindex=18&qpvt=georgina+terry+bicycles&form=EX0023&ajaxhist=0&vt=0&adlt=demote&shtp=GetUrl&shid=4733ce24-0fc6-45de-9377-1a25fb39853e&shtk=RGVzIE1vaW5lcyBiaWtlIHRyYWlscyB8IEJTIGluIHRoZSBNaWR3ZXN0&shdk=Rm91bmQgb24gQmluZyBmcm9tIGJzaW50aGVtaWR3ZXN0LmNvbQ%3D%3D&shhk=sxa7z8rQ5haZ5VJUROg6lz3DeLZx9xlViOlB8%2FsU1oc%3D&shth=OSH.jV5PdRcd9XVylqOcaOT4bw
(other compromises are available; for example equal sized wheels, but smaller than 700c, or 700c wheels and long-offset forks with a shallow head angle ....but if you are 5' 4" and you want short reach, toe clearance, and carbon forks with a 45mm offset, you are going to be disappointed.)

If you are intending to be riding your new frame in your seventies, be aware that you are likely to want more saddle setback in your seventies than you do in your early sixties. In any case I think its a bad idea to order a frame where anything will be at the limit of adjustment; far better to have a bit of room for adjustment.

Enigmadick
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Re: Who has had a frame made ?

Postby Enigmadick » 23 Aug 2020, 2:33pm

I have but I doubt it was worth it as the frame maker told me I was a perfect medium so could have made do with an off-the-shelf bike. However I was able to have the finish I wanted and have my son spec and build it for me.

But unless you're gangly or similarly oddly proportioned, it probably isn't worth it.
ENIGMA DICK aka Richard Barrett
https://www.cicerone.co.uk/authors/richard-barrett
Use the code RB20C to get 20% off any Cicerone guidebook when you buy direct

Brucey
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Re: Who has had a frame made ?

Postby Brucey » 23 Aug 2020, 3:01pm

being fussy is another reason for wanting to have a frame built, and if so, it is important that both you and the framebuilder understand what is possible and what is acceptable. This goes both ways.

I had a frame built over 25 years ago; it was ordered via a local cycle shop. I'd probably have been better off going direct to the builder myself because my wishes and concerns were not communicated clearly to the builder and the frame turned up wrong. The second frame was correct and I still have it.

Colin's advice re riding position is 100% correct IMHO; having a frame built specially to suit a poor riding position is pretty much a waste of time.

With steel frames you can have any braze-ons etc you like more or less; this can make the frame versatile or specialised to a particular use depending on how you have it. Also needs and uses can change. For example I might still have downtube lever bosses fitted to a new frame even if I intended to use STIs etc, because I might put the frame to an entirely different use at a later date.

For example the frame I had build decades ago may yet be reborn as a different bike, with different wheel size, different brakes etc; it was not built with that in mind specifically, but it was built with versatility in mind, up to a point, so that is possible in this case.

cheers
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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gaz
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Re: Who has had a frame made ?

Postby gaz » 23 Aug 2020, 4:27pm

I've had three, trashed two sold one on.

Happy enough on off-the-peg frames, can't see myself getting another custom build.
There'll be tarmac over, the white cliffs of Dover ...

rualexander
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Re: Who has had a frame made ?

Postby rualexander » 23 Aug 2020, 4:56pm

geomannie wrote:
About 3 years ago I wanted to treat myself to a custom frame. I tried a young local frame builder first explaining the sort of frame I wanted, the riding I do, but he became lost in his software giving me thousands of bewildering options, any which might have worked. I walked away confused.
.


Incidentally, do you have a link or info on the local to Glasgow frame builder? Thanks.

peetee
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Re: Who has had a frame made ?

Postby peetee » 23 Aug 2020, 6:22pm

31 years ago I had a mountain bike made for me. The builder was experienced only with road frames so I sat at a drawing board and did all the design work myself; dimensions, braze-ons and every tube. I still ride it now and I am quite happy with it. That said, I am curious to know how much better it would ride if it were constructed from a more modern tubing than 531. I might be tempted to have another go with a geometry that is shorter and more upright and would cater for the position that I need with advancing years.
Winter had arrived in the land of Kernow. Along with it came wet roads and cool winds.
“Oh, my wheels and coupling rods!” Peetee exclaimed.

eileithyia
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Re: Who has had a frame made ?

Postby eileithyia » 23 Aug 2020, 6:48pm

greyingbeard wrote:Many questions, hopefully some interesting replies

What did you choose ?
did you get what you wanted ?
Did you know what you wanted ?
Is it the best bike you've ever ridden ?
What would you do differently next time ?
Who made it ?
Have you since changed your mind and ordered something else ?
how has it stood up to use ?
Was it worth it ?
what was the process like ?
Any advice ?


Yes.
Wester Ross (no longer making the builder had a stroke)
Yes
Yes
Yes at the time for the purpose it was built
Some of the braze-ons would be different now
John Connell at WR
No
Well I still have it so has stood up pretty well
Yes
A steep learning for someone still learning about how bikes went together at that stage of my cycling life
Do your research about what you want.
I stand and rejoice everytime I see a woman ride by on a wheel the picture of free, untrammeled womanhood. HG Wells

Ugly
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Re: Who has had a frame made ?

Postby Ugly » 23 Aug 2020, 6:56pm

What did you choose Allin x 5, Emperor Sport x 2, Cliff Shrub, Tandem, Evans, Tricycle
did you get what you wanted Most of the time
Did you know what you wanted Yes
Is it the best bike you've ever ridden Bianchi Infinito
What would you do differently next time nothing
Who made it see above
Have you since changed your mind and ordered something else N/A
how has it stood up to use They all did the job they were intended for, some better than others. some broke, mishap or hard use the others were sold on
Was it worth it Yes, but that was back in the day, when the choice of off the peg frames was limited
what was the process like Fairly painless except for convincing the builder that I was a client and he was to build what I wanted
Any advice Unless you need a particular shaped frame or want something unusual don't bother

Over the years I've owned 30+ solo bikes four trikes and five tandems plus a small collection of veteran bikes, this doesn't make me an expert just someone who likes bikes and likes to change them from time to time. There are about three machines I would like to still own, not because they ere super bikes but for sentimental reasons.

PaulaT
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Location: Staffordshire

Re: Who has had a frame made ?

Postby PaulaT » 23 Aug 2020, 6:59pm

greyingbeard wrote:Many questions, hopefully some interesting replies

What did you choose ?


A heavy-duty touring bike

greyingbeard wrote:did you get what you wanted ?


Exactly what I wanted

greyingbeard wrote:Did you know what you wanted ?


In general yes

greyingbeard wrote:Is it the best bike you've ever ridden ?


By a very, very, very long way

greyingbeard wrote:What would you do differently next time ?


Maybe 36 spoke rear wheel rather that 40. The rear wheel is dishless anyway so I think I've had it somewhat over-engineered

greyingbeard wrote:Who made it ?


The late George Longstaff

greyingbeard wrote:Have you since changed your mind and ordered something else ?


No. It's a bike for life

greyingbeard wrote:how has it stood up to use ?


Absolutely fine

greyingbeard wrote:Was it worth it ?


To me yes

greyingbeard wrote:what was the process like ?
Any advice ?


Just be clear about what you want