greyingbeard wrote:Next I shall ask - which steel does what ?
It used to be that 531 does everything, but theres a lot of choice these days. What are the pros and cons of the different materials ??
The pros are that if you go to a very good custom builder they will be able to recommend a tubeset, or a mix of tubes, possibly even from different manufacturers, with tube profiles that will result in the best bike for you.
The cons are that a lot of customers go to a custom framebuilder having already decided that they want a frame made from XYZ, usually because they perceive that tubeset as being 'the best' because it's at the top of the Reynolds or Columbus hierachy and is the most expensive, and they must have 'the best', even if actually it happens not to be the best for their particular needs.
I think quite a few customers of Dave Yates have gone to him with the intention of ordering a frame in one of the more expensive tubesets, such as 953 or 853, and have been persuaded by him instead to have a less expensive tubeset, e.g. 631, as being more suitable for them and for the type of bike they wanted.
The most important questions to begin with are:
- what sort of bike do you want/what will you be using it for? *
- do you have a bike already that fits you and which you use for that type of riding? If you already have a bike that is a good fit and good for the type of riding you do, and which you and the framebuilder can use as a starting point, it's likely that you will end up with a better frame for you compared with starting with a blank sheet of paper.
* Brucey has commented in the past that probably one of the most important decisions, if not the
most important, is what tyre width do you want to be able to use, and I think he's absolutely right.