Who should build my new frame?

For discussions about bikes and equipment.
bikepacker
Posts: 1980
Joined: 5 Jan 2007, 7:08pm
Location: Worcestershire
Contact:

Who should build my new frame?

Postby bikepacker » 9 Oct 2012, 8:30pm

Decision made, I am going to treat myself to a custom built steel touring frame. It will probably be the last one I shall purchase and cost is of secondary importance to having a top notch frame. Who should I get to build it that is the dilemma? Possibilities are:

Robin Mather
Dave Yates
Mercian
Ellis Biggs
Argos
Or other suggestions.

Advice and reasons for the choice would be very welcome.
There is your way. There is my way. But there is no "the way".

mig
Posts: 2062
Joined: 19 Oct 2011, 9:39pm

Re: Who should build my new frame?

Postby mig » 9 Oct 2012, 8:42pm

mercian are the class act by reputation as you no doubt already know.

i would toss another name into the ring - brian rourke. have had 2 frames measured by him (the first by paul washington, the second by his son jason) and they are impeccable. add to that the fact that a visit to his shop is an unrushed, methodical affair and is very much a customer based affair and you're on to a winner. i will treasure my frames for as long as i'm still riding.

enjoy the choice anyway!

reohn2
Posts: 36353
Joined: 26 Jun 2009, 8:21pm

Re: Who should build my new frame?

Postby reohn2 » 9 Oct 2012, 8:44pm

May i ask,why does it have to be made to measure?
-----------------------------------------------------------
I cycle therefore I am.

bikepacker
Posts: 1980
Joined: 5 Jan 2007, 7:08pm
Location: Worcestershire
Contact:

Re: Who should build my new frame?

Postby bikepacker » 9 Oct 2012, 8:50pm

I have a couple of frames that I have had adaptions to compensate for posture and postition, I would like these incorporating into any new frame. Other reason is the pure indulgence of owning a one off.
There is your way. There is my way. But there is no "the way".

bikepacker
Posts: 1980
Joined: 5 Jan 2007, 7:08pm
Location: Worcestershire
Contact:

Re: Who should build my new frame?

Postby bikepacker » 9 Oct 2012, 8:51pm

mig wrote:mercian are the class act by reputation as you no doubt already know.

i would toss another name into the ring - brian rourke. have had 2 frames measured by him (the first by paul washington, the second by his son jason) and they are impeccable. add to that the fact that a visit to his shop is an unrushed, methodical affair and is very much a customer based affair and you're on to a winner. i will treasure my frames for as long as i'm still riding.

enjoy the choice anyway!


I had considered Brian but he does not do custom made steel forks on any of his bikes.
There is your way. There is my way. But there is no "the way".

mig
Posts: 2062
Joined: 19 Oct 2011, 9:39pm

Re: Who should build my new frame?

Postby mig » 9 Oct 2012, 9:00pm

really? :shock:

that must be a recent thing - i've got 2 sets!

mattsccm
Posts: 2729
Joined: 28 Nov 2009, 9:44pm

Re: Who should build my new frame?

Postby mattsccm » 9 Oct 2012, 9:02pm

Longstaff?

Brucey
Posts: 35931
Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: Who should build my new frame?

Postby Brucey » 9 Oct 2012, 9:20pm

Roberts?

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

User avatar
RickH
Posts: 4536
Joined: 5 Mar 2012, 6:39pm
Location: Horwich, Lancs.

Re: Who should build my new frame?

Postby RickH » 9 Oct 2012, 10:01pm

Justin Burls does a nice line in steel frames (& Russian-built custom Ti too)

bikepacker
Posts: 1980
Joined: 5 Jan 2007, 7:08pm
Location: Worcestershire
Contact:

Re: Who should build my new frame?

Postby bikepacker » 9 Oct 2012, 10:07pm

While I appreciate the suggestions and will look into them, it would be nice to have the reasons behind your recommendations.
There is your way. There is my way. But there is no "the way".

Brucey
Posts: 35931
Joined: 4 Jan 2012, 6:25pm

Re: Who should build my new frame?

Postby Brucey » 9 Oct 2012, 10:18pm

every Roberts frame I have ever seen has been impeccably built and beautifully finished. I would say that it is a very good place to go if you want something that is a bit different;for example I've seen a lot of framesets for petite ladies done well by Roberts, as well as larger frames.

Cheap they ain't, I grant you. But they are good.

I've owned mine for nearly thirty years now. They say the quality remains long after the price is forgotten; it could be true!

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

User avatar
McVouty
Posts: 386
Joined: 21 Jul 2008, 5:32pm
Location: Stirling

Re: Who should build my new frame?

Postby McVouty » 9 Oct 2012, 10:21pm

Steve Shand?

If I was commissioning a 'money no object' touring frame, though, I'd go to Robin Mather or Dave Yates on the grounds that my frame would be more likely to be built by The Man Himself than if it came from Mercian or Roberts, finally decide on Dave Yates, and spend the difference between £1600ish and £900ish on beer. I'd think about having the painting done by Roberts, Mercian, Argos or Mario Vaz, if gorgeousness of finish is an overwhelmingly important consideration.

Actually, I don't think you will go wrong with a frame from any of the established builders, especially those with a reputation for tourers - again, for me, that would give Dave Yates the nod.

User avatar
Vantage
Posts: 2680
Joined: 24 Jan 2012, 1:44pm
Location: somewhere in Bolton
Contact:

Re: Who should build my new frame?

Postby Vantage » 9 Oct 2012, 11:06pm

I wouldn't bother with Argos. Some of their flat pack furniture is ok, but I wouldn't trust them with a welding kit and steel pipes.
:D

sorry, couldn't help myself :D
Bill


“Ride as much or as little, or as long or as short as you feel. But ride.” ~ Eddy Merckx
It's a rich man whos children run to him when his pockets are empty.

broadway
Posts: 772
Joined: 9 Mar 2010, 1:49pm
Location: Cheshire

Re: Who should build my new frame?

Postby broadway » 9 Oct 2012, 11:50pm

Since cost is not that much of a consideration I would look at for Feather, Robin Mather, Demon if I was looking for a forever frame with lugs. Fillet brazed I would also consider the likes of Roberts, Yates etc.

Robin Mather in Bristol http://apracticalguide.wordpress.com/
Relatively close you, with a "particular fondness for classically styled road, touring and utility bikes with lugs, mudguards and racks"

Looked at his old site a while back and there wasn't one I didn't like/

Demon are in Southampton http://www.demonframeworks.com/
A couple of threads on his custom frames:
http://www.retrobike.co.uk/forum/viewto ... &start=195
http://www.lfgss.com/thread77424.html

Feather in York http://feathercycles.blogspot.co.uk/
Seems to be more fixy orientated, so maybe not top of the list.

And maybe Villiers-Velo in Gillingham.

If I was in Worcestershire I don't see why I would choose anyone other than Robin Mather. No doubt argos would build a workman like fame, but doubt it would look anywhere near as good a Robin Mather.

Image
sc001.JPG by Robin Mather, on Flickr

Gearoidmuar
Posts: 2171
Joined: 29 Sep 2007, 7:35pm
Location: Cork, Ireland. Corcaigh, Éire má tá Gaeilge agat.

Re: Who should build my new frame?

Postby Gearoidmuar » 10 Oct 2012, 7:10am

Who should build your new frame?

There's a chap in Taiwan who's built most if not all of my frames. They all fit perfectly because of the componentry. You don't NEED a made to measure frame unless you're a freak. You may WANT one, but that's different.. 8)

Instead of a one-off, what is better advice is to get on the blower to SJSC and order a Thorn Raven Tour. That's what I did 3 years ago. My fourth dedicated tourer, though I've also toured on MTBs etc.
They will fit this to you with appropriate components.
I told them I wanted saddle height x, handlebars within 2 inches of this, saddle intersected by seatpost to handlebars y. It was done. It's perfect and I've so far done 8 tours on it.
Now what's so special about it?
Herr Rohloff. This is the greatest bit of touring kit for hills, that there is.