Who should build my new frame?

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hamish
Posts: 393
Joined: 5 Mar 2008, 11:29pm

Re: Who should build my new frame?

Postby hamish » 10 Oct 2012, 7:18am

Definitely worth considering and having a chat with Woodrup too.

They will build almost anything and the build quality is excellent.

tatanab
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Re: Who should build my new frame?

Postby tatanab » 10 Oct 2012, 8:42am

A number of points to consider -
1. If you have particular requirements then you might want to see the frame before painting. So distance may be important, which would point to the Bristol builders on your list.
2. How long can you wait? Some builders have a long waiting list. Traditionally this is not a good time of year to order a new frame because all the racing chaps have new frames on order or are getting old ones resprayed. It may not be so much of a problem these days since so many buy frames from the Far East instead of a craftsman's torch.
3. Do not be fooled by a paint job. I have had frames from a well respected UK builder of a few years ago which have failed. Also I have seen frames from an overseas builder (not one you'd find in the UK) where brazed fittings were wrongly placed and could not be used correctly. A bit of paint can mask a multitude of sins.

mrjemm
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Re: Who should build my new frame?

Postby mrjemm » 10 Oct 2012, 9:32am

http://www.bespokedbristol.co.uk/Bespok ... hotos.html

Maybe worth a drool in there to help you make you mind up... Not all the brands mentioned, but a good sample, and some other names to look out for.

hufty
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Re: Who should build my new frame?

Postby hufty » 10 Oct 2012, 12:15pm

Gearoidmuar wrote:...Rohloff. This is the greatest bit of touring kit for hills, that there is.
As a fellow Rohloffian would just like to get in first to point out that hub gears don't make hills easier to pedal up, but they do make gear changes easier.
Please do not use this post in Cycle magazine

PH
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Re: Who should build my new frame?

Postby PH » 10 Oct 2012, 12:38pm

Go on a Dave Yates course and build it yourself. Job done.

ukdodger
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Re: Who should build my new frame?

Postby ukdodger » 10 Oct 2012, 12:55pm

bikepacker wrote: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.


Charlie Roberts is pretty good. But I have to say do you really need a made to measure frame? In my experience there is very little difference between a made to measure job and one off the shelf in terms of both comfort and efficiency. There are thousands of factory built frames available in varying sizes. An inch here or there isnt going to notice unless you are a competition racing cyclist.

Charlie makes great frames but what people see most when the look at a frame is the paint job and Charlie's are second to none. Frankly I dont think the extra £1.5k is worth it. But that's just my opinion.

No I havent owned a Charlie Roberts frame but I have made four of my own each varying in size. The difference is barely noticable.

ukdodger
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Re: Who should build my new frame?

Postby ukdodger » 10 Oct 2012, 2:24pm

McVouty wrote: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.


Does Charlie do his own painting. I thought not.

mig
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Joined: 19 Oct 2011, 9:39pm

Re: Who should build my new frame?

Postby mig » 10 Oct 2012, 4:06pm

bikepacker wrote:
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.


it occured to me earlier that i was persuaded away from carbon to steel by brian himself on the second of my frames. i take it that he considers it no longer economic to build forks..?

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531colin
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Re: Who should build my new frame?

Postby 531colin » 10 Oct 2012, 5:47pm

In view of this thread http://forum.ctc.org.uk/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=64576&p=588576#p588576 where "bikepacker" was unable to get comfortable on a modern touring frame (compared to his old 531 frames) the question I would have asked is.............

"Which custom builders have test bikes that a prospective customer can take out for a good long test ride?"

In the thread I linked, Brucey explains how 531Super Tourist is stiffer than the old 531butted.... many modern touring frames are even stiffer......I think, for example, the 2012 Galaxies have inch and three eighths downtubes in all sizes, compared to inch and one eighth for 531ST. .....and Long Haul Truckers have inch and a quarter top and down tubes, against inch top tubes for 531ST.....all this is to the best of my failing memory, so please check if you have either bike!
Modern forks that bristle with braze-ons for low riders need thick walled tubing to avoid fatigue failure at the braze ons.

This is all to do with bikes becoming increasingly specialised.....in the sixties, you could afford one bike, which did the club 10 time trial and the summer tour.....you rode it loaded within the limitations of the brakes, and descended with care. Now tourers are expected to ride properly with an expedition load.

reohn2
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Re: Who should build my new frame?

Postby reohn2 » 10 Oct 2012, 5:51pm

ukdodger wrote:Charlie Roberts is pretty good. But I have to say do you really need a made to measure frame? In my experience there is very little difference between a made to measure job and one off the shelf in terms of both comfort and efficiency. There are thousands of factory built frames available in varying sizes. An inch here or there isnt going to notice unless you are a competition racing cyclist.

Charlie makes great frames but what people see most when the look at a frame is the paint job and Charlie's are second to none. Frankly I dont think the extra £1.5k is worth it. But that's just my opinion.......


I have to say I completely agree.
If an off the peg frame costs £500 and bespoke frame is even just £1000,providing both frames fit the rider and the angles etc are "right",there cannot be £500's worth of difference in ride quality IMHO.
The paint job is usually the "wow" factor,closely followed by the name on the downtube,then(for some) the Reynolds numbers.
Any paint job can be easily replicated at a cost,that cost for the best single colour can't be more than £100,if it is it's a rip off.
Obviously the name on the frame can mean a lot to some,personally I'm more interested in the ride quality.
In the last couple of years four bikes have passed through my hands all good and all bog standard off the peg frames,but they didn't tick all of my particular boxes,which are a little "niche".
Of those frames the one that really impressed me was a cheap 7005 alu frame with a steel fork.Though it didn't tick all the boxes(no discbrake provision and the seat tube angle was a leettle too steep),it impressed because it handled so well both on and offroad and also had huge clearances(40+mm tyres with m/guards),I used to love watching the sneering sideways looks when it leaned up against a cafe wall :) and saying to myself "if only you knew"
Of course if someone wants "art" built by a true artisan and is willing to pay then it's entirely up to them,you pays your money,etc.

Lugs? personally I much prefere neat Tig welding on a steel frame,it's so clean looking and minimal :)
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I cycle therefore I am.

Brucey
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Re: Who should build my new frame?

Postby Brucey » 10 Oct 2012, 6:03pm

with a custom frame you get what you want; specifically you get the geometry, the materials, the braze-ons, the colour scheme you want. Exactly.

Is this good value? Much is in the eye of the beholder, obviously. But to some it is like the difference between a really nice bottle of vintage wine and something a lot more, uh, 'functional'. Not everyone will notice the difference and/or even care, anyway.

The OP wrote;

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.


So probably no point in arguing about 'value' then; it is not the top priority.

BTW lugs can be rather attractive, I think....

Image

cheers
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

ukdodger
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Re: Who should build my new frame?

Postby ukdodger » 10 Oct 2012, 6:40pm

Brucey wrote:with a custom frame you get what you want; specifically you get the geometry, the materials, the braze-ons, the colour scheme you want. Exactly.

Is this good value? Much is in the eye of the beholder, obviously. But to some it is like the difference between a really nice bottle of vintage wine and something a lot more, uh, 'functional'. Not everyone will notice the difference and/or even care, anyway.

The OP wrote;

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.


So probably no point in arguing about 'value' then; it is not the top priority.

BTW lugs can be rather attractive, I think....

Image

cheers


Yes I like lugs best. I dislike intently the herringbone pattern left by welding on lugless factory frames. One reason at least to buy a custom frame is a good pro builder will file them smooth.

Norton
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Joined: 10 Aug 2009, 11:10am

Re: Who should build my new frame?

Postby Norton » 10 Oct 2012, 6:57pm

Might also be worth distinguishing between made to measure and true custom built frames, with the former being more of an off the peg design sized and painted to suit the customer.

Not sure all on your list offer a true custom service (if that matters).

Personally, I'd add Steve Goff to that list - not least for the great price and finish (using C&G)

mig
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Joined: 19 Oct 2011, 9:39pm

Re: Who should build my new frame?

Postby mig » 10 Oct 2012, 7:13pm

Norton wrote:Might also be worth distinguishing between made to measure and true custom built frames, with the former being more of an off the peg design sized and painted to suit the customer.

Not sure all on your list offer a true custom service (if that matters).

Personally, I'd add Steve Goff to that list - not least for the great price and finish (using C&G)


agree. my...er....third custom frame is a goff :D

(ps i do have long top tubes in my frames - far longer than anything 'off the peg' - before anyone shouts :) )

ukdodger
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Re: Who should build my new frame?

Postby ukdodger » 10 Oct 2012, 7:25pm

mig wrote:
Norton wrote:Might also be worth distinguishing between made to measure and true custom built frames, with the former being more of an off the peg design sized and painted to suit the customer.

Not sure all on your list offer a true custom service (if that matters).

Personally, I'd add Steve Goff to that list - not least for the great price and finish (using C&G)


agree. my...er....third custom frame is a goff :D

(ps i do have long top tubes in my frames - far longer than anything 'off the peg' - before anyone shouts :) )


Are you descended from gorillas. Yes some people do need a tailored frame