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PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2014 2:06 am 
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Joined: Sat Jan 21, 2006 6:13 pm
Posts: 262
I want to buy a high-end, light weight, custom built carbon road frameset. There are lots of mass produced frames that I love (BMC, Addict, Emonda, Zero.7, Fascenario 0.7, etc) but none of them fit me correctly due to my slightly unusual body proportions.

Geometry: custom
Build time: six months max
Cost: prefer to stay under $6k but could go over for something perfect
Priorities: fit, ride quality, weight and good looks

Due to the complex nature of carbon fiber I believe that the big guys with massive R&D budgets (Scott, Specialized, Trek, Merida, etc) likely make the best performing frames but none of them offer custom sizes so I have to put my faith in a relatively low-tech custom builder.

This is my shortlist but I can't help think I am missing a bunch of other great builders.

Cyfac Absolu
Guru Photon R
Parlee Z-Zero (a bit over my price target)
Argonaut Spacebike 2.0
Comtat Vertice
Sarto (not sure which model)
Crumpton Type 5

Please offer up your $0.02 as to which builders you think are best and why. Maybe there are some great ones out there I haven't heard of!


Last edited by RedRacer on Mon Sep 22, 2014 5:23 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Posted: Mon Sep 22, 2014 2:06 am 


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2014 2:22 am 
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Carl Strong, who learned CF construction from Nick Crumpton.

Check the NAHBS web site for more names.

Your assumption that the big companies make the best frames has no merit. What they do better is marketing.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2014 2:27 am 
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Check out Rolo as well, one of their guys posts here regularly (andy2) and their frames seem really neat.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2014 2:47 am 
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Crumpton might be out of your build time. Mine too 10 months.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2014 2:48 am 
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Check out Berk he is going to start making frames in January.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2014 3:30 am 
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That's a good list, I think that Nick's wait time is indeed more than 6 months (for a good reason!). You can add Legend to the list.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2014 5:35 am 
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jpanspac wrote:

Your assumption that the big companies make the best frames has no merit. What they do better is marketing.


Since I can't buy a bike from a big company that fits me well I would really love to believe this but there is no way the small guys have the technology and R&D know-how of the big guys. This page (small company, big budget?) illustrates some of the carbon building tech I am referring to.

http://rolobikes.com/the-bike/technology

I seriously doubt that many (any?) of the small builders have in-house rigs that perform test like the Rolo site talks about. Even the German magazine Tour and RIDE from Australia do frame tests that are likely as in-depth as any small builder does. This isn't to say that the small builders can't build a bike that performs really well but I think they must rely more on the 'art' of building and rider feedback than science and technology.

Anyway, I don't want to start a war or get too far OT because I am shopping for a frame from a small builder and my money will go towards continuing the art 8)


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2014 6:19 am 
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Out of curiosity, what stack and reach are you looking for?


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2014 6:28 am 
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bombertodd wrote:
Out of curiosity, what stack and reach are you looking for?


Stack 600+mm
Reach 390mm

Easy to find frames with 580 - 590mm Stack and 390+mm Reach but since I am paying premium money I want a perfect fit which for me means taller and shorter.


Last edited by RedRacer on Mon Sep 29, 2014 7:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2014 11:04 am 
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We talked in the other thread. We are about the same height. You have fractionally longer legs. Instead of buying a carbon road bike, consider getting a cruiser or an alternative to a road bike with more upright riding position. The stack and reach you specify is even more undersquare than an endurance geometry designed to place a rider more upright even with your proportions.

I wish I had a nickel for every poor fitting custom bike on the road with weird stem, big stack of spacers and the rider still in a poor position. Throwing odd geometry at a guy with ordinary proportions....your long leg length can be tuned with 1 stem size due to lack of stack/reach proportionally...only makes matters worse and not better.

Within the bell curve of human beings probably less than 1-2% need a custom geometry with the plethora of different production frames sizes available. People above 6'7" and less than 4'10" mostly. Problem is, guys think they need a custom geometry because their fit isn't right for their particular body size...or they bandaid their fit trying to avert discomfort when they are addressing their fit issues in the opposite direction they should. I would say conservatively 70% of road bike riders on the road don't understand fit. And some of them fit perfectly btw but many don't. I also know Cat 1's that know little about fit or even bike tech but they can drop most that ride on the planet.

Just wanted to share my opinion as we discussed your fit in the other thread that apparently went over your head or you don't agree with. Btw, the inability to embrace substantive change, many times holds many back in any endeavor to get better. In any event, just wanted to say that and good luck with your cycling no matter what you decide.

PS: the poster above that said the big bike brands only bring marketing as an advantage compared to a custom carbon bike maker, the opposite is true. There is no way a boutique custom carbon builder has the R&D resources to create a bike with the overall performance of any of the name brand guys.


Last edited by highdraw on Mon Sep 22, 2014 3:34 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2014 11:39 am 
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The quality of some custom carbon frames is a bit questionable. May I suggest the OP starts another thread, posts a picture of his frame drawing ... and within a millisecond someone will perhaps come on and say something like 'Oh that geometry matches a 53cm R3 or something similar'.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2014 11:49 am 
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You could do what Valbrona suggested, but even better would be to post a picture of you on your current bike with the stack/reach you posit as the target for what you are looking for. This will expose your stack/reach target for what it is.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2014 3:08 pm 
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Location: Vienna, AUT
Appleman


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2014 3:11 pm 
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I think you might want to go into this purchase with the idea of letting the framebuilder have some input into those numbers (S+R) and how you sit on a bike. If not, perhaps a road bike isn't the best solution.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 22, 2014 3:54 pm 
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Here you go.

http://www.trekbikes.com/int/en/bikes/r ... 9_compact/

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Posted: Mon Sep 22, 2014 3:54 pm 


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