Measuring and buying custom frame online experiences

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
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kojtl1000
Posts: 27
Joined: Mon Apr 08, 2013 1:25 pm

by kojtl1000

I want to start of by saying that where we live, there is no shop near that sells the frames that I want.
I am looking into building a (custom) built frame/bike like a Parlee, Alchemy, Crumpton. But it is really hard for me to get to a store or bike builder to get measured for the frame. As I am looking to spend that much money on the bike, I think that part of the process is really important. But I wanted to know if anyone here had any experience ordering a bike that way (online, through an online configurator and having the finished bike sent to you)?

I found shops like wrenchscience and fairwheelbikes that do it that way. Does anyone have any experience with those?

Thanks a lot.

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Zen Cyclery
Shop Owner
Posts: 1244
Joined: Tue Mar 10, 2009 5:27 am
Location: McCall, ID
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by Zen Cyclery

I got a frame from Carl Strong of Strong Frames in Bozeman, Mt. We did all measurement via email and the frame sizing came out absolutely perfect. I will never be buying a prebuilt bike ever again. The ride quality is better than anything I've ever ridden, and the fit is absolutely on point.

RussellS
Posts: 720
Joined: Wed Feb 03, 2010 1:31 am

by RussellS

Just advice, no experience. Assume you ride a bike now. And have one you think fits very good. Right? Get its dimensions. Every measurement for the bike. Figure out if there is one or two you want different. Figure out how much different. Write all this down. Then talk to the builder and try to come to a conclusion. Compare this conclusion to your written down measurements and see if they are close. They should be close. If not then talk to the builder some more or find a different builder.

I don't need a custom frame. Factory fits me perfectly. I would have no problem having a custom frame built over the internet. I would just give the builder the dimensions of all the frames that fit me perfectly now and tell him to build one identical to this. All my perfectly fitting frames now have about the same dimensions.

nicrump
Posts: 744
Joined: Thu Oct 23, 2003 5:18 pm
Location: Austin
Contact:

by nicrump

kojtl1000 wrote:I want to start of by saying that where we live, there is no shop near that sells the frames that I want.
I am looking into building a (custom) built frame/bike like a Parlee, Alchemy, Crumpton. But it is really hard for me to get to a store or bike builder to get measured for the frame. As I am looking to spend that much money on the bike, I think that part of the process is really important. But I wanted to know if anyone here had any experience ordering a bike that way (online, through an online configurator and having the finished bike sent to you)?

I found shops like wrenchscience and fairwheelbikes that do it that way. Does anyone have any experience with those?

Thanks a lot.


Better than 95% of my clients never step foot in my shop to be measured. I deal mostly remote as you describe. It is not that difficult.

Cheers!

theredmiata
Posts: 173
Joined: Sun Mar 05, 2006 10:11 pm

by theredmiata

Commenting further on RussellS's advice, I would take stock of all the bikes that you have ridden and determine what you like and didn't like about them. It helps to keep track of the frame size of the bikes (if off the shelf) and their geometries (head tube angle, seat angle, etc). Once you have that data you can really go either way - custom or off-the-shelf. My experience is coming from ordering a custom frame, remotely via Crumpton. The main reason I went custom is because I had very specific wants in a bike and felt that going custom was the only way at the time (3 or 4 years ago or so) to get exactly everything what I wanted. The total experience from Nic was outstanding. Multiple emails concerning the fit and finish occurred during the process and resulted in a bike that I am very very happy with. I'm pretty sure I could have gotten an off-the-shelf bike to fit just as well but I would have had to make some tradeoffs that I was not comfortable especially at that price point.

Ian in SD

boots2000
Posts: 1438
Joined: Mon Oct 15, 2007 9:28 pm

by boots2000

If you know your bike and what you like and dislike about it- take full measurements, communicate all that to the builder- result will be great.
You mentioned Crumpton (and he even responded on the board)- hard to go wrong with that!

maxxevv
Posts: 1958
Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2005 4:51 am

by maxxevv

If you're willing to plonk down the amount of money for a high value custom bike, would suggest getting a professional bike fit done by one of the more established fit systems such as Retul or others that may be available to you. It'll probably be about 10-15% of what that custom frame is going to cost and from the values determined, you'll get a frameset that is guaranteed to fit you really well.

I think bike builders like Crumpton, Parlee, Carl Strong etc, etc would be extremely happy if you could supply them such parameters along with your riding preferences too. It would make for a very smooth building process, along with a very well tailored bike as the end product.

kojtl1000
Posts: 27
Joined: Mon Apr 08, 2013 1:25 pm

by kojtl1000

nicrump wrote:
kojtl1000 wrote:I want to start of by saying that where we live, there is no shop near that sells the frames that I want.
I am looking into building a (custom) built frame/bike like a Parlee, Alchemy, Crumpton. But it is really hard for me to get to a store or bike builder to get measured for the frame. As I am looking to spend that much money on the bike, I think that part of the process is really important. But I wanted to know if anyone here had any experience ordering a bike that way (online, through an online configurator and having the finished bike sent to you)?

I found shops like wrenchscience and fairwheelbikes that do it that way. Does anyone have any experience with those?

Thanks a lot.


Better than 95% of my clients never step foot in my shop to be measured. I deal mostly remote as you describe. It is not that difficult.

Cheers!


thanks Nick. Sent you an email as well last weekend before my question about the other websites ;-). Would love to hear from you on that.

nicrump
Posts: 744
Joined: Thu Oct 23, 2003 5:18 pm
Location: Austin
Contact:

by nicrump

Did you not get a response from me? Looking through my inbox, not seeing anything. Wonder if it didn't make it in.

kojtl1000 wrote:
nicrump wrote:
kojtl1000 wrote:I want to start of by saying that where we live, there is no shop near that sells the frames that I want.
I am looking into building a (custom) built frame/bike like a Parlee, Alchemy, Crumpton. But it is really hard for me to get to a store or bike builder to get measured for the frame. As I am looking to spend that much money on the bike, I think that part of the process is really important. But I wanted to know if anyone here had any experience ordering a bike that way (online, through an online configurator and having the finished bike sent to you)?

I found shops like wrenchscience and fairwheelbikes that do it that way. Does anyone have any experience with those?

Thanks a lot.


Better than 95% of my clients never step foot in my shop to be measured. I deal mostly remote as you describe. It is not that difficult.

Cheers!


thanks Nick. Sent you an email as well last weekend before my question about the other websites ;-). Would love to hear from you on that.

kojtl1000
Posts: 27
Joined: Mon Apr 08, 2013 1:25 pm

by kojtl1000

You don't need to quote the above


Hey Nick, I just resent the email. I also sent a mail without pictures, maybe that was the problem. Let me know if you got either.

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