Custom framesets popularity

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
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wheelsONfire
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by wheelsONfire

More ordinary painting seems a bit difficult around here. Single color paint for frame, 600 euro was my last price.
Lettering, stripes etc seems to cost, "like alot".
I also tried to find a custom painter just to get a reference or something to grasp, but i never found one who considered painting a bike frame.
Bikes:

Ax Lightness Vial EVO D
Paduano Racing Fidia
Open *UP*
https://opencycle.com/showcase/the-xplo ... eelsonfire

mrlobber
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by mrlobber

RyanH wrote:
Tue Oct 16, 2018 5:58 pm
You do remember that I've had two Crumptons and an Indy Fab Crown Jewel, right? The Wilier was hands down better than all of them in nearly every respect. The T1sl is still my ideal blend of comfort and stiffness for 365 day, year around riding ranging from "I barely want to get on the bike" to "I'm going to drop everyone on this ride or drop myself in the process." I couldn't imagine needing or having more comfort and any less stiff and I'd be yearning for carbon.

With that being said, it could just be that the T1sl is built for someone like me. If I wanted stiffer (or less) I'd have to go custom BUT how would I ever go about quantifying the level of stiffness and comfort the T1sl provides right now and fine tune it from there and be certain that the builder would deliver on that? I'd bet confirmation bias plays a big role in people's belief that their custom bike is better than an off the shelf bike (barring those that have special geometry needs).
This, this, and once more this.

Off all bikes I've had and currently have, the best ride I remember was on a SS Evo HM (and definitely not due to geometry since most of the other bikes have had very similar geometry and also even the same components swapped over) - to the point I'm waiting for an upgraded version of Evo Disc (hopefully next year, hopefully with all integrated cables) to own a Cannondale again. If I asked a custom builder - please replicate the ride of it - how would he/she do it?

I totally admire the work of many builders showcased here on WW, their technical skills surpassing anything I'd ever imagine approaching myself, but to believe that an individual can create an objectively better carbon layup where a corporation has invested significant time of several engineers, sophisticated software, hours of pro feedback (if sponsoring a WT team) is close to same as believing in homeopathy.

Myself, I'll own a custom bike one time (probably Ti or steel) - but just because I want it, not that I really expect extraterrestrial ride quality, although my body proportions are of the kind that I need to ride small frames with long stems and even then I have too much stack at times (especially a problem with TT bikes, where you unfortunately have the aero problem to solve as well).
Retired bikes: Cervelo S5 2015 / Felt AR FRD 2014 / Cannondale SS HM 2014 / Scott Addict SL 2014 / Scott Plasma Premium 2014 / Orbea Orca 2008 / Look 596 /

by Weenie


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ultimobici
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by ultimobici

Hexsense wrote:
ultimobici wrote:
Tue Oct 16, 2018 7:24 pm
Hexsense wrote:No wonder, China hit USA market so hard. It's insane to see how expensive labour cost, up charge, and mark up in USA when compare to how cheap Chinese can do.
Yes it is no wonder when they’ve not paid for the IP.

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Before this continue to go off rail from the topic,
Okay well, lets narrow it down to context that is solely labour cost and not IP/tech related then. For those case of counterfeit/IP violation you are right. But I don't think painting a frameset according to my sketch design require any IP to do so. It's just that custom paint in China is so much cheaper than custom paint somewhere else probably due to labour. I can say the paint quality is not as neat as boutique paintshop. But for fraction of the price and got a customized painting, it's a fine deal.


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IP aside, labour costs will be lower not to mention there are few if any environmental restrictions on the process. No wonder it’s cheap!


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Zakalwe
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Joined: Sun Jun 17, 2012 3:15 pm

by Zakalwe

ultimobici wrote:
Mon Oct 15, 2018 10:50 pm
Zakalwe wrote:I don’t think fit is anywhere near as much advantage to custom frames as it with eg. custom suits or shoes where fit is paramount, but the same appeal applies where you’re investing in a craftsman, their years of building their skillset and their time given to making you something entirely unique and to your requirements. It’s the most sincere form of patronage, really.
Fit on a bike is just as important, if not more so, as a suit or pair of shoes. Many top end road bikes were made to measure until giant decided three sizes were all anyone “needed”.



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As someone who has invested in bespoke tailoring, and also as someone who’s career is in bespoke shoemaking, I can say with confidence that fit on a bike is far, far less important. I want a custom bike though, for various reasons as stated but not for fit. I’m very happy with the fit on my C60, Master and Cento1 and wouldn’t want any custom bike I have made to be set up any differently

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853guy
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by 853guy

spdntrxi wrote:
Tue Oct 16, 2018 7:16 pm
RyanH wrote:
Tue Oct 16, 2018 5:58 pm
I'd bet confirmation bias plays a big role in people's belief that their custom bike is better than an off the shelf bike (barring those that have special geometry needs).
I bet it's this too... from someone who is on his second Parlee Z-Zero.. First one custom. second not.
I'm sure you gents know this already, but confirmation bias works both ways.

It's just as easy for confirmation bias to reinforce preconcieved notions for those who believe their custom bike will be "better" (i.e. superior) relative to an off-the-shelf bike, as it is for those who believe their off-the-shelf bike will be "better" (i.e. superior) relative to a custom one.

This will be even easier in the absence of any statistically significant, repeatable and robust scientific findings on what "better" means.

For whatever that may be worth.

Best!

853guy

Robbyville
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Joined: Fri Jun 08, 2018 5:12 am

by Robbyville

I don’t think the idea that my custom bike would be “better” ever crossed my mind. It was just what I wanted because I could choose all aspects of the bike from paint to geometry. I also don’t know that it makes sense to compare pricing with certain off the shelf bikes.

In my case I knew what I was wanting and that had me looking at bikes like the Pinarello F10 or similar Colnago, Top end Trek, etc. at that point I felt like I might as well get something unique because it could be had in the same price point (not to mention that I had wanted a SV forever). Not better necessarily but I do feel that a bike is both a tool and a jewel I love the artistry and I only ride one bike. Egotistically nobody has anything like it and the ride is truly perfect for me. FWIW my fitting did have a fair bit of time spent on balance between front and back wheels, discussion of frame characteristics, etc.

And because I love to show my bike...
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Toby
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by Toby

RussellS wrote:
Sun Oct 14, 2018 10:47 pm
guyc wrote:
Sun Oct 14, 2018 8:50 pm
It’s a fair bit cheaper to paint a bike than a house or a car. What a bizarre analogy.
Is it? A place called Jack Kane Custom Racing Bicycles requires a $1000 deposit to paint a frame. A place called Horse Brand requires a $400 deposit to paint a frame. Guessing the deposits don't even cover the cost of repainting. More money is required to get your bike back after repainting. Co-Motion charges $200 for one custom color paint job on a new bike. Waterford charges $700 to repaint a frame. Plus $125 for the fork. In the past I recall seeing commercials from Maaco I think that offered to repaint your car for $99. And I suspect if I called up any of the local body shops in town I could get a car painted for a couple hundred. Any color I wanted. House painting requires about 20 gallons of paint. $10-25 per gallon. Haven't looked at house painting recently. But I think you could find people to paint a single story house for a few hundred dollars.

So its cheaper to repaint a house or car than a bike. So the quiestion reamins, WHY aren't the people clamoring for custom painted bikes repainting their cars and houses? Those items stand out more than a bike and they could get a lot more attention for cheaper. Why aren't they doing it if they believe what they wrote?
That's not even apples and oranges; that's apples and... houses. A $99 Maaco paint job is crap. It requires you to strip the lights, trim, etc off the car and applies a single stage of color with no clearcoat. It is also not cured as a factory paint job is and is likely to wind up with embedded dirt or contaminants before drying. It is a single color, not pearl/ metallic/ candy, and won't cover areas like door edges, under the hood, inside the trunk, etc if you're changing color. It's the equivalent of painting a bike with rattle-cans, not sending it to a builder to be carefully painted by an expert who produces factory-level paint jobs.

ANd I don't know where you live, but I'd be shocked if I could get my houe repainted for a few hundred. I'd be shocked if I could find someone to do it at all.

Wookski
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by Wookski

Zakalwe wrote:
Wed Oct 17, 2018 7:41 pm

As someone who has invested in bespoke tailoring, and also as someone who’s career is in bespoke shoemaking, I can say with confidence that fit on a bike is far, far less important. I want a custom bike though, for various reasons as stated but not for fit. I’m very happy with the fit on my C60, Master and Cento1 and wouldn’t want any custom bike I have made to be set up any differently
Agree 100%- most guys I know simply replicate their favourite geo or even use the builders “stock” geo options. Nothing wrong with that- Sarto is a great example of a builder with excellent stock geo options.

The word bespoke is overused just like in suiting- unless you’re talking about custom tubes as well as custom geo then it’s not bespoke, it’s made to measure.

pdlpsher1
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by pdlpsher1

RyanH wrote:
Tue Oct 16, 2018 5:58 pm
If I wanted stiffer (or less) I'd have to go custom BUT how would I ever go about quantifying the level of stiffness and comfort the T1sl provides right now and fine tune it from there and be certain that the builder would deliver on that?
A good custom builder is a lot more capable than you think. If you can imagine a good builder builds bikes for all kinds of people, from recreation riders to racers, from powerful sprinters to a lightweight female rider. I've seen pictures of bikes that my builder has built, from a super-stiff cross bike with massive tubes to a bike the builder built for his wife who is tiny. The spectrum of bikes is wide and deep. There's also an extensive interview process for the builder to get to know you and your riding style. It's a two-way conversation. I picked up the phone to call my builder when I had a question about a geometry question or a tubing question. You can ask him/her anything you wish and you will get his/her honest opinion. We discussed fine details such as where the Di2 wires enter and exit the frame, and major decisions such as whether to do exernal or internal brake routing. It's an extensive process even before the materials are ordered. By the way, the design process is by far one of the most satisfying experiences I've had, even equalling the riding experience. It's really hard to explain it until you've done it. Did you actually go through the design process on your Crumptons? I know you bought the Crown Jewel second-hand.

RyanH
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by RyanH

But what does your custom builder know about engineering? If they are not a trained engineer then how do they know what a frame will ride like for a 100 kilo 1.9m rider or a 1.5m 50kg rider?

Not to be too cynical but the idea that a frame builder without even an engineering degree is capable of building bikes for any sized person is almost on the level of believing in the tooth fairy. As far as I'm aware, large bike companies have only recently begun actually testing and developing the different sizes with actual riders of that size and incorporating their feedback. How is any bespoke builder going to do that?

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ultimobici
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by ultimobici

To those who claim an engineering degree is a prerequisite to quality design, have you any actual experience of dealing with warranty on the likes of Cervelo, Cannondale, Specialized, Trek or Giant? All designed & built by companies who male a big thing about their engineering prowess. All of the have had major recalls due to flawed construction. Yet you give more weight to their competence than the likes of Crumpton, Sarto or other small builders.

Just because a company is big and employs engineers doesn’t make it better. Ford are huge and yet they gave us the Pinto. A death trap. Shimano are huge too yet we got Biopace. A degree just tells us you went to school.


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pdlpsher1
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by pdlpsher1

A simple answer to your question Ryan is that as a custom builder he collects feedback from every one of his customers. And over the years he has served thousands of customers. Those experiences are far more valuable than an engineering degree. They simply know what works and what doesn't work through their experiences. As you probably could imagine most frame builders started building frames at a young age. Here's a pic. of my builder when he started his craft in his grandma's garage. The second pic is a more recent pic. Recently he partnered with a few experts in carbon and he has started building a line of moulded carbon bikes under his own branding. One of his partner has a doctorate degree in mechanical engineering. I'd say with carbon fiber you do need some professional training because of its properties. As for steel, titanium, and aluminum I can't see why a frame builder would need an engineering degree to build great bikes.

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kgt
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by kgt

+1
One only needs to realise how easily the hi-end engineers of many big companies alter their values, models, priorities, methods, protocols, designs etc. in order to follow the marketing trends. That does not mean that there are not some excellent engineers working in big companies. The thing is that engineering always goes together with marketing in these cases.
The experience of a builder can be really important. At the end, engineer or not, you only learn by doing, testing, and doing again.

Bigger Gear
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by Bigger Gear

I think there are 2 distinct camps of experienced cyclists: those who want something unique and built for them, and those who want the latest, greatest CAAAD/FEA/CNC/3D printed wonder bike. I used to be in the latest greatest camp a long time ago. Then I realized it is a never-ending cycle of buying, selling, and frustration. And late in my racing career I had 2 great seasons in 2008 and 2009 racing as an old-fart cat 1, on a steel frame built by the guy in the pictures above. It was not even new either, the frame was built in 2005 and was my non-race bike for those previous years. It was not fancy, light or super stiff. But it was perfectly fit for me, with a very racy front end and it handled like a dream, and I could finish a 150 km race still feeling OK on it. It still sits in my basement, currently unbuilt but one day it will riding again!

My point here is that the people who really want custom are also looking for an experience beyond just buying a stock bike. Interacting with the builder, personal details, and getting exactly what you want are something I value. Can it go wrong? Sure, if the buyer is not sure what he wants and the builder is too arrogant and just forces him on to something without asking enough questions. I've see it happen to a friend. But I've also custom-spec'd the latest greatest production bike (a few years ago) and ended up incredibly disappointed by it. To each their own.

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Wingnut
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by Wingnut

ultimobici wrote:
Thu Oct 18, 2018 7:16 am
To those who claim an engineering degree is a prerequisite to quality design, have you any actual experience of dealing with warranty on the likes of Cervelo, Cannondale, Specialized, Trek or Giant? All designed & built by companies who male a big thing about their engineering prowess. All of the have had major recalls due to flawed construction. Yet you give more weight to their competence than the likes of Crumpton, Sarto or other small builders.

Just because a company is big and employs engineers doesn’t make it better. Ford are huge and yet they gave us the Pinto. A death trap. Shimano are huge too yet we got Biopace. A degree just tells us you went to school.


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Really shit's me that there isn't a big fat like button on WW's... :thumbup:
"It's not the destination...it's the ride!"

by Weenie


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