Firefly have got your needs sorted. And they just updated their road dropouts and are even nicer now!
Full custom, 44mm headtube, english bb, isp all available. also options of internal brake wire for the rear, matching post and stem, custom graphics, anodising, paint....oh man I might need a second one!
Kevin is an amazing designer and the welds on my frame are insanely neat!
Scott Plasma 5 eTap
Trek Fuel EX9
Baum is 'local' in as much as they are Australian - though my interaction with them as I live in Sydney and they are 1000k away give or take, would be phone/email just like the other customs on the list.
In terms of turn around from what I understand, though I do need to verbally confirm this is that Baum is probably a little longer than other options. Firefly and Eriksen seem to say 8-10 weeks, from others who've gone Baum 8-12 weeks is probable.
The shipping only really adds 4-5 days to the process from my experience with Tiemeyer.
My use of the frame. I race on a sponsored elite masters team, everything from club racing, to state and national level racing. I have the physiology of a big pursuiter on the track, that translates to someone who can compete in a bunch sprint on the road (up to about 1400W), can climb okay, though I'm more likely to succeed out of a break. Racing is everything from super fast crits on smooth tar, to long road stages on chip seal roads.
I'm not sure about the whole anti-China thing. It's less the country of origin I'm referring to and more about the what I see as soulless disposable nature of carbon bikes. I've had 3 bikes in the last 3 seasons - all good bikes, that I've had good results on. I've seen them simply as tools that I've had zero attachment to. My Van Nicholas which I really like (and have had great results on) is all fabricated in China and that doesn't bother me at all. The point of this exercise is less about country of origin and more about the chance to work with a framebuilder on a personal level. If there existed a well respected framebuilder in China and language wasn't a barrier, there's nothing to say they wouldn't be on the list.
Again thanks to all who've had input. I'll start making some calls today - what I think it's most likely to come down to is the builder I click the most with.
Another great option would be Mosaic - another Colorado builder with beautiful welds and a willingness to use the 'right size' Ti tube.
I get the feeling some times that frame builders are going more for an aesthetic or a traditional 'thing' with their Ti bikes rather than going full-on to make the best riding bike for a particular purpose. I rarely used anything smaller than a 38.1mm down tube when I was making bikes. Once in a while there would be a need for a small bike with a 34.9, but rarely. I loved 42 and 44mm DTs because you got the BB stiffness that everyone complained about Ti bikes not having. Diameter and wall thickness are things that I think too many builders shy away from - they find reasonably standard tube sets for a particular size/model and then use them over and over again rarely subbing out a tube unless they really feel like they need to. They try to build bikes in the same manner over and again because that is what they are comfortable with rather than starting from scratch and engineering each bike for each individual. In my book that makes them more frame fabricators than true frame builders.
I think that if you're getting a custom bike, it should be completely custom for you, not sort-of-off-the-peg, not more or less the same as every other bike that builder makes. Find a builder who is willing to be bold and make your bike from the ground up to be an absolutely wicked machine for you and you alone. That's the builder that you want to use - not someone who says that the resale value of their bikes is great because it will work for most riders your size... The resale value of a custom bike should be bullocks if it's done right in my opinion...
"Organization is for the simple-minded, the Genius controls the chaos." - Jens
In regards to a few people mentioning weight. While I realize this is WW, it's not the primary objective. My Van Nicholas sets up at abut 7.6kg in race trim, not a feather by any means. Anything around there give or take is going to be okay. Obviously I don't want a boat anchor, but I'd be pretty surprised if anything on that list, especially with Red 2012 isn't inside of 7.5kg anyway.
Having said that, I'm leaning to DA - as the option for 180mm cranks is more readily available, while I use 175mm presently, I've gone to 180 on my track bike and TT bike, and am finding it's a better setup for me.
Get a fit with Steve Hogg local to you.
Get that frame gemoetry forwarded to Darren, (and transpose to your curent bike to match).
Go see Darren and confirm the fit with him and work out the frame spec details others opinions don't count for much here, your riding it... not us... you matter we don't), flights cost bugger all....
Ride your current Ti for a few months to align yourself to your new fit co-ords, follow Steve's advice he know's his stuff.
Receive your "perfect" bike and be a very happy gent, with local support for the life of you and the bike....
Might cost a grand over "guess and import" but thats not that much over the life of a Ti frame...
I've dealt with both, and if i were getting a "lifer" frame thats what I'd do.....
If and when you do, please show us the results, Darrens work is always very pleasant to behold....
jamespierce wrote:You're lucky enough to be in Australia, go and see Darren - it will be worth the flight. It doesn't have to be a Coretto to get an amazing bike from Baum, their Cubano is 98% as good for a good chunk cheaper. Great guys, great bikes.
Yeah I do get to Melbourne for work reasonably frequently. And Cubano vs Coretto is a fair point and certainly something I'll consider.
- Powerful Pete
- Posts: 4004
- Joined: Fri Dec 10, 2004 10:22 am
- Location: Lima, Peru and occasionally in the Washington DC area.
Let us keep it on topic and proceed from here. Thanks. PP
Supercommuter: Jamis Renegade...pastatrails.blogspot.com
And you can call me Macktastik Honey Pete Kicks, thank you.
I took on board a couple of the comments re: Baum, choice in frame and going down there.
Out of convenience (time of day when North America were probably all in bed) I gave Baum a call today. First thing was Darren Baum answers the phone, kind of nice. He then gave me probably an hour of his time, on topics that wandered on and off topic about his bikes, riding in general and build philosophy. It was a really unhurried experience, but I think more than anything I really got the sense that Darren understood where I was coming from and I got a great deal of confidence he'd deliver something perfect for me.
When I started this thread, it was more about people experiences with builders and to a lesser extent finished product. I'm glad I gave Darren a call. I've sent the geometry of my current bikes and a bit of detail and a few options. Next step I'll go down and visit next month and see where this takes me. He'll tweak a fit down there.
Presently I'm leaning towards a Cubano, with a GTA finish, which includes colour matched seatpost and stem.
Again for the people who took the time to provide really great input, thankyou muchly.
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