The builder is Chris Marshall. Not many will have heard of him.
I think the stats indicate a slight weight savings is more likely than a penalty.
As far as strength goes, you're eliminating stress by not having to clamp a seat post in place.
The aesthetics is incidental...
The reason I did it was to be able to run an internal cable straight out the back for brakes, but when I started doing the figuring, there were more potential upsides than down in the case of a custom bike.
MDH wrote:mattydubs- Any photos of your frame?
Yup. Forgive the grime, I just shot these now (and I'm about to go ride).
It's Columbus Spirit, though I've got her a little heavy right now... wire bead clinchers, the 1070 cassette (with a 28 I never use), and some Ritchey bars that aren't too svelte. Putting a new Red cassette, kevlar bead clinchers, and some 40cm Thomson bars next week. New chain too, haha. It's that time of year.
As you can see, I've just got an elite in there right now that I cut down. By spring that will be a masterpiece (also cut down), but you can't even see the whole Thomson logo (which I don't care about). I lost a good bit of stack height switching from Fizik R1 shoes to Giro Prolights and dropped around 10mm (no joke) on the saddle. That was like going from the highest stack shoe to the lowest, haha. Totally random observation: after narrowing my bars I'll probably lose a spacer on the stem. Might even slam it... maybe.
The builder is a personal friend so he cut out my nickname (ez) and put some stainless steel behind it, but polishing it up didn't work so well so he just put enamel in there.
Avery County Cycles is Denver based.
MDH wrote:Very nice.
What's heavy, and what's it weigh in light mode?
Not sure what it is right now, but heavy was as high as 19lbs 4oz, I got it down to 18lbs 10oz, but with a few minor upgrades it should be down to almost 18 even. I think a lighter wheelset will be in order at some point. Envelope (e.g. Google docs spreadsheet) calculations with some super light parts could get it pretty low. We aren't talking UCI limits at all, but for a steel frame it's not bad at all.
I could probably "tune" a bit, I'm 152 at the moment and will be 148 come the start of the season, maybe lighter. Considering manufacturers (ENVE, Mavic, etc) target much heavier folks (ENVE targets 350... wtf) I think I could easily lose some unneeded material or go for much lighter components (like a dash seat/post combo).
Which is to say, it's roughly a 54 and should be in the low 18/mid-high 17 range which isn't bad at all. I think Mr Watson (Prolly) has a Bishop that's like 18 and change but he's a much bigger chap than I. There's some stainless bits that make it a little heavier and were probably unnecessary. As the builder is my buddy and this is like his 30th commissioned frame (so not too many) and the first of a more "racy/club riding" bent (he's done lot's of CX and some rather posh, flashy road bikes that are not light) I gave him a bit of carte blanche to try new ideas. The brake bridge and some other bits are stainless but with the tighter clearances he decided not to polish them up. (Needless to say I got a special deal for all that experimenting.)
A good many of my cat3 buddies give me shit for riding steel but I keep up fine.
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