All mountain bike frames are built one at a time, not in batches. Each one is unique - built for a specific rider with specific needs.
Also invisible but significant: A machined reinforcing sleeve is pressed and welded in to line the top of the seat-tube, effectively butting the top few inches of the seat-tube. Other builders merely drop in an aluminum shim.
Tube dimensions and geometry are chosen specifically for each rider, so whether you’re five-two or a Clydesdale, your bike will give you the performance you expect from a Kish.
Strengths: Kish Fabrication is a one-man operation: one deals only with Jim. If you can meet him in person, do it.
Experience; ability; philosophy; accessibility and communication; fast delivery times. Perfect fit, beautiful welds, a joy to ride. Even the schwag is cool.
Weaknesses: None. Really.
I originally met Jim Kish when I ordered a titanium road frame from him in Spring 2004. From our first meeting his experience, attention to detail, enthusiasm and professionalism were clearly evident. My road bike turned out so well I ordered a ti hardtail soon after.
The previous reviews here are all accurate, in my opinion. I think Jim's philosophy is very experienced, pragmatic and straight-forward. His process is clear and enlightening; the fit is perfect; the craftsmanship is excellent; the finish is gorgeous; and the ride is superb. My Kish frames are the best I have ever ridden and owned. Jim is an outstanding frame builder, a true professional and a great guy.
I have recommended Jim's work to quite a few people, and the 8 or so people who have then actually ordered a Kish frame have all been very satisfied. There is no higher recommendation than that, I think. No matter what frame you order, I have no doubt that you will be very happy with the service, the process and the result.
Similar Products Used: Nothing to compare. Previously rode Specialized and GT. Only hardtails.
Bike Setup: Marzocchi Marathon SL fork; 2003/04 XT/XTR + RaceFace Deus XC crankset; Avid SD V-brakes; King; Moots bar/stem/post; FRM and Mike Garcia DT/DT/DT wheels.
from Santa Barbara CA USA
Date Reviewed: November 27, 2007
Strengths: Art level craftsmanship - Geek level attention to fit and function.
Weaknesses: It's custom. Those were not opted for....
This bike is just what I wanted. A 29 townie that loves crappy roads and smooth dirt. Jim was great to work with -- he knew more what I needed than I did -- and built it for me. I think he's was the only builder I spoke with that flinched when I told him I wanted a 29 and I had size 12 feet. Everyone else would have set it up so my feet would have hit the front wheel. Jim rocks. I'm just saving up my bills for a bike of equal fit and style for my wife.
Bike Setup: My old M950 XTR group. Dave's Speeddream Wheels. Potts type II fork.
a Cross Country Rider
from Vancouver, BC
Date Reviewed: November 20, 2007
Strengths: Beautiful! Great workmanship. Light. Handles like a dream. Great customer service.
Weaknesses: None so far
I decided to switch back to a hardtail after many years on several Santa Cruz rides. I wanted to regain finesse but was a little concerned with the pounding my back would get. I decided to get a Kish based on some online research and a recommendation from a good friend. I could not be happier. The bike handles like a dream through all the tight spots on the North Shore and Squamish and it climbs effortlessly. The frame is stiff enough to respond but cushy enough that after several hours on the saddle my back is not sore. I decided to still use V-brakes so the bike weighs in at a little over 20lbs which feels like you are riding on air. A XC dream machine.
a Weekend Warrior
from San Francisco Bay Area
Date Reviewed: November 19, 2007
Strengths: Great Quality hand made, costume made, Light, rides great, I had it for over 5 years and have no intentions to get another bike in at least 7 more, and just to get another Kish. Great costumer service Very Knowledgeable staff
Weaknesses: To be honest, none, but maybe I need new decals.
highly recommended, a product that will last long time working in a great condition.
Similar Products Used: Voodoos wangas Bianchis grizllys Salsas
Bike Setup: xt, xtr, fox, crossmax wheels
a Cross Country Rider
from Orange County, CA
Date Reviewed: November 18, 2007
Strengths: In no particular order: Beauty, Stiff in the right places, Cushy in the right places, Custom fit, Conversation piece, Welds, Rear dropout sliders (a conversation piece of their own), Handling, Paint job
Weaknesses: People that I don't know refer to me as "The guy with the green Kish single-speed." At least my bike gets noticed!
I couldn't be more happy/proud of this purchase. The design proccess with Jim Kish was like just chatting with a ridding buddy. After some conversations about my riding, likes, dislikes, and desires, I let Jim design the frame and pick all the parts. (I chose my fork and saddle) I'm not going to try to describe the feel of the ride, but I AM JUST NOT HAPPY ON ANY OTHER BIKE.
Similar Products Used: Kona Explosiv - first Single Speed. Various other hard-tails and full suspention bikes
Bike Setup: White Industries, DT Swiss rims, Thompson, King - Fox Fork
a Cross Country Rider
from San Luis Obispo
Date Reviewed: November 16, 2007
Strengths: Lightweight frame, very strong, compliant ride and telepathic handling. (A Kish frame trait) Welds are top notch, sizing and geometric exactly as designed.
Weaknesses: He doesn't make a tandem, recumbent, touring bike with 48 inch wheels.
18lbs rigid single speed, with the most compliant and agile ride I've ever experienced. The bike knows where it's going before I do. Jim Kish is a great guy to deal with, each frame he's built me, (4 total) is a new learning experience for me.
Similar Products Used: Merlin, Litespeed, Moots... several FS bikes, and several Kish steel frames.
Bike Setup: Single speed, White Industries cranks, hubs, and BB. King, Avid SL brakes, Thompson, and Race face everything else.
a Cross Country Rider
from Dietlikon, Switzerland
Date Reviewed: November 15, 2007
Strengths: Fantastically build frame, prefect welds, was built exactly to my whishes and did fit 100% (we never met in person, all done via Email). Frame is stiff, agile, as relaxed as I wanted it to be, but also fantastically quick. The perfect troublefree riding engine. Light frame, but without compromise. This frame is my fourth Kish Ti Frame (Have also cross, road bike and 29er) and I really enjoy riding them whenever I can. Trustworthy company, Jim is a great guy. Production was as scheduled, I have got great tips and informations. Absolutely 110% recommended!!
Weaknesses: None found so far. The only weakness is not having more space and money for yet one other Kish frame.
If you want a perfectly build Ti (or steel) Hardtail, give Jim a try. 110% recommended. Prefect value for the money.
I'm almost 6'7", 215#, with a 38" inseam. Looking for a high end FS, 29er, xc/trail, that is light and where I can ride it with the saddle and handlebars the same height. [COLOR=#333333]Can I realistically get an optimized fit into the current factory production carbon 29ers, such as trek 23" supe ... Read More »
I would like to know if it would be possible to get a custom Titanium frame with the new emerging standards like:
- Tapered headset: 1.5" towards 1.1/8" since more and more of the new and advanced (lighter) forks are tapered
- Front dereullieur with E-type mount: To save space and hence ... Read More »
I'm ready to pull the trigger on a custom geo Ti 29er and ... details,details...:skep:
How do you find the idea of a CS disc mount (160 rotor)?
Chainstays are burlier to accomodate the mount,theoretically.. +,seat stays are supposed to be lighter/w equal characteristics for best absor ... Read More »