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Pwning Trails
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Hi,

Curious about custom frames and their worth. How much benefit does a biker get from a custom frame. Is it really worth the $$$$ ? Do you have a custom frame? Do you think it was worth the cost? Would you do it again? Thanks!
 

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Depends. . .who is the frame builder and what's the price? Material? and on and on. . .
I just had Walt build a custom frame and for about $400 more than a Niner frame I have a lifetime warranty and custom fit. What it's "worth" is really up to you.
Barry
 

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Do you want a bike that's made exactly for you and they kind of riding YOU want to do?

I got lucky getting my Black Cat 2nd hand. Talking with Todd (Mr. Black Cat himself), and the fact that it was HIS personal bike. I can tell you this much. I couldn't have guessed in a million years how nice this bike rides, climbs, and boogies.

You owe it to yourself to get in touch with some builders (preferably someone local to you) and discuss your options.

I'd build another JUST like it, and I may get a 29er to match it.

 

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Unless you're very oddly proportioned, it's hard to justify the value in a custom frame. They may ride nice (or not, depending on the skill of your builder, your communication to him, your perception of the frame, etc), but many production frames also ride nice.

I've tried custom a few times in the past.I wanted to like the result more than I did. Now I'm focused on "cheap and cheerful" as the British mags say.
 

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Out spokin'
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seat_boy said:
Unless you're very oddly proportioned, it's hard to justify the value in a custom frame. They may ride nice (or not, depending on the skill of your builder, your communication to him, your perception of the frame, etc), but many production frames also ride nice.

I've tried custom a few times in the past.I wanted to like the result more than I did. Now I'm focused on "cheap and cheerful" as the British mags say.
Agreed. I have a couple custom MTB frames and I love them, but the primary reason I didn't go with production frames is because I'm tall with disproportionately long legs (36" inseam) so I run 195mm cranks which require all kinds of geometry changes (high BB, steep seattube, long TT, etc.)

If my body was within averages, then the only reason I'd invest in a custom frame is because I wanted something unique and blingy -- if you've got the cash lying around, this seems a worthy reason to buy a functional piece of art to me. But don't do it because you want a "better ride" -- it's not there. A bike frame boils down to a bunch of metal tubes welded together. There's no magic in it.

As seat_boy points out, there are plenty of high quality production frames that will perform just as good as a custom frame.

--sParty
 

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WNC Native
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There are some great production frames out there, especially if your normally proportioned. It definitely helps if you know kinda what your looking for in a custom bike, before you go custom.

IMO you should go custom for the following reason-

1- You are oddly proportioned
2- You ridden several different frames and can't get the exact combination of geometry and/or features you want in a production frame
3- You have the extra cash and want to support a local builder
4- If your a over 250lb Clyde


I'm currently having a custom steel 29er frame built. I'm going this route mainly due to reasons 2 & 3 (maybe a little bit of 4 too, however I'm only about 220lbs geared up).
 

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From working at a shop for awhile and fitting people and having a lot of production bikes I used to think custom should only be for odd sizes etc. Now having custom frames I know that's not the case.

A good builder will not only build a bike to your size he will choose tubing, angles, everything for you riding style. This does make a big difference. A custom bike made by the right builder will always ridde better than any production bike.
 

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how many details can you give the builder to work with regarding your design concept?
if you don't know what I'm talking about, don't get the nuances of geometry differences, don't have a dozen bikes under your belt with flaws on each you can describe and solutions you've come up with, then what's the builder going to work from?

the point of getting custom is to have it customized to your desires.
if you can't explain your desires, then no it's definitely not worth it.
I'm not saying YOU don't know what you're looking for and why it can't be found in the hundreds of stock bikes out there, just answering the question.
I ABSOLUTELY think custom is the way to go and would love to see all custom builders swamped with work... but if you can't give them the info to work from, then why bother?
 

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Retro Grouch
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I had a custom single speed made for me by Rocklobster inj 2002. At the time there were no (or very few) brand name singlespeeds available. Further most 2002 bikes had frames built around 3" shocks and I wanted a 4" Marzocchi. Also I wanted an EBB, the hot setup in 2002 and only available through a custom builder. Having said all this, the resulting bike is without doubt the best handling bike in the stable. So I'll have to agree, that you need a reason (even a flimsy one) to want to drop $1000 or so on a custom steel bike and as another poster said, it helps to know something about what you want. A nice byproduct is the relationship it built with Paul Sadoff that resulted in some other projects he helped me with, which were not necessarily available to none past costumers.
 

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Evolve to custom

Re-stating what has already been posting: my arrival at buying a custom frame started with years of riding, and learning through experience what I really wanted/needed.

I originally started with a full rigid diamond back apex back in 1990 because that was pretty much what was out there at the time.

That evolved to a full suspension Santa Cruz Heckler when I thought suspension would be a good idea. Loved the bike and rode the hell out of it for a decade.

I got the single speed bug and ended up getting a steel Voodoo Wanga which I set up with a 100mm front fork SS. Fully hooked on hardtails/SS thing, I sold my Heckler. I eventually decided I wanted a little more travel and sturdier front end so I took a chance and put a Pike with 20mm axle on the bike and ran it at 120mm. I rode this setup for a while and THAT is when I knew exactly what I wanted.

I finally ordered a custom DEAN Colonel Ti frame, designed for me around a 120mm fork (Reba Team with 20mm axle), disk specific with vertical dropouts and a FCC EBB. Geometry was tweaked just a little from my Voodoo but it is a very close bike.

Long story short, had I gone custom from the beginning I would not have the bike I have today. Every time I get on my DEAN I know through experience that I am on exactly the ride I was looking for. It was worth absolutely every penny I spent, but I am glad I waited to get it. I don't see getting another bike any time soon (I am a one bike type of guy)

Good luck. Happy hunting :thumbsup:
 
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