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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
With more than a handful of companies to choose from, how did you all decide on which company to have your bike built? Is it a company close to where you live, word of mouth, or just took a shot in the dark?
 

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30-ton War Machine
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Pictures, reputation on the interwebs, and friends that ride similar bikes, lastly I feel like you have to have a connection with the person. If the person seems stand offish and put out by talking to you about building your frame, maybe think about talking to a different person. It also depends on what kind of custom frame you are building. There might be only one or two options for a specific type of frame.

Just for shits and giggs, and to spark some controversy in your thread, my choices are as follows

Ti diamond - Kent Eriksen by a mile
Ti swoopy - Black Sheep, James can be tough to nail down to a delivery but, nobody does it like he does, that will actually take your order
Steel - Rick Hunter or Curtis Ingliss, I chose Rick because I needed the extra time to get the money together and Curtis' shorter wait times are too tempting! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
edgerat said:
Pictures, reputation on the interwebs, and friends that ride similar bikes, lastly I feel like you have to have a connection with the person. If the person seems stand offish and put out by talking to you about building your frame, maybe think about talking to a different person. It also depends on what kind of custom frame you are building. There might be only one or two options for a specific type of frame.

Just for shits and giggs, and to spark some controversy in your thread, my choices are as follows

Ti diamond - Kent Eriksen by a mile
Ti swoopy - Black Sheep, James can be tough to nail down to a delivery but, nobody does it like he does, that will actually take your order
Steel - Rick Hunter or Curtis Ingliss, I chose Rick because I needed the extra time to get the money together and Curtis' shorter wait times are too tempting! :)
interesting that you say you have to feel a connection with the person. do you think it's a bad idea to pic someone that you can't talk to in person? i don't have too many options in ny or close to ny so i'm trying to understand the process.
 

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30-ton War Machine
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I think more than anything you have to have that connection, or at least the feeling of that connection, when you are dealing with a builder who is not local to you. None of the listed builders are local to me. I have a few within about 8hrs drive, DeSalvo and Vulture and a few others. This is my personal experience but, I felt a spark when I spoke to Kent Eriksen, I felt a spark when speaking to James Bleakley at Black Sheep. Feeling like the builder cares about your project and cares about making you as happy as you can possibly be with your new bike. I feel that when I talk to some of these guys. Other ones I feel like I am purely annoying and they can't wait to get off the phone. I understand that they have the least amount of time in the world available and the less time the builder spends on the phone BS'ing the more time they can spend building, the better. But, I am planning on spending just as much money as the people that have already spent hte money, that he is already working on have. Like it or not they have to be salesman as well as artists. That brings up another point. Sometimes artists aren't the best at dealing with people or business stuff and they don't survive, it takes a rare rare person to be able to pull off a successful custom house. Guys like Sacha White, Kent Eriksen, Rick Hunter, Drew Guldalian and many more can do it. There are quite a few people in your area that build custom frames. Again, I don't know what you are hoping to build but, Independent Fabrications just moved to NH, you have Engin (Drew Guldalian) in Philly. If you want to meet with someone in person you are going to have to be willing to drive a bit.

Saying all of that, no, I don't think it is important or crucial to be able to be able to meet the person, in person. Spend some time on the phone with the different people that are on your wish list and see who you hit it off with. One other guy to consider is Steve Stickel (by:stickel) he is extremely easy to deal with, very knowledgeable and he will build just about anything you can dream up :)
Isaac
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
edgerat said:
I think more than anything you have to have that connection, or at least the feeling of that connection, when you are dealing with a builder who is not local to you. None of the listed builders are local to me. I have a few within about 8hrs drive, DeSalvo and Vulture and a few others. This is my personal experience but, I felt a spark when I spoke to Kent Eriksen, I felt a spark when speaking to James Bleakley at Black Sheep. Feeling like the builder cares about your project and cares about making you as happy as you can possibly be with your new bike. I feel that when I talk to some of these guys. Other ones I feel like I am purely annoying and they can't wait to get off the phone. I understand that they have the least amount of time in the world available and the less time the builder spends on the phone BS'ing the more time they can spend building, the better. But, I am planning on spending just as much money as the people that have already spent hte money, that he is already working on have. Like it or not they have to be salesman as well as artists. That brings up another point. Sometimes artists aren't the best at dealing with people or business stuff and they don't survive, it takes a rare rare person to be able to pull off a successful custom house. Guys like Sacha White, Kent Eriksen, Rick Hunter, Drew Guldalian and many more can do it. There are quite a few people in your area that build custom frames. Again, I don't know what you are hoping to build but, Independent Fabrications just moved to NH, you have Engin (Drew Guldalian) in Philly. If you want to meet with someone in person you are going to have to be willing to drive a bit.

Saying all of that, no, I don't think it is important or crucial to be able to be able to meet the person, in person. Spend some time on the phone with the different people that are on your wish list and see who you hit it off with. One other guy to consider is Steve Stickel (by:stickel) he is extremely easy to deal with, very knowledgeable and he will build just about anything you can dream up :)
Isaac
thanks dude. :thumbsup:
one more thing i wanted to mention was that i want a steel frame.
 

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I would thoroughly look into the builders reputation among previous clients, if I were to do it again. It seems some builders out there have extremely loyal client base, owning multiple frames from one guy. STRONG has definitely sparked my curiosity of late, as his customers say he gets things done right and on time. You will have to be patient, as any custom frame will take time. But some will offer deals and give unrealistic time frames to get your business, and cant deliver what they promise in the time frame they set out.
 

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Beer Me!
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Prior experience is also a plus, some of these guys are from "big companies" gone solo, like Sting from the Police. This gives me a big dose of confidence, as they aren't just another garage guy.
 

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STRONG has definitely sparked my curiosity of late, as his customers say he gets things done right and on time.
I own a stong 26" bike and his welds are a thing of beauty. I am completley happy with that bike ..... except it's a 26". I choose Carl Strong to build my custom, because he was welding for Ibsis, back when Ibsis made their name with the Mojo. We shared a lot of common traits ... like we both prefered the seat a little under the handle bars. I was ordering an EBB to switch between geared and single speed, and Carl had plenty of experience welding EBB's.

The design he came up with was not very radical ..... and used very traditional geometry. I really just wanted a fast and comfortable X/C bike that would help ease the pain in my neck.

I am very satisfied with my bike .... and again I can't stress how beautifully he welds. FLAWLESS
 
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