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Strong Custom Frames?

3263 Views 14 Replies 13 Participants Last post by  mtmtbkr
Thinking on getting me a steel hard tail mtb?
Any thoughts out there on Strong?
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I have been considering custom steel as well since my current steel ride is almost 10 years old. Everyone I have talked to about Carl Strong has been very happy with his work. Most notable, it seems that Carl is very friendly and goes the extra mile to work with the customer on the details. I am actually thinking about going to Bozeman this October to visit a friend of mine and stop by the shop to discuss a frame.
I've got a Strong hardtail and love it. It's a bomber XC ride and has held it's own on some lite freeride type stuff w/ my 220lb ass on it.
I can't recommend Carl's skills enough.
Carl is on the money. Bikes that can survive Northern Rockies terrain -- which he rides daily -- are strong enough to be called Strong Frames even if that were not Carl's last name. Carl knows what it takes to build a bike that is tough AND comfortable AND performs well.

I just picked up my steel 29er frame two weeks ago and it's as nice as any I've seen. I've also got a SyCip Diesel EBB single speed and an IF Crown Jewel road bike and the Strong is the equal of either of them. Carl picked up the phone and called me with any questions or suggestions and the overall experience was excellent. I'd highly recommend his frames to anyone. Oh, and if you get the chance to go to his shop, get measured up, and get the tour I'd highly recommend it.
Can vouch for Carl as a guy you'd like to deal with...

Was in Montana for work. Traveled with my bike. Gave Carl a call out of the blue and he said to stop by. I drove out for the day from Billings. (I know...quite a drive but it WAS to ride!) While he was too busy to catch a ride with me as he was in the middle of moving his shop, he hung out for a while, gave me the shop tour, hooked me up with where a couple of retail LBS's were in town, and told me where to ride that day. (And...told me to catch dinner at the Montana Ale Works in town post ride. If I recall correctly, 40 micros on tap...and good food!) Pretty much a perfect day.
PLUS...his frames are great. Great quality, and he'll work with you to get you what you want.
Check out Chris Cosby's review of his Strong in Dirt Rag. Go to and go to the old STUFF reviews. If you can't find it there, drop him an e-mail. He's head of the advertising for DR. ([email protected]) I'm sure that he'll get back to you. I saw his frame one day down at Wissahickon Park in Philly a summer or so ago. Looked sweet. Short rear, longer travel fork on the front.
That's what I know.
Good riding!
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Nev said:
Thinking on getting me a steel hard tail mtb?
Any thoughts out there on Strong?
Check out he is a great guy and killer builder!! he teaches the TI welding class at UBI and does steel also! you cant go wrong with jims bikes i have 3 and they are killer 2 TI and one steel.
10 years ago I was out on a training ride on my Bontrager Race it was raining , but so is life in the Northwest. Within 35 min I was laying on the pavement trying feel just how badly I was hurt. 5 to 10 mins before this I was riding with the good feeling for a strong ride that day maybe due a century, but then suddenly a pickup is coming staright at me fast, no time to think, I just had to go up so front grill didn't hit right in the face and end up going under the truck. I lucked out I was able to up on the hood to slide forward to impact the windshield still having momentum I slid up the windshield over the canopy and landed on the pavement about 25' or behind the pickup. I came out of this with compound facture of Tibia, broken hip socket shattered elbow and femur boken in 2 places. Now you ask what in the world does have to do with Strong Frames? Well after many years of learning how to ride again, Bontrager built me new frame to get me to just that. After 5 years I needed a new bike maybe a frame that not built only for my size but also to address some the weakness I had in certain areas of riding, like climbing that pretty much sucked and general balance wasn't all that good. I talked with alot frame builders and told of what happen to me and ask was there anything they could do. Carl Strong was the only one to answer me correctly, after riding this frame for 5years now its like I was never hurt at all meaning I don't have any handicap when riding this bike. This is magic riding this bike anywhere. Thanks


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Thanks for all the replies.
I ordered it up over Thanksgiving when I was in Bozeman. Going nuts waiting for it. I believe it's getting painted now. Hopefully soon I can post up a report.
This waiting is killing me...
I have a Strong road frame. If he puts enough thought into his XC HTs, you'll love it.
I hope that he does love it because....

You dug up a thread (maybe on purpose?) that is over three and a half years old. This rider is either A: Still loving and riding the frame OR B: didn't like it and has owned three other bikes since then! :)
Carl is a pro...

He has built me two Ti frames [HT mountain 29er and a road bike] and the experience was great.

Quality of product - A+

Ease of communicating ideas - A+

Timeliness - A+

Carl flat out delivers.

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Love the frame. Had a 29er SS built up in Ti.

Only have two real complaints.
- BB is 1/2" to low, really more of a rider preference.
- rear drops were angled backwards requiring the EBB to be adjusted to drop the rear wheel.

Other than that I am happy with the bike.
Strong Ti hardtail

I've had my custom ti hardtail form Carl Strong for about three years. I love it!!! It rides so intuitively uphill, downhill, smooth, corners, gnar---just soaks it up and keeps going. I had Carl set me up all mountain style with a 130mm fork, 19.8" frame with a 23.94 top tube , 17" chainstays for my long monkey arms. The frame is beautiful and he will walk you through the detailed process of designing a ride that is exactly what you're looking for. I have had the privilege of owning many sweet rides and this is my favorite by far. I don't know about other custom builders, but I cansay that my experience could not haave been better, not could my hardtail!
Carl built me the Steel frame of my dreams and three years later it is still the perfect ride.

I will buy my next frame from Carl.
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