Custom Bicycles

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by skim500, Aug 7, 2004.

  1. skim500

    skim500 Guest

    I'm not a racer, just a schmo looking to upgrade to a really nice
    bike. I'm 5.7" 155 lbs, who does longer rides, but an occasional short
    distance tri. I'm riding a smooth late 90's Lemond Zurich.

    I'm considering a custom Seven/Serotta/IF bike. I have pretty short
    legs relative to my body. I've read many posts regarding the benefits
    of custom bikes for oddly shaped persons like myself and they are all
    compelling. I have never heard anyone complain about the three
    aforementioned brands. What I want to know is if a bike builder can
    change tube sizes, geometry, wall thicknesses etc to fit exactly your
    body and riding style, doesn't it at some point compromise the
    original integrity and ride of their intended design? E.g, I often
    hear about the magical feel of Serotta's steel or Seven's ti. But if
    wall thicknesses and lengths are all being parametered to the rider,
    won't that deter from the intended "target ride quality"?

    Any help or advice in clarifying this to me is appreciated.

    skim
     
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  2. "skim500" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > I'm not a racer, just a schmo looking to upgrade to a really nice
    > bike. I'm 5.7" 155 lbs, who does longer rides, but an occasional short
    > distance tri. I'm riding a smooth late 90's Lemond Zurich.
    >
    > I'm considering a custom Seven/Serotta/IF bike. I have pretty short
    > legs relative to my body. I've read many posts regarding the benefits
    > of custom bikes for oddly shaped persons like myself and they are all
    > compelling. I have never heard anyone complain about the three
    > aforementioned brands. What I want to know is if a bike builder can
    > change tube sizes, geometry, wall thicknesses etc to fit exactly your
    > body and riding style, doesn't it at some point compromise the
    > original integrity and ride of their intended design? E.g, I often
    > hear about the magical feel of Serotta's steel or Seven's ti. But if
    > wall thicknesses and lengths are all being parametered to the rider,
    > won't that deter from the intended "target ride quality"?
    >
    > Any help or advice in clarifying this to me is appreciated.
    >
    > skim


    Why don't you contact a custom builder, such as Dave Kirk:
    http://www.kirkframeworks.com/ and ask him? He's knowledgable (worked for
    Serotta as builder/head of R&D and built the 7/11 TdF frames) and willing to
    discuss most anything bicycle.
     
  3. Simon Dodd

    Simon Dodd Guest

    "skim500" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > I'm considering a custom Seven/Serotta/IF bike. I have pretty short
    > legs relative to my body. I've read many posts regarding the benefits
    > of custom bikes for oddly shaped persons like myself and they are all
    > compelling. I have never heard anyone complain about the three
    > aforementioned brands. What I want to know is if a bike builder can
    > change tube sizes, geometry, wall thicknesses etc to fit exactly your
    > body and riding style, doesn't it at some point compromise the
    > original integrity and ride of their intended design? E.g, I often
    > hear about the magical feel of Serotta's steel or Seven's ti. But if
    > wall thicknesses and lengths are all being parametered to the rider,
    > won't that deter from the intended "target ride quality"?


    Skim,

    Different builders have different approaches. The best way to find out what
    builders do is call/write/visit them and ask them how they build their
    bikes. Personally I did a frame search a few years ago for a similar short
    leg/long torso body. I ended up going to Bernie Mikkelsen
    (http://www.mikkelsenframes.com/) in the bay area. He was relatively
    inexpensive, would make my bike with S&S couplers, and most importantly, had
    a bike that was fully adjustable. This adjustable bike could have any
    dimension, angle, length changed on it. We adjusted stuff so it fit me and
    my riding style, then he built the frame off of those measurements. Tubing
    choices were based off of my riding style and my build. (short & stocky)

    If you'd like to talk more about my experiences, I'd be happy to chat
    offline. Email me:
    simondotdoddatalumdotmitdotedu

    take care,
    simon
     
  4. RonSonic

    RonSonic Guest

    On 7 Aug 2004 07:25:16 -0700, [email protected] (skim500) wrote:

    >I'm not a racer, just a schmo looking to upgrade to a really nice
    >bike. I'm 5.7" 155 lbs, who does longer rides, but an occasional short
    >distance tri. I'm riding a smooth late 90's Lemond Zurich.
    >
    >I'm considering a custom Seven/Serotta/IF bike. I have pretty short
    >legs relative to my body. I've read many posts regarding the benefits
    >of custom bikes for oddly shaped persons like myself and they are all
    >compelling. I have never heard anyone complain about the three
    >aforementioned brands. What I want to know is if a bike builder can
    >change tube sizes, geometry, wall thicknesses etc to fit exactly your
    >body and riding style, doesn't it at some point compromise the
    >original integrity and ride of their intended design? E.g, I often
    >hear about the magical feel of Serotta's steel or Seven's ti. But if
    >wall thicknesses and lengths are all being parametered to the rider,
    >won't that deter from the intended "target ride quality"?


    I think you're missing the point, the tubes are selected to OBTAIN the "target
    ride quality."

    To fit your leg and torso and arm lengths, all they need to do is cut the tubes
    longer or shorter. No big deal and those are all measurents of the skeleton
    really. To go to the next level, what does the builder do to accomodate riders
    with different body types on the same size frame. Guys who need the same tube
    lengths on a frame are not necessarily built anything alike, some fat, some
    lean, some muscular, etc.. So that's where the tube selection comes in. And it
    is done to obtain a good ride. A skinny guy doesn't need the rigidity of
    sprinter, or a fattie.

    Ron
     
  5. John Carrier

    John Carrier Guest

    "skim500" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > I'm not a racer, just a schmo looking to upgrade to a really nice
    > bike. I'm 5.7" 155 lbs, who does longer rides, but an occasional short
    > distance tri. I'm riding a smooth late 90's Lemond Zurich.
    >
    > I'm considering a custom Seven/Serotta/IF bike. I have pretty short
    > legs relative to my body. I've read many posts regarding the benefits
    > of custom bikes for oddly shaped persons like myself and they are all
    > compelling. I have never heard anyone complain about the three
    > aforementioned brands. What I want to know is if a bike builder can
    > change tube sizes, geometry, wall thicknesses etc to fit exactly your
    > body and riding style, doesn't it at some point compromise the
    > original integrity and ride of their intended design? E.g, I often
    > hear about the magical feel of Serotta's steel or Seven's ti. But if
    > wall thicknesses and lengths are all being parametered to the rider,
    > won't that deter from the intended "target ride quality"?
    >
    > Any help or advice in clarifying this to me is appreciated.


    There a so many things a custom frame can accomplish that requires a
    work-around on a stock frame. Chainstays can be built to a heavier gauge to
    stiffen up the drive train while leaving the rest of the bike's compliance
    relatively unaltered. A head tube can be lengthened to allow a less
    flexible rider to find the right bar height without resorting to a large
    spacer stack. The head angle and/or trail can be modified to make the bike
    quicker to steer or more stable. Seat tube angle can be changed to
    accommodate unusual leg lengths.

    A stock frame can serve over 90% of the riders out there and can with rare
    exception be equipped to fit almost all the rest. But a custom will fit
    dead-solid-perfect and reflect the owner's choices in ride, handling and
    appearance to a "T."

    R / John
     
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