My Bikes:

Fit & Geometry

First and foremost, each bike is tailored to your body dimensions as well as your personal preferences.  I carefully review all of your body measurements when designing a frame.  I also ask about the current and previous bikes that you have ridden in order to establish a fit baseline for your new bike.  I ask about your previous bikes because no two people have the same preference for position, even if they have the same body dimensions.  Because of this, it’s important to start the process with a good understanding of what you like and don’t like.  Some cyclists prefer to sit up and enjoy the view on a scenic country road, while others need to be in the most aerodynamic position in order to stay with the group on a fast paced club ride.  Differences in pedaling technique, flexibility, core strength, and experience will also determine the way he or she sits on the bike.

The geometry of your bike relates directly to how your new bike will handle and respond to your input.  Geometry is not related to fit, but to a cyclist’s positioning and weight distribution between the front and rear axles.  Center of gravity is also an important consideration.  I have my own take on bicycle geometry and I will discuss with you the various trade offs for each numerical decision.  However, it’s important not to focus on one or two measurements of a frame, but rather how they will interact with each other.

Material

I build bikes out of high end steel, stainless steel, and titanium.  I only use premium tubesets and frame components from Columbus, True Temper, Dedacciai, KVA, and Reynolds.  When choosing a material, it’s important to consider your goals, priorities, and price range.  Weight, durability, and cost are the three factors that you, as the customer, should focus on. There is no need to dwell on frame stiffness because both steel and titanium can be tuned to meet your preferences.  I can build a bike that is stiff or compliant out of either material. While it’s true that steel is twice as stiff as titanium, I’m able to obtain equivalent stiffness by using larger diameter tubes than that of a steel bike.

Both steel and titanium are extremely durable materials.  I prefer to use heat-treated steel tubing because it increases the strength and dent resistance of the frame.  My titanium bikes use straight gauge 3/2.5 cold-worked stress-relieved tubing.

I also offer double butted titanium tubing and “super steel” tubesets such as True Temper S3 and Columbus Spirit.  With these tubesets you will lose durability in favor of weight savings.  These tubes aren’t for everyone as they are only available in limited diameters and lengths.  Please keep in mind that S3 and Spirit aren’t the lightest steel tubesets available.  In fact, I can build a bike of equal weight using my standard tube mix.  What they do offer is an increase in stiffness without an increase in weight.  If you are looking for a stiff and light bike, we can further discuss the option of using one of these tubesets. It should be noted that Columbus now makes a Spirit for Lugs tubeset, which is not designed with the same thin wall thickness or large diameters as the original Spirit tubeset.  In fact, it has very little in common with the original Spirit, it’s essentially a life tubeset with thicker and longer butts.

Ride Characteristics

As discussed earlier, frame material will not determine stiffness.  Your weight, riding style, usage, and personal preferences are what determine the ride characteristics of your frame.

It’s important to realize that too much stiffness is a bad thing.  If a frame is too stiff, it will be very fatiguing to ride for long distances.  However, a frame that is built with ride comfort as the top priority has its drawbacks as well.  A bike that is forgiving will not be the most responsive – not just in sprinting, but also under aggressive cornering and descending.  There is a certain amount of lag time that you will experience with a more flexible bike.  Your inputs will not be as immediate as on a stiffer bike.

Usage

You will notice that I do not classify the type of bike that I build.  I don’t just build “road” bikes or “mountain” bikes.  Furthermore, I don’t believe that a “road” bike is only good for riding on the road.  For example, I’m amazed at what a set of fender and rack mounts can do for the versatility of a cyclocross bike.

When we begin to talk about your new bike and how you will be using it, that’s when it will become clear what the bike’s purpose will be.  I’m just as happy to build you a flat bar city bike as I am to build you a straight forward criterium bike.  There are some things I won’t do, especially concerning design, but I’m open to hear your thoughts.

Component Selection

I can also assist you in ordering a complete bike if you so desire.  I recommend purchasing an assembled bicycle as it allows me to deliver a completely finished product.  I ensure that every part is installed correctly and everything is compatible.  Derailleurs and brakes are properly adjusted and all of the cables are pre-stretched.  Your new bike will arrive professionally packed and will require only a few simple allen wrenches for reassembly.

The preselected build kits will give you the best price on a complete bike.  I also allow limited substitutions, like wheel upgrades.  That being said, I have access to just about every part out there.  If you have everything picked out down to the water bottle bolts, I’m happy to accommodate.  I’m also available to assist with component selection.

If you decide not to purchase a complete bicycle, I will design the frame around the parts you plan to use.  This information aids in constructing the frame for a specific fork length or headset, and for determining chainring or fender clearance.  I will install all of the necessary braze-ons for mounting items of your choice.

Finish

I prefer to construct purpose-built bicycles with just enough small detail to make them unique.  I believe that a clean uncluttered bicycle will carry its beauty long into the future.

All of the Paint on my frames is done by Oliver at Dark Matter Finishing.  Steel bikes include airbrushed logos instead of stickers, which allows for a clean look and infinite customization.  The finish is applied with liquid paint.

When the time comes to paint your bike, you will need to select one of two colors.  One paint choice for the main color and one for the logos.  Logo outlining is also available for more contrast.

A media blasted finish with decals is standard for titanium bikes.  Paint, brushed finish, or custom-etched logos are also available.

I also offer complex paint work if you have something else in mind.  Please call or email for a detailed price quote.

Warranty

I stand behind all of my work.  All frames include a lifetime warranty against defects in craftsmanship and a 10 year warranty on materials to the original owner.  I also guarantee satisfaction on fit, as well as, finish.

Design/Programming: todd@consumedesign.com