Best custom made bikes?

Dec 13, 2010
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I am short (5ft2) and they don't seem to make bikes that are small enough for me. I had a bike fit the other day and ended up on this machine they can change everything so that it fits. It was amazing, the first time I've ever ridden a bike that fit me and I can't believe how good it felt.

So now I want a custom made road bike, titanium preferably.

Just wondering if anyone has any recommendations for/against any particular brands? Or any other comments in general on custom made bikes.

Thanks!
 
Mar 10, 2009
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KassyC said:
I am short (5ft2) and they don't seem to make bikes that are small enough for me. I had a bike fit the other day and ended up on this machine they can change everything so that it fits. It was amazing, the first time I've ever ridden a bike that fit me and I can't believe how good it felt.

So now I want a custom made road bike, titanium preferably.

Just wondering if anyone has any recommendations for/against any particular brands? Or any other comments in general on custom made bikes.

Thanks!
Kassy, my only advice would be to go with a 'local' domestic builder that you can pick the phone up and talk to about your wants and needs. This is exactly what I did with Mark at Enigma.
 
Dec 13, 2010
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Thanks for that LugHugger. Will add Enigma to the list:)

Sadly I live in Asia at the moment, so no custom bike builder will be local.

But if it would make a difference I would be willing to go to wherever the people are and get a proper fit with the builder. I have a few bad old injurues which make the biomechanics a bit interesting too.

Is there any real difference between companies like Enigma, Seven, Linskey? Or should I just go with the best price for a comparable bike/components??
 
Aug 4, 2009
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KassyC said:
I am short (5ft2) and they don't seem to make bikes that are small enough for me. I had a bike fit the other day and ended up on this machine they can change everything so that it fits. It was amazing, the first time I've ever ridden a bike that fit me and I can't believe how good it felt.

So now I want a custom made road bike, titanium preferably.

Just wondering if anyone has any recommendations for/against any particular brands? Or any other comments in general on custom made bikes.

Thanks!
My wife is 4'9" and I got a Giant TCR to fit her she had a custom 19 inch 531 frame and this is same size as Giant so there some off the peg bikes around. its up to the bike shop to build it to what you want.

Baum are great frames and light.
 
Mar 10, 2009
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KassyC said:
Thanks for that LugHugger. Will add Enigma to the list:)

Sadly I live in Asia at the moment, so no custom bike builder will be local.

But if it would make a difference I would be willing to go to wherever the people are and get a proper fit with the builder. I have a few bad old injurues which make the biomechanics a bit interesting too.

Is there any real difference between companies like Enigma, Seven, Linskey? Or should I just go with the best price for a comparable bike/components??
Kassy, you can't always rely on the framebuilder to be the best bike fitter. In some instances, they know their onions. There's more to a fit than lengths and angles of tubing ;) As you're in Asia, you may not be too far in flight hours from Australia and I've heard that one of the best in the business is a guy called Steve Hogg. Perhaps you could visit him for a fit and then travel to Melbourne and see Baum in Geelong? Baum seem to have agents in Singapore and Korea if this helps!.
 
Mar 18, 2009
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Bike fitting is an interesting topic. I've seen the failures of bike fitting according to measurements and the successes of bike fitting according to flexibility, riding style and testing power outputs and efficiency on an adjustable bike. Each to their own, but I preferred the latter and bought a Lynskey Level 4 custom road bike based on these measurements. My Lynskey is everything I wanted in a bike ... training, climbing, tours and road races. Responsive, fast, stiff in the right places, and comfortable. I bought a Cervelo R3 and sold it within 6 months because the ride was so much harsher than the Lynskey. The Level 4 is the most expensive frameset (at least when I bought it), but was comparable to non-custom bikes like the R3. However, it costs more to build up a bike from the ground level and that's where the expense can blow out. I live in Canada and discussed everything with Dave Lynskey over the phone and his designer via email. No problems, slick process, and no complaints.
 
Jun 10, 2009
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KassyC said:
Sadly I live in Asia at the moment, so no custom bike builder will be local.
"Asia" is rather a large place. I would expect that between the far North of Mongolia, South of Indonesia, East of Japan and West of P*a*k*istan there are likely to be at least one or two frame builders;)

Though I couldn't name them, I'm certain that Japan has a number, and would expect there to be some in China (Taiwan, Hong Kong) as well, though perhaps with less guidance - for the right price it is possible to buy anything you want.

As others have mentioned, a number of manufacturers (e.g. Giant) also make off-the-peg frames that will be small enough, in both CF and Alu if not Titanium. All of the major manufacturers source their frames from "Asia", and it is possible to buy many different designs from local sources (check the roadbikereview forums). I believe some of these outfits also offer custom CF manufacture.

Of course if you want to go the custom route, communication may be easier if you go with a builder who is a native English speaker (assuming you are too!).

Though I have also heard great things about Hogg and Baum, you may find you get better value by going with a US/UK builder due to the strength of the aussie dollar.
 
Dec 13, 2010
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Thanks for all your comments and suggestions, really given me a lot to think about.

Sorry for being vague :D I don't really want to say where I am in asia as the cycling world is very small here, and I'd rather not ruffle any feathers, but I wouldn't be comfortable spending the money I'm going to end up spending and having anyone where I live fit me for it. I'd rather spend a bit more and get a really good fitter to do it properly. For the rest of asia, well if someone can put me in touch with someone great to work with who I can communicate with that's good. But in reality I don't really care where I go, as regardless I'll get a holiday out of it too.

Also, my old injuries are quite substantial. Had a bad accident and one side of my body is significantly weaker and after many many surgeries has limited range of motion in key joints. In fact technically for cycling I am classified as disabled. So another part of the bike fit is that I'd like to make sure that I am getting the most out of what I have left, but also I'd like to make sure that I reduce the likelyhood of any more injuries down the road due to bad set-up.

I don't know that much about bikes and I certainly don't know what could be done with set-up / custom frame to make it more comfortable and more efficent for me. So I would be relying a lot more than many of you would be on the fitter and the builder to not just do what I ask but also suggest things.

I used to be a reasonably competitive sportsperson, and cycling is one of the only sports left open to me. I plan on doing some one day racing and stage races around the place. I'm not going to set the cycling world on fire, but I'd like to be as competitive as I can be for whatever training I put in.

As dsut4392 mentioned the strength of the Aussie dollar doesn't make Australia that attractive compared to elsewhere right now, but it's close and I have friends in Melborne. And thanks for the link PCutter, the Baums really are pretty! Very tempting

The US/UK ones look better in terms of exchange rates. As LugHugger pointed out the builders might not be the best fitters... so does anyone have any reommendations on fitters for Lynskey, seven or zinn?

Thanks for the Rikulau info funnytanlines, will definately check them out.

Thanks again for all the comments and suggestions. No idea how I'll end up making the decision on where to go, but I guess there is no huge rush (except I want it now!! :D).
 
Dec 13, 2010
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krebs303 said:
Lennard Zinn has a lot of experience with larger/smaller bikes including cranks
Thanks for the link!! The bike fit thingy I had the other day the guy put smaller cranks on than I have and the difference from that alone was huge. Is it common for bike builders to do custom cranks (and I've just missed it looking at their websites) or is he the only one you know of?
 
Mar 10, 2009
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KassyC said:
Thanks for all your comments and suggestions, really given me a lot to think about.

Sorry for being vague :D I don't really want to say where I am in asia as the cycling world is very small here, and I'd rather not ruffle any feathers, but I wouldn't be comfortable spending the money I'm going to end up spending and having anyone where I live fit me for it. I'd rather spend a bit more and get a really good fitter to do it properly. For the rest of asia, well if someone can put me in touch with someone great to work with who I can communicate with that's good. But in reality I don't really care where I go, as regardless I'll get a holiday out of it too.

Also, my old injuries are quite substantial. Had a bad accident and one side of my body is significantly weaker and after many many surgeries has limited range of motion in key joints. In fact technically for cycling I am classified as disabled. So another part of the bike fit is that I'd like to make sure that I am getting the most out of what I have left, but also I'd like to make sure that I reduce the likelyhood of any more injuries down the road due to bad set-up.

I don't know that much about bikes and I certainly don't know what could be done with set-up / custom frame to make it more comfortable and more efficent for me. So I would be relying a lot more than many of you would be on the fitter and the builder to not just do what I ask but also suggest things.

I used to be a reasonably competitive sportsperson, and cycling is one of the only sports left open to me. I plan on doing some one day racing and stage races around the place. I'm not going to set the cycling world on fire, but I'd like to be as competitive as I can be for whatever training I put in.

As dsut4392 mentioned the strength of the Aussie dollar doesn't make Australia that attractive compared to elsewhere right now, but it's close and I have friends in Melborne. And thanks for the link PCutter, the Baums really are pretty! Very tempting

The US/UK ones look better in terms of exchange rates. As LugHugger pointed out the builders might not be the best fitters... so does anyone have any reommendations on fitters for Lynskey, seven or zinn?

Thanks for the Rikulau info funnytanlines, will definately check them out.

Thanks again for all the comments and suggestions. No idea how I'll end up making the decision on where to go, but I guess there is no huge rush (except I want it now!! :D).
kassy, if you decide to head west to London, Cyclefit are arguably the most experienced fitters in the capital. They fitted Nicole Cooke in preparation for for her gold medal winning Beijing Olympic ride.
 
Dec 13, 2010
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Thanks a lot LugHugger!! With that info it makes the Enigma look like it might be the way forward. :D
 
Jul 17, 2009
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KassyC said:
I am short (5ft2) and they don't seem to make bikes that are small enough for me.

Thanks!

while there are many reasons for a custom bike....

If your LBS is telling you bike mfgs don't make bikes in this size range they are misinformed
 

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