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Frame builders thread

Jul 23, 2009
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This thread is inspired in part by a comment RDV4ROUBAIX made in the "Is steel still real?" thread.

In the case of the small indie steel frame fabricators, North America is the new Lombardia. The best high end steel is being made here in the U.S., not by the hands of Ugo, Faliero, or Ernesto anymore.

I've wanted to see a thread dedicated to the great frames, both old and new school, being made by independent fabricators. Recommendations, critiques, photos of your ride, or just longing for a bike you don't have, it all goes here. Post pictures of your favourites and include a link to the original site so the artist gets credit and traffic. There is a fine collection of talent in the NW USA and I hear there is an equally talented corps in Minnesota so let's hear about them. Hopefully we'll see some recommendations from Europe and Australia too. While my interest lies in steel, why not include your favourite material too? No point in being exclusive.

I love the look of a lugged frame with custom cuts or paint.

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These are from Oswald Cycle Works of Mansfield, PA.


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Vanilla Bicycles of Portland, OR.
 
Mar 19, 2009
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Nice thread. This post is dedicated to those suckers back in the "Is steel still real" thread that think steel bikes are too heavy to race. Local Minneapolis builder Curt Goodrich (orange shirt) with his CX team. ALL ON STEEL BIKES!
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RDV4ROUBAIX said:
Nice thread. This post is dedicated to those suckers back in the "Is steel still real" thread that think steel bikes are too heavy to race. Local Minneapolis builder Curt Goodrich (orange shirt) with his CX team. ALL ON STEEL BIKES!
team.jpg

Not only are the steel bikes hot,but the guy on the end pre race i think is drinking a beer....maybe i should move to the USA?
 
Feb 25, 2010
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RDV4ROUBAIX said:
Nice thread. This post is dedicated to those suckers back in the "Is steel still real" thread that think steel bikes are too heavy to race. Local Minneapolis builder Curt Goodrich (orange shirt) with his CX team. ALL ON STEEL BIKES!
team.jpg

those bikes look really nice :eek: rode a steel bike a couple of times that my granddad took from a dump and fixed again :). those things ride very smooth :D way more comfy than my ridley
 
Apr 29, 2009
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Hmmm a very interesting subject although surely no country makes the "best'" steel frames?
There are still a lot of fine craftsman out there including in the States but where you cannot compete with the europeans especially the Italians is their heritage. Buying a Ciocc, Colnago, De Rosa, Tommasini etc you be getting fragile paint ;) but you are also buying a little piece of history.
 
Apr 29, 2009
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Mar 19, 2009
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lanternrouge said:
Hmmm a very interesting subject although surely no country makes the "best'" steel frames?
There are still a lot of fine craftsman out there including in the States but where you cannot compete with the europeans especially the Italians is their heritage. Buying a Ciocc, Colnago, De Rosa, Tommasini etc you be getting fragile paint ;) but you are also buying a little piece of history.

You might be missing the point. You cannot walk into Colnago and have Ernesto make you a custom Master with his hands. There's been a paradigm shift in the last 30+ years as far as custom steel builders which goes straight to this country, and I agree "best" is a bold statement, but there is some truth to it. That old world Euro Heritage that you speak of is largely manufactured in Taiwan now, and most Italian builders that you mentioned only have stock models, no custom. There are simply far more premier custom builders in this country than any other parts of the world.

A fine example of the U.S. taking over where the Lombards left off, is Masi. Back in the mid 70's when Masi opened up shop in California with Mario Confente, the bikes that came out of the Carlsbad factory made by Brian Baylis, Mike Howard, David Tesch and Jim Cunningham are some of the most sought after from a performance standpoint, the builds were better. That doesn't take away from Falerio or Alberto though, my prize possession is a 1974 Masi GC with a twin plate fork that was made in the original Masi shop under the Vigorelli Velodrome in Milan. Repaint by Baylis. The rear dropouts were also milled by Confente.

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Apr 29, 2009
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RDV4ROUBAIX said:
You might be missing the point. You cannot walk into Colnago and have Ernesto make you a custom Master with his hands. There's been a paradigm shift in the last 30+ years as far as custom steel builders which goes straight to this country, and I agree "best" is a bold statement, but there is some truth to it. That old world Euro Heritage that you speak of is largely manufactured in Taiwan now, and most Italian builders that you mentioned only have stock models, no custom. There are simply far more premier custom builders in this country than any other parts of the world.

A fine example of the U.S. taking over where the Lombards left off, is Masi. Back in the mid 70's when Masi opened up shop in California with Mario Confente, the bikes that came out of the Carlsbad factory made by Brian Baylis, Mike Howard, David Tesch and Jim Cunningham are some of the most sought after from a performance standpoint, the builds were better. That doesn't take away from Falerio or Alberto though, my prize possession is a 1974 Masi GC with a twin plate fork that was made in the original Masi shop under the Vigorelli Velodrome in Milan. Repaint by Baylis. The rear dropouts were also milled by Confente.

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Nice Masi, I was only watching Breaking Away this week too:)
Okay how about these guys then? Not too far from me..

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Jul 23, 2009
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RDV4ROUBAIX said:
I have two carbon bikes that are compact geo. That Bohemian isn't mine, I just posted it as a representation of a top notch custom U.S. framebuilder, and it's a fine example at that.
Yeah that is some strange geometry but hey, so long as it rides great. Looks like a nice piece of art. Love those custom stems the builders are matching to their frames.

And your Masi is a beaut. Nice find.
 
Jul 23, 2009
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Bala Verde said:
Quite like the thread!

Are you guys planning on posting pics of new projects/build ups you are working on?
I sure will if I get one of those Dirt Bombs. The perfect one bike solution. Unfortunately I might get pressured to downsize to one bike.......
 
Jun 10, 2009
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lanternrouge said:
Hmmm a very interesting subject although surely no country makes the "best'" steel frames?
There are still a lot of fine craftsman out there including in the States but where you cannot compete with the europeans especially the Italians is their heritage. Buying a Ciocc, Colnago, De Rosa, Tommasini etc you be getting fragile paint ;) but you are also buying a little piece of history.

Considering that what prompted this thread was something in the "is steel still real" thread, isn't "buying a little piece of history" kind of beside the point?

I'm an unashamed carbon-lover, but I am very interested to see a thread about real steel and how frame builders are keeping the material relevant with modern high-peformance designs. Much as I like nice craftsmanship, I'm a lot less interested in yet another drool fest over pretty curlicued chromed lugs (the cyclist's equivalent of grown men playing with train sets, stamp collecting or topiary IMO:p).

I acknowledge that's just my opinion, and it's not my thread, but to me it looks like we need two frame builders threads, one for "steel is real" (and custom aluminium, titanium, carbon etc) bikes (e.g. stuff like this), and the other for "retro recreations in homage to the one true holy material".
 
Jul 23, 2009
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dsut4392 said:
I acknowledge that's just my opinion, and it's not my thread, but to me it looks like we need two frame builders threads, one for "steel is real" (and custom aluminium, titanium, carbon etc) bikes (e.g. stuff like this), and the other for "retro recreations in homage to the one true holy material".
This is your thread too, discuss any frame types/builds you like. See this quote from the opening post:
pedaling squares said:
While my interest lies in steel, why not include your favourite material too? No point in being exclusive.

So keep bringing the ti if that's your preference. Those Baums look nice, especially his steel frames. ;) He just needs to add some curlicued chrome lugs and a Penny Black head badge and he'd be good to go.
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