Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 50
  1. #1
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    95

    Custom Frame Decision

    I am considering having a custom carbon frame made over the upcoming fall/winter. I have narrowed my choices down to either Parlee or Seven but can't seem to find much information regarding which of these companies is considered to be "better." I realize that everyone has a different definition of better but thought I would see if there is a general consensus. I am fortunate enough to have a strong relationship with two shops, one where I used to live who is a Seven dealer, and the other where I currently live, is a Parlee dealer. It is easy enough to get to either shop so that won't be the determining factor. Any insight is welcome and I appreciate the help.

  2. #2
    AM999's Free Pony Sponsor
    Reputation: Marc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    17,730
    They're custom bikes, neither is necessarily "better" than the other. It entirely depends on what you're wanting, and who you're comfortable with. Both will have different ways of working different materials to get you what you want.
    Man. You are all stuped.
    ~RUFUSPHOTO

  3. #3
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    3,246
    Not to be a dick but do you have any idea why you are spending the extra money to get a custom bike?

    If just seems weird that someone would try to decide between Seven and Parlee without consideration towards if they want a Ti or carbon bike.

    Both companies are considered the best, or darn close, at what they do. They do different things though. You will have the best results by knowing which of those things suite you best and by going with shop that gets you the right geo. Custom bike makers are only as good as what they are told to make.

    For what it's worth (close to nothing) I a guy who has both. When I asked which he prefer he said the Seven for long rides and the Parlee for fast spirited rides. Not that the Parlee is at all harsh but the Seven is smoother while the parlee is snappier. He love them both in differnt ways.

  4. #4
    pmf
    pmf is online now
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    2,907
    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Strongbow View Post
    For what it's worth (close to nothing) I a guy who has both. When I asked which he prefer he said the Seven for long rides and the Parlee for fast spirited rides. Not that the Parlee is at all harsh but the Seven is smoother while the parlee is snappier. He love them both in differnt ways.
    This is a good point. Bikes can be different, but not necessarily better than one another. I have a carbon, a steel and a titanium bike. I like them all even though they do ride differently. For me, no one bike would be best, and I'd hate to choose to only own just one.

    Most people don't need a custom bike. Unless you have atypical body proportions, you probably don't need to waste your money on a custom bike. I guess with steel, custom is probably the only alternative since no one mass produces steel frames.

  5. #5
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    95
    Thank you both for your replies, I appreciate it. I do know that if I move forward, I want a carbon frame. I really have no good reason for spending the extra money on custom other than it is something I have always wanted to do. I don't have unique physiology or anything like that. I have to research both companies and their specialties further but fortunately I feel very comfortable with the fit/geo I will receive at either shop. Jay, if I read what you wrote correctly it seems Parlee specializes more in Carbon and Seven in Ti? Is that correct or did I reverse it?

    Thanks

  6. #6
    AM999's Free Pony Sponsor
    Reputation: Marc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    17,730
    Quote Originally Posted by ejabbale View Post
    Thank you both for your replies, I appreciate it. I do know that if I move forward, I want a carbon frame. I really have no good reason for spending the extra money on custom other than it is something I have always wanted to do. I don't have unique physiology or anything like that. I have to research both companies and their specialties further but fortunately I feel very comfortable with the fit/geo I will receive at either shop. Jay, if I read what you wrote correctly it seems Parlee specializes more in Carbon and Seven in Ti? Is that correct or did I reverse it?

    Thanks
    Well, Parlee only does CF and is known also for his ability to repair CF frames that get damaged (for a fee). Seven made their name in titanium, then added CF fabbing to their rep a bit later. Know exactly what you want. Max tire size, chain stud, bosses for fender/bottles etc. So long as you know exactly what you want either builder will make it for you. They'll also both have different lead times and probably come up with slightly different fits.

    As another Seven owner, a nice custom bike although not a "need" gets ridden more.
    Man. You are all stuped.
    ~RUFUSPHOTO

  7. #7
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    3,246
    Quote Originally Posted by ejabbale View Post
    Jay, if I read what you wrote correctly it seems Parlee specializes more in Carbon and Seven in Ti? Is that correct or did I reverse it?

    Thanks
    Correct, more or less.

    Parlee ONLY does carbon.

    Seven does make a part carbon/part Ti bike but Ti is definitely the reason to go with Seven.
    They did have a carbon bike out for a while (may still) but I don't believe it's custom.

  8. #8
    pmf
    pmf is online now
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Posts
    2,907
    Parlee is carbon, Seven is titanium although I recall them making a frame with carbon tubes and titanium lugs some time in the past. You might want to check out Lynskey too. He was in charge of Litespeed before it got sold off. He signed a do not compete clause with them that has since run out. If I were in the market for a titanium bike, I'd look pretty hard at Lynskey. There's also Moots. Frankly, Seven always struck me as an over-priced snob bike. Oh let the flames begin ...

  9. #9
    Hucken The Fard Up !
    Reputation: Salsa_Lover's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    4,907
    Why do you need a "custom" frame ?

    do you have out of the normal proportions that would not fit on a standard geometry ?
    Quote Originally Posted by zank
    They're just bikes. Ride 'em in the rain, salt, snow and crap to fully appreciate them.
    Quote Originally Posted by Sean Kelly
    The thing about the cold is that you can never tell how cold it is from looking out a kitchen window. You have to dress up, get out training and when you come back, you then know how cold it is.

  10. #10
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    95
    Quote Originally Posted by Salsa_Lover View Post
    Why do you need a "custom" frame ?

    do you have out of the normal proportions that would not fit on a standard geometry ?
    I don't "need" a custom frame, just something I have wanted to do but am still unsure I will move forward with. I do not have abnormal proportions or anything that causes me to need a custom frame.

  11. #11
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    95
    Quote Originally Posted by Marc View Post
    Well, Parlee only does CF and is known also for his ability to repair CF frames that get damaged (for a fee). Seven made their name in titanium, then added CF fabbing to their rep a bit later. Know exactly what you want. Max tire size, chain stud, bosses for fender/bottles etc. So long as you know exactly what you want either builder will make it for you. They'll also both have different lead times and probably come up with slightly different fits.



    As another Seven owner, a nice custom bike although not a "need" gets ridden more.
    Very good advice, thank you very much. I have some homework to do before I decide to move forward or not! It is one of those things where I know I do not need it and its probably crazy but it's something that intrigues me and seems like would be very enjoyable.

  12. #12
    Carbon Fiber = Explode!
    Reputation: CleavesF's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    4,248
    Let's stir the pot a little... I know your shops don't deal in... Calfee but you should take a look at their awesome new MANTA.
    '09 Voodoo Wazoo
    '08 Pedal Force RS2
    '06 Raleigh Cadent 5.0
    '01 Trek 4300 MTB
    '93 Norco Nitro MTB Touring
    '88 Schwinn Prelude Fixie
    1 hour of running = 1 hour of wasted time when you could have been riding. - Alaska Mike

  13. #13
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: JChasse's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    565
    If you're thinking carbon, I'd also consider Crumpton...
    "'complicated, diverse creature' is adspeak for a d-bag..."
    -- stevesbike

  14. #14
    AM999's Free Pony Sponsor
    Reputation: Marc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    17,730
    Quote Originally Posted by CleavesF View Post
    Let's stir the pot a little... I know your shops don't deal in... Calfee but you should take a look at their awesome new MANTA.
    Quote Originally Posted by JChasse View Post
    If you're thinking carbon, I'd also consider Crumpton...
    Something to mention to the OP with these...

    Seven, as well as Parlee I believe, are frame studios. They both employee a small staff of folks in house to do the designing/welding/painting etc...where as Crumpton (and I believe Calfee) are individual guys working do it all themselves....difference is who you talk to to relay info, and how long the lead time is.
    Man. You are all stuped.
    ~RUFUSPHOTO

  15. #15
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    146

    Custom Frame Decision

    Quote Originally Posted by ejabbale View Post
    Thank you both for your replies, I appreciate it. I do know that if I move forward, I want a carbon frame. I really have no good reason for spending the extra money on custom other than it is something I have always wanted to do. I don't have unique physiology or anything like that. I have to research both companies and their specialties further but fortunately I feel very comfortable with the fit/geo I will receive at either shop. Jay, if I read what you wrote correctly it seems Parlee specializes more in Carbon and Seven in Ti? Is that correct or did I reverse it?

    Thanks
    Respectfully, I suggest you do a lot more research. "Parlee specializes more in carbon?" betrays a real lack of understanding about the brands. If you'd even have looked at Parlee's web site you'd know the answer to your own question.

    Custom frames are great. Don't get dragged into a discussion about whether or not you "need" one. It's your money, spend how you choose! You don't have to justify yourself.

    I just sense from your comments that you really haven't explored this issue very much and you should before you pull the trigger.

  16. #16
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    95
    Quote Originally Posted by JMac View Post
    Respectfully, I suggest you do a lot more research. "Parlee specializes more in carbon?" betrays a real lack of understanding about the brands. If you'd even have looked at Parlee's web site you'd know the answer to your own question.

    Custom frames are great. Don't get dragged into a discussion about whether or not you "need" one. It's your money, spend how you choose! You don't have to justify yourself.

    I just sense from your comments that you really haven't explored this issue very much and you should before you pull the trigger.
    I don't disagree, this thread is part of my research. I appreciate the feedback

  17. #17
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    146

    Custom Frame Decision

    I know you think you want carbon. If you have a good reason for wanting it, by all means. But since you are just beginning your research might I suggest you consider other materials too? I have a custom Ti frame (Kish) and I love it. Jim is great to work with, one on one communication, artisan craftsmanship and you can really tailor the bike to exactly what you want. I had a carbon bike, went to steel, and now Ti and I think the Ti rides the best of the three (granted, it's the only custom frame I've ridden). You can read endless threads here debating material choice. One thing that I *think* is undisputed is that Ti is more durable than carbon, if that matters to you.

  18. #18
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    88
    Custom is not just about fit. They can create a bike that rides the way you want it to. Super stiff, comfortable, quick or neutral just tell them what you want the new bike to feel like and what you don't like about your existing bike. I have a 10 year old Seven Axiom and a fairly new 622 SLX. Once you go custom it is tough to go back. Tried a stock Parlee Z5 that was setup within millimeters of my Axiom but it did not do anything for me. Felt a bit dead and jittery. So, no I don't need custom but sure am glad I can afford to go that way.

    Tim

  19. #19
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    95
    A ton of great advice and feedback on here, I will certainly do my research regarding Ti or Carbon. I do love the fact that it is not all about fit and that the bike can be made to have to specific ride characteristics I enjoy most. A lot of homework to do but that is all part of the fun.

  20. #20
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    3,246
    Quote Originally Posted by ejabbale View Post
    A ton of great advice and feedback on here, I will certainly do my research regarding Ti or Carbon. I do love the fact that it is not all about fit and that the bike can be made to have to specific ride characteristics I enjoy most. A lot of homework to do but that is all part of the fun.
    How much riding experience do you have anyway?

    If you don't have a bunch you might want to wait and ride what you have for a few more thousand miles to give you a better of exactly what you want from a custom bike. that way you can communicate, more of this, less of that ect. as compared to what you have as a baseline to the builder.

    I'm not trying to say you need to ride x miles to justify it but I think it takes a while to find your niche in cycling and to get custom right you'll need to know just what type of rider you are and what you prefer. That can take a while to learn about yourself.

    That was my experience anyway. I started just 4 years ago and if I had gotten a custom bike after just a bit I would have gotten it all wrong. When I started I thought 'touring' type rides was going to be my thing. But after a while I realized that I was a bit of a speed freak and loved racing and fast (relative to my ability) riding was my cup of tea.

    In summary I'd recommend not going custom until you're sure that what you want is going to be something you are going to want for a long time.

    You seem to be enjoying the research process anyway so don't rush the actual purchase until you're confident you know what you want and will continue wanting in the future.

  21. #21
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    79
    Argonaut is an option. I've seen these bikes in person. Absolutely amazing. Made just outside of Portland, Oregon and I know one of the test riders that has been trying different lay-ups. He is amazed by this bike.
    Argonaut Cycles

    Argonaut Cycles on Vimeo
    Last edited by Tupelo; 07-31-2013 at 01:32 PM.

  22. #22
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    95
    Quote Originally Posted by Jay Strongbow View Post
    How much riding experience do you have anyway?

    If you don't have a bunch you might want to wait and ride what you have for a few more thousand miles to give you a better of exactly what you want from a custom bike. that way you can communicate, more of this, less of that ect. as compared to what you have as a baseline to the builder.

    I'm not trying to say you need to ride x miles to justify it but I think it takes a while to find your niche in cycling and to get custom right you'll need to know just what type of rider you are and what you prefer. That can take a while to learn about yourself.

    That was my experience anyway. I started just 4 years ago and if I had gotten a custom bike after just a bit I would have gotten it all wrong. When I started I thought 'touring' type rides was going to be my thing. But after a while I realized that I was a bit of a speed freak and loved racing and fast (relative to my ability) riding was my cup of tea.

    In summary I'd recommend not going custom until you're sure that what you want is going to be something you are going to want for a long time.

    You seem to be enjoying the research process anyway so don't rush the actual purchase until you're confident you know what you want and will continue wanting in the future.
    Fantastic advice, I have been riding for 6 years however. It's funny because when I first started I was thinking similarly to you in that I thought I would want "touring" type rides. I have learned that I love to climb and I love a bike that you can easily "flick" back and forth when out of the saddle. The great thing about where I live is that you can easily find any type of terrain based on the mood you are in on a given day. That being said I will want a great all around bike but I certainly have some specific characteristics I will look to highlight. I certainly don't plan to rush this and I do enjoy the research process so even if I don't ever purchase a custom bike it will be fun to learn about.

  23. #23
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    175

    Check Out Carl Strong

    Quote Originally Posted by pmf View Post
    Parlee is carbon, Seven is titanium although I recall them making a frame with carbon tubes and titanium lugs some time in the past. You might want to check out Lynskey too. He was in charge of Litespeed before it got sold off. He signed a do not compete clause with them that has since run out. If I were in the market for a titanium bike, I'd look pretty hard at Lynskey. There's also Moots. Frankly, Seven always struck me as an over-priced snob bike. Oh let the flames begin ...
    He has a great reputation for custom bikes, Ti, Carbon, steel and more.

  24. #24
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    175
    Also, check out Landshark Bicycles, John Slawta is amazing. I had one of his steel bikes and rode it hard for 12 years. He makes very high quality frames and can paint whatever you can dream.

  25. #25
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    118
    Quote Originally Posted by ejabbale View Post
    A ton of great advice and feedback on here, I will certainly do my research regarding Ti or Carbon. I do love the fact that it is not all about fit and that the bike can be made to have to specific ride characteristics I enjoy most. A lot of homework to do but that is all part of the fun.
    McTeague mentioned 622SLX. That's my dream bike. It not a question of Ti or Carbon but it is a Ti and Carbon. Sorry for making your choice more difficult. But if it will make it easier for you, here's a pic:


Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. My custom wheelset decision
    By Cni2i in forum Wheels and Tires
    Replies: 54
    Last Post: 09-06-2012, 10:13 AM
  2. Decision help: Custom Dedacciai Zero Tre Frame or GTS R5?
    By hjsalazar in forum Bikes, Frames and Forks
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 05-14-2012, 07:34 PM
  3. Need Frame Decision Help
    By roubaix_sj in forum Bikes, Frames and Forks
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 11-18-2010, 11:58 AM
  4. Opinions welcome: Frame decision. Not a repost (I don't think)
    By steve_e_f in forum General Cycling Discussion
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 01-28-2010, 09:06 PM
  5. New frame decision made!!! LS Tuscany...
    By LyncStar in forum Bikes, Frames and Forks
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 12-13-2006, 11:57 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

Hot Deals

Latest RoadBike Articles


Latest Videos

RoadbikeReview on Facebook