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  1. #126
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    Anyone aspiring to be a custom framebuilder should read this thread.

  2. #127
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    Quote Originally Posted by tbessie View Post
    If a bike is advertised as "fully custom", shouldn't every single bit of it be fully custom, except where it would compromise the integrity of the STRUCTURE of the bike itself?
    Quote Originally Posted by tbessie View Post
    Well... if the frame builder advertises "anything you want" on the frame... shouldn't it mean just that?

    Well, which is it? Did they actually and explicitly say "anything you want"? Or did they just say "fully custom"?

    Did they even actually say "fully custom" or did they just say "custom"?

    Here's an important tidbit about the handbuilt artisanal bicycle frame industry that doesn't seem to register with a lot of first-time buyers: Almost nobody is really doing "fully custom" frames, where Whatever You Want, You Get. A lot of them aren't even really doing "custom" frames; they're doing what would more correctly be called "made-to-measure" frames, where the dimensions (fit) are custom-sized to you, but the geometry is based on the builder's ideas about what will yield the best performance. But nearly all of them have very defined pre-conceived notions of what works and what doesn't work for their brand, in terms of performance, functionality, and aesthetics, and no matter how much you beg/plead/cajole (and/or argue the semantics of the word "custom") they won't build something that falls outside of those parameters.

  3. #128
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Ross View Post
    Well, which is it? Did they actually and explicitly say "anything you want"? Or did they just say "fully custom"?

    Did they even actually say "fully custom" or did they just say "custom"?

    Here's an important tidbit about the handbuilt artisanal bicycle frame industry that doesn't seem to register with a lot of first-time buyers: Almost nobody is really doing "fully custom" frames, where Whatever You Want, You Get. A lot of them aren't even really doing "custom" frames; they're doing what would more correctly be called "made-to-measure" frames, where the dimensions (fit) are custom-sized to you, but the geometry is based on the builder's ideas about what will yield the best performance. But nearly all of them have very defined pre-conceived notions of what works and what doesn't work for their brand, in terms of performance, functionality, and aesthetics, and no matter how much you beg/plead/cajole (and/or argue the semantics of the word "custom") they won't build something that falls outside of those parameters.
    I'll check the website and paste in the exact text later. The implication from the website was that anything was possible, and that I, as the buyer, could go wild with the graphics. At least, there was no indication that there were any limits at all (beyond physical limits) to what could be done.

    For this frame, I worked with the builder using their software that let me tweak the parameters (tube lengths and angles) as I pleased, though I only modified the top-tube angle from their already-constructed geometry. I got the feeling they'd be open to modifications to other parameters, too, but I am not knowledgeable enough to question a builder's basic geometries. If I were, I guess I'd be building my own bikes. :-)

    I only modified the top-tube angle because I like a more classic look, with a completely horizontal top tube. They cautioned me against too little slope, because that would create a seat tube that didn't allow for much exposed seatpost. We got it to around 3 or 4 degrees, which I accepted.
    Last edited by tbessie; 09-27-2017 at 12:11 PM.

  4. #129
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    Since the OP has posted this on the internet, he's looking for the opinion of others.

    If I were getting, say, a Richard Sachs, I'd want it to say Richard Sachs on the downtube. That's the whole idea. Get outta here with the foofraw (or whatever) garbage.

    /the above is an opinion, which you asked for.

  5. #130
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hiro11 View Post
    Since the OP has posted this on the internet, he's looking for the opinion of others.

    If I were getting, say, a Richard Sachs, I'd want it to say Richard Sachs on the downtube. That's the whole idea. Get outta here with the foofraw (or whatever) garbage.

    /the above is an opinion, which you asked for.
    Saying what you'd want is one thing; that's the "whole idea" for you. That's fine, that's what I'd wanted to hear - what others would want or expect.

    Calling my idea "garbage" however is a judgment about me and my tastes, not about what you would do. That is not what I asked for or wanted, and, also, is kinda rude. I'd never criticize someone else's tastes in bike graphics.

    Those are two different things.

    Perhaps it's like the frame builder's assumptions - he assumed that "everybody knew" that the downtube was sacred in that way (I didn't). I assumed that asking for viewpoints and opinions meant that people would be polite and not badmouth other peoples' choices, but instead take a "Well, I personally wouldn't like that, but to each their own; I would have/expect/want X instead" attitude.

    My bad, if the latter.
    Last edited by tbessie; 09-27-2017 at 12:27 PM.

  6. #131
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    Quote Originally Posted by tbessie View Post
    I'll check the website and paste in the exact text later.
    I'm looking forward to reading the builders text. It mighta-maybe have been a good idea to have posted that earlier just so everyone could given an opinion knowing both sides, what was offered and what was expected.
    Too old to ride plastic

  7. #132
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    Quote Originally Posted by tbessie View Post
    Saying what you'd want is one thing; that's the "whole idea" for you. That's fine, that's what I'd wanted to hear - what others would want or expect.

    Calling my idea "garbage" however is a judgment about me and my tastes, not about what you would do. That is not what I asked for or wanted, and, also, is kinda rude. I'd never criticize someone else's tastes in bike graphics.

    Those are two different things.

    Perhaps it's like the frame builder's assumptions - he assumed that "everybody knew" that the downtube was sacred in that way (I didn't). I assumed that asking for viewpoints and opinions meant that people would be polite and not badmouth other peoples' choices, but instead take a "Well, I personally wouldn't like that, but to each their own; I would have/expect/want X instead" attitude.

    My bad, if the latter.
    Unfortunately (or not), when you post stuff like this on the Internet, you have to take the bad with the good.

    If you expected to come to an Internet bike forum and ask a specific question and get only very specific answers, without people judging you, you obviously haven't been paying attention.

    My suggestion to you is to take what value you can from the responses posted, and ignore the negativity.

  8. #133
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    Quote Originally Posted by velodog View Post
    I'm looking forward to reading the builders text. It mighta-maybe have been a good idea to have posted that earlier just so everyone could given an opinion knowing both sides, what was offered and what was expected.
    I would have, but didn't want to mention the builder's name; posting text from their website would point people to them as well.

    I'll post it after the frame is complete.

  9. #134
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    Quote Originally Posted by Migen21 View Post
    Unfortunately (or not), when you post stuff like this on the Internet, you have to take the bad with the good.

    If you expected to come to an Internet bike forum and ask a specific question and get only very specific answers, without people judging you, you obviously haven't been paying attention.
    It's not a question of paying attention or not; it's the unrealistic expectation of mine that adults would act like adults - and mature, fair ones at that - even on an Internet forum.

    Given I've been on the internet since the old Arpanet days (started on the net probably around 1980), you'd think I would have learned by now. But, hope springs eternal, even if it'll never happen.

    My suggestion to you is to take what value you can from the responses posted, and ignore the negativity.
    Oh, I have; but I will also state my displeasure when I find people being rude or divisive, even if it has no effect.

  10. #135
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    Quote Originally Posted by tbessie View Post
    .

    I'll post it after the frame is complete.
    what's the time line looking like?

  11. #136
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    Quote Originally Posted by kiwisimon View Post
    what's the time line looking like?
    Coupla weeks most likely.

  12. #137
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    Quote Originally Posted by tbessie View Post
    Calling my idea "garbage" however is a judgment about me and my tastes, not about what you would do. That is not what I asked for or wanted, and, also, is kinda rude. I'd never criticize someone else's tastes in bike graphics.

    Those are two different things.
    Clearly you're looking for either validation of your idea or questioning of your idea. If you really want a discussion, the specifics of your idea are important. The discussion needs to cover not simply "should" you be able to put whatever you want on the frame, it should also cover exactly WHAT you plan on putting on the bike. The "what" is a relevant part of the story.

    In this case, you're asking us (me) how we (I) feel about getting rid of the builder's name on a presumably expensive custom frame that represents you and your tastes and sticking a decal that says "foofraw" on the downtube. My reaction: that's a terrible idea that's going to look awful. If you're asking what someone on the street who knows bikes would think about a bike that says "foofraw" on it, now you know what I personally (me alone, only me, no one else) think.

    Admittedly, calling the idea "garbage" is a bit rude... even if it accurately represents my feeling on this important matter.

    /again, the above is an opinion, which was asked for.

  13. #138
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    For those who were wondering who the framebuilder was in this case, it was Firefly.

    As mentioned, we came to an agreement to just not have any words on the downtube, and instead just put a colorful line going down it (tho' there's plenty of "Firefly" words and logos on the bike elsewhere).

    Here's a link to an album of the photos they took of the frame and building process (as mentioned above, my last name is "Bessie" - thus the wording on the top tube):

    https://photos.app.goo.gl/F3rVS7lwp9qE6V7u2

  14. #139
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    man, I would buy one of those in five minutes ... if it said "Foofaraw" on the down tube.

    Otherwise .... meh.


  15. #140
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
    man, I would buy one of those in five minutes ... if it said "Foofaraw" on the down tube.

    Otherwise .... meh.

    D'oh! :-D

    - Tim

  16. #141
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    great looking bike.

  17. #142
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    Quote Originally Posted by kiwisimon View Post
    great looking bike.
    Thanks! :-)

    Here's the bike fully assembled (apologize for the bad quality of the photos - I don't have a nice studio for them :-) )...

    https://photos.app.goo.gl/CU7wPON5JM60sKgg2

  18. #143
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    Quote Originally Posted by tbessie View Post
    Thanks! :-)

    Here's the bike fully assembled (apologize for the bad quality of the photos - I don't have a nice studio for them :-) )...

    https://photos.app.goo.gl/CU7wPON5JM60sKgg2
    Very elegant handsome bike! I bet it rides like a magic carpet.

    Whattaya gonna do about that naked down tube? It needs some dressing up. Then again, you may want to go stealth. The bike works either way! :thubsup:

  19. #144
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    Quote Originally Posted by tbessie View Post
    Thanks! :-)

    Here's the bike fully assembled (apologize for the bad quality of the photos - I don't have a nice studio for them :-) )...

    https://photos.app.goo.gl/CU7wPON5JM60sKgg2
    Very nice looking bike. And I like the color and style you chose for the pinstripes and "Bessiematic" on the top tube.

    But what happened to Foofaraw? And I don't see anything on the downtube. I thought the builder insisted on plastering their name on that. I just see their name on the stem and stays.

    Great choice of rims too!


    “Statistics are like bikinis. What they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital.” -- Aaron Levenstein

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  20. #145
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    I just went to the website. I did not see anywhere that you could do whatever you wanted. The website says they will work with you on a custom finish, which is what they did.

    Honestly considering trade mark laws etc, I can’t see any builder just agreeing to anything.

  21. #146
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    Quote Originally Posted by tbessie View Post
    Thanks! :-)

    Here's the bike fully assembled
    Great build, Chris King and Campy a great combination, the only thing (which I know is personal preference) is the pump down there with all the mud and road crap. Is there a practical reason for encouraging grit into your high performance pump?
    Hows that thing ride? Gotta be like a flying carpet I bet. Enjoy the next 50 yrs of riding!

  22. #147
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fredrico View Post
    Very elegant handsome bike! I bet it rides like a magic carpet.

    Whattaya gonna do about that naked down tube? It needs some dressing up. Then again, you may want to go stealth. The bike works either way! :thubsup:
    Just took it out for the first moderate ride with it (will be a bit before I take it out on a longer ride). Rides very smoothly indeed. :-)

    I'll leave the downtube the way it is - seems like stealth is fine - I know its provenance, and that's all that matters in the end, I guess. :-)

  23. #148
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lombard View Post
    Very nice looking bike. And I like the color and style you chose for the pinstripes and "Bessiematic" on the top tube.

    But what happened to Foofaraw? And I don't see anything on the downtube. I thought the builder insisted on plastering their name on that. I just see their name on the stem and stays.

    Great choice of rims too!
    Thanks! :-)

    Yeah, after thinking about it and spending many hours looking at various fonts and orientations and designs, I ended up really liking the font I chose there (I bought it from a font website - some graphic artist in Brazil designed it); Foofaraw didn't work quite well with that, so I chose "Bessiematic" because it contained my last name, and looked good in the font... hearkening back to retro car fonts, etc.

    The builder, Firefly, didn't insist on plastering their name on the downtube; but they said that if I used their colorful anodizing process for lettering on the downtube, then it had to be their name. They would have accepted stuff that wasn't their name there, but only if it wasn't colorful (brushed-on-blasted finish, for example). So I ended up just putting a color-fade single line on it to match the line on the top tube. It's not that obvious, but you can see it there.

    The rims are good - I looked at carbon rims, but it didn't seem that the weight difference was big enough to go that route, unless I got some super-expensive, ultra-light carbon racing rims. The ones I was looking at were $5000 a pair (might've been for wheels built with them, can't recall) and weren't as tough as these alloy ones.

    Anyway, I'm quite happy with the bike. :-)

  24. #149
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    Quote Originally Posted by kiwisimon View Post
    Great build, Chris King and Campy a great combination, the only thing (which I know is personal preference) is the pump down there with all the mud and road crap. Is there a practical reason for encouraging grit into your high performance pump?
    Hows that thing ride? Gotta be like a flying carpet I bet. Enjoy the next 50 yrs of riding!
    Rides very nice and smooth - takes the bumps with grace. Accelerates and brakes easily and quickly.

    I wanted the pump down there - I wanted to use that specific pump (it's one of my favorite kinds), and I didn't want to hang it under the top tube of on the side of the seat tube, the way some folks do... I liked it out of the way, where it is now. In fact, asked Firefly to position the under-downtube bosses for that specific pump (they said they don't like doing that, since customers aren't always going to want to use the same pump, for example, and the more typical placement allows for different things to be attached there over time); the way they did it ended up being higher than I expected - my instructions were "I want to attach this pump on its bracket, and I want the bracket to attach to the pump body exactly in the middle of it, and I want the pump to extend no further down than the bottom bracket". For the pump to extend to the bottom bracket, though, I have to secure the bracket to the pump 2/3 of the way up the pump body. Also, if it went any higher than that, it would either hit the front tire or be subject to hitting it as the frame and wheels flexed... so it probably was a mistake to ask for special placement of the bosses. If I had it to do over, I would have the bosses lower down the downtube. It seems to be ok where they are, though, as it keeps the top of the pump from pivoting while riding (when going over bumps, say) and hitting the tire.

    It's unlikely I'll be riding this bike a lot in rain or when there's mud or a lot of wet grit on the road. If I do, tho', I'll deal with it. :-)

  25. #150
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    Quote Originally Posted by Herbie View Post
    I just went to the website. I did not see anywhere that you could do whatever you wanted. The website says they will work with you on a custom finish, which is what they did.

    Honestly considering trade mark laws etc, I can’t see any builder just agreeing to anything.
    The website says:

    This is where things get fun, with literally endless possibilities. You can draw inspiration from previous bikes, graphics that are significant to you, artists you love, or any other source, and we can work with you to create a truly unique finish. For a full view of our capabilities on custom work, please visit the Gallery.All custom work is completely unique, so please contact us for a quote.


    That, combined with emails and phone conversations I had with them, didn't indicate to me that there were any limits to what they would allow on it (within reason; eg. when I first heard about this limitation, I spoke with a few well-known Titanium builders, and one said "You didn't ask them to put anything violent or racist on it, did you?" because that would have been something he personally wouldn't do - and that would be something I could easily understand).

    My comment earlier about them saying I could have anything I wanted, was based on that website text and the emails and conversations I had with them... it doesn't say, literally, "You can have absolutely anything you want on the bike, no limitations at all". But saying there are "literally endless possibilities" (in addition to those emails and talks) seemed to indicate to me that there was nothing they wouldn't do (again, within the limits of good taste).

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