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  1. #1
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    So I've decided that a custom build is the way to go...

    Hello everyone! So my target is a thrice a week ride ranging from 25 to 75 miles per ride. I'm looking for comfort, reliability, and performance (in that order), with a completely unique professionally done paint job. I am working with a $5-10k budget, but I am only willing to spend $10k if it will dramatically enhance my experience. I'm not trying to impress anyone, except I want the paint to be first rate. So what brands, components, after market additions etc. do you experts recommend I use?? Thanks so much for the help!

  2. #2
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    I'll bite...

    Pick a builder, pick a material, tell him what you want and ask him to send the finished frame to Spectrum Powderworks. spectrum powderworks

    Use internet search to find custom builders. Call them. Talk to them. See if you click. And then order. Send your money. Bike arrives in about 6-12 months.

  3. #3
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    Yeah you have to love the completely novice questions that require a book to respond Anyway, thanks for taking a stab at it. I looked up a builder named Lighthouse. He's using Steel. I guess that works, but I wanted to see if anyone had compiled a completely elite frame set, tires, saddle, tires, etc. - that was not just a stock version of an elite bike company. I wonder if I could just go to regular bike shop to accomplish this? If so I may just go Colnago,Trek, or Pinarello and then send to the paint shop you recommended. Thanks again

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Forerunner View Post
    I wonder if I could just go to regular bike shop to accomplish this? If so I may just go Colnago,Trek, or Pinarello and then send to the paint shop you recommended. Thanks again
    Probably a good idea if you aren't up for doing the research yourself into custom builders. Many are happy with their stock bike, and slapping a new paint job on it will give it a little x-factor.
    miles to posts ratio is > 30:1

  5. #5
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    Cool, thanks for insight

  6. #6
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    Send your frame to velocolour.com in Toronto. You won't be sorry. Or.......just get a frame made and painted by Llewellyn in Australia. Or a Spectrum made and painted by Tom Kellogg.

    And hang around at Velocipede.com at the Friday Night Lights forum.
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  7. #7
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    I read your post and got the vibe that the unique paint job was more important than the frame itself. Not a problem.

    Problem is, some framebuilders poo-poo certain paint schemes for "their" frames. I'd either find a framebuilder that also paints their own frames (and will work with your scheme) or find a framebuilder that contracts with one of the reputable painters such as Joe Bell, Hot Tubes, or Circle A Cycles. For fancy powdercoating there's only one name, Spectrum Powder Works. You could also try working directly with the painter.

    A complete bike is entirely possible within your budget, but sophisticated paint jobs can be expensive.

  8. #8
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    Thanks Mike

  9. #9
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    Great, thanks Peter! Yes...after gathering feedback and visualizing my goals and assessing my needs, I've come to the realization that any Good frame will do...of course I am always looking for the most bang for my buck - so finding the greatest Frame/Paint combo is my target. Thanks again for all your help!

  10. #10
    Gunnar Shogren is my hero
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    Scott Quiring builds a great frame and does incredible work custom finishes too. Take a look at some of Scott's work here: Quiring Cycles

    Disclaimer: I do not know Scott nor do I own a Quiring myself, just always wanted one.

  11. #11
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    Joe Bell in the San Diego (Spring Valley) area is another great option. Does fantastic work. With a budget up to $10K though I'd go full custom since it opens up myriad possibilities and the hardest part is choosing which builder to go with.
    miles to posts ratio is > 30:1

  12. #12
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    Cool, thanks James!

  13. #13
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    I looked up Joe Bell, nice...but tell me why should I go with a custom everything if I can get top quality from a stock build and then later add personalized cool paint? I mean I'm even tempted to research who paints for Devinchi, Cannondale, Cervelo, Pinnarello and see if they'll customize something for me - they seem to have great paint shops - wonder if they're paint is all done in house though...

  14. #14
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    Buying a Devinchi, etal that's already painted and stripping it just to get a custom paint job (if that's what I understand would be an option) would be cool because there'd be no other like it, but the added cost would pain me. I've seen some Cervelos and Specializeds done custom and they definitely stand out even if the paint jobs are tame.

    P.S. Another brand that will work with you on BOTH the frame and a truly custom paint job is Independent Fabrications. There's an upcharge but there seems to be no limit to what they'll try.

    Also consider Craig Ryan at Foresta Frames. Besides framebuilding and painting, he's an art teacher so he has that artistic flair.

  15. #15
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    Thanks Peter...Independent is very close to the elaborate technical design that I'm looking for.

  16. #16
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    Indy Fab is a great builder of steel, carbon or Ti bikes.

    The sky is the limit with their paint jobs. It's a great part of what they are known for. Follow them in Facebook or their blog to see the spectacular finishes they've done for customers.
    Life is like a dogsled team. If you ain't the lead dog, the view never changes

  17. #17
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  18. #18
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    Looks like you are a good candidate for a Ti or a Ti/carbon hybrid bike.

    The characteristics you are looking for can be custom made not only to your size but also to your weight and physical limitations. Various tube diameters can be made custom to the ride you desire. Larger tube for stiffer ride. For comfort, tubes will be double or triple butted while maintaining the stiffness and reducing the bikes weight.

    I have several of these bikes with varying stiffness and weight from a single bike manufacturer so I know how these changes affects the ride. Some Ti bike manufacturers also offers custom paints. Design it yourself, choose the colors, pattern, etc., and they will make it for you. They even have stock paint schemes that you can copy and modify all within your $10k budget.

    Quote Originally Posted by Forerunner View Post
    ...I'm looking for comfort, reliability, and performance (in that order), with a completely unique professionally done paint job. I am working with a $5-10k budget...

  19. #19
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    Everyone who orders a custom frame has their reasons. If Iwere to do so with a 10k budget I would start with a call to Parlee in order to accommodate my unique sizing requirements in carbon.

    But, since this build appears to be primarily about the aesthetic, I'm surprised no one has mentioned Dario Pegoretti. A master in metals and one who believes in creating ridable art. You could do far worse.

  20. #20
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    Not sure how much custom you can get with a Pegoretti. I have seen many come and go. Reason is size does not match or it is too stiff. Lovely to look at but tough to use by some. Perhaps because they were designed to be race bikes for one.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Forerunner View Post
    I looked up Joe Bell, nice...but tell me why should I go with a custom everything if I can get top quality from a stock build and then later add personalized cool paint? I mean I'm even tempted to research who paints for Devinchi, Cannondale, Cervelo, Pinnarello and see if they'll customize something for me - they seem to have great paint shops - wonder if they're paint is all done in house though...
    If you want a stock bike with custom paint, why not a Trek Project One?

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Forerunner View Post
    ...but tell me why should I go with a custom everything if I can get top quality from a stock build and then later add personalized cool paint?
    No reason if you are blessed with body proportions near the middle of the population bell curve, which most stock bikes are designed for.

    If, OTOH you are cursed with long legs and a short torso, short legs and a long torso, long arms, or any body proportions that are significantly different than da Vinci's Vitruvian Man, you'll likely benefit from a custom frameset.

    As for paint, have it made from polished stainless steel (953, XCr, 931, or KVA MS2). It'll look better, last longer (no rust), be lighter, and you won't have to worry about the inevitable paint scrapes and chips.

    Just my $.02.
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  23. #23
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    So I've decided that a custom build is the way to go...

    I own several custom bikes (Sachs, Kish ti, Serotta) and recommend buying from a builder that is local to you for your 1st custom.. You can get fitted and it is easier for you to communicate, especially if you are unsure about design. While I have worked with non-local builders and it works well, i already knew what i wanted in a bike. Besides, visiting the shop and meeting the builder enhances the experience.
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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by TopQuark View Post
    Not sure how much custom you can get with a Pegoretti. I have seen many come and go. Reason is size does not match or it is too stiff. Lovely to look at but tough to use by some. Perhaps because they were designed to be race bikes for one.
    sure??
    I don't believe it.

  25. #25
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    Pegoretti can match any rider's style to a custom frame.

    The problem is with people who buy used Pegoretti frames that were built for someone else and then wonder why it doesn't suit them. I have seen this happen to two guys I know.

    Too bad getting a Pegoretti is such a PITA. Going through a shop and Gita adds cost and time compared to going directly to someone like Pellizoli.

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