Author Topic: Custom touring bike vs. mass produced  (Read 2851 times)

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Offline BikeliciousBabe

Re: Custom touring bkie vs. mass produced
« Reply #30 on: April 10, 2018, 09:32:40 am »
That would be the case no matter the bike. I can't budget to replace it, so I will protect it.

Inasmuch as Gordon has retired from the biz, the bike is irreplaceable. Sounds like you got your just in time.  8)

Indeed!  Ours were two of the last he made. We ordered them, and then he had a wreck on gravel, hurt his knee, and was unable to work for months.  It took almost a year to get our bikes, from the time we ordered them. And he announced his retirement soon after. Fortunately, we weren't planning to do our first long tour until this year, so we weren't freaking out about the delay!  (our only worry at the time was that he wouldn't be able to make them at all....)   Well worth the wait.  For me, knowing that Bruce went over every detail of this bike gives me great peace of mind and confidence.   Plus this bike is a sweet ride. Fits like a glove.
I talked to Bruce back in '99 in preparation for my first tour. His former associate, Robert Beckman, was having some trouble delivering my custom racks and panniers so I was exploring alternatives. Seemed like a very nice guy. Fortunately, Beckman came through after I gave him a drop-dead delivery date, which was only three weeks before the start of my tour.

Offline fastrog

Re: Custom touring bike vs. mass produced
« Reply #31 on: April 19, 2018, 03:19:58 am »
Well, I think a custom built bike is an unnecessary luxury. But over-the-counter bikes may not meet your needs. As some people alluded to above, I went with something in-between, after a lot of research. An excellent frame from Surly, and them working with my regular bike-shop guys on the build. Got the major components on-line, for best pricing, and saved by using things like my REI 20 percent off member coupon. Ended up with a great bike, with better components than the stocky Surly. Spent more than a stock Surly, but think I got a bike comparable to the  customs -- for less money.

Offline paddleboy17

Re: Custom touring bike vs. mass produced
« Reply #32 on: April 19, 2018, 12:28:21 pm »
Well, I think a custom built bike is an unnecessary luxury. But over-the-counter bikes may not meet your needs. As some people alluded to above, I went with something in-between, after a lot of research. An excellent frame from Surly, and them working with my regular bike-shop guys on the build. Got the major components on-line, for best pricing, and saved by using things like my REI 20 percent off member coupon. Ended up with a great bike, with better components than the stocky Surly. Spent more than a stock Surly, but think I got a bike comparable to the  customs -- for less money.

I don't think anyone would every buy a custom bike for its equipment, you buy one because there is something worthwhile in the frame.  Part of what makes a custom bike so expensive is cost of equipping it.  You can almost always buy a finished stock bike for what a build kit costs, based on the the same components and wheel set.  There are 3 ways to buy parts:  at list price, in a build kit ( where you save 10% or 20%, it has been a while so I don't remember exactly, other than being disappointed on the discount for a build kit), or attached to a bike.  When you buy a new stock bike, most better bike shops will give you a credit for the parts that you don't like as long as you buy the replacement parts from them.

There are lots of reasonable reasons for getting a custom bike.  I went that way because at the time I did not believe that I could get a stiff enough frame from any of the stock bike makers.  I did indulge myself with a lugged frame, but I did not get hand carved, stainless steel lugs from Italy.  I have a friend with a long torso and short legs, and he has fit issues outside of what can be done with a set back seat post and a longer stem.  Most of his bikes are custom, just to get the fit issues right.   Many women have a hard time getting a bike to fit them.  The big guys seem to have walked away from women specific bikes.  I know of a local bike shop whose business plan seemed to be fitting petite Latinas on Gunnar (Waterford's budget line) frames.  If you are tall and thin, there is a stock bike for you.  Everyone else has fit challenges. And most small frames are designed for adolescent males, not women.
Danno

Offline Goodaches

Re: Custom touring bike vs. mass produced
« Reply #33 on: April 19, 2018, 11:26:18 pm »
When I couldn't find a production bike equipped and geared as I wanted I began to fantasize a bit on how I'd like to spec a custom bike. But, having had 4 locked bikes stolen over the past four decades I didn't want to be that commitment to a bike not readily replaceable.  So, I was delighted last fall when I saw the 2018 specs for the Surly ECR 27+. It exactly met my very practical specs including gearing that makes sense for loaded touring. Wife and I got a matched pair in Octobef and we'll use them on GDMBR this year.

Offline David W Pratt

Re: Custom touring bike vs. mass produced
« Reply #34 on: April 28, 2018, 03:33:55 pm »
Perhaps you could consider a semi custom.  I second Emily G's sentiments about the BG Rock and Road quality.  If you find one, used, that fits you will have a lifetime treasure.  One further consideration, the Beckman pannier choices that fit the BGs are superb, pricey, but superb.
Good luck

Offline Ryld

Re: Custom touring bike vs. mass produced
« Reply #35 on: May 24, 2018, 04:22:06 am »
If you fly the best custom bike add on to get is those socket collars that let you split the bike in half. I think you can pay them 600+ and they will take a frame and put on the coupling collars but if you are going to pay that much is is better just to start with a coupled frame from the start.

Offline DaveB

Re: Custom touring bike vs. mass produced
« Reply #36 on: May 25, 2018, 09:25:01 am »
If you fly the best custom bike add on to get is those socket collars that let you split the bike in half. I think you can pay them 600+ and they will take a frame and put on the coupling collars but if you are going to pay that much is is better just to start with a coupled frame from the start.
They are S&S Couplers and, while they can be retrofit to an existing steel or Ti frame, they are a very expensive addition.  I agree, it's better to get a frame factory equipped with them to begin with.

Also, unless you fly with your bike frequently, the extra cost of the couplers may not be worth it as the airlines now charge for all checked baggage so the ability to have the bike fly free is gone.  Finally, you have to have a place to store the packing case while you are on your ride so if you are doing a point-to-point tour the case will be a problem. 

Offline Pat Lamb

Re: Custom touring bike vs. mass produced
« Reply #37 on: May 25, 2018, 09:50:26 am »
In addition to the $600 the S&S couplers will cost, you'll want the case ($250-$400 IIRC).  You'll want to get the bike repainted, if you start with an existing bike (maybe $200). 

Of course, custom bikes already come painted, but they start pricey and go up.  Cheapest custom I know of with S&S couplers is about $3,000 now.

OTOH, it does fly as a second or third piece of checked luggage.  That's currently $35 per leg, $70 round trip.  Stinking airlines charge $150-$200 per leg for a normal bike.  I've had my S&S coupled bike for about 10 years now, and while I don't know if it's paid for itself in reduced airline fees yet, I've enjoyed the ride.


Offline netdomonz

Re: Custom touring bike vs. mass produced
« Reply #38 on: June 03, 2018, 04:44:28 am »
it's your money, up to you