The Chainlink

First, let me say how much I miss the Chicago cycling community.  You people made the transition to Chicago MUCH easier.  And much harder to leave.  

Now the reason for my post, I am contemplating a custom steel ride and would like to get some advice on what to look for/avoid in this process.  I am basically going to have this bike for longer rides (20, 40, 60+).  I am not a small guy so I do not care about grams or ounces, but I do want a lighter bike.  I am more than happy to call somebody or just have an email exchange.  I appreciate any help you can provide. 

And lastly, is any one Malort better than others?  How is Jeppson's Malort?

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It's a really, really complex subject but I think we can cover it well here.

Jeppson's Malort is the one and only Malort.  There used to be others long ago but it is the lone survivor of the breed.  It is the best and the original, you can buy it at Binnys online.

OK.

In all seriousness on the steel bike what sort of questions did you have?

I am not fully aware of really where to begin.

What kind of steel (Columbus / True Temper / Dedacciai / Reynolds)?  What are the real differences?

Is it worth upgrading to Zona, Spirt for Lugs, Life or Spirt super?  What are the real differences?

Is there a true difference in welds?

Are stainless crowns, dropout faces worth it?

Should I consider certain carbon components (rear triangle, seat posts, etc.)?

Is Internal cable routing worth it?  I think it is cool, but should I?

I think a better strategy is to find a framebuilder who understands how you will use your bike and how you want it to ride and let them decide how best to implement it.  It doesnt make sense to micromanage tubing decisions unless you fully understand the complexity of these choices.

Yes exactly!

2. I finally made it to the Violet Hour last week. Apparently they are crafting a Malort in conjunction with Letherbee - a local (as in Humboldt Park) craft distiller. I dunno if it is available yet. I'm just guessing that it might actually be drinkable! 

djm said:

I think a better strategy is to find a framebuilder who understands how you will use your bike and how you want it to ride and let them decide how best to implement it.  It doesnt make sense to micromanage tubing decisions unless you fully understand the complexity of these choices.

I just read an article about this in the last week or so, but I can't find it again. "Malort" is wormwood in Swedish. Wormwood is an essential ingredient in other distilled spirits including absinthe. What we know as Jeppson's Malort is of a family of spirits knows as "bask." (i.e. Malort is to Bask as Absolut is to Vodka). Bask is a Swedish spiced liqueur flavored with wormwood, and there are most certainly other iterations of basks out there. I'm just not aware of any others in the US.

Malort is the solvent used in  the cheap furniture's clear finish, They ordered too much and did not know what to do with it.... SELL IT TO THE AMERICANS

Great advice! What is a good builder in CHI? And what is a good price for a custom frame and fork?



djm said:

I think a better strategy is to find a framebuilder who understands how you will use your bike and how you want it to ride and let them decide how best to implement it.  It doesnt make sense to micromanage tubing decisions unless you fully understand the complexity of these choices.

I dunno. Unless you have some very hard to fit dimensions I dunno why anyone would do the custom build with all the great, cheap bike frames out there to be had on CL.

I mean, it would be cool to ride a custom bike but the cost is so much more, typically.

Here's one I found on google:

http://ninelittletubes.wordpress.com/2011/05/02/frame-building-co-o...

You're not going to find much for less than $1800 for a custom frame and fork.

Or, you can buy used custom frames on ebay for as little as $400.

Go to RRB Cycles in Kenilworth.  Ron Boi, the owner was a natonally recognized frame builder, back in the day.  He may still do custom frames.  If he does, it would be worth your while to meet him.

Waterford Bikes (Waterford Wisconsin) is a custom steel bike builder that has built two bikes for me. They have 4 levels/types of custom (and stock) steel frames: 33 series -light, fast road/racing bikes, the 22 Series Artisan, the  Artisan Stainless 22 Series and the 14 Series Vision.

Back in 2004 Waterford Built a 22 Series Artisan-RSE 22-.  I wanted a lugged, steel couplered bike that I could ride for just about every type of riding I enjoy: touring, randonneuring, centuries, commuting. 40,000 miles later it remains my favorite.  It's not a light bike, OS tubing, lugged and the couplers bring it in at21 llbs, but it's been a sturdy, good looking,  comfortable bike over the long run that has performed well over 8+ years.

This past December I began to research custom frame builders using the North American Hand Built Bicycle (NAHBS) 2013 Exhibit website to select about dozen custom frame makers to determine who I wanted to use to build a light fast steel bike. After several weeks comparing and contrasting  I wound up going back to Waterford.  What got my attention was the steel  they were using to create especially strong and light thin walled steel tubing-Tru Temper S3.  Frame tubing that would bring the frame under 3lbs.  The 33 Series bike they built for me is a wonderfully light strong fast tig welded machine that comes in at 17. 3 lbs.  I recently successfully tested it's durability on the Great Lakes Randonneurs 200k brevet last Saturday out of Delavan Wisconsin.

waterfordbikes.com 

 

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