Saturday, April 24, 2010

So that is why they make custom frames?

It occurred to me as I drove home from Sea Otter - there is not one production SS frameset that meets my wants/needs/desires.  Not one.  Nuts!  I have been thinking of replacing the SS Jabberwocky with another steed.  I really like the Jabber and it is still a very good bike, but I have tasted some geometry in the recent SS' Rockhopper that I really liked.

I want steel.  I want a max of 17.5" chainstays.  I want a 25" - 25.25" top tube, I want it in a 20"-ish seat tube so the seat post is long and has room to flex under me, I want something other than the normal Paragon type sliders (uuuuuggllleeeee!!!), and I want it now.  Nothing off-the-rack gets there.

The Salsa El Mariachi, the new one, gets in the ball park but I need a 22" frame to get the TT in the 25" range and the CS length begins at 17.5" and gets longer from there.

The SIR 9 from Niner Bikes needs to be an XL as well, but they build with a lot of seat tube showing so that might be OK...more stand over.  Still, the EBB system they make is finicky and does not really play well with an internal BB set-up and the SIR is not the stiffest pedaling steel bike for a bigger guy.

Hmm.  Hello custom builder?  Like Burger King, they have it your way.  I see the appeal, but not the price tag reality.

But, just as I was giving up hope, an offer popped into the horizon that may get at least 90% there on my check-off list of gotta'-haves.  It is too soon to talk details yet, but if it happens, it will be interesting.  Meanwhile, I will ride the Jabber, deal with the compromises, and enjoy spring.

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