Sunday, December 14, 2008

My journey to a custom bike

Ok, it's here, it's built up and it's been ridden...... and it's awesome!!

For some back story: In late April I got fed up with riding bikes with full suspension and gears, and started considering selling my Ventana and upgrading my singlespeed to a better frame. After a ton of research and contemplation I settled on having Scott Quiring build me a custom titanium bike. After talking with Scott and looking at his customer gallery I realized that he makes 95% 29ers and 5% 26ers. hmmm ok this got me thinking that it would be a good idea to test ride some 29ers and see if I'd like one.

After test riding jjscarff's Redline Flight and MeanJoe's Karate Monkey I decided it was time to try something completely new and go big. I liked the way their bikes rode at Hammy and Lock4, even rigid so I just decided to go for it. I put in my order in at the beginning of July. Scott Quiring mentioned an 8 week wait and having read up on a lot of custom builds online (from all kinds of builders), I figured 10-12 weeks was a more fair estimate of the time.

After ordering up the frame I went down to Harpeth Cycles to have Fred (Soul69) give me the full Serotta Fit system. After a lot of poking, prodding, stretch tests and some miles chasing an imaginary road racer, Fred had me all setup with what bike would fit ME.

I sent these fit numbers on to Scott Quiring, along with a list of questions he had me answer. Half the questions were about my old bike and how it fit, the other half were body measurements that were similar to those Fred got during the Serotta Fit. This was when the waiting started. This was about the 20th of July. Scott and I emailed back a bunch about head angles and fork offsets and axle to crown measurements and then he got started on designing the frame.

Around the middle of August I got a frame drawing from Scott emailed to me. I mulled over it and forwarded it on to Fred and Thad (Johnny5) and got their opinion. Fred and I compared the frame drawing with the info we got from the Serotta fit. This was one step that I stalled a week on, thinking a lot about the numbers and comparing them to my Serotta fit. A week later I made a few tweaks to the top tube measurements and decided on having Scott also make me a custom steel fork for the bike that shared the offset of the 2009 Reba and the sagged axle to crown height. At the end of August I received the updated 2nd frame drawing with the changes and again I took a week or so to mull over it. At the beginning of Sept I OKed the 2nd drawing and the waiting began again.

At this point I just waited. I tried not to think too much about the bike and tried not to pester Scott about when he thought it would be ready. I had hopes that I would have it in time to race the Swank65 in the first week of November but it didn't happen. I just kept riding my Soma and enjoying life. Oh during this time I also decided to buy a house, searched for houses, bought a house and started moving and also my brother-in-law passed away so I had a lot on my plate and many things to keep me occupied.

Nov 24th I receive an email from Scott saying my frame and fork were finished and ready to ship that week. Problem is this was Thanksgiving week and I was leaving town Tuesday. So I had to wait til the next week to have him ship it so I could make sure I was home. After a few FedEx snafus, I finally picked up my frame and fork and brought it home. I believe it was 18 weeks from order to delivery with some stalling by me because of my indecisiveness.

In the time I was waiting I was able to pick up the parts I'd need one by one which was nice. I used some parts off my Soma like cranks. chain and saddle and bought some parts online, from Dan Hensley and from Harpeth Cycles. I used my Chris King rear hub from my 26er wheel and bought a new Hope Pro II to have Rick Harmon at Harpeth Cycles build my 29er wheels. I kept the Juicy7 brakes from my Ventana and bought some aftermarket levers for them. Fred and Rick were awesome and got me all setup with parts and wheels and Rick expertly installed my bottom bracket (no small feat) and my headset. I installed most of the rest at home and then had Kelly Benward (FullSquishy) help me cut the steerer tube and install the star nut. It was a team effort and it all came together perfectly! Thanks to everyone to helped with this build, whether with parts, labor, or moral support!!!

So without further ado I present my new titanium custom Quiring.

Chris Cooper polished my White Industries cranks for me. He did an awesome job on them!!

You can see the rest of the pics here:

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

Build kit is as follow:

Frame: Quiring Custom Titanium 29er
Fork: Quiring Custom Steel
Stem/Seatpost: Thomson
BB: Phil Wood SS square taper
Cranks: White Industries ENO
Pedals: Time ATAC composite
Font Tire: Panaracer Rampage 2.35
Rear Tire: Kenda Karma 2.2
Rims: Stan's Flow 29er
Front Hub: Hope Pro II
Rear Hub: Chris King SS
Brakes: Avid Juicy7
Brake levers: Twenty6
Saddle: WTB Rocket Race
Handlebar: Salsa Promoto 17deg sweep
Grips: Oury
Chain: SRAM 850
Cog: Endless Kickass Cog 20t

Edit: I also purchased a killer red Chris King headset from Jeff S. (BikeMe) and another set of Time ATAC pedals from Tryon (TryFour).


cornfed said...

26'er 5% faster? Sa-weet...
oh, wait, just 5%, really? Nevermind...

Nice bike Old Spruce!

-d said...

nice big-wheel.

you sure that isn't a 410cm seat post, as appose to a 410mm...?

Grant said...

Very nice. Not much communist influence in that frame, but nice none the less. I suspect that you'll love it. The one I fondled was mucho impressive.


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