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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

first of all hello. Right now, I only mountainbike, but would like to get a race bike for training. Here in Switzerland, the road biking season simply lasts longer than the MTB season. And there are nice mountain passes, too :).

It might sound a bit crazy, but I am thinking of building up my own road bike - it's a fun project to have.

Some cornerstones of the project:
- Upper budget limit is around 2000 Euro About ($3000) - if more, then it has to be very well justified
- It should be nice to ride but also not ugly

Unfortunately I am impractically tall (6'6", 99cm inseam). There seem to be few frames that fit, getting one to try out is even more difficult, it seems.

So I got the following idea: Why not get a custom geometry titanium frame from XACD in China, with the geometry of the Specialized Roubaix 64cm frame? On it sounds like people have had good experiences with the framemaker.

The Geometry would read something like:
- SA: 72.5
- HA: 73
- TT (effective): 610mm
- Head tube: 250mm (shortened it 10mm for nicer looks)
- Seat tube c-t: 600mm
- Seat tube c-c: 522mm (by estimate)
- Chain stay: 420mm
- BB drop: 70mm

I have attached a Bike CAD drawing.

The result would be a handle bar drop of about 4" - roughly similar to what I currently ride with on my MTB. the reach would be about 2cm shorter (I ride with a 620mm TT and 120mm 0 deg stem on the MTB).

If I kit it out with a Ti seatpost and 110mm stem (from same manufacturer), Campa Centaur group and Eurus wheels, I get to around my price limit.

My questions to you experts:
- What do you think, is it completely stupid to go for the custom frame? (Trying bikes is difficult in my size)
- What do you think about the group? I was thinking about the Ultegra first, but didnt like the way the shifter cables are routed
- Does anyone have tubing suggestions? I was thinking of:
* 50.8mm down tube (0.9mm thickness)
* 34.9mm seat and top tubes (0.9-0.7-0.9mm dbl butted)
* Head tube for 1 1/8" fork shaft
* Chain and seat stays unclear as of now

thanks in advance for all replies and suggestions, I look forward to working on this project.


2,177 Posts
I would seek out a demo program to ride bikes in the price range you desire. A Look frame that fits you will be completely different than, say a Cervelo. Try out a Litespeed, Merlin or Serotta to see if you enjoy the feel of titanium. Carbon is pretty nice, and should be considered. I'd stay away from selecting specs of the frame for aesthetics. Fit is the most important part. A 500 dollar bike that fits will be more pleasureable and perform way better than a 7000 dollar bike that doesn't fit. If you can fit a "standard" frameset, then custom may be too much. But then again, many people swear by, and absolutely LOVE custom.
Titanium is a sensational tubing for custom. But Steel is also fantastic, and the price difference can allow for better wheels, which are arguably the component that will make the biggest improvement in performance.
Don't eliminate Ultegra or Ultegra SL until you try it out. The shifting performance, braking and overall quality is sensational. Many people prefer the feel of shimano hoods, and I liked hooking my finger around the cables. Truethfully, you really don't even know they're there.
That said, I've gone from Dura-ace/Ultegra to Chorus, and couldn't be happier.
Campy wheels are pretty pricey. For the money, I think you can do WAY better with semi-custom or even custom built wheels that will be lighter, cheaper, and fast.
Good luck, and enjoy.
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