CUSTOM FRAME SETS
My primary material I build frames from are steel alloys and stainless steel alloys, being the first and only builder in Minnesota to build with aerospace grade stainless steel alloys. I was also preparing and polishing stainless lugs for years before I built my first frame with my predecessor. I have the capabilities to build with titanium but do not as to the superior characteristics of current stainless steel tubing available does not justify any effort for me to pursue doing titanium either in the near future or later time.
The manner in which I build frames is as custom as the frames I manufacture. Since my foundation and tutelage in this craft came from a custom builder (who’s predecessors were also custom builders) not a production shop my perception of building frames focuses on frames on a per frame/rider production. I do not offer models as those are red flags for production minded builders. Yes most custom builders are volume manufacturers and not what I would call a custom bicycle frame builder. Each of my frames are designed with the proper tubing and built for the individual rider based on their riding, fit and with all features needed to create their ultimate machine to carry them through a life time of riding. Hence why I offer an unconditional life time warranty on all my branded frames I build.
Each of my frames are 100% hand built, hand finished and constructed using a process that does not trap welding stresses into the completed frame set. Building frames free of residual stress is a primary requirement for any of my frames and is the foundation of what I do. This ensures a high quality finished frame set. I never sand blast my frames which allow other builders to make their frames look meticulously finished before the paint goes on, I prefer to put time into skillfully meticulous brazing of my lugged frames rather than using a clearly production process.
All of my lugged frames are 100% silver brazed. The foundations of what I was taught always revolved around silver. Many builders use bronze for drop outs and then would only silver braze the lugs and most braze ons. I am one of the few builders who has always brazed every part of lugged frames with silver. I only use bronze for the tube joints on fillet frames then silver all the rest. Only now with plug and socket type drop outs being so common have allowed builders now to have the confidence to use silver on their drop outs. I myself prefer to silver in traditional tab type drop outs due to the distinct look I can do to the end of the tube. A distinct sign of one of my builds plug and socket although giving a clean look with no extra work all look bland and non-distinct white washing any character or distinctness a frame can have. You do not want a frame if the name was removed to look like every other builders work which is common now.
Even though I am set up for machine cutting all my tubes with machine grade hole saws and I spent plenty of time machining tubes with my predecessor, I prefer to hand file and fit each tube. I simply prefer to do this as it gives me more satisfaction as a builder and it keeps my filing skills at an exceptional level.
A note on my frames all of my frames are built with 1″ steer tubes as this is the safest for the longevity of the frame. Over sized steel steer tubes are frame killers and should only be used with carbon forks and front suspension. Steel over sized steer tubes are too rigid and put too much stress on the front end and transfer more stress rather than absorb like a 1″ steer tube. This leads to premature joint failure which I see often on Tig welded frames and buckled down and top tubes that frequently happen from minor collisions.
Frame finishing is done in powder, I do not do any chrome, it is problematic and not needed with proper finishing and finish prep.
I also build fillet brazed frames in addition to traditional lugged frames. The cost is higher due to the extra labor involved finishing the fillets to flow from tube to tube. Fillet frames offer better joint life compared to Tig welded frames and have the added look of one piece construction for properly finished joints.
Since I build with a wide variety of lugs, tubes, and fittings my prices vary. As a base my pricing starts at about 2000.00 and goes up from there. I is always easy to offer one lug and one tube set, but I was trained by a custom builder and come from a line of custom builders that offered selection for a true custom frame set.