Introduction: Handmade Custom Road Bike
I've been riding my own home built bike frames for a long time. I built this steel road racing frame back in 1995 and it's still going strong!
This frame was silver brazed using an oxy/acetylene torch and all the tubes were mitered by hand using a file and a hack saw. I made a simple jig from wood to hold the tubes in place while the frame was tacked together. The frame is a mix of Reynolds 531 for the chainstays, Reynolds 653 for the top tube and down tube and 731OS for the seat tube. The finished weight (not including fork) came in around 3.75 lbs.- not too shabby for a 56cm frame with an oversize top tube. The lugs came from Henry James and the dropouts came from a friend that is a frame builder. The dropouts are kind of neat as they have a deep socketed joint for the chainstays and seatstays.The fork is a carbon fiber Kestrel EMS Pro.
I tend to build my road bikes with pretty relaxed geometry since that's always worked well for me. I have a long femur and I need the seat to sit far back so this bike has a relaxed seat tube angle- 72.5 degrees. The head tube angle is 73 degrees and with a 56cm top tube length I can get a really nice comfortable ride and still get a good handling bike. The oversize (1.125" OD) top tube makes a big difference in handling- the old 1" diameter top tubes made for a pretty flexy bike with this relaxed geometry.
I've ridden a lot of carbon fiber bikes but there is something that is just so nice about the ride quality of a hand made steel bike (I do like carbon forks a lot.) Maybe if I manage to build myself a steel cyclocross frame in the future I can do a full detailed instructable that shows the entire process start to finish.
For more information about building your own frame check out the framebuilder's forum- http://www.frameforum.org/forum3/index.php
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