Sunday, February 18, 2007

Going Custom Part 9: Long Term Impressions


This is part 9 and the last of the Going Custom Series

Had the bike 8 months now.

In a nutshell,
it's the first frame I ever had where I'm not thinking about the next one.

For a bike geek this is the highest praise attainable. This includes all the mountain or road frames I've owned which included 3 other customs over the past 15years. The only things I'm thinking about for the future are components and to a lesser extent future colors.

It's that good. There's not much more to say.

The ride is awesome, the handling is exactly what I asked for, Jim Kish was wonderful to work with. He listened to my needs, asked the right questions of me, answered my questions and concerns in a timely manner on email and the phone and delivered in a reasonable time.

I love the design he came up with. It's a subtle thing but when you look at bikes over and over the thing I like is it's just proportioned right. It's a small frame and with the requirement of a taller head tube and to me just looks right. There is a personality to his frames. Clean. No bull just straight up.

It's stable and solid. And begs to be beat on.

In today's era of custom bikes and the romanticism with Lugs and brazing, TIG seems to still have little bit of a stigma. But I came to cycling through mountain biking, not road biking. So my aesthetics are influenced by the hardtail customs such as Strong, Wojcik. Not that I still don't appreciate a lugged bike, it's just right now my personality is definitely mirrored in this Kish.

And Kish has got to be one of the best TIG welders in the bicycling industry. He's more known for his to-die-for Ti bikes. But the welding is just as clean and tight on the steel frames.

I'd highly recommend Kish Bikes.


At 11:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ash. You'd outdone yourself. Great article. I've went thru this process myself twice (unsuccessfully I might add!)Glad to hear yours went so well. Beauty of a ride. My artist girlfriend says you should go with a black seatpost/silver clamp though.

At 7:17 AM, Blogger ashwinearl said...

I'm curious why you were unsuccesful twice with going custom. Perhaps your experiences will helps others from making the same mistakes.

At 6:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've been riding competively for about 10 years now. Yes, 2 unsuccessful custom bikes. One was a TT frame, another a road frame.

I would chalk it up to lack of experience on my part and not trusting my own instincts as to what feels good to me. Both fitters tried to stretch me out WAY to much. On both frames, the fitters wanted me to have a "flat back" which I just don't have. In fact if I ride in that position, I lose tons of power. Once I understood that it was OK to not have a flat back (John Cobb's website ie. Lance and others) things really came together.

I know if I ever go custom again, I'll get it right. I, like you, miss that feeling of a great steel road bike, which I don't have now.

Bottomline...experience is the best teacher.

At 6:55 AM, Anonymous site said...

Pretty effective info, thanks for the post.


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