Thoughts on Custom Frames

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9/26/2022 3:12 PM

So this is just something my mind has been wandering to. Just curious peoples thoughts on Custom frames and the thought they might be taking away from companies and shops.

I know it seems dumb but this is we’re my autistic thoughts have been lately.

I’ve been wanting to get a new Laird custom just to have something to pass down to my future kids. Something that’s personal to me. But my Cult 2-Short is only 2 years old and still looking great. My wife also wants me to get a frame with removable brake mounts to pass down.

I was supposed to order it Saturday but Hurricane Ian became a thing and I decided to hold off because I still think it’s coming to New Orleans and not Florida. And if it does go to Florida it might also hit NC where Laird is. I kinda took that as a sign to hold off on it. That’s when I started this mind set of “is this hurting the industry”.

Just curious on others thoughts of my irrational mind set. Blame my autism.


9/26/2022 4:39 PM

Nah man, go for it! You're supporting an independent frame maker. Plus you can make the frame your very own


It’s all bmx

9/26/2022 5:00 PM
Edited Date/Time: 9/26/2022 5:14 PM

I've been in contact with John Corts for a custom. He's a lot more open minded than Laird in terms of what he's willing to do. If you want extra gussets, tucked seat stays, different style headtube or bottom bracket, a wishbone, custom color, and other random do-dads then Corts is probably your man. If it's a time sensitive issue and you don't mind a more basic looking frame then Laird is the way to go. John makes a ton of fleet frames for other small companies so his runs for customs only roll around a few times per year. Laird pretty much only does customs.

Standard also makes incredible custom frames. I'm not sure the exact cost but it's gotta be comparable to what the custom makers are charging. Dutch makes awesome stuff but he's tits deep into producing T-1 Barcodes and SFAs so I'm not sure what his availability is. Standard operates in Iowa, Corts along the NY/PA boarder, and Dutch somewhere on the east coast. Laird's custom slots fill up quickly every month so there's no guarantee that you'd have a frame by the end of the year if you order from him now so I wouldn't worry about the Hurricane. Doesn't hurt to ask what his timeline is.

What these guys offer for 5-600 bucks is awesome when you compare that to buying a new S&M or a Sunday that is going to run you at least $500. You may as well drop a little extra and get something that you really want. If the bigger bike companies want to earn your business then they have to compete. These are dudes just trying to make a living like anyone else. And most custom frame builders still sponsor jams, judge contests, dig at their local trails, or get on skatepark committees to keep the scene alive. So "hurting the industry" literally doesn't exist in this circumstance.


9/26/2022 9:07 PM

You would be helping the tree, starting at the roots..


It is not because things are difficult that we do not dare, it is because we do not dare that they are difficult: Seneca

9/27/2022 3:53 AM

I have an Australian-made custom frame, and I have zero regrets. I’m supporting a fellow riders small business, and by extension his family and community. It’s as grassroots as it gets. It’s also exactly what I want with no compromise and it’s less than your average American-made production frame.

I think custom frames appeal to a niche enough market that the broader impact is probably negligible to “larger” companies but immeasurable to the small frame makers


10/5/2022 6:16 PM

Just wanna say thanks for the opinions. I held off on the custom until now. Wanted to make sure New Orleans and North Carolina wasn't getting touched by Ian. I'm gonna hit up Corts to see what we can do but I've had a custom from Laird before. It was perfectly fine. I had "TISEO" on the bridge but I donated it for the Tiseo Jam last year to help get donations for Ms. Anita.

Honestly I'll probably just copy the 2 Shorts geo, maybe raise the BBH, and get my nickname on the bridge this time and find someone to do custom headtube badges with my old YouTube logo. I also want to see if Corts could give me the blocky bottom gusset that the Hoffman Taj has. Was gonna see if he could make my bottom tube like the old 90s/early 2000s Schwinns but that's just too much. LOL

But yeah. Just wanna say thanks guys.