Which Custom Frame Builder

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8/1/2018 4:22 AM

I have finally decided to get a custom frame. I'm picky about what I want in a frame and can't find the perfect one so I'm just gonna say fudge it and get a custom.

Question is who do I go with? I know Laird and FBM are the main ones. I heard Standard did them as well but the link isn't working on their site. Solid sells the parts to make a custom but they don't actually do it.

Who should I go with? I heard great things about both. Nothing negative about either. I have pros and cons on both like FBM won't let me pay it all upfront but FBM has the legacy. Laird does custom designs but I can't get a integrated seat clamp.

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8/1/2018 4:32 AM

S&M also does customs. There are others as well.... Less "mainstream", more local guys in differing areas. I can't speak to any of them, however but thought you might want to look in your local area.

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8/1/2018 4:40 AM

Mishinn_Control wrote:

S&M also does customs. There are others as well.... Less "mainstream", more local guys in differing areas. I can't speak to any of them, however but thought you might want to look in your local area.

Only reason I didn't say S&M is because their's are just custom versions of other frames. I'm looking for my own whole frame.

As far as local, that shit don't exist here. LOL. The closest machine shop is an hour away and I doubt they do anything with bikes. Louisiana really isn't a BMX place.

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8/1/2018 4:57 AM

I think they just do that (base their customs off one of their standard frames) because it is an easy starting point for most people who may not understand the overall geo they are looking for. I mean, they pretty much ask you for everything you may want, even down to the serial number. LOL. Anyway, just wanted to throw it out there just in case. Let us know what you go with!

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8/1/2018 6:32 AM

stout bikes is good, and from Texas. Other than that I'd go with Laird frame. If you want really custom stuff like double toptube, platforms, crazy shit then Standard is the place, but you have to actually call or email them.

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fack off

8/1/2018 6:54 AM

Laird frame
/thread

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I don't crash, I do random gravity checks...

8/1/2018 7:06 AM

Standard or FBM.

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8/1/2018 7:16 AM

you can't get an integrated seat clamp? as in, you don't want one or Laird won't make one?

I know for a fact that Laird does both integrated and non integrated seat post clamps. Just contact him.

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8/1/2018 7:44 AM

WiteMic wrote:

Only reason I didn't say S&M is because their's are just custom versions of other frames. I'm looking for my own whole frame.

As far as local, that shit don't exist here. LOL. The closest machine shop is an hour away and I doubt they do anything with bikes. Louisiana really isn't a BMX place.

It’s still better than here in Mississippi lmao. I found out the centerhill skatepark from back in the day is still standing (in derelict). I’m gonna go some time and check it out to see if it’s still rideable (indoor skatepark), but otherwise everyone here is fat so bmx isn’t really a thing here. The S&M thing is true to an extent, the frames are indeed fully custom, they’re just branded as stock frames. You basically can get almost any geo you want, but FBM can be better than S&M about customs.

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8/1/2018 11:13 AM

Have a play on their websites. Lairdframe and S&M both have good websites for seeing what options are available.
On the Laird site, it’s specifies ‘park’ when you build so I’m not sure if that’s a indication that they may not stand up to hard ‘street’ riding.
The S&M option is good, as mentioned above; you can pick a starting point and depending on what starting point you go with determins what options are available.
I’ve been looking at both and if you want to mess with SO then Laird is the way.
If money isn’t an issue, I think I’d go for the S&M
1. S&M
2. Laird
3. FBM

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If you build it, they will come

8/1/2018 11:17 AM

Laird frame , duh he’s got the titanium !

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8/1/2018 1:50 PM

Fbm without a doubt. And not just because I'm a fan boy.
I'd be wary of s&m after the state of the welds on the last barcodes.
Laird frames just don't flick my switch.

I can't fault a single thing with my frame, it's amazing!
If you want extras that fbm don't list, it will cost more. But you'd need to discuss all that with John Lee anyway. He's a rad guy. And you'll be able to pay all in one go if you email him. They get their tubes from solid, so anything on the solid site, you can get (plus other stuff, like wishbones etc. I've never looked into the cost of that though).

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8/1/2018 2:28 PM

Neither S&M, FBM, or Laird make 100% perfect museum quality dime stacked welded frames... At least not consistently.

S&M does offer a complete 1yr free replacement on any of their hard-goods (frames, bars, stems... ect.) that develops a break. Oh and a lifetime discounted warranty upgrade for the life of the part.

Also, S&M would be the least "wary" company I could think of since you can directly contact the owner if you aren't happy with your purchase.

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8/1/2018 2:47 PM

Bryan91 wrote:

Neither S&M, FBM, or Laird make 100% perfect museum quality dime stacked welded frames... At least not consistently.

S&M does offer a complete 1yr free replacement on any of their hard-goods (frames, bars, stems... ect.) that develops a break. Oh and a lifetime discounted warranty upgrade for the life of the part.

Also, S&M would be the least "wary" company I could think of since you can directly contact the owner if you aren't happy with your purchase.

Least wary? Yet you can contact the owner of fbm or laird directly too......

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8/1/2018 3:01 PM
Edited Date/Time: 8/1/2018 3:01 PM

i would 100% go with mike laird hes the cheapest and has best welds. s&m is like yea we have custom frames but limited options.... u cant get like a 10 inch stand over or 76 degree headtube from them or standard. mike does everything. i was going to get a laird frame built couple of years ago but i bought a motorcycle instead

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8/1/2018 3:17 PM
Edited Date/Time: 8/1/2018 3:19 PM

Bryan91 wrote:

Neither S&M, FBM, or Laird make 100% perfect museum quality dime stacked welded frames... At least not consistently.

S&M does offer a complete 1yr free replacement on any of their hard-goods (frames, bars, stems... ect.) that develops a break. Oh and a lifetime discounted warranty upgrade for the life of the part.

Also, S&M would be the least "wary" company I could think of since you can directly contact the owner if you aren't happy with your purchase.

grumpySteve wrote:

Least wary? Yet you can contact the owner of fbm or laird directly too......

I don't see Steve, or Mike's personal email on their site?

What's Laird's warranty? I don't see anything on their site...

Again, I'm not "wary" of any of the three companies I mentioned, but if I had to be based off the above info alone S&M would be the "least" (especially given their warranty). .

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8/1/2018 3:53 PM

Bryan91 wrote:

Neither S&M, FBM, or Laird make 100% perfect museum quality dime stacked welded frames... At least not consistently.

S&M does offer a complete 1yr free replacement on any of their hard-goods (frames, bars, stems... ect.) that develops a break. Oh and a lifetime discounted warranty upgrade for the life of the part.

Also, S&M would be the least "wary" company I could think of since you can directly contact the owner if you aren't happy with your purchase.

grumpySteve wrote:

Least wary? Yet you can contact the owner of fbm or laird directly too......

Bryan91 wrote:

I don't see Steve, or Mike's personal email on their site?

What's Laird's warranty? I don't see anything on their site...

Again, I'm not "wary" of any of the three companies I mentioned, but if I had to be based off the above info alone S&M would be the "least" (especially given their warranty). .

In the case of Laird Frame, the email on the site is Mike's personal email

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8/1/2018 5:07 PM

grumpySteve wrote:

Least wary? Yet you can contact the owner of fbm or laird directly too......

Bryan91 wrote:

I don't see Steve, or Mike's personal email on their site?

What's Laird's warranty? I don't see anything on their site...

Again, I'm not "wary" of any of the three companies I mentioned, but if I had to be based off the above info alone S&M would be the "least" (especially given their warranty). .

p1p1092 wrote:

In the case of Laird Frame, the email on the site is Mike's personal email

If you email fbm at any of their email addresses you'll get through to John Lee or Mike Erb...... But, they're a company, so why would you want their personal email address anyway?

That's all irrelevant anyway. I base my opinion on my experience, and that is that my frame is very very well built. I have no complaints whatsoever (although bullet capped stays not costing $55 extra would be nice, as that's what I'll have on my next one)

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8/1/2018 6:47 PM

Bryan91 wrote:

I don't see Steve, or Mike's personal email on their site?

What's Laird's warranty? I don't see anything on their site...

Again, I'm not "wary" of any of the three companies I mentioned, but if I had to be based off the above info alone S&M would be the "least" (especially given their warranty). .

p1p1092 wrote:

In the case of Laird Frame, the email on the site is Mike's personal email

grumpySteve wrote:

If you email fbm at any of their email addresses you'll get through to John Lee or Mike Erb...... But, they're a company, so why would you want their personal email address anyway?

That's all irrelevant anyway. I base my opinion on my experience, and that is that my frame is very very well built. I have no complaints whatsoever (although bullet capped stays not costing $55 extra would be nice, as that's what I'll have on my next one)

Personal "work" email...

I'm just trying to prove that S&M will take care of you if you think you didn't get the quality you expected.

Also, they have a pretty nice warranty for an American made company.

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8/1/2018 9:22 PM

Laird or Standard

Ric and Mike talk 1on1 with you

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8/1/2018 10:15 PM

Bryan91 wrote:

Personal "work" email...

I'm just trying to prove that S&M will take care of you if you think you didn't get the quality you expected.

Also, they have a pretty nice warranty for an American made company.

Just saying i have personally seen some pretty shitty welds on frames made by s&m, but have never seen a shitty weld by john corts. And most people i know ride an fbm. John takes so much pride in his work, he wont let something fucked up get sold. You won’t need a waranty if you don’t break the frame...

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8/2/2018 7:05 AM

Get FBM. FBM is god. Got my custom through FBM and they were really nice and helpful the entire time.

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8/2/2018 7:53 AM

grumpySteve wrote:

If you email fbm at any of their email addresses you'll get through to John Lee or Mike Erb...... But, they're a company, so why would you want their personal email address anyway?

That's all irrelevant anyway. I base my opinion on my experience, and that is that my frame is very very well built. I have no complaints whatsoever (although bullet capped stays not costing $55 extra would be nice, as that's what I'll have on my next one)

Bryan91 wrote:

Personal "work" email...

I'm just trying to prove that S&M will take care of you if you think you didn't get the quality you expected.

Also, they have a pretty nice warranty for an American made company.

blaaaaaaaaa wrote:

Just saying i have personally seen some pretty shitty welds on frames made by s&m, but have never seen a shitty weld by john corts. And most people i know ride an fbm. John takes so much pride in his work, he wont let something fucked up get sold. You won’t need a waranty if you don’t break the frame...

The recent Steadfast bike check on their site has some "purely aesthetic" welds that are by no means 10/10:

Original image here.

I'm not talking shit on FBM, but it seems like people here claim every frame is 100% perfect and free from any aesthetic weld issues... That's just not true and the same can be said about S&M, or laird.

No frame will last forever... Having the option to replace parts after years of abuse at a reduced cost isn't a bad thing.

Also, my next frame will likely be an FBM, so I'll be happy to see if the hype is real.

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8/2/2018 7:59 AM
Edited Date/Time: 8/2/2018 8:00 AM

Pedal Driven Cycles!

(deep breath) AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHA

I'd personally go with FBM. Give your money to guys who live and breathe BMX. Plus they have a bit of a sense of obligation to not be shady business men.

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8/2/2018 10:13 AM

Laird or fbm.

The s&m customs are a joke imo. Literally not even really custom versions of their own frame it's their frames and you pick out of the dimensions they have selected. What's even the point lol. Plus 550 base price and then 100 dollars more for transparent paint? Lol. Same with their custom bars. Customs are good when you want something hard to find or completely not done yet not just generic angles and geometry. If I'm paying that much i want it to be a real custom with everything I want.

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8/2/2018 10:40 AM

Four wrote:

Laird or fbm.

The s&m customs are a joke imo. Literally not even really custom versions of their own frame it's their frames and you pick out of the dimensions they have selected. What's even the point lol. Plus 550 base price and then 100 dollars more for transparent paint? Lol. Same with their custom bars. Customs are good when you want something hard to find or completely not done yet not just generic angles and geometry. If I'm paying that much i want it to be a real custom with everything I want.

I agree 100%.

I would love to have S&M make me a custom bar, but I'll be damned if I'm paying $150 + Shipping.

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8/2/2018 11:05 AM

It's a bit different with the frames I think. Fbm offers a few options for each part, but anything over that will cost more. Same with laird. I could get a custom credence ccr for less than a custom fbm with bullet capped stays. S&m have a large variety of frames, so customising one you like by tweaking the geometry is no less beneficial than picking from a list of options.
They all charge a lot for fancy paint.

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8/2/2018 12:07 PM

I could definitely make due with the custom options on S&M's website, but I fully understand people wanting to choose their exact geo (within reason).

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8/2/2018 2:32 PM

Four wrote:

Laird or fbm.

The s&m customs are a joke imo. Literally not even really custom versions of their own frame it's their frames and you pick out of the dimensions they have selected. What's even the point lol. Plus 550 base price and then 100 dollars more for transparent paint? Lol. Same with their custom bars. Customs are good when you want something hard to find or completely not done yet not just generic angles and geometry. If I'm paying that much i want it to be a real custom with everything I want.

Bryan91 wrote:

I agree 100%.

I would love to have S&M make me a custom bar, but I'll be damned if I'm paying $150 + Shipping.

Yeah I was looking today and got stoked when I saw "custom bars" then clicked on it to see it's the exact same height width box size as the current models lol. Again not really custom. Maybe one day I'll find bars I can comfortable ride at 23.5/24 and have room to hold haha

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8/2/2018 2:37 PM

grumpySteve wrote:

It's a bit different with the frames I think. Fbm offers a few options for each part, but anything over that will cost more. Same with laird. I could get a custom credence ccr for less than a custom fbm with bullet capped stays. S&m have a large variety of frames, so customising one you like by tweaking the geometry is no less beneficial than picking from a list of options.
They all charge a lot for fancy paint.

When looking at them though they dont offer any interesting features. You cant go super lower or high on the standover, steep or mellow on the ht, you cant get like a 12.1 cs length. They're all just small differences that aren't really unique such as a .5 steeper or mellow ht or .25 shorter cs. For some people that's okay but if I spent 600 dollars on a frame I'd want it to be a real custom. and I think laird does any color for 35.

As far as custom builders go I think laird has the best options, lightest frames, and cheapest price.

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