Designing your custom bike is more about “who” you are than “what” you are.
Buying a custom bike that doesn’t yet exist is a scary thing to do. Add to that the choice of builders and it can be an overwhelming proposition. Some of the most common concerns I hear are “how can I be sure I’ll get what I want when I may not even know myself”? “What if I take my measurements incorrectly?” Or “Don’t you need to see me on my bike?” I sell almost everything I build to customers I’ll never see in person and I guarantee satisfaction. I can do this because I’ve developed a system that allows me to accurately get information from you and spot any mistakes you may make. Through conversation I collect information that gives me insights to your past experiences, priorities and goals even if you haven’t given them much thought or are unaware of them.
I understand taking your measurements and feeling good about them can be intimidating. To assure that you have taken the measurements correctly I have included a couple “flag” measurements that double check your accuracy. I also look for inconsistencies between your experiences, body measurements and bike measurements. If any inconsistencies occur I’ll ask questions to pinpoint the reasons for the inconsistencies. When confirming information I use an approach that will prevent you from accidentally contaminating the information. Once I have the information and we feel good about its accuracy I’ll start to work towards a specific design outline.
In a way your frame is already designed. It’s a product of your goals. You may not know how to get to them but I do. It’s my job to understand your goals and priorities and that is done through conversation. Body measurements are important but what you have to say is just as important. The key to designing your frame is to understand your unique experiences. You can take two different individuals with identical body size and type and the correct design for each can vary radically, even if they have the same goals. The reason is experience. A person’s reality is a product of their experiences. Without understanding what a person’s experiences have been, you cannot understand what their reality is.
In our conversations we discuss in regular language what you want from your new bike. I’ll want to know things like how you ride it, time in the saddle, road surface, geography and use. We’ll also discuss things like lightness, durability, intended service life and price. As I gain understanding of your goals we’ll identify a list of priorities. Starting at the top we work from one priority to the next to design the frame/bike that will meet those requirements. I break the design process into four main categories; fit, geometry, ride characteristics and configuration and we break each of those categories into a series of even smaller choices. The idea is that if we break down the design process into bite-sized decisions; you will understand and feel comfortable with each choice that we make. In the end, once you “ok” the design you’ll have a deep understanding of the design and you’ll feel confident in the outcome. It’s this detailed approach which begins the day of deposit (order date) and continues through sign-off that will assure you’ll KNOW you’re going to get what you want.
For a more details description of my design process please see my Ordering Process Here.