The Beauty of Buying a Custom Bicycle
by Nick Legan — VeloNews technical editor, friend and client of Kevin Harvey
The flowing curve of a perfectly sculpted fillet braze or the refined beauty and crisp edges of a lugged joint. An immaculate paint job and perfectly proportioned geometry. All these things are special. But knowing they were each crafted just for you is priceless.
And what’s truly amazing is that those things are simply the result of a unique process. Those physical elements are the record of a framebuilder’s work. But they only tell half the story. The other half is about a buyer’s connection to a bicycle and its maker.
Buying a custom bicycle frame is one of the last transactions in the modern world that is both tailored and for recreation. You should enjoy the process. You and the builder get to know each other. Questions are asked, measurements are taken, habits are discussed.
It can become easy to obsess over the minutia of your new frame, especially when the expense is considered. But if you’ve found the right builder, connected with him and gotten to know each other, even a little bit, you should trust that you’re in good hands.
A handmade frame is an artifact and acts as a marker of a craftsman’s ability. Perfection is often sought, but rarely achieved. But that is beside the point. The experience of buying a custom bike is deeply personal. And the bike that your custom builder renders for you acts as a reminder of that. Every time you throw a leg over your steed, you can smile in the knowledge that no one else in the world has a bike, or the experience, quite like yours.