To save my creaky old fingers from some typing, here’s a collection of the most common questions people have mailed me about.
Do feel free to drop me a line and say ‘Hi’ though 🙂
Do you have to send the manufacturer a drawing of what you want made, how do you start the order?
Firstly you need an idea of what you’re after. This can be based on a bike you already own or you can be inspired by something made by another company. In general you don’t need to worry about giving them a finished CAD drawing – some sketches, a list of key dimensions plus some pictures of any unusual details is a great place to start.
How long will it take to arrive once I’ve approved the drawings?
It partly depends on how busy they are and what time of year it is (watch out for Chinese New Year) but you should get your frame in four to six weeks.
How much does it cost to get a frame made?
Handily enough I’ve just posted about that over here: http://www.spanner.org.uk/2017/03/how-much-did-your-bike-cost-then-mister/
What are the different options I can have with a frame and how much do they cost?
These are some prices from XACD, the list is a few years old now but it will give you an idea of what’s possible. Titan and Waltly should be able to do something similar but won’t necessarily charge any extra for it.
Don’t be afraid to haggle or state what you would think to be a fair price and see how it goes.
Custom MTB frame: $495
Cold Worked Stress Relieved (CWSR) tubes: $35
Double butted tubes: $80
Triple butted tubes: $135
Bending down tube: $95
Bending small tube between toptube and seattube: $35
Breeze style dropout: $35
Breeze style dropout with replaceable hanger: $85
Litespeed style dropout: $95
Quality control with radiography, etc… : $290 +
Engraving on headtube: $65
Engraving on downtube: $135
Design logo polished onto both sides of the downtube with sand blast finish on the rest of the bike: $80
Design logo polished on inside of chainstay on 1 side: $40
Engraving chainstay: $65
Head tube gusset with 2 plates welded: $45
Head tube gusset CNC machined: $155
Brush finish: $50
How much import duty/VAT will I have to pay?
That, of course, depends on your local customs laws! I was lucky with customs as both my frames sailed through without attracting attention. Just in case be prepared to budget +15% import duty and then +20% VAT if you’re ordering from the UK.
Do you know anyone in the Far East who can make Steel or Aluminium frames instead of Titanium?
I’ve heard that Maxway are a friendly bunch, although they’ll probably want a minimum order of 100 frames or so – have an ask and see what they say.