Finding a bike on the showroom floor that meets your individual needs as a cyclist can be harder than you might think. Allow us to introduce you to the wonderful world of custom bikes. In this round up, we’ve put together a Who’s Who of custom bike makers in the U.S.
To keep things interesting, we decided to highlight a specific bike or specialty or process to show you how these makers are putting their mark on the world of cycling.
- Stoemper: Custom Road and Cross Bikes
- ENVE: Custom Road Bikes
- Pursuit Cycles: Custom Gravel Bicycles
- Human Electric Hybrids: Custom E-Bikes
- Untitled Cycles: Custom Bikes for Women
- Zinn Cycles: Custom XL Mountain Bikes
- Quiring Cycles: Custom Fat Bikes
- ARBR: Custom Travel Bikes
- The Vanilla Workshop: Custom Randonneuring Bicycles
- Superstrata: Custom 3D Printed Bicycles
Stoemper: Custom Road and Cross Bikes
A great road or cross bike should be ridden hard and fast. It should also be able to take a beating. Accordingly, Stoemper makes custom bikes for riders that identify as being “reasonably serious about their riding but not too serious about themselves.” The team at Stoemper has been welding steel, titanium and aluminum frames for more than a decade. They handcraft each bicycle and all painting is done in-house. No two bikes coming out of this Minneapolis based shop are the same.
Stoemper custom bikes range from $2,500 to $4,000 with lead times generally around 3 months.
ENVE: Custom Road Bikes
ENVE has long been recognized as one of the best rim designers in the industry. But now, ENVE has re-entered the market as a custom road bike builder. The company has taken its hard-earned knowledge from building one of the most complex carbon structures in the sport to handcrafting a complete custom road bike.
ENVE builds each custom road bike at their headquarters in Ogden, Utah. Each fully-customized bike has a lead time of a little over 6 months. Keep in mind that the expertise and time brought to bear on every ENVE bike will cost you a pretty penny. The Custom Road bike ranges in price from $7,000 for a frameset to around $12,500 fully-equipped.
Pursuit Cycles: Custom Gravel Bikes
Pursuit Cycles out of Bozeman, Montana handcrafts custom gravel bikes and roads bikes to get you pretty much anywhere you want to go. The company’s gravel bikes have a longer wheelbase and higher stack than road bikes which offers versatility in terms of rim and tire combinations. In addition, each bike comes with tailored sizing and geometry. Pursuit Cycles tunes the layup to suit your individual needs—optimizing for weight and stiffness, impact resistance and vibration damping. Best of all, if you’re easy to fit, lead time can be as little as a few weeks. Expect to pay upwards of $4,800 for the frameset. Use the price calculator on the Pursuit Cycles website to get a more detailed estimate.
Human Electric Hybrids: Custom E-Bikes
The potential for customizations on an e-bike are practically limitless. Human Electric Hybrids has created everything from special needs e-bikes and e-trikes to custom fat tire e-bikes and turnkey e-bike conversions. So, whether you want to transform the bike you already know and love into an e-bike, or create a custom e-bike from scratch, Human Electric Hybrids in Ann Arbor, Michigan can help. Custom e-bike conversions start at $1,549.
Untitled Cycles: Custom Bikes for Women
For most of history, cycling has been a male dominated sport. However, things are changing. In 2020, women reported 47% more rides into Strava than they did in 2019. And with more women cyclists, custom bike builders are answering the call to handcraft custom bikes for women.
Untitled Cycles, run by Jacqueline Mautner, offers custom frames starting at $4,800. Mautner uses her degree in architecture and knowledge learned through mentoring with bike building greats to bring beauty and utility together in her custom bikes. Each of her bikes includes custom paint, lightweight yet strong butted tubing and internal cable routing.
Zinn Cycles: Custom Bikes for Big & Tall
Zinn Cycles in Boulder, Colorado specializes in custom bikes for big and tall cyclists. Lennard Zinn, the company’s 6’6″ founder, is well acquainted with the challenges that an average size bike presents to cyclists who aren’t average size. For instance, a custom bike for a tall cyclist calls for more than just scaling up the frame. There are also cranks and forks to consider, among other things, in order to ensure the best possible fit and ride. Currently, Zinn Cycles offers custom bicycles for budgets as low as $1,000 all the way up to more than $10,000.
Quiring Cycles: Custom Fat Bikes
Fat bikes are a relatively new phenomenon in the world of cycling. Consequently, finding a really good custom fat bike isn’t always easy. However, Quiring Cycles located in Free Soil, Michigan is proud to have joined the movement early-on for custom fat bike builds. In fact, they’ve been handcrafting fat bikes since 2010.
Quiring fat bikes are built to order, one at a time. The company pairs an aluminum, steel or titanium frame with a boxed yoke, which joins the BB shell to the chainstays. Prices range from $2,000 to $3,500 with a 6-10 week lead time.
ARBR: Custom Travel Bikes
Engineer and designer, Robert Barr, founded Arbr with the goal of producing the best 160mm travel bike on the market. The result? The Saker. This custom bicycle is made to order for those in search of an exclusive, premium quality bike with personal touches. The Saker’s rearward axle path glides over rough terrain, the 100 percent anti-squat characteristic makes climbing in low gears as efficient as possible, and the Autoclave Process used in building the frame is truly transformative. Arbr offers a 3 year limited warranty on their custom bikes and a crash replacement scheme. Contact Arbr to learn more about pricing and lead time.
The Vanilla Workshop: Custom Randonneuring Bicycles
As fast as a road bike and as well-equipped as a touring bike—say hello to the vintage style Vanilla randonnee. The Vanilla Workshop describes its custom randonneuring bicycle as being “like a race bike that won’t break” but also “with generators, fenders and a handle bar bag.” Every bike coming out of Portland’s Vanilla Workshop is designed and handcrafted by the company’s founder, Sacha White.
White builds each bike out of steel and uses silver to join all the lugs and tubes. Moreover, each piece of the bike is made in-house or crafted specifically for The Vanilla Workshop. Large demand and meticulous craftsmanship means the lead time on a Vanilla Workshop custom bike can be upwards of a few years. For a faster turnaround, consider the company’s handmade Speedvagen where lead times are as little as a few months and framesets start at just $3,395.
Superstrata: Custom 3D Printed Bicycles
Where does the future of bicycle technology lie? It’s potentially in 3D printing if you ask California-based, Superstrata. Superstrata is manufacturing the world’s first 3D-printed carbon fiber bikes and e-bikes. The company boasts that their 3D bicycles are “bespoke down to the spoke” with more than 500,000 unique combinations possible. You can order your own custom 3D printed bike for $2,799. Carbon fiber wheels can be added for $1,699.
With modern technology, the options for custom bicycles are limited only by your imagination. Each of the makers on our Who’s Who has something special to offer in the field in custom bikes. Leave a comment below to give a shout out to your favorite custom bike maker.
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