Aero Stock bike vs Custom

So I have committed to buying a custom bike. I will obv ask them also but curious what everyone’s thoughts are here.

I have become a complete roadie and have a road race bike I very much like (Trek Emonda) - but I’m not married to it.

My plan was to get them to build me an all-road bike that I could put fenders on, a rack, and have interchangeable gravel tires (for the occasional gravel path I like).

Then the more I thought about it, since my most favorite and used bike will be the road bike, what if I got them to make me a road bike and I sold / traded the Emonda for a used all road bike.

The custom bike will be titanium and I’ve read that that tube shape is less aero than the specifically shaped carbon frames…so that’s why I was thinking stick with the Emonda bike for the racier one.

sorry my question is a little rambly…would love any insight

It depends on the use case whether a little bit more aero will make much difference for you.

I think definitely you want a dedicated road race bike and a dedicated gravel or allroad bike. Swapping tires to go on a ride IMO sucks.

I’d be inclined to keep the Emonda and have the Ti as your all road bike.


I think custom makes WAY more sense for a do it all oddball have every mounting option in the world kind of bike. Umbrella holder, flask mount braze ons…that sort of thing.

Unless you’re a chimpanzee or grizzlie bear trying to ride a bike where you cannot find a frame your body fits on for some reason…there is minimal benefit to custom for a road bike IMO. And agreed…a newer emonda will absolutely just be a better race bike than a titanium bike, custom or not.


my use case is basically I really like to get faster…I have some specific rides I do (usually ~60-90 minutes) and it motivates me to get my time lower and lower.

most of my rides are a commute to work - but I use them for training…so I have several set routes depending on my mood and my energy / recovery levels.

If you aren’t racing or doing very competitive group rides where you would be at a disadvantage if you didn’t have aero wheels, for example, then small aero differences aren’t going to mean much. I mean, is riding your 60 minute ride one minute faster going to do much for you?

Based on what you do, you could go any which way. It sounds like you want a nice bike with fenders and a rack for your commuting. I’d keep the Emonda and have the Ti bike built up that way. The Ti bike could be your fast commuter and the Emonda, your weekend “race” bike.

I enjoy riding my gravel bike (S-Works Crux) but after some gravel rides, getting back on my road bike feels like I’m getting into my Porsche. It’s nice to have both.

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IMHO, there are such great road bikes available from major manufacturers, and they are evolving so fast that it makes more sense to buy the best aero road bike you can afford. A custom all road bike, on the other hand, is where your particular preferences and needs really come into play. I’d build my custom bike for a custom application.


If you’re somewhere within the bell curve of average human dimensions than the right stock bike would likely fit well enough. And an aero bike would be a smidge faster.

You’re correct that a round tube hitting the wind at ~90 degrees (ie, handlebars and seat tube) isn’t great.

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An additional note…I just found out over the weekend that the system six clears 38mm tires. No need for a second bike for anything with that!

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Not much to add here besides that I have a custom Ti allroad bike with fenders, mounts, etc and I love it. However, while it’s plenty fast, it’s not a cf race rocket, either.

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