Frame Builder Minor Thread

In the market for a second fun training road bike and racer. I finally broke myself out of the “which carbon frame from what major manufacturer am i going to buy”-loop; and realized that there are both a bevy of amazing artisans out there and that ti and steel tube tech is pretty advanced these days.

Wanted to poll the brain trust here for best builders out there these days and if anyone is riding something they couldn’t live without.

I know a ton of the usual suspects, Speedvagen, Mosaic, Moots, Strong, Hollands, 333fab, Rodriguez (used to own one), Seven, Baum, Firefly, FiftyOne, English, no22 etc. Wondering if I’m missing anyone I should be looking at for steel or ti.

Also found VYNL (thanks @pete) and Low in San Francisco working in AL.

Any and all recommendations are welcome. Figure there is a great treasure trove of information held within the two two-dimensional walls of this forum and the big brains of its denizens.

Thanks to all in advance for recommendations and gear reviews.

If you expand your material wish list to carbon, I strongly recommend Calfee. I’ve been riding and formerly raced a Dragonfly for 16 yrs.


Calfee is great. If people don’t know they do amazing repair work too.

But at least in this search, kind of looking for a soul/bombproof race frame builder.



I have a custom hardtail from Horse and if I had the disposable income to consider a second road bike I’d gladly give Thomas my hard earned cash. I’ve seen some road race/all road bikes he’s built and they’re beauties. His paint shop, Horse Cycles Paint, does top notch custom work too.

Thanks, saw them. Nice stuff.

Stelbel puts out some beautiful product, however I hear the work is not really theirs.

Rikalau in Taiwan is apparently one of the best Ti workshops out there this side of Moots and Firefly.


I’d go with Rob English for a steel race bike.

I have a Strong Ti and don’t think Carl does steel any longer. Have sent many friends to Moots, Seven and Firefly. All good.

  • Mark

2004 Tetra Pro is my main road ride. For the Calfee counters out there :-]