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Thanks everyone for sharing your latest builds.  I think I'll go with a custom made steel frame... but nothing too crazy in terms of price.  Any suggestions on a value oriented builder for a ss cross bike?

 

Also, how do I get started with wheels?  Any suggestions on a relatively inexpensive bombproof build including where to find?  It's hard to gain info just scanning the web.. .mostly 'track' wheels pop up... with a mention they may last a season of CX... 

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One custom builder to look into is Tom Teesdale. He's been building forever and does great work. Pricing is extremely competitive, but note that his paint isn't the most durable.

 

Looking at wheels, you first need to decide which spacing you want on the rear of the bike. 120, 130 or 135. Or greater, should you choose. I recommend 130mm, is it will give you the most options moving forward.

 

If you're looking for inexpensive, look for older 6 or 7 speed rear road hubs. They had screw-on freewheels and work great. You can build a dishless wheel with these and use the threads for a freewheel.

 

Or, watch ebay for a set of hand built wheels. Just use spacers and a rear cog, and you're good to go. Note that with 130 spacing, you can use just about any road wheel set, (but do note that you can't get campy SS cogs, so you'll have to stay away from their cassette hubs).

 

Best of luck.

As a note on the none durable paint; on frames that I am worried about the getting messed up I put a protecting film on it.

http://www.excelsports.com/main.asp?page=8&description=Frame+Pr...

 

I had to go through the wheel spacing choice as well so here are some of the points that I had to think about.  Most of the season I raced on a Surly CrossCheck (horizontal drops with front opening) with the Surly Tugnut to hold the rear wheel inplace in addition to the quick release.  Benifits of this is that I was using 130 spacing and thus could just swap the spacer/cog setup onto any of my normal tubular wheels.

On the choice for rear wheels and spacing and SS rear drop outs for my Wife's custom SS we went with 120 spacing.  The rational was that since for 130 wheels we have are all quick release and thus liable to slip forward underload and a longer axle bolt inplace wheel would be specific for the bike we might as well have the narrower stays and option of readily available track/SS hubs.  I know that for the Redline SS prototype the production model created the discussion around the best solution for the rear wheel securing (long axle bolt down vs. a shim/spacer solution with QR).

 

Personally I will also race geared in addition SS I will want 130 interchangeable wheels to make use of the face carbon tubulars my speed doesn't justify.

I would check out Peter Dreesens at www.dreesensbicycles.com

25 years of experience very competitive pricing.  Many paint options.  His a personal friend so yes I am biased. 

Here's a bike he did for me two years ago:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/dreesensbicycles/3990710967/in/set-721...

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