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  • Tim Ashton

    Looks great!

    • GregpR1

      Cheers, I’m pretty happy with the result :)

  • Laurens

    Gorgeous bike! And can I ask that we skip all the obligatory ‘Italy and Asia don’t mix’ comments? Because they do.

    • GregpR1

      Can I say that close to 50% of the bikes in Ernesto Colnago’s museum are running shimano, so if it’s good enough for him it’s more than good enough for me!

  • chop

    Yep certainly stands out and is very nice!
    A question re crank length for you Greg – you say you have 175mm cranks, and that you’re halfway between small and medium frame size – is there a reason you went for 175 vs eg. 172.5 which i thought would’ve been normal for a smaller frame size?

    • GregpR1

      Yep, I run 175mm cranks. My saddle height is 745mm BB-saddle with 223mm setback (BB to centre of saddle) I have relatively long femur vs torso. My original bike fit had me on 175mm cranks so I tried it out when I built the C59 and all knee pain gone so I have stuck with it ever since. Generally with the smaller frames I can’t get the saddle setback I prefer (seat tube angle), thus the position over the pedal is too far fwd plus they generally have short head tube.

  • Simon

    Nice bike but as it’s full custom did you consider a slightly longer HT /increased TT slope angle to minimise spacers?

    • GregpR1

      Truth be told I did originally consider the same length head tube as the 52s C59 of 163mm, but one unknown was the top bearing spacer and I was always happy to have up to 20mm spacer as it is in the photo’s, however I am still playing with it and plan to lower it when I get the right spacers. but it will still have at least 15mm I suspect. Plus there is also the consideration I might one day sell it, but I doubt it :)

  • Michele

    My immediate thought was it looked like a Cipollini. Or something the team named after him would ride.

    On further inspection, it’s a great looking bike.

    I always look at the pictures first then read the article. Must admit I was wondering what was going on with the wheelset in the shots, but it all makes perfect sense now :-)

    Nice lunchtime read.

    • GregpR1

      Yeah the wheels without labels are a Reynolds C32 up front an my re-built Assault in the back. Having finished the rear build only a couple of weeks before I dropped the bike off to Matt for the photo’s I’m happy to say the are my preferred wheels, with the Freo doctor here in Perth the front C32 works a treat in cross winds, kinda like a cheaper version of Enve 3.4

      • Dom

        Nothing like almost getting blown in to the river when your crossing the Stirling Highway Bridge and the seabreeze is in.

  • VK

    I don’t understand why are there spacers under the stem if this is a fully custom built frame. It will look much better with higher headtube and a slammed stem, with protruding steerer tube to account for aging spine. Please enlighten me.

    • CR

      i was thinking the exact same thing, weird you would go to all that trouble and not finish it off.

      • VK

        Sort of defeat the main purpose of a custom built frame? Taller heat tube, higher gradient on top tube, bigger front triangle.. yes maybe it affects the rigidity a little. But I would imagine a protruding steerer tube will have similar if not greater effect. Parlee counters this on their Z5 with a headtube that rises above the top tube, not to everyone’s taste but that preserves the front end rigidity.

    • GregpR1

      I I’m still in the process of dropping the stem down, but at the time of photo’s I didn’t have the matching spacers I needed. That said as I mentioned above it will most likely still have 15mm of spacers under it. Yes I could have made the head tube longer, up to 10mm only in my opinion as I’m not a fan of more than that, but then that may also affect potential for resale should I ever consider it. Also I tend to ride in the drops frequently so whilst I could “Slam” the stem, it would be for looks only and I didn’t build it for looks alone. Cheers

      • VK

        Sounds reasonable, but you should never sell a bespoke bike like that IMO! I found shallow drop handlebar encourages me to stay in the drops longer, whilst negating any need for spacer on my setup. I used to ride in traditional drop handlebar (with spacer below stem), and realised who was I kidding… I am not young anymore.

  • Kieran Degan

    Beautiful bike. Striking colour. Perfect size for me too. If you ever want to offload it give me a call :P

    • Nancy Johson

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  • CC

    Great stuff, you and Tom Ritchey almost sound like soulmates :)

    • GregpR1

      A mate of mine has a Ritchey Breakaway, great bike & I’d love one sadly none of them fit me! I have read of a place in the states where you can actually go and make your own Carbon frame, could be another project one day……. well if the appropriate approvals were granted, which I doubt

  • Chris

    That’s a ripper bike. Striking. Glad you got what you wanted.

  • Narkie

    “I also have trouble fitting standard frame geometry. I find myself caught between small and medium sizes. Small frames have seattube angles that are typically too steep (usually 74°) with a short headtube, while a medium has my desired seattube angle (73°-73.5°) with reasonable headtube length, however the toptube length is a touch too long, requiring the use of a short stem.”

    Greg – I have this problem too, but it’ll be a while before I’ll be able to afford custom build. Do you have any suggestions of which off the rack frames got the closest to what you wanted.

    Cheers, and nice bike (thumbs up emoji)

    • GregpR1

      I still have my C59 in a 52s (550mm TT) which works well with a short 90mm stem, I pretty much have the contact points set up with the same measurements saddle height, setback, bars & drop etc.
      I was also looking at a Dogma 65.1 Think 2 frame set before I went with the Sarto, which have the head tube & seat tube angles which were close with a consistent seat tube angle across the frame sizes, Though the small size head tube is 130mm ish from memory which is too low for me.
      That said, those current frame sets (C60, F8, BMC etc) are similar in price to a custom and I really wanted to draw it up, plan it & build it so that’s why I went custom.
      I think the Scott addict has changed it’s geometry, but I already had a CR1 and wasn’t really a fan.
      For me I just broke out the old tech drawing skills (didn’t have any CAD packages and it’s been to long since I used them anyway) and drew up my frame & contact points then you can work from that, assuming you are sorted with you bike fit which I was.
      All I could suggest is know what you have, know what you want/need and work from there, that’s half the fun :)

  • Spider

    Sartorially splendid :)

  • Sean parker

    I really like the rear brake bridge and the matching flourish on the seat tube. Which is weird because that type of ostentation I don’t normally care for, it just works on this bike.

    • winkybiker

      Yes, that rear brake bridge is very elegant.

  • Nathen

    Very nice. I love my Sarto. Nothing has ever ridden quite like it. It makes every ride a pleasure.

  • winkybiker

    Nice bike. I don’t mind the spacers, preferring that look to a more slopey TT, or to a longer HT/ST combo which would maybe cover too much seatpost. I prefer that the rim depths match from a purely aesthetic perspective.

    • GregpR1

      Cheers, spacers don’t worry me, I certainly don’t want a longer seat tube or more compact look, Yes I could have made it 10mm longer or I may try a different bearing cap. Or i’ll just have to start again one day :) With the wheels I have matching front & rear but I have been trying this combo in the wind and feel it works well whilst maybe not as nice looking. Plus I wanted to try out my latest rebuild.

  • ninja

    great bike and great story behind it – well done on designing and bringing it all together yourself!

    • GregpR1

      Cheers, I’m pretty sure I love the process as much as riding it, and it’s been great to be able to try new things as well as spoil myself :)

  • Derek Maher

    Lovely machine. Plus custom build to your spec’s is the cream on top.

  • Flash

    Greg, magnificent bike, the lines, the quality finish everywhere.
    It will still look (and ride) great in decades to come.
    I am also a car nut, and they say – when you park your car if look back at it to admire it, then you have the right car.
    I imagine every time you look at your bike, you think Yeah, I have the right bike.

    • GregpR1

      Thanks, It might be the wallpaper on my work computer ;)
      I keep looking at the photo’s in this article as I’m away at work, so it can be a distraction :) like right now

  • velocite

    Terrific project Greg.

    I have never had a custom frame, but I have built my bike from a frameset and divers components and it does adds a dimension to your riding, doesn’t it? But whether it’s because I’m very adaptable or very insensitive – probably the latter – but the fine details of a bike’s physique are not critical for me, so this is very much an armchair question. Monocoque carbon fibre would appear to offer the greatest scope for designing in compliance and stiffness in various areas of the frame, so is it custom size v superior engineering?

    And why aluminium bars?

    • GregpR1

      I use alloy bars as I test rode a BMC with the equivalent Carbon bars on it, and I found they flex quite a bit in the drops, just like a set of Ritchie Carbon bars that came on my old CR1, it’s just a feeling I don’t like and saving a few grams wasn’t worth it for me. I love the 3T Ergonova shape so I just use it.
      No doubt custom is far easier with tube to tube construction, but I wouldn’t say Monocoque offers superior engineering just different options some better, perhaps some not.
      With tube to tube frame builders they can specify carbon layup and material type for their tubes, also with the likes of Formigli, Legend & Sarto (and others) when you are going custom you have to option to ask for specific ride traits, such as if you are a heavier sprinter the tube layup and joints bonding/wrapping can be adjusted to suit, same can apply if you are a light weigh climber. I know Renzo Formigli makes his own tube sets in Florence and they are not all round! others either do the same or order specific tube sets from their suppliers to meet requirements.

      • velocite

        Thanks for that reply. I just had a squiz at the Sarto website, and it’s an attractive story – I may end up the poorer for it!
        Did they have a recommended bottom bracket type or was it your choice? Or both?

        • GregpR1

          My choice was for the BSA, far easier to maintain for me as I’m set up for it but they do from memory offer various other options.
          I spent a long time (before I bought the C59 frameset in 2013) thinking about a custom build and what I wanted from the process. I wanted to be fully involved in the process from design through to final build & of how I wanted that to work. Perhaps had the opportunity provided itself I would have gone to Italy to visit Sarto themselves, but that wasn’t an option :)
          You’ll never be poorer for it as experience is priceless :) the bank account on the other hand……
          that said I priced C60, BMC & Pinnarello Willier etc framesets whilst at the TDU and they are pretty much in the same price range.
          Might pay to check out Formigli, Legend & Epoca as well just to make the choice a little harder :)

          • velocite

            I think that’s what I’d choose: don’t like the sound of press fit (pun sort of intended).
            And Sarto sounds like a good reason to visit Venice for the first time – and ride away. But I’d want to get hold of a really strong box to take it home in..

            • GregpR1

              My wife casually mentioned a desire to visit Venice, you can imagine my response :) sadly with the Au $ it’ll have to wait.
              I traveled over to Italy in 2014 with my C59 in my EVOC bike bag with no issues, and if the chance to go again comes up i’ll take the Sarto home as well :) the riding over there is simple awesome :) perhaps better after spring if you suffer from hey fever


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