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FAQ - Custom vs. Semi-Custom



FAQ - Custom vs. Semi-Custom


To serve the needs of as many cycling enthusiasts as possible we have developed two processes for ordering one-off titanium frames. For the most part both avenues are the same, with the design, materials, build process, and finishing being common between the two.


  • Templated off of an existing model/platform with changes made as needed for fit and application.

  • Custom fitting included.

  • TiCycletubes 3/2.5 custom blended tube set.

  • Designed, Engineered, Finished by Ti Cycles in Portland; welded by a trusted subcontractor.

  • Delivery: ~12 weeks from finalized order.

  • $2350, frame only (as of 10/18)



  • Full custom, made to order, for any fit or application.

  • Custom fitting included.

  • Reynolds, Paragon Machine Works, and TiCycletubes 3/2.5 custom blended tube set.

  • Built from the ground up by Ti Cycles in Portland.

  • Delivery: ~12 months from finalized order.

  • $3200 and up, frame only (as of 10/18)

While every new bike project is unique, some are more so than others. Pricing guidelines reflect a general estimate, with specific totals depending on complexity, size, and level of detail.

Delivery times reflect our general turnaround. We may be able to deliver your frame or complete bike in a shorter time but please be prepared to wait for the duration.

All custom and semi-custom orders require complete pre-payment. Unfortunately we cannot make exceptions.


FAQ - 69er

FAQ - 69er

FAQ - 69er

FAQ - 69er


The advantages of a 69er setup are numerous, which is why motorcycles have had a larger front wheel and smaller rear wheel for decades. The idea has surfaced and resurfaced in the mountain bike community for years, beginning quietly in the 1980s and reaching a high point in the 1990s, with a brief resurgence in the 2000s that culminated in global companies like Trek releasing production models. Unfortunately the format fell victim to fashion and enthusiasm in the marketplace dwindled as bike companies began to push the more socially acceptable 29er to customers.

It has long been acknowledged that 26" wheels are not the best equipment for off road riding, but simply an industry standard dating all the way back to the 1960s when Gary Fisher, Joe Breeze, et al were racing modified 26" cruiser klunkers. It wasn't that riders wanted 26" wheels, it was that 26" wheels is what was readily available and compatible with existing frames.

Fast forward a couple decades to a time when mountain bikes make up a significant share of all bikes sold and global brands are keen to develop new SKUs to capture more sales. With a versatile manufacturing pipeline already in place big bike brands fueled the rapid rise of the 29er from anomaly to keystone; when assessing mountain biking sales, in August 2012 Bicycle Retailer and Industry News reported that, "Members of the Bicycle Product and Supplier Association (BPSA) shipped 100,000 more 29ers to shops in 2011 than they did in 2010, representing a $50.4 million increase in sales, more than 90 percent of last year’s sales gain." 

Today, when someone talks about their new mountain bike, they're likely not talking about a 26" bike. But the 29" wheel size hasn't proven perfect either, has it? Weight, acceleration, stand over... there are disadvantages with 29ers too. Would the combination of 26" and 29" wheels come a lot closer to bliss?

We think Goldilocks was on to something.

The benefits of a 29" front wheel are well documented and are the practical reason for 29" mountain bikes. A larger front wheel increases the "angle of attack" going forward, making rocks, logs, roots and other obstacles easier to clear. The larger wheel is also a more powerful gyroscope, making the bike more stable at speed and less likely to deviate from a line when it does encounter an obstacle. In addition, the larger wheel allows for a higher bottom bracket and in turn more clearance for obstacles.

The benefits of a 26" rear wheel are also long established and were the reason that wheel size dominated off road cycling for several generations. A smaller wheel provides for a shorter wheelbase and in turn a more quick and nimble ride. It also saves weight over a 29" wheel, as the latter is not as advantageous in the rear as in the front. Most importantly for performance, the smaller wheel size also requires less pedaling force to wind up, making acceleration faster and more efficient.

^ 2012 NAHBS // VPP 69er

There are clearly Pros and Cons to each, and the most recent 27.5"/650B wheel size has become the norm precisely because of the "too big" and "too small" arguments for/against 29" and 26" wheel sizes. Riders want the best of both worlds, but splitting the difference might not be the answer.

Rather than averaging the two sizes for a 3rd "standard", combining 29"/26" wheel setup provides the benefits of both wheel sizes with the drawbacks of neither. So much of mountain bike technology has been a trickle down from the motorcycle world, and to great results. Mountain bikes are ever lighter, plusher, and faster precisely because of the adaptation of moto-x tech, so it seems doubly strange that as one of the key fundamental concepts of function specific wheel sizes was not carried over.

^ 2010 NAHBS // Girder 69er

Years ago the predominant argument against the 69er setup was the inconvenience of carrying two different size tubes for spares; there was some practical logic in that during the era of seat bags and water bottles, but it seemed a bit frivolous by the time hydration bladders and shock pumps made backpacks the norm and sounds downright absurd in the modern age of tubeless tires (not to mention all manner of rider- and frame-mounted bags).

If you're a joiner rather than a leader, sticking with a vanilla twin wheel size might still be your choice. But for the ballers out there we continue to find the "69er" format to be the ultimate configuration for XC and Trail riding performance. We have been building frames around the 26/29 setup for years, and have integrated that option into MTB production bikes like the Bonestealer. Many of our personal MTBs have a bigger wheel up front, and all of our customers who are riding 69ers have had the undeniable real-world experience that proves the concept.






A professional fitting session with Dave is included with any bike or frame purchase and for optimal results we prefer to use data that we can confirm is correct. We of course realize that traveling to Portland for an hour long fit session is not always possible or practical and have several other options for setting up your dream bike.

Customers with existing fit data from another professional bike fitting service are welcome to use those numbers for their bike build. We can work off of measurements, CAD files, or X/Y data via Retül or similar fit devices. 

If no other fit data is available, we can work with four key measurements taken from another bike that has a comfortable fit. This data can be submitted via the form below. We will confirm all of the data before starting the build process but for obvious reasons we cannot take responsibility for the accuracy of data from another party.

Please note that "top" means top, "tip" means tip, "center" means center. Customers assume responsibility for the accuracy of all data provided; approximate at your own risk.


Specify millimeters (mm) or inches (in).
Take all measurements with bicycle on a level surface. Specify millimeters (mm) or inches (in).
From the nose of the saddle to the middle of the handlebar at the stem clamp. Specify millimeters (mm) or inches (in).
From the top of the bar at the stem clamp straight down to the floor. Specify millimeters (mm) or inches (in).
Horizontal distance between a vertical line from the tip of the saddle and a vertical line from the bottom bracket center, as marked with a plum bob. Specify millimeters (mm) or inches (in).
Specify millimeters (mm) or inches (in).






Please note that all of our steel repair, modification, and retrofit pricing is for the repair work only and does not include stripping or recover with paint or powder coat.  Paint and decals in/around the work area must be removed and/or distressed in the coupling process. Our refinishing options are as follows:

+$250 // Complete paint strip and recover with a single (1) color powder coat and interior framesaver. Many colors available. 

+$300 // Complete paint strip and recover with a single (1) color powder coat, interior framesaver, and single (1) color vinyl decals.

+$500 and up for custom wet paint and reproduced graphics with pricing depending on complexity.

Please note that while powder coating works great on metal frames and components it is meant as an industrial finish application and not for fine detail finish work. Customers choose powder coat because it is a sensible, durable, and economical coating. Customers who require a perfect cosmetic finish must use wet paint.

Please provide as many details and/or photos as possible for a detailed quote on your specific wet paint job.

All of our wet paint work is done in-house by Black Magic Paint.


Unless otherwise specified, all of our titanium repair, modification, and retrofit pricing includes moderate post-weld cleanup and cosmetic blending with the original finish on unpainted frames. Please note that paint and decals in/around the work area must be removed and/or distressed in the coupling process. Our refinishing options are as follows:

+$200 // Complete refinish in Matte Blasted raw titanium, no graphics.

+$250 // Complete strip and recover with a single (1) color powder coat and interior framesaver. Many colors available. 

+$300 // Complete paint strip and recover with a single (1) color powder coat, interior framesaver, and single (1) color vinyl decals.

+$300 // Complete refinish in Matte Blasted raw titanium with Bright Brushed contrasting graphics.

+$500 // Complete refinish in Bright Brushed raw titanium.

+$500 // Custom wet paint and reproduced graphics with pricing depending on complexity. 

Please note that while powder coating works great on metal frames and components it is meant as an industrial finish application and not for fine detail finish work. Customers choose powder coat because it is a sensible, durable, and economical coating. Customers who require a perfect cosmetic finish must use wet paint.

Please provide as many details and/or photos as possible for a detailed quote on your specific wet paint job.

All of our wet paint work is done in-house by Black Magic Paint.






Taking care of titanium is a breeze!
In a functional sense, regular maintenance and anti-sieze lubrication of threads will cover it. 
As far as cosmetics, raw titanium is as manageable and maintanable as it gets. Nothing to chip or peel or flake off. Life does however deliver the occasional scuff, and time will dull any bright material.


  • First thing is to thoroughly clean gunk and grime with Simple Green or similar no-residue environmentally safe cleaner. For best results, strip the frame completely of parts so you can get at every nook and cranny.

  • Use a 3M Scotch-Brite™ pad -- not steel wool -- that is clean and "sharp" (new or relatively flesh).

  • Brush the titanium with the Scotch-Brite pad firmly in the palm of your hand. It will take some elbow grease to get a good grain. We do not recommend using any type of power tool as the titanium can easily be compromised by too much concentrated abraison.

  • Brush with the grain of the material -- laterally around the circumference of the tube, not longitudinally along the tube.

  • Use long continuous motions to create long smooth grains. Go around the entire tube with the pad, then lift and move to the next section. Avoid dragging the pad, even slightly, in any direction not with the grain of the material.

  • Spray and rinse with Simple Green again. It should be nice and bright, and will feel very squeaky clean to the touch. Some water stain shadows may appear as the frame dries, but these are only on the surface and will wipe away.

  • To keep fingerprints off of the titanium, spray the frame with a bike polish (Finish Line and Pedros both make one) or sealant like Pledge, let it soak for 8-24 hours until it spreads evenly and starts to congeal, then wipe off (again always go around the tube with wiping or abrasion to keep the grain). Use normal common sense -- be sure sure not to spray any braking surfaces or components.







A: All pricing for products and services are set solely at the discretion of Ti Cycles Fabrication.


All quotes are based on the estimated time and materials required to complete the project. With decades in business for reference, most estimates are based on previous experience with the same or similar project and are generally pretty accurate. That said, please keep in mind that most initial estimates are made without having the actual materials in our shop for inspection.

To avoid an unnecessary sticker shock, we do our utmost to not underestimate any quote. Often the final invoice can be lower than the initial estimate, but each frame/failure/project is unique and there can always be complications and we would much rather our customers be pleasantly surprised than sourly disappointed. No matter how quick and easy a project might seem, it always takes longer and is more of a headache than imagined. If it were simple, anyone could do it! 😊

Take for instance a modification to a titanium frame. Moving brake bridges on classic road bikes is a great example; this is a regular modification to provide more clearance for modern road bike rim and tire dimensions, which are significantly larger on average than they were 10 years ago. Most folks would think this is a small, simple, 20 minute job, but it is far from it.


STEP ONE - Prep work to temove any existing paint or decals in the work area. Seat stays are a common place for decals.

STEP TWO - Remove the original material. This process is done by hand, includes many steps, and is done in a constrained work space of 1-2 inches in every direction but one. The seat tube is right there too. 
-- An initial series of rough cuts to remove the bulk of the bridge material;
-- A second pass of coarse file work to remove the remaining material;
-- A third pass with finer files to remove the original weld and any weld distortion;
-- Because there is an expectation of ultimately having a clean cosmetic finish a final pass with a fine abrasive is required to completely smooth the tube without removing excess material.

STEP THREE - Size and miter the new bridge. Original bridges are almost always unusable after being cut out.

STEP FOUR - Clean and sterilize the work area. (Half of the failures we repair stem from contaminated welds.)
-- Hand washing of the frame (unfortunately most customers to not clean their bikes before having them repaired).
-- Sterilization of the frame and the new bridge with at least one cycle in our industrial ultrasonic cleaner;
-- Drying and weld prep.

STEP FIVE - Install the new bridge.
-- First, a jig has to be set up to hold the work piece while it is being welded in place. The jig has to be clean too!
-- Next the new bridge is tacked in place and the alignment re-checked.
-- Finally the new bridge gets welded in place.

STEP SIX - Fix any collateral issues.
-- Depending on the style of bridge used and the framebuilder who did the original work, there may be vent holes that were covered by the original bridge and are now exposed.
-- Small, single bead welds are laid down to fill existing vent holes or other issues.
-- Any filler or additional material must be filed back down and smoothed out.

STEP SEVEN - Cosmetic cleanup and finish blending.
-- Any color in the weld area or scratches on the material are cleaned up and blended with the original finish.
-- When using the grade of abrasives that are required to smooth titanium, it is very easy for an untrained hand to do serious damage very quickly.

STEP EIGHT - Final cleanup.
-- When all the work is completed the frame is washed to remove any remaining polishing compound, grit, or oils from the frame.
-- When the frame is washed and dried, any decals that need replaced will be applied.
-- Lastly the frame is given a thin layer of wax based sealant to preserve the clean finish and prevent fingerprints or other handling blemishes.

STEP NINE- Final invoice/paperwork and shipping.
-- Some customers drop their frames at our shop, but most do not.

CURRENT RATES (excluding materials):
--- $175 per hour for fabrications, modifications, and repairs.
--- $250 per hour for design and consulting.

Unfortunately, like virtually all business ventures, we are not operating on a "pay what you want" model. It should go without saying that also like virtually all other businesses we have operating costs; not just wages but commercial insurance, specialized equipment, specialized tooling, consumable supplies, mortgage payments, electric and phone and internet service, payment processing fees, the list goes on. The work that comes through the door pays to keep the lights on, literally!  😊

All information subject to change at any time.

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All custom Ti Cycles racks -- titanium or steel -- are built by hand in our Portland shop and made to order for each individual customer.

Before placing your order, please take a moment to understand the information required for custom rack construction

To streamline the ordering process and to ensure a proper fit with your frame, we accept orders for custom racks built with dimensional data obtained through one of the following processes:

OPTION #1 -- Build on the Frame
The preferred method of construction and the only way Ti Cycles Fabrication can reliably build a custom rack with accurately placed mounting points is to have the bicycle frame and/or fork in our shop during construction. 

PLEASE NOTE: A technical drawing of your frame will likely not translate to the actual physical construction with the degree of accuracy required for the construction of hard mounted (non-adjustable) racks. Because of the geometry differences inherent in frame designs of different sizes braze-ons and bosses such as rack mounts are not able to be universally located with a rigid fabrication fixture. These mounting points are generally added to a frame individually, at the end of the construction process, using an adjustable fixture that does not lend itself to repetitive accuracy. If the actual physical mounting point locations on the frame differ from the locations detailed in the frame drawing by just a few millimeters it is unlikely that a hard mounted (non-adjustable) rack will fit properly.

OPTION #2 -- Build an Adjustable Rack
Racks built without the bicycle frame and fork on site cannot be verified for accuracy when mounted. To ensure a wide range of frame compatibility it is recommended that racks built without the frame and fork on site use adjustable upper struts, as shown below.


OPTION #3 -- Build From a Template
For ordering a fixed rack without having the bike on site, it is possible for a qualified 3rd party with responsibility for accuracy to make a template with rigid, flat cardboard or similar density panel to build an approximately fit rack off of.
--- Template material must have at least one perfectly square corner or 90° angle marking for a reference point.
--- Tools for measuring angles and marking lines will be helpful. A bubble level, a carpenter's square, and a metal straight edge are recommended.
--- The bicycle must be secured in place upright, on a level surface, with both wheels straight, vertically perpendicular to the floor.
--- Ti Cycles assumes no responsibility for the accuracy of your template. 


1) MARK LOWER MOUNTING POINT -- Make a small hole to locate the lower rack mounting point. This is the load bearing mounting point located near the rear axle.

Thread a long bolt into the lower rack mounting point.

Place the hole in the cardboard over the bolt in the lower rack mounting point.


SQUARE UP YOUR TEMPLATE -- Align your straight edge or reference line vertically and #1 parallel to the bicycle center line and #2 level with the floor. Secure or prop the material to stay in position.

At every point in the process check and re-check that the template material is level, square, and straight with the frame.


2) MARK UPPER MOUNTING POINT -- For split stays, secure a thin, rigid, and straight piece of material across the eyelet center line.

NOTE: Because upper rack mounts are generally not square with the frame center line, using a long bolt threaded into the eyelet will give an incorrect position.

NOTE: To locate the actual mounting point on split stays it is imperative to account for the offset between the marker line and the eyelet center.

For monostay or "wishbone" configurations simply place your thin, rigid, and straight piece of material through both eyelets.

With the template square and straight with the frame and any offset compensated for, mark the upper mounting point with a hole.


3) VERIFY THE TEMPLATE IS SQUARE --The template material should line up with pins placed in both mounting locations.

The template material must line up with the mounting points and still be level, square, and straight with the frame. If it is not, start over.


4) MARK TIRE AND DECK HEIGHT -- With the template material in place, use a level to mark the location of the top of the tire.

Reference the tire height mark to make a straight line for the desired deck height. The bottom of the rack deck should be a minimum of 20mm above the tire height line to allow for clearance of mud and debris.

NOTE: With the compact geometries found on most modern frames and/or smaller frame sizes it is normal for the rack deck to sit above the upper mounting point.

5) DRAW OUT THE RACK PROFILE -- Double check to make sure the mounting points, tire height, and deck height marked on side 1 are accurate for side 2 when mirrored.

Sketch the side view of your rack and be sure to include, either by drawing or notation, any details such as pannier bars, light mounts, etc.


6) MAKE IT 3D -- To tie the two sides of the rack together we will need a width measurement, taken from OUTSIDE TO OUTSIDE of the rack mounting points. This dimension is required for BOTH LOWER AND UPPER MOUNTING POINTS.



1) MARK LOWER FORK MOUNTING POINT -- Follow the same steps as above using the fork leg mounting points to reference the rest of your rack. Always be sure to use the center of the eyelet when locating mounting points, and to measure the distance between the Left and Right mounting points.

Check, double check, and check a third time that your template and bike are square, level, and straight.


2) MARK FORK CROWN MOUNTING POINT -- Forks with two upper mounting points can be located using the same process as for rear racks. For single center mounting points, use a square to mark your template.

Use the location of the upper mounting point to mark the height of the rack deck. Forks with two upper mounting points must also locate the tire height and be sure to mark the deck height a minimum of 20mm above the tire.


3) DRAW OUT THE RACK PROFILE -- Confirm that the mounting points line up on the opposite side of the fork and then sketch out the rack side view, making sure to include any details such as pannier bars, light mounts, etc. Also be sure to measure the width of the rack, taken from OUTSIDE TO OUTSIDE of the rack mounting points. This dimension is required for BOTH LOWER AND UPPER MOUNTING POINTS.


Send the unfolded cardboard original or a transposed paper copy at 1:1 scale to our shop along with any notes or detailed drawings. Racks constructed from templates are only as accurate as the templates they are built from. Ti Cycles assumes no responsibility for the accuracy of racks built from 3rd party templates. 

For complete accuracy we strongly encourage you to send us your frame and/or fork to template the rack off of.






Please CONTACT US for information on your specific project before shipping frames, forks, or components for any repairs, modifications, refinishing or other services.


DO NOT SHIP ANY ITEMS WITHOUT PRIOR AUTHORIZATION FROM TI CYCLES. Ti Cycles is not liable for any items shipped to our shop without specific instruction to do so.

Frames being sent in for any work requiring welding should be delivered stripped of all parts **including headset, bottom bracket, bearings, et cetera** except as otherwise specified via email from Ti Cycles.

All parts and components need to be disassembled/removed from frames and forks to allow for proper cleaning and sterilization prior to welding.

We are happy to handle the dis-/re-assembly for you if necessary: Our general rates for assembly services are:

  • $250 for standard bicycles.

  • $350 for recumbents or bikes requiring disassembly of suspension, hydraulic brake, or internal electronic wiring systems.

  • $400 for tandems and cargo bikes.

We strongly recommend shipping with insurance for a value you feel comfortable with as compensation should the package be destroyed or lost in transit. It is rare, but it does happen.

We prefer and strongly recommend FedEx for shipping frames and forks.

Please include your full contact information -- name, address, phone, and email -- as well as any specific return shipping instructions along with your inbound shipment.

Customers are welcome to drop off at our Portland facility with a scheduled appointment. Please contact us with a date and time that will work for you and we will accommodate your schedule to the best of our ability. No appointments are set without our confirmation of availability. We are generally in the shop Mon-Fri 8am-6pm and occasionally available on Sat-Sun in specific incidences.

15707 NW McNamee Road Portland, OR 97231


Please take care when packaging your items to prevent damage. Most any local bike shop will be more than happy to supply you with bike boxes or other shipping materials that they must otherwise recycle on a regular basis. Please be sure that the box and materials used are appropriate size/structure for the items that you are shipping to arrive without damage.

Careful packaging only needs to protect the parts from excess movement and/or abrasion with other parts or the box material. It is not necessary to mummify your parts in foam or tape that require careful cutting in numerous places to remove. Ti Cycles reserves the right to charge additional labor fees for items that take more than a few moments to un-package.

Please DO NOT USE PACKING PEANUTS or any other disposable, non-biodegradable materials in your shipment. A disposal fee of $25 will be applied to any order shipments with excess or garbage packaging.


When work on your project is finished we will send an invoice for any balance due and the cost of return shipping when applicable.
We are more than happy to ship on a customer account when requested. To streamline this process please send a pre-paid return shipping label with your inbound shipment.

For packages shipped by Ti Cycles Fabrication the actual rates at the time of shipment are applied. We primarily use FedEx Ground or USPS Priority Mail for outbound shipments.

All outbound parcel shipments from Ti Cycles Fabrication will include a tracking number. Once an outbound package is transferred to the shipping carrier it is literally out of our hands and the only information available to us is via the carrier’s tracking system which may or may not be updated in real time.


We ship worldwide and are more than happy to facilitate return shipping to locations outside of the United States.

International shipping rates are calculated for the actual package at the time of shipment. Any estimates provided are estimated and can change at any time due to a number of reasons beyond our control including seasonal and daily fluctuations in carrier rates.

Please note that any customs clearances and/or import duties or fees are the sole responsibility of the customer.