General Information / F.A.Q.

Who the heck is Bob Brown and why on earth should I buy a bike from you?

Good question, I'm a Mechanical Engineer by degree and have over 20 years experience as a Design Engineer in heavy industry. I'm also a bike nut and in general a fabricator of all things. I'm also a certified machinist and experienced in nearly every form of metalwork and joining. In short I design and build things that others won't or simply can't.

I've been building custom frames for about 18 years now and have quite a few under my belt. I've honed in my skills on building the best custom carved lugged steel frames around. That's what I do and I think you'll agree the result speak for themselves.

How did you get into building custom bikes?

Ahh, the question I hear the most often. I've always loved bikes, right from the day I started taking apart my banana seat cruiser as a kid. I've always tinkered with them and just about every other mechanical contraption around, so once I had some metal fab skills it seemed a natural to try building a bike frame.

One thing led to another and I started building more and more of them. Mostly for friends initially, then I started selling them and as word spread, Bob Brown Cycles was born.

How long is the lead time for a Bob Brown Cycles frame?

It's always changing depending on my orders, but typically you should plan on 12- 18 months! Yes, I know that's a terribly long time to wait, but I think you'll find it's worth the wait.

Why so long?

I'm a one-man shop and can simply only produce so many frames while maintaining my quality level and my sanity. Please be patient.

Ok, so I'm willing to wait, how do I go about starting this process and how does the process work?

The first step is to put down a $300 deposit. This will hold your place in my que and lock in your pricing. Once you're spot in line comes up and I start working on your frame I'll ask for an additional $700, then the remaining balance will be due at delivery of the frame.

I'll work with you (either in person or via email) to work out the geometry and style of frame you're looking for prior to the build. If you're local this is obviously a bit easier, but I've worked through the process via email and phone hundreds of times.

How's your pricing work? Why don't you list firm prices on your website? How often do they change?

It's tough to list firm prices on anything custom. But typically my custom steel frames (frame and fork) run $3000 for my usual hand-shaped lugs and high-end tubing. If you're looking for fancier lugs or other treats the price has to change accordingly and that's simply based on how much work those options add.

Stainless frames generally run $4000 for hand shaped lugs and full stainless construction. Again, prices may go up with fancier options.

I don't charge for typical braze-on's or things like that, this is your frame, adding eyelets, pump pegs, canti-bosses, extra battle bosses, etc... really don't change the overall labor in the frame so that's all included in the price.

I do raise my prices occasionally, that's simply how the world works. The last few years they've increased faster due to the rising cost of raw materials. I try my best to keep things reasonable, but my materials have more than doubled in cost the last couple of years.

Can I get a complete bike from you or do you just sell frames?

Absolutely, I can provide a complete bike with nearly any parts you like or supply just a frame or anything in between. It's up to you how much you would like me to supply. My component prices are generally much better than you'll find elsewhere since I'm an OEM supplier, so if you're looking for parts, let me price out a kit for your new frame.

Do you outsource any work, how about paint?

Everything about your Bob Brown Cycles frame will be done by me, in my shop. I do all the design, fab, paint, finishing and assembly. Paint options are virtually unlimited, I use high-end paints from Dupont, House of Kolor, and Alsa. Let me know what you're thinking and I can probably find a way to make it happen.

What else do you do for fun?

I'm a busy guy outside of work. I train year round for cycling and cross country skiing, but I don't race too much anymore. When I do actually race it'll probably some kind of ultra-endurance event, I'm a junkie for those. I've been known to coach high-school nordic skiing in my spare time as well.

I'm a drummer in a local band called Derailleur (formerly Grumpy Alice). I ride and race with the fine folks from Kenwood Racing. Also, click here for pictures from my 2003 tour down the Oregon coast.

What else should I look at on your site?

Funny you should ask, here's a few more odd pages to check out:

Engineering Analysis

953 Frame Construction Article Part 1
953 Frame Construction Article Part 2


The Bob Brown Cycles Blog

Bob in the news

Site Map



Last updated: 1/6/2012 copyright 2008, Bob Brown Cycles LLC