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  • Writer's pictureSpencer Powlison

Three Reasons Why You Want a Made to Order Frame

If you want a bike that’s completely perfect for you, something that’s one of a kind, it’s time to talk about Made to Order Mosaic frames.

There are a host of reasons why people opt for a full-custom build. The great thing about a Made to Order frame is that it will do exactly what you need it to do. For some, it’s a matter of fit. Others have geometry and ride characteristics they prefer. And of course, if you want to really set it off, our custom paint options are limitless.

There’s something magic about a Made to Order frame, but it’s a big commitment. So let’s explore the three key factors you can optimize when you build a custom Mosaic: Fit, Function, and Finish.

If the idea of a full-custom frame seems overwhelming or intimidating, don’t stress. You probably have a Mosaic dealer in your area. We’ve hand-picked these shops because we know they’re experienced and knowledgeable enough to guide you through the process and make sure everything is perfect. Start there, and they’ll see you through to the first ride.

Fit: Small or Tall, A Mosaic Fits You

The process begins with a bike fit. If you’re not familiar, this is way more than getting the saddle height right. Proper bike fit evaluates your body’s three contact points with the bike: Pedals, handlebars, and saddle. Human physiology has infinite variations, from Shaq to Verne Troyer, may he rest in peace. Bike fit accounts for your personal proportions — leg length, arm length, torso length, flexibility, and much more.

Now, you may be thinking, “I’m pretty average sized, do I need a custom fit?” That’s a good question, and one that only your Mosaic dealer can help you answer. Many of our dealers have their own fit studios, or they have close relationships with expert fitters.

Even riders of average size can benefit from a professional bike fit and a custom frame to match. Speaking for myself, I’m 5’9” and fit pretty comfortably on Mosaic’s stock S/M (52cm) size. However, I have relatively short legs, and relatively long arms. Plus, thanks to years of experience, I’m comfortable on bikes with more saddle-to-bar drop. Ideally, my custom frame would have longer reach and more drop to avoid extreme saddle positions or stem configurations.

A great bike fit on a custom frame ensures comfort for all-day rides and a position that puts your body in a position to produce the most amount of power in the most efficient manner possible.

Function: Perfect For Your Backyard or Bucket List Ride

So, where do you want to take this Made to Order Mosaic? Although our process starts with fit, most riders walk into their Mosaic dealer with a specific type of bike in mind — road, gravel, mountain bike, touring, or something else. It’s easy to narrow down our line to one or two models that will match your riding style. But Made to Order is so much more than just choosing a GT-1 45 versus a GT-1 AR.

While bike fitting gives us parameters for where your contact points must be in relation to each other, from that point on, we can make infinite adjustments to the bike’s geometry so it will handle exactly the way you like it. Good bike fit is not the same as good bike handling — many people have one but not the other. When we design custom geometry, it’s a holistic process that considers everything: Wheelbase, bottom bracket height, rear center, front center, head tube angle, and so much more.

Geometry is essential, but it happens in a two-dimensional world. Things get really fun when we head into the shop and select the perfect tubeset for your Made to Order frame. As you may realize, we can select either straight-gauge titanium tubes for 2-series frames or butted tubes for 1-series. Butted tubes have variable wall thickness, making them lighter and more compliant. That’s just a starting point, though.

For a custom build, we can change tube diameter in any area of the frame. If a rider wants comfort, we can size down the seat stays or top tube, for example. Wattage-monsters who need stiffness will get larger-diameter down tubes.

We sponsor one of the country’s top gravel riders, Brennan Wertz, who’s very tall and very powerful — you might mistake him for an NFL tight end. As you’d expect, his GT-1 45 has very big tubes for stiffness in the races. But his girlfriend, Alyssa, who’s significantly smaller, has a GT-1 45 with a down tube that’s the same diameter as Brennan’s bike’s top tube. Same bike model, completely different tube spec to match the rider.

Finish: Taste the Rainbow

Once your Made to Order frame is dialed in with the right fit and function to match your physiology and preferences, we carry it next door to our finish shop. It’s pretty rare to find a custom frame builder who has a full-service paint shop under the same roof, but we do, and it makes a huge difference in our ability to give you a custom frame that’s exactly what you wanted. Plus, it’s way more efficient.

If you’re the artistic type, your new frame is a blank canvas. If you need a little guidance, don’t worry, we’ve done this a few times.

Over the years, Mosaic has developed a few standard paint layouts that always come out of the booth looking amazing. You can, of course, opt for a raw finish, just to make sure everyone knows you’re rolling on titanium. And if you need a splash of color, we often paint forks, stems, and seatposts to set it off.

As for our paint layouts, we have the two-tone option, which is a more traditional look, and then we have a fade and a tri-fade for a more modern look. If you’re struggling to find paint that will match, we can also suggest a few different color families that we know will look good together, no matter what design you choose.

Now, It’s Time For One of Your Own

Whether it’s our own personal bikes or those ridden by our friends and customers, we’ve seen the difference that a Made to Order frame can offer. Perfect fit, exact specifications, and unique colors — it all results in a bike that you are eager to ride day after day, wherever you live and whatever kind of cycling you love.

Contact a Mosaic Dealer to learn more and to get the ball rolling today on your own Made to Order Mosaic.

Words: Spencer Powlison Photos: Mark Currie


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