Custom build log - Rourke stainless

So yesterday I got measured up and finalised the tubing for what will be a slightly delayed 40 birthday present.

I’ve gone with a stainless frame (953) from Brian Rourke. Polished stays :grin: Columbus Futura SL carbon fork

Groupset is 12sp Chorus, rim brake.

Wheelset: Vision Metron SL 40 (existing).

Finishing kit tbc, though likely Deda.

I should get the drawing this week, with an estimated delivery date of May 22.

I’ll keep this posted with updates.

If anyone is interested in the fitting process, please ask.

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Very interesting project… Campagnolo mechanical is the perfect group for a traditional custom made frame, that will probably be your “forever bike” (see also the thread…)

I did a similar one (at east as regards the concept) for my 40th birthady last year.
A home made titanium frame by an Italian craftsman (Rewel) with Deda carbon fork and deda kit.
I opted for mechanical Dura Ace rim brake… I was a little disputed about choosing Campagnolo or again Dura Ace (I have always ridden Shimano) and I found an online offer for about 1000€ for the entire groupset (NEW), that I couldn’t refuse…

What do you project the weight will be?
Mine weighs 7,65kg finished with pedals and two bottlecages. Less than most “top notch” modern carbon, aero, disc brake, electronic bikes… that cost more than twice!

I’m afraid that I will be demanding plenty of photos of this build please


I would estimate about 8kg with pedals, depending on how weight weenie I go with the finishing kit. My Vision wheels are about 1650g, so that will increase it a bit.

Funnily enough, I was in a really similar boat. I decided I wanted stainless unless I was steered away from it at the fitting (Jason at Rourkes did seem to put me off
it a bit on the phone), but I knew that would put a real limit on how much I could spend on the groupset. Mechanical Ultegra looked the favourite, but it didn’t really feel special. Then found a new Chorus 12sp for £900, and so after a little bit of negotiation with Rourke, got the sums to add up :slight_smile:


They’ll come! :slight_smile:

Rourke’s paint schemes are awesome

What was quite interesting was a) the fitting process and b) the discussion about tubing.

Rourke want you to come with, if possible, an existing bike that you feel fits you reasonably well, for you to be able to explain what you do and don’t like about it, what you’d like the new frame to be or do that the existing bike doesn’t, and any physical issues or pains you’ve got. They then put you on your bike on a trainer, make a basic assessment and a few tweaks, observing and asking lots of questions, then transfer that position to a jig and start experimenting, again observing and asking lots of questions. In my case, after almost 2 hours we settled on a position just a few mm longer and lower, and with a little more setback, than my current bike, as well as deciding on a different bar shape. As Wayne put it, sometimes the most awkward fits (from their point of view) come when someone turns up with a pretty well set up bike, as you almost feel obliged to justify yourself by making changes.

We’ve transferred the changes to my existing bike and I now need to put in half a dozen good rides and report back before we totally finalise the numbers.

The material chat was also quite interesting. In our phone chats, Jason and Wayne had obviously been quietly trying to put me off stainless, but Wayne was more enthusiastic about it in person. He pointed out that 853/853 pro/Spirit is always a more cost-effective choice, as the resulting frame will be within c. 100g in terms of weight, and probably 90% as stiff. He also noted that for the budget I had in mind, I could go 853 + Record and have a little change for better finishing kit, or transfer my existing groupset, and get 853 plus a really top notch wheelset. Objectively, either of those options would produce a lighter and probably faster bike.

On the other hand, he said that as a fairly light and reasonably strong rider I would actually benefit from stainless if the budget was there. He also agreed that for a ‘special’ frame it was a better choice, especially as I really wanted the polished stays. Finally, he agreed that given the ‘vision’ for the bike (gosh, that sounds Radavist-y and pretentious), absolute performance wasn’t necessarily the goal: for the same total spend I could have the Aethos or the Foil in the next room.

Ultimately heart won out over head (I don’t think you buy a custom steel frame - if you have fairly normal proportions - as a totally rational decision), and I chose stainless and new Chorus, but it was quite cool to talk it through and fine-tune the whats and whys.


Frame drawing now finalised, along with stem, groupset and wheels.

And now radio silence, I guess, until Jan/Feb 2022. The wait is going to be killer!

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Will be following this thread, this is quite close to my dream (within realistic budget) build, down to the gruppo, and a mate has a custom Rourke. And I’m 40 next year too….


This gives a good idea of how the finished frame will look. I’m going for a matt finish and a slightly darker shade of blue, but the polished stays and logo will be the same.

NB, this is also a disc frame - mine will be rim


What wheelset are you planning to use?

Probably my existing Vision Trimax 40s - simply for budget. I could raid the savings and get some Boras, which I’d love, but with other commitments scheduled already for next year, that wouldn’t be terribly prudent. If the situation changes or the numbers work out better than I anticipate, then Boras may happen in the future.

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I’m eyeing Bora WTO 33’s for a future build. Hoping in the next year.

Even before I’ve seen any pictures or updates - hubba hubba

The polished stays are only possible with 953, right? They look great.

Yes, in short. Rourke can offer brushed and clear-coated (which gives a sort of semi-polished appearance, like the photos above) for no upcharge, or high polish (which is an extra £300 I think). I’ve gone for the brushed then clear-coated, a) to keep the costs down but also b) for lower maintenance.

I believe it is possible to brush/polish then clear coat 853, but Rourke won’t do it.

You also do have the option of an 853 front triangle and a 953 rear triangle, though that saves you less than you might imagine.

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So would you say that you’d almost bought an off the shelf bike but thought better of it? Are there any decisions for your bike that you wouldn’t find in an existing product? Or is your fit the main driver?
I was thinking what I would be doing if my ride broke - I find it quite hard to find all I want to have in one bike off the shelf :thinking:

It seems a good deal for a full Chorus groupset.

My custom bike is made of 853 and has polished stays… never heard for this being an issue

Edit: chainstays are 725 and polished, frame is 853. Now I guess what are the fork blades (polished) made of.

It was more of an aesthetic and feel decision than one about cost and performance.

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