Recent Georgena Terry Custom Bicycles
Looking for the perfect job always eluded me until I discovered the bicycle! Since I started building bikes in my basement years ago, nothing has given me more pleasure than figuring out how to construct a beautiful bike that will do all the things the rider wants. If a bike could fly, this is how it would feel.
The accompanying photos are a glance at the kinds of bikes I’ve been building recently. There are some definite trends evolving. About half of my customers want disc brakes. There doesn’t seem to be a preference for cable or hydraulic. I recommend hydraulic for the rider who has small hands, or who wants a brake that responds to a gentle touch. The fork for disc brake bikes may be either steel or carbon, depending on the type of brake.
1X (“one by”) gearing is becoming increasingly popular. With a single chainring in the front and 12 cogs in the back, you can achieve about the same gear range as with a triple in the front. True, the steps between the gears aren’t as tight, but when you think about it, how many of the gears on your bike do you actually use? Why carry around a bunch that do nothing? Food for thought. And for those who prefer something more traditional, double and triple cranksets are readily available. I always prepare a gear chart so you can see what your new gearing will look like compared to your current gearing.
Electronic shifting is in demand. Pricey, yes, but if you want to shift with a minimum of effort, this is the way to go. Shimano and SRAM are the big players with radically different approaches. Shimano Di2 uses wires; SRAM is wireless. For Shimano Di2, I route the wiring internally so it’s tucked away. Both brands are excellent. The one you choose is matter of taste.
Trends in wheel sizes? About 90% of my bikes are using the 26” size (559) because that’s the size that allows me to build a proportional bike for riders typically under 5’6”. And…tire widths from 1” and wider are available. The other 10%? 24”, 700c, or 650B, depending on the fit and the use of the bike. Most riders are using 32 mm tires. As we all know now, a wider road tire offers a better ride and lower rolling resistance than a narrow road tire.
What are my recent design highlights? There have been several. I’ll start with the adventure bikes built for two women tackling the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route this summer. These bikes feature S&S couplers, Rohloff internal hubs with Gates belt drives, SON generator front hubs, 2.2” tubeless tires, and cable disc brakes. The learning curve was steep….
Another customer needed a bike with a very low standover height. Even a severely sloped top tube didn’t do the trick. For her bike I used a bent top tube which allows much more step through clearance than a sloped tube. Bending a piece of thin wall tubing without causing it to buckle is tough. I think Waterford went through quite a few pieces before getting the perfect result! It’s all about meeting the customer’s needs.
Flat bar bikes get such a bum rap sometimes. They seem to be stereotyped as slower bikes whose riders just aren’t as serious as the drop bar types. Don’t tell that to my customer who rode Seattle To Portland twice on her flat bar Terry. Or to another customer whose flat bar bike has an Enve carbon fork, disc brakes, and an oh-so-cool mix of Shimano road and mountain components (yes, it can be done) for the ultimate in gearing, DT Swiss hubs, and Chris King headset and bottom bracket.
But if the bike doesn’t fit, it’s all for naught. That’s why I include a professional fit with the bike. I’ve worked some wonderful fitters and have perfect confidence that they will guide us from the essence of the fit through to the final assembly of your bike. If I don’t feel I can build a bike that’s right for you, I won’t take on the job. All of which is to say — this is your bike. Your personality and goals are reflected in everything from the color to the components. It has to be perfect!