2 years ago, when I got hooked to cycling, the idea of getting a custom-made bicycle frame hit me when I found difficulties looking for a ready-to-use frame that fit me and my budget.
I went to Ave Maldea for my first custom frame. Based on the geometry of the ‘09 Surly 1X1, it was fillet-brazed and made of “garden variety” high-tensile steel. The welds were smooth and, with an internal cabling system, it sported a clean look. It seemed more like a small-sized road bike than a mountain bike- to be honest, it took me some time before I decided to give it a stress test because I thought the welds won’t be able to handle the abuse.
After exactly 2 years of everyday rain-or-shine commutes, off-road trails, downhill jackhammers, a century, an alleycat, countless curb jumps and drops, endless attempts at bunny-hops, trips through thigh-high floodwater, mass rides, getting doored twice, and general dicking around on two wheels, save for a couple of scratches from leaning it on anything and a tiny ding on the top tube when it fell down a flight of stairs, my full-rigid Maldea is still as good as when I first used it.
There are still a handful of great framebuilders in the country, but if I were to pick another custom-made frame, it has to be made by Ave Maldea.
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