FAQ

Do you do frame repairs or modifications?

Ouch!

I do repair work and modifications on any steel frame, lugged, fillet, or TIG, up to and including replacing entire tubes. Customer is responsible for delivering the frame to me, and for return shipping costs, if any.

If you have a broken aluminum frame, I cannot help you.

The prices below are just a sample, every job is unique to some extent. I generally charge $75/hour for shop time – contact me directly (take pictures!) for an estimate.

-Replace 1″ or 1 1/8″ head tube with 44mm/tapered: $250-300

-Add disc brake mount to frame or fork: $50/mount, $25 extra for seat/chainstay crossbrace, if needed. Please put a disc wheel in your frame before bringing it over or mailing it to verify that the rotor will clear the chainstay!

-Replace/repair chainstay or seatstay: $50-200, depending on the stay and repairs needed.

-Replace toptube/downtube/front triangle: $200-600, depending on the tube and joining method.

-Sandblast/remove old paint: $50-100, depending on the paint (powdercoat is more expensive).

-New powdercoat: $150-200, depending on powdercoat choice, for a one-color job.

How do I get started ordering a frame?

So, you want a Waltworks…here’s what to do.

First, drop me an email or call me at 303 359 9392 to introduce yourself and tell me what you’re looking for. I will not accept a deposit from you (for any item I make) without this introduction, because it may be that what you want and what I can build don’t match up well, or that one of us decides the other one is crazy. Better to know that before money changes hands.

Next, I’ll email you a copy of my fit sheet and deposit instructions. You can pay the $500 deposit by check (preferred), credit card (call me), or paypal. You can even bring me a bag of nickels if you want. I’m not picky. If you’re not in the United States paypal is generally the easiest way to go. Keep in mind that the deposit is non-refundable unless you have a serious family emergency or something along those lines (ie, I’ll give you your money back if you *need* it because something horrible happened, but not if you just decided you don’t want a bike anymore). Bikes are built in the order that I receive deposits.

Generally, my waitlist is 3-6 months long, so there is no need to rush through filling out the fit sheet. I prefer accurate, voluminous data to hasty, sketchy gibberish! If you have questions about how to measure something oIf you’re local (ie willing to come visit me in SLC) we will do fitting and design work in person and there is no need to fill out the fit sheet. Generally I will ask you to bring all of your current bikes (road, CX, mountain, whatever) so that I can get a lot of data on how you fit and what you like (or dislike). I will also want to talk extensively with you about what you want out of the bike and what parts/accessories you’ll use.

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Durango rocks

If you aren’t sure how to answer a question on the sheet, just call or email me and I’ll walk you through it.

I am sometimes *ahead* of schedule so please be ready to start with the design process sooner than the official wait time – this isn’t a promise that I’ll finish early but if you follow the waitlist for a while you’ll notice that in general I’m 4-6 weeks faster than my wait time estimate.

Design work will happen about 2 weeks before I’m ready to actually start building your frame. Yes, I could do your design further in advance but I prefer to have the information fresh in my mind when I’m building the bike (and I build a lot of bikes so if the info isn’t fresh it’s easy for me to get confused). This also prevents us from doing 50 iterations of the design over the entire waiting period and allows me to focus on doing a great job for the folks ahead of you in line.

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My smallest client to date!

As part of doing the design, I’ll ask you about what parts we’ll be using. You may want to purchase them from me (I sell parts, in many cases, for *below wholesale* cost as I have OEM accounts with all the major components manufacturers) or you may already have what you need. You are welcome to buy just *some* parts – there is no obligation to get a complete bike. If you are ordering parts I like to have a finalized parts list by the time I am ready to start cutting tubes on your frame – in some cases it takes a few weeks to track down  certain items and the longer you wait to figure out what you need, the higher the chance you’ll be stuck waiting for parts after your frame is done and ready to ship out. Fox forks and custom wheels can take even longer so please let me know ASAP if you are looking for those items.

I’ll build your frame, and take it to the powdercoater (you’ll need to have picked a color out as well as choosing some decals) and order your parts. You do not owe me any further money until I have everything ready to ship unless you are ordering VERY unusual or expensive (ie Enve wheels) parts.

When everything is ready to go, you’ll pay your final balance and I’ll ship your frame and parts. I install a headset and bottom bracket in EVERY FRAME that leaves the shop – even if you are not buying those items from me I will ask you to ship them here so that I can install them. Why? Simple, really – those are the items that can cause serious problems with assembly if they’re not installed correctly, and it also prevents me from shipping your frame and forgetting to ream, chase, and face everything. I do not ship complete bikes – if you don’t have the knowledge and tools to do the final assembly yourself, I’m happy to ship your bike to a shop of your choice. If you are local and picking up the bike in person I can assemble and tune for $75.

Other random thoughts:
-I have built more 29ers than anyone else on earth, but I also love to build bikes with other wheel sizes – 20? 24? 26″ 650b? 36″? I love them all, I’ve ridden them all, and I’m happy to talk you through what might work best for you.
-I don’t just build mountain bikes. Need a sweet roadie? Town bike? Cargo bike? Cross, bmx, dirtjump, downhill, unicycle? I’ve done it all and I’m happy to take on most projects.
-I am happy to consult with you about parts – I’ve ridden and worn out or broken just about everything made and I can give you some great ideas about what to buy (and what not to).
-Yes, I want to go riding with you! Come visit UT and I’ll take you on a tour of any kind of trail you want – from fast and buff to rocky hike-a-bike slogfest (we even have road rides), right out my back door. Also, we do actually have beer. Seriously.

How much will my frame weigh?

I do not, as a general rule, build super light frames. If you’re looking for a <3 pound frame, I’m not the guy you want. My goal is to build durable, long-lasting bikes that can be ridden for decades.

With that said, average weights for an average rider (160#) probably tend to be somewhere around:
Geared 29″ mountain bike: 4.2#
Singlespeed (Paragon sliders) 29″ mountain bike: 4.5#
Traditional road frame: 4#
Compact road frame: 3.5#
Full suspension (XC) 29″ mountain bike: 6-7#
Full suspension (DH) mountain bike: 8#+

Obviously weights will vary depending on the size of the rider and the intended application. The lightest frame I’ve ever built is probably in the low 3# range (for a petite lady on the road) and the heaviest is 10#4oz, for a 400#, 7′ tall gentleman who wanted to ride trails.

So there you have it. I’ll make your bike as light as I can while still keeping it relatively bombproof.

What about your custom forks?

Why should I get a custom fork? It’s simple, really – I specialize in custom forks. If you browse around online, you’ll find lots of people doing unicrown forks, but not many doing really “custom” work where they can change every component of the fork to produce a custom ride, as well as custom length and rake. I machine my crowns myself to the exact specs I want for each rider, I have literally dozens of combinations of crown/steerer/blade/dropout available, and I’ve built hundreds of custom forks. Need a 1″ steerer? Thru axle? ‘Cross fork? Unusual rack mounts? No problem, I’ve done it all. A Waltworks fork is the best steel fork that you can buy, period.

Ok, how much do they cost?
$300 if you’re buying a frame, or $375 if you just want the fork by itself. Insured air shipping in the United States is $20.

How much do your forks weigh? Am I too big/small for one of your custom forks?
I will build forks for anyone, of any size. My forks are truly *custom* (not just prebuilt unicrown blades put together by a custom builder) – I use different configurations and blades/dropouts/steerers to accomplish different ride qualities for different riders. As such, your fork weight will depend on how you ride and what you weigh. Suspension corrected 29er forks weigh between 820 and 1100 grams with an 8″ steerer tube. Non suspension corrected 29er forks and 26″/cyclocross forks can be a bit lighter, down to around 700 grams. I occasionally also build lugged crown road forks, which tend to weigh in the 700 gram range.

What’s the warranty?
Lifetime for manufacturing defects, for the original owner. The fork is custom built for YOU and your riding style, so I CANNOT honor warranties on forks that have been sold to a second owner, since I have no control over whether the fork is appropriate for them or their application. No warranty if you crash or abuse your fork, of course.

Do you build unicrown forks?
Yes, if that’s the look you want and appropriate blades are available for your needs.

How about a 1″ steerer? 1.5? Tapered?
No problem. I can do any steerer length or configuration you need.

What colors are available?
Forks come in standard satin “lava” black. Alternately, pick any color off the color charts on the main FAQ page for a $50 upcharge. If you want your fork unpainted, subtract $20 from the price.

What was the inspiration for these forks?
Simple, really. I always liked the looks of the old Fat Chance forks, so I decided to build something similar. They rode nice, and they’re VERY customizable (I have 6 different types of fork blade, almost infinite varieties of custom-machined crowns, and 5 different steerers to work with – you can do the math on how many unique combos that is!) so I decided to sell them to customers.

Ok, I’m convinced. What do I need to do to order a fork?
Send me an email with the following information:
-Your weight (with gear) and brief info on your local terrain and riding style.
-Type of fork (ie suspension corrected 29er, cyclocross, etc) and (if known) axle to crown length and rake. If you don’t know what will work right on your frame, just ask me – I can probably figure it out.
-Steerer diameter (1″ or 1 1/8″, 1.5″ available for an extra $75).
-Steerer length required (stock is 250mm/10″ but I can do any length needed)
-Brake setup (v-brake or disc – if you want both, it’s an extra $20).
-Rack mounts? (no charge)
-Fender mounts? (no charge)
-Forks come in standard gloss black or any color from the Cardinal/Tiger charts for an extra $50.

It’s that easy! Please note that fork deposits, like frame deposits, are NON REFUNDABLE – be sure you want a fork before you plunk down the deposit!

What can you tell me about your full suspension bikes?

I build basically any type of full suspension mountain bike (in any wheel size from 24″ to 29+) for everything from XC racing to fatbiking to full-on DH riding.

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Green Mountain!

I use a custom steel front triangle mated to a custom single pivot (“faux bar”) swingarm and seatstays OR Ventana rear end. FS bikes can be built for anything from cross country to freeride/DH, can be configured for 26″, 27.5/27.5+, 29/29+, or fatbike (up to 5″ tire) wheels, and typically weigh (for an average XC rider) about 6.5-7 pounds for frame and shock. This is a single-pivot design which drives the shock via a triangular rocker – it is a rising rate suspension system that is very plush but can easily be set up to pedal well with a propedal shock.

FS frames are available configured for 3″, 4″, 5″, 6″, or 7″ rear travel, and any amount of fork travel you want. They are fully custom, including chainstay length, bottom bracket height, etc. FS frames cost $2800, and include a seat collar, all shock mounting hardware, and a Fox CTD, RS Monarch, or Cane Creek DBinline ($100 extra) rear shock. Other shocks are also available.

Screen shot 2015-12-14 at 2.26.11 PM-Lifetime warranty applies to FS frames, for the original owner only. The Ventana rear end version carries a 2 year warranty on the swingarm and seatstays.

-Full parts kits are available as well, please check the pricing page for details.

-Wait time is the same as for any other frame – check the waitlist for wait time details.

-Still want more info? Feel free to drop me a line.

What dropouts do you use for your frames?

I go through a conversation about dropouts with pretty much everyone I build a frame for – and this isn’t meant to replace that conversation, but it’s a good background on what I usually use and what the pluses and minuses are for each option. This is rear (frame) dropouts only, fork dropouts are a lot less interesting in general (if you disagree I’ll do another post on them, just let me know in the comments).

Dropouts I commonly use now:

Paragon sliders. These are a mainstay for folks who want to singlespeed, singlespeed/geared, or use an IGH like a Rohloff. They allow all kinds of axle options and are super reliable – they won’t slip, creak, break, or get scored up by the clamp bolts. In short they are pretty much set and forget. Back in the day they were cool and sexy, now they’re everywhere so nobody will be impressed. If I were building myself a singlespeed, these are what I’d use. They will add about 150g of weight to your frame over a non-adjustable dropout.

Paragon rockers. Another singlespeed/geared option from Paragon for folks who don’t like the look of the sliders or just want the brake caliper tucked between the chainstay and seatstay. Also pretty reliable though they are a bit more complex than the sliders and don’t have a tension screw for fine tuning chain tension (IMO not a big deal). Adds 150g or so as compared to a non-adjustable.

Paragon DR2010. The plain-jane basic disc dropout that I use for almost every geared mountain bike I do. Light, strong, reliable, easy to work with – nothing to hate here. If you want to carry loads on a rear rack or mount fenders, these aren’t ideal – go with the low mounts.

Paul Horizontals. If you’re old school and want rim brakes, or you want a track bike or fixie with no brakes at all, these are super cool and scream street cred, since PaulComp makes badass stuff. They also feature a TON of adjustment (something like 40mm) if you never want to have to add/subtract chain links when changing gears. Note that I will do these with a disc tab if you insist but it’s really better to just use some dropouts that are intended for disc use.

Paragon low mount. If you like the disc tab tucked into the gap between chainstay and seatstay, and/or you want to carry racks and run fenders, these are great since the caliper is out of the way of the eyelets. They have a replaceable aluminum derailleur hanger, which is a bit of a bummer since steel dropouts really don’t need replaceable hangers, but c’est la vie. Available in “expedition” versions with extra material if you’re paranoid or carrying huge loads.

Paragon Polydrops. These are currently only useful for geared bikes but they offer a couple of axle options, a split for future belt drive compatibility, and the cool factor of being the newest thing to come out of Mark’s (Paragon owner) crazy brain. I have a set on Stupidmobile and I like them just fine, though I’d probably just use the low mounts or 2010s for a plain-jane geared hardtail. Not great for folks with heel/chainstay strike issues as they are super long and will be right at ankle-bone distance for some riders.

Paragon DR2007 (and variations). For road or ‘cross bikes with rim brakes. These come in a variety of angles for different sizes of frame – nothing special to say, they just work.

Other stuff I’ve used in the past:

Breezer vertical dropouts. I used to use a ton of these but I don’t much anymore because A) they’re more work for me than plate-type dropouts, and B) many people end up having problems with compatibility for trailers (or axle-mounted racks) and apparently a lot of my customers now have kids. Still available if you want the hooded dropout look, though.

Surly horizontal dropouts. I used these for some singlespeed/rim brake frames back in 2004 and 2005. They are still made and I can still build with them if you’re looking for a hooded horizontal dropout.
Surly Instigator dropouts.  Used on some long-travel full suspension frames I built a long time ago. Canyonero!

Stuff I will only use under protest/refuse to use:

Black Cat Swingers. I built myself a bike with these and had nothing but trouble with them – they slipped under pedaling forces unless I went nuts tightening things down, the derailleur hanger (when running geared) was so flimsy I would end crashless rides with it bent due to just shifting, and the last straw was that under heavy braking on rough/loose terrain, I kept having the rear wheel slip *backwards* at the brake side and lock the tire/wheel into the chainstay. Other people have had better luck but I’ve heard the same story from other builders and riders I trust, so I won’t build with these.

-Socket-type/lug dropouts. I am a TIG guy, but I can competently braze with a variety of materials. So I can build with dropouts that use sockets, but I prefer not to because it’s inherently limiting – I can’t pick ANY seatstay or chainstay that I want, sometimes the angles are fixed, etc. If you’ve got a dropout in mind that you like, I might be willing to use it or I might not – drop me a line and check before you get too excited.

-EBBs. I’ve changed my tune on EBBs since Niner released their fine Biocentric 2 (and the PF30 version). So if you want and EBB, I’m happy to do it.

What kind of tubing do you use?

I use as much domestically sourced material and tubing for my frames as possible. In general, that means I use a lot of tubes from True Temper sports, primarily their OX Platinum, Supertherm, and Verus HT lines. I also use plenty of 4130 cromoly for smaller bits, and bottom bracket shells and dropouts from Paragon machine works. Dropout FAQ is here.

This does not mean that I will not use other tubes and dropouts if appropriate – I start from scratch with every design and use the tubes and parts that I feel will work best for each rider.

Got a question about tubes or frame parts? Drop me a line, I’ll be happy to chat with you about it.

What kind of warranty do you offer?

The Waltworks warranty is straightforward: if you are the original owner of your frame/fork, and it breaks in normal use, I will repair or replace it for free. In most cases, you’ll need to return the item to me for evaluation, and getting it here is your responsibility.

Here are the caveats:

-Customer is responsible for delivering the frame/fork to me (by whatever means you’d like). Yes, even if you live overseas – it’s on you to get it to me for in-person evaluation. If I determine that I will warranty the frame/fork, return shipping of the repaired or replaced item is on me.

-The choice of repairing/replacing/refunding is solely at my discretion. I will do what I feel is best for everyone involved.

-The finish (ie powdercoat) is only covered for 2 years, and only for frames that are powdercoated by my guys (ie, if you get a bare frame and have it painted elsewhere, the finish is not covered). If you need warranty work on a frame that is more than 2 years old, you will have to cover the cost of a new finish/powdercoat (if desired), which is typically about $150 (includes stripping the old finish).

-I will not warranty frames that have been modified or repainted unless the modification/refinishing was done through me.

-I won’t warranty anything caused by abuse or neglect. I will be happy to make repairs in cases where the bike has been damaged in a crash or by any other kind of accident, but you’ll have to pay the going rate for my time.