Custom Builds at Escape Bike Shop

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I thought that I'd write a post about custom builds and what goes in to putting your dream bike together here at Escape Bike Shop, to give a little insight into the process.

Rather than focus on the fitting of each part individually, I've tried to highlight the little things, the details, things that are often overlooked or taken for granted.

Demoing multiple bikes, scouring and pouring over specs and nights of deliberation are just the start of the journey...and once you've decided and paid your hard earned cash for a new bike, what happens next?

Well, once ordered, delivered and checked we begin the build process; in the case of custom builds this is very involved. Here's one we did a while ago...

This is a Santa Cruz 5010 v2, the lovely CC model in blue. This happens to be an off the peg spec straight from Jungle (Santa Cruz UK) but it gets the same treatment in our workshop as any other high end build.

Firstly Tom lays out all the parts to ensure we've everything we need to complete the build, along with the frame which is dis-assembled ready for Invisiframe fitting.  As you can see it's just a big pile of stuff right now, but in a few hours it will be transformed into a trail eating, mile munching demon!IMG_1432

Almost all of our Santa Cruz customers choose to have an Invisframe protection kit fitted. These kits are made from premium quality automotive vinyl and cut to suit a particular brand, model, size and type of paint finish, and will keep your bike looking like new for years!

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It's a time consuming process, involving attention to detail and patience! Fortunately, Tom's got loads of those and secretly quite enjoys a bit of Invisi fitting!

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Once the last bubble is out and the kit's been given a chance to dry it's time to get into the build and re-assemble the frame, making sure bearings are greased and frame alignment is spot on.

Headset and forks first, cut to length but with enough spacers to allow some personal cockpit adjustment. (We'll trim the steerer at a later date if required free of charge). We can also look at riding position, saddle choice, handlebar width and controls, to further tweak your position and comfort on the bike.


It's important that every component is fitted as the manufacturers intend. We use anti-seize, Loctite, fibre grip and grease where needed to make sure things move or don't move as they should!

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As the bike is assembled, each bolt is checked for the required torque. We give every new bike a free stage 1 service too, so we can re-check everything once it's been ridden a few times.


Tubeless is definitely the way to run your tyres. Lighter, more grip, less punctures and increased feel are just some of the reasons to do it! Don't delay - Go tubeless today!

With the aid of a compressor, a little fairy liquid and some sealant Tom will make light work of setting your chosen wheels up tubeless. Maxxis tyres are some of our favourites and suit the trails round the Yorkshire Dales and South Lakes perfectly.

Tom will take care to line up hub, rim and tyre decals too! This level of attention to detail is a matter of pride, and something many people will not even notice...but it's the proper way to do things, so that's what we do.

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All hoses and cables are cut to length during assembly. Brakes always need re-bleeding and If you've got a Reverb that will too. This particular build uses a KS LEV which is cable operated. These are super reliable and a great alternative to a Reverb. It still needs routing through the frame and cable trimming though...

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Once everything is the correct length and tied in place, theres a little delicate trimming to be done so as to not leave sharp zip tie ends sticking out.

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Often new chains come excessively covered in packing grease/wax which although being a good lube is very sticky and attracts dust and dirt like nobody's business! We clean that off and apply a suitable chain lube instead.


Once complete, and everything set up correctly, we'll start from the beginning again and PDI (Pre Delivery Inspection) the bike to make sure nothing has been missed and the set up is perfect. All that remains is a few pictures and to set up the suspension on collection to suit your weight and riding style. We will also run you through all the features on your bike to ensure you know exactly what's what and make any adjustments to your cockpit set up to fine tune the fit.

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Hey presto, a fully fettled, ready to rock Santa Cruz 5010cc.

What's your poison? Santa Cruz, Rocky Mountain, Niner? We can custom build on many different frames, don't forget it's not all mountain bikes either! Here's a beautiful Ritchey road bike we've done.


Want to know more? Fancy a new bike or want to try a demo bike?

Give us a call on 015242 41226 and book a demo of our Hightower LT, or speak to Paul for a custom build quote or to put together your dream bike!

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