Like cars, the bike you choose is an extension of your personality. What better way is there to show your individuality than with a custom-made bicycle? If you're looking for a one-of-a-kind steed, check out these custom rigs that promise to make you stand out from the rest of the pack.
Calfee Bikes1 of 7
Calfee isn't a company you hear about often, but they do have a solid history in frame building. In addition to innovations like an optional active rear-suspension package on their top-of-the-line road bike, they also have the most flexible custom paint program out there. That flexibility means significant interaction is required. You'll need to have good communication skills and a heavy helping of creativity to get the bike you want. In the end, this is one of the most customizable bikes you'll ever have the opportunity to build.
Guru Bikes2 of 7
Guru used to be a popular brand among triathletes and is now becoming more recognized among traditional cyclists. The company is known for its pioneering work in bike fitting and its program to make bikes tailored to individual athlete dimensions. No major manufacturer has ever taken the principle of "custom" that far.
They're also a leader in custom color. Though they won't go as far afield as Calfee, Guru does offer a wide range of color options for every frame in their lineup. You can choose between four different color schemes to apply an almost infinite combination of hues. It's also a very affordable program. Between the price and the variety, Guru gets the "best value" award out of the lineup.
NeilPryde3 of 7
NeilPryde entered the cycling market with a roar back in 2011, capturing the adoration of several industry watchers by winning quite a few design awards. They've been quieter in recent years, but one thing that ought to get people's attention is the custom paint program. Only slightly less variable than the Guru program, NeilPryde offers a great range to express your personality in whatever color combination you want, and for only $150 in addition to the frame you choose to order.
Trek Project One4 of 7
You can't talk about custom colors without mentioning Trek's "Project One" program, which allows you to customize your bike's paint scheme with everything from color fades to neon flames. The drawback here is the price. In order to get a custom dream bike, you have to order a bike that is "Project One eligible," which means you can only choose from a few of their more expensive options.
Sarto5 of 7
Sarto is hardly a retail floor mainstay, but they have genuine credibility and heritage in the cycling industry. They also feature that extra sense of international flair in their Italian genetics. A custom paint job with their name on the downtube is sure to stand out.
Getting your hands on one of these bikes will take some serious patience. Here are a few things you should know about Italian-made bikes: First, they invest as much pride and passion in building their bikes as they did building the architectural wonders of Rome. Second, Rome wasn't built in a day, so be comfortable with waiting.
Formigli6 of 7
Not a budget option, Formigli custom bikes are made in Florence, Italy, by a world-class frame builder. The quality of these bikes isn't the only attribute that sets them apart from the others on this list. Formigli is one of the only companies to offer custom paint options for all carbon, aluminum and steel frames they make. They also have a custom women's frame that is a pro-level race bike. Every option in their lineup will take a heavy chunk from your savings, but the result is a piece of art that you'll want to keep forever.