Has anyone built a frame that they hated?

I have my mtb frame I built. I just can’t get used to it. I think the seat tube angle is too steep for me but just can’t get used to it. Wish I did not sell my Canfield so I can put that back together.
I guess I need to build another soon.


I wouldn’t say I hate it but the first frame I built has some sort of misalignment going on. I didn’t really notice it at first, but I seem to have become more attuned to these things over time. It turns left really well but doesn’t like straight lines so much hahaha.
Does your mtb have a dropper? if not you could try one of those bent thompson seatposts. Or with a different saddle you might be able to get it far enough back in the rails. Last option I can think of is more fork travel to slack out the seatpost if you have a suspension fork.
I know the feeling though, my wifes bike has a 78* sta and that’s a degree too far for me, fortunately she like it!


My first bike with real bike tubing in 2016. Something too steep or something with the steering. Twitchy and would fall off center either way if you glanced at it wrong. Loved it as my first “real” bike (not heavy wall big box store tubing) but couldn’t get over the ride. But I laugh now because all the parts are on different bikes! (and I hadn’t learned cable management, lol)

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I guess I don’t hate. Just not getting used to it.
I do run a dropper.


Yes, I have made a few that I didn’t like. 2 of them got the tT and dt cut off and made into ones I like a lot more.

@Pi_bikes Recommendation of a longer fork would help and sliding the seat all the way back on the rails would also be good to try. There are taller lower fork crown races too. Reverse Components makes one.

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V1: GXC prototype

I wouldn’t say hate, any bike with a dropper and good tires is a fun bike. This was an experimental bike from October 2021, which we called GXC (gravel XC). It was some experimentation with a more nimble XC geo.

This was our first full 3D-printed dropout experiment too:

What went wrong?

This was an example of making geo changes at once. I wanted to experiment with applying some sizing and design concepts of trail hardtails to an XC bike. Geometry is subjective, so take everything with a grain of salt. note: I always look at bikes unsagged.

  • long chainstays + low BB + short front center don’t mix. The bike ends up being too planted
  • Steep STA (~75) + low stack don’t mix. It dumps all your weight onto your handlebars
  • EC34-44 headset and headtube combo are expensive! Once it was on the bike, I didn’t notice anything :rofl:
  • I am also not a fan of steep HTA and short offset forks on XC bikes. I feel you get the worst of both worlds: makes your steering slower and decreases your front center. Unfortunately I think all XC bikes have 44mm offsets to reduce the number of SKU’s
  • I HATED the fit 4 damper. The fork felt very “platformy”, which made my wrist issues worse

Surprisingly, FM on mountain bikes is totally fine!


Fun and interesting topic!

The very first frame I made was my favourite bike ever and I’ve stuck pretty close to that one for my personal geometry since.

But…my first full sus frame sucked. The geo was good because it was translated from my hardtail. The suspension was pretty awful. I had it in my head that leverage curves have to be progressive or death. So I used the yoke to help get a bit of progression out of a simple, single pivot layout. The result was very little support, I ended up running the firmest spring I could get (I weigh ~65kg).

I then threw all that out the window, my next one actually had a rising leverage rate and it was awesome! I’ve since realised that more constant LR can offer some of the best mid stroke support - something I’m specifically looking for.


I guess we all have some growing pains and good to know I’m not alone. I usually copy a XL or XXL from a company. I will slacken the ST by a couple degrees next one.


I made a bike to try mid-low trail geometry with 650*48 tires. It was the worst bike I ever tried, could not ride it without hands, it was slow and it did not held a line in curves. It was scary but rode it with different weight distribution and tire pressure to try to find why it was so bad.
Earlier this year I switched to 38 tires at 35-40 psi and now the bike ride just fine. I guess big tires are not that great on pavement.


Looks very similar to what I’m trying to build. I hope we have different tastes :grinning:


Nah you’ll be good. Don’t take my failures as any indication of your work. Trust what you’re doing because it looks like you put a lot of thought into it.
(And yeah I do have slightly odd opinions on kinematic etc).

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Next MTB frame I will make I may copy this obscure little know company called NMW.


I’m a beginner hobbyist. A few months ago I built my first frame. I am very proud of myself for accomplishing the task, but less pleased with the result. It’s a touring bike with geo that I cobbled together from different bikes that I liked and components from my old touring bike. The bike just doesn’t handle or feel the way I wanted it to. The seat tube and head tube are too slack, among other things.

It’s been a great learning experience however, and it’s made me realize how little I actually understand about bike design. A big revelation for me was that a bike is not necessarily the sum of it’s parts, but rather a complete system that each part must be integrated into.

This winter I plan on making my second bike and applying what I learned from the first. So that screwed up frame is still very valuable to me.


Before I built my hardtail, I rode my wife’s honzo (which she likes the geo) for a day and found the seat tube to be too steep for my liking too. It felt like too much weight on my hands. It makes sense for doing a lot of winching up seated and descending with the seat dropped, but felt weird when riding rolling terrain with the seat up. Seemed like maybe a similar experience to what you’re having. Bike fit is something that I find pretty challenging. I guess I haven’t really deviated much from my previous bikes in terms of body positioning. Maybe a different saddle
That moves the seating position back some would help and allow you to retain the dropper? I think @Daniel_Y posted about this somewhere in my build thread.

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I finished my first frame late this past spring and I think along the lines of what John posted above I’m happy that I completed it and feel that is a big accomplishment. That being said there is a LOT of room for improvement in practically every aspect of the execution. It does ride well, a little on the twitchy side (chain stays ended up shorter than planned) but I can’t really complain about that too much. The booger covered welds, backwards bottom bracket (I checked twice) and numerous other issues that most people wouldn’t notice bother me. I wouldn’t say I hate it but it humbles me. I’m currently planning for version 2.0 this winter so we’ll see how that goes.


I think the only way to ever build good stuff is by building a lot of shitty stuff first, not calling your bike shitty, just trying to explain. A very select few jump to expert level right out of the gate, us mere mortals have to claw our way up the learning curve one shitty project at a time. Each attempt gets a little better until, eventually, you’re building cool shit. I think it’s really good that you’re finding things to improve, rather than seeing it through rose colored glasses because you built it. Build another one, you’ll be surprised at the amount of things that get better that you hadn’t even considered. Make the second one better than the first, and the third better than the second. It took me 3 times to realize I was making stuff too damn long, but what I learned was woth the price of admission. I’m striving for slightly less shitty every time.


Instead of building a new one, you could:

Cut the front half off, raise the BB/slacken the ST, re-make the front half.
Re-make the back half, which is probably harder.

I had a hardtail with a ST that was a little too slack. Then I crashed it. Destroyed the front end, had to replace it. Gave me the opportunity to fix the ST angle. Now it fits great.

The only frame Ive made that fits terribly is one that I tried to copy a Yeti’s geo with. 77 deg ST. It was fucked. Bought a 9point8 set back dropper, looked really goofy, but at least it could be ridden.

Good luck!


I built this bike in 2017 and I have spent more time on it than any other bike I have built. The one thing I really hate about it is the wicked toe overlap. I came up in the fixie craze and I always adored the tight, upright angles of proper track bikes. When designing for other use cases I tended toward steep and upright. This bike was supposed to be an All Road of sorts and it would serve its purpose a lot better if I had a longer front center. On singletrack it would handle rocks and things better and for low-speed maneuvering on pavement I wouldn’t have toe overlap. On bikes I have built since I extended front center and they’re so much nicer. One thing I don’t hate is the paint from Rudi at Black Magic.


So I was starting to get used to the frame and then it broke.
Bad weld and too thin of the wall on the TT. It pealed it from the TT.
The 245lbs on a long seat post, the TT could not handle it.
I will cut out the TT and repair it with a non-butted TT.

Thank you for all the posts. At least I’m not the only one.


Problem solved! A good way to get rid of a bike you don’t like!

What butt and diameter were you using on the TT?