Violet Crown Cycles

Violet Crown Cycles Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of bikes do you build?

Violet Crown Cycles builds quality, handbuilt bikes meant to be ridden for transportation, not just racing or recreation. We currently offer the Ferguson line, bikes inspired by the Dutch city bikes and English roadsters that combine the well executed function of transportation in style. We plan to also offer models of cargo bikes and touring bikes in the future.

When will the Ma Ferguson be available to order?

The Ma Ferguson is now available to order online. We currently offer a “men's style” frame version of our Ferguson line called the Pa Ferguson. This has a horizontal top tube creating the classic double diamond design. We also offer a “women's style” frame dubbed the Ma Ferguson. This has a down sloping, step-through front triangle. Note: There is really nothing particularly male or female about these two designs. Their designation as such dates back to a time when a woman wearing pantaloons was considered scandalous. Pick the one you like best no matter your gender.

Do you build road, mountain or cyclocross bikes?

There are a plethora of builders building handbuilt racing and performance frames in the U.S. right now. We are fans of a lot of these builders, but very few builders offer true transportation bikes as even an option. We wish to provide quality bikes to serve this under served market. We may offer extremely limited runs of more performance oriented bikes from time to time, but our focus is to provide you with bikes that can replace cars and get you there in style. If you really want us to design and build a bike for you that is not currently offered, contact us directly with your request. We'll let you know if we can do it or recommend another builder who specializes in the style you are looking for.

What materials do you build with?

Violet Crown Cycles uses high quality, U.S. made True Temper steel tubing silver brazed with lugged joints. Not only do lugs make strong, long lasting joints, they also add an attractive architectural element and distinctive retro look to your bike in a world of mass produced bikes with ugly, if functional, welds. Framebuilders can build quality bicycles out of a variety of materials like steel, aluminum, titanium, or carbon. Each material has its benefits and drawbacks, but cromoly steel offers the best combination of long term durability, light weight, and low relative cost. These features are especially appropriate for city bikes. .

How much do the bikes weigh?

Our Ferguson line of bikes weigh around 40 pounds fully built up, which is lighter than most European made Dutch style bikes. Transportation bikes are not meant to be raced and trade sturdy, durable frames and low maintenance, reliable components like internal hubs and roller brakes for the lighter weight yet more finicky racing inspired frames and components sold on most production bikes. All our bikes also include lights, fenders, chain guard, frame lock (optional) and a rack, incredibly useful items often left off other bikes that are sold as “utility.” This lower weight is achieved by using lighter, most expensive yet durable cromoly steel in the frame and by creating custom attachments for components and accessories on the frame.

How can I customize my handbuilt bike?

On our order page, we offer many ways for you to customize your bike and price our options. From color to handlebars, saddle to bags, there are thousands of variations to choose from with detailed explanations of each option so you can make an educated choice.

Can I customize my bike with other components or accessories not listed on the order page?

Yes, with a $50 further customization fee plus any additional cost the accessory or component adds to the cost of your bike. Please note further customization is based on availability of requested items and may add build time to your bike.

Why do you powder coat your bikes instead of painting?

Modern powder coating yields nearly as much color variation as paint in a more durable and environmentally friendly product. Since our bikes are meant to be ridden for transportation, we want our customers to be able to ride around town, haul groceries, and put their bikes on buses or trains without having to worry about paint scratches. Also since powder coating is baked on instead of using harsh curing chemicals, there is less impact on the air we breathe.

Can I have two tone or illustrated designs in my frame painting?

Yes. If you are wanting a multi-color design, please select the $50 further customization option and let us know what you are looking for. We'll bid out your request to our local painter and let you know the additional cost. Please note this is how you would request items such as your fork or fenders to be powder coated a different color than the frame.

Why do you ask for my weight?

Our bikes are custom designed for your body which includes weight as well as body proportions. Depending on your weight (generally over 200 pounds), we may use oversized tubing so the ride quality will be similar to other bikes. There is some variation on this,but please try to list your weight within 5-10 pounds.

Can I make a deposit toward my bike?

No. We must have your full payment for your bike before we begin work. Many frame builders take deposits on orders but most of these builders have long waiting periods on delivery (sometimes years). We believe that by requiring full payment at the time of ordering keeps our lead times down and ensures only customers serious about buying get into the production cue.

What is your refund policy?

You may cancel your order and receive a refund minus a 15% cancellation fee at any time until you sign off on the CAD design of your bike. This cancellation fee covers our book keeping expenses and design time. After sign off, we will have ordered all the materials for your bike and begun work, and there will be no refund.

Can you build my bike with 700c wheels?

Yes, simply select the further customization option when you order and let us know you want 700c wheels. Unless you request otherwise, we will build your wheels with Schwalbe Delta Crusier HS 392 700x35c tires in either Black (default) or Creme color depending on your preference. There is no additional charge other than the further customization fee for requesting 700c size wheels unless you also ask for premium rims, tires, or spokes. Please note that if you are a shorter rider (say 5'6" or shorter) there may be toe overlap issues by selecting this option. Toe overlap is when your foot may possibly strike the front wheel when turning. We will be able to determine this in the bike design with your body measurements you give us. If toe overlap is an issue, we'll contact you to let you know so you can make a decision on the final wheel size of your bike.

Do you make bikes for children?

No, all of our bikes are intended for riders over the age of 12.