"Somehow I developed the "cyclocross fever." I started looking for the dream bike, somewhat tempered by the reality of the possibility that I could crash in my first race. I settled on a Ridley X-Night but suffered through weeks of indecision resulting from the unique geometry of this bike. The experts in the Connecticut, New York, and Colorado markets recommended everything from as small as a 54cm to even a concern that the 58cm might be too small. The differences of opinion frustrated me to no end.
A friend of mine in Washington, DC, told me he had heard of a "cyclocross master builder" in the area that he could build me my dream bike. I immediately contacted Ben and we discussed my needs and fit concerns with the Ridley X-Night. Ben assured me he'd take care of me. We agreed on very competitive terms on a Monday and Ben guaranteed that he have the bike custom built with me on Friday so I could ride that Sunday.
Friday morning I traveled 5 hours from Connecticut to Woodbine, arriving near noon. Ben had actually gone through the trouble of ordering both a 56cm and a 58cm X-Night Special Edition frames, each the last ones of their kind in the country. He also brought in a fully built-up 58cm X-Night for me to test ride and verify the fit. With everything in front of us, we confirmed that the 58cm frame was the perfect fit, something I couldn't have achieved without Ben's infatuation with detail and commitment to the client.
Over the next few hours Ben built up my custom Ridley in front of my eyes, making all of the minute adjustments necessary along the way to ensure that the sizing was perfect. Just as important, Ben has been immensely responsive to any and all questions I've had after the purchase to address any tweaks or adjustments that have been necessary after breaking the bike n.
The bike rides like a dream, largely due to Ben's customization. People thought I was crazy to order my bike from a shop that was 5 hours away from home. But it was well worth it. As well, his workmanship has even impressed the Connecticut boys at my local bike shop. Thanks again to Ben for the bike and his great enthusiasm and support. I hope to do him and Ridley proud as I work my way up from the back of the pack during this cross season.