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Colnago Dream Cross vs. High End Steel Frame(13 posts)

Colnago Dream Cross vs. High End Steel FrameDodgeBallBoy
Jun 18, 2003 11:08 AM
Both my road and mountain bike are made from Reynolds 853. They are light, comfortable, and a joy to ride. So my head tells me to stick with steel for a cross frame. But my heart wants to venture out and try something new. My heart wants a Colnago.

Any feed back about the ride quality of the Colnago Dream Cross would be appreciated. Also if anyone has any viewpoints on where you would spend your hard earned money, either the Colnago or high end steel, would be welcome too.

Thank you.
Jun 18, 2003 12:29 PM
if I was looking for a CX racing bike, it would be a Dream Cross (would also consider Seven). the fluted tubing on the Dream series is said to make for a smooth ride - never ridden one but would like to find out.
if you want a smooth ride, durability and light weight, you could consider custom ti; the higher end steels will not exactly be heavy either. or, you could get a Dream Cross AND a custom steel.
Jun 18, 2003 1:56 PM
I was a steel guy for the longest time. Most of the new high end Alu has worked out the rigidity of the bigger Al tubes. I find this especially true of bikes of european origin, don't ask me why. If you plan on racing get the Dream if it fits. Considering the 3 top bikes in cx today (by race results) are Al or Al blends (Empella, Ridley and Colnago) it speaks to the quality of this material when built properly. I'd say go Steel if you want a epic/adventure ride or just dig the Boutique Steel Caveat.
Jun 20, 2003 6:26 AM
Of course it should also be pointed out that the pros put very few miles on their aluminum cross bikes (because they have 3-4 of them) AND they replace them each year. Both of these are considerations are not options for the typical cross bike owner. Something to consider.

I've got two super light aluminum bikes right now but don't plan on keeping either for more than 3 years.
true about usageatpjunkie
Jun 20, 2003 9:16 AM
but that's why they are race bikes. I have 2 Y2K crossers(and 1 Road) , all Aluminum, one gets considerable commute use and I don't think either is at the point of fatigue and failure.(And I'm 200 plus lbs.) I can't think of anyone I know who has 'worn a bike out'.
Dream Cross not quite superlightweiwentg
Jun 20, 2003 11:57 AM
the Dream Cross frame is about 3 lbs. unless you are very heavy it is not exactly going to wear out. Giant's XTC hardtail frames are about 3lbs as well. if you don't do 3 foot drops on your Dream Cross, it'll probably last quite a while.
owning a colnago and 531/853 GWbuffalosorrow
Jun 18, 2003 5:27 PM
I race on my colnago, stiff and sprints well, I feel like a million bucks riding anywhere on the bike. I bought mine used (not their star tube model, older round down tube, also the forkis threaded and has a nice crown). I would not trade it for anything...well a new one.

My ride other is a Graham Weigh custom (via main tubes are reynolds 531 and the downtube is a tear drop reynolds 853. This allows the frame to be sub- 4lbs, while keeping costs down. I ride the GW on average of 15 miles a day, commuting to and fro work. Wonderfull, I even raced as a singlespeed in the begining of the season.

The GW is more forgiving than the colnago, the colnago feels faster, more nimble. So far I have better lap time on the colnago. I am still going to race the GW in the early parts of the season and use it as a back up. It would be impossible for me to choose between the two (like apples and oranges...both fruit, but different, both equally interesting.)

Although I have my mind on a Steelman or new Colnago.... cost is an issue, I'd opt for another custom GW, but full 853 and a ti (morati) or carbon fork (Alpha Q, colnago or empella), of course campy equiped. Or if I could happen to find a great deal on a minimally used colnago, steelman or empella, of course I'd jump on it. Granted, I am not looking for a new frame. Perhaps a ti fork for the GW...
My thoughtsmosovich
Jun 18, 2003 7:02 PM
A friend of mine had an Colnago, but had problem running wider tires, ex. Michelin Muds or Sprints due to the F. Der. rubbing the tire. He liked it, but unfortunately he never could run anything other that Vittoria 700x27 Tigres. If he did try anything else, no clearance at all. He eventually went to a single ring set up and that worked okay until someone stole it.
I have an IF and an Empella. Love them both, but the Empella is stiffer and a better racing bike, the IF is great for fire road rides, but after 4 seasons of cross, you can feel the flex, or at least feel the difference.

I personally if you had that kind of cash, would go with a Ridley Supercross or Empella. If you were going too go steel, I'd go IF or Steelman.

Just my thoughts.
Frank Tuesday
Jun 20, 2003 6:22 AM
A lot of variables.

1. Are you going full custom steel vs. stock Al? A proper fit is a beautiful thing. Yes, you can get 95% of the way there by adjusting stem height and other things, but that last 5% is fantastic.

2. What are the courses like? Do they tend to be well groomed, smooth and with lots of pavement? Or are they rough, mowed the day before the race and with little pavement? I'd pick aluminum for the former, steel for the latter.

3. Material differences are not what they used to be. Aluminum bikes are getting softer and Steel and Ti are getting stiffer. A custom steel builder would be able to design the frame to be stiff where you want it to be.

4. Head vs. Heart. Follow your heart. Unless you make a living racing bikes, the bike is a toy. Never follow your head when buying a toy.

Frank Tuesday
Minister of Chaos
Colnago Dream Cross vs. High End Steel FrameDodgeBallBoy
Jun 20, 2003 8:28 AM
Frank - To answer your questions.

1. The steel frames I'm considering are Steelman, Seven, Waterford, and Oswald. Independent should be on the list but I already own their Deluxe mountain bike and thus would like to expand my steel palette. Kelly and Ritchey are nice but are hard to find.

The frame build wouldn't be full custom. For example if Seven builds the frame I'd pick one of their stock geometries. Yet still have them tailor the tubes to how I'd like the bike to ride. I'm afraid of going totally full custom and have the ride quality of the frame be worthless.

2. The cross courses are rough with minimal pavement. Not only would this cross bike get used for racing but also be used on single-track and epic mountain rides.

3. I agree.

4. Good point. Yet my head still needs to make sure that my heart is making the right decision.

Thank you all for your input. More suggestion are welcome.
re: Colnago Dream Cross vs. High End Steel Frameflyweight
Jun 20, 2003 6:36 AM
I've got a one-off Colnago cross bike made from Easton tubing. I love it but at the same time I got it for a song and doubt I'd fork out the money for a Dream Cross. The Colnago does have fairly tight clearances. I serious mud you probably wouldn't want to run anything more than a 28mm tire. I also doubt you'd be able to run a triple for more epic rides. Finally, every Colnago cross bike I've seen lacks bottle mounts.

If I were to plunk down my $$ on an aluminum cross bike today I'd probably go for the Bianchi scandium bike. It has bottle mounts, is lighter than the Colnago, and has a CNC'd bridge on the right chainstay to prevent damage to the frame in the event of a dropped chain/chainsuck. It's also cheaper. I'd also look at the Empella and Ridley bikes. The only thing the Colnago offers over any of these bikes is a really cool paint job and prestige.
re: Colnago Dream Cross vs. High End Steel FrameHWTrider
Jun 20, 2003 8:00 PM
I am not as qualified as some of the other posters to comment on the raceability of a Colnago vs. a High end steel frame. I do not race often. However, if you want a Colnago get one. This will not be the last bike you buy! If you are like the rest of us you will be looking at the next bike and
the next bike and the next one.... As a big rider, 245 lbs.,
I have ridden a lot of aluminum bikes and have been pleased with there performance. Currently, I am now enjoying the ride of a costom steel bike (Steelman) and would highly recommend one to anyone, especially for epic rides, and bumpy single track.
Comfort and fit are the most important things to me at this point in my life.

Having said all of that the Dream Cross is a COOL bike. Good Luck!
Colnago Dream Cross on 40mm tyres.Samu Ilonen
Jun 23, 2003 3:46 AM
My friend has riden two winters with Nokian W240 studded tyres....One nice thing about Colnago is thet they can make some adjustisemets in single order! Just ask for wider tyres.

My own design ti cross has 50mm rear and 56mm clearence on fork. Way to go for winter!