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Bike connoisseurs! Lend me your ears!(10 posts)

Bike connoisseurs! Lend me your ears!ET
Mar 8, 2001 11:34 AM
I got the idea for this post seeing how another thread evolved.

If you are a bike connoisseur and have ever bought an expensive bike/frame you found disappointing for its price, could you tell us the details? Maybe it can provide us with some insight.

I'm asking only about really *expensive* bikes, e.g. Merlin, Vortex, Palmares, C-40, Serotta Ti Legend and CSi, the high-priced Italian steels, etc. If in doubt, please post. And not to sound haughty, but if you're not that well known here (and even if you are), it might help if you give some credentials (e.g. years riding, bikes previously owned, racing credentials, etc.) as to why you might classify as a connoisseur (don't be bashful; if you're not sure, you're a connoisseur!). I'm not looking for comments from someone whose first road bike was a C-40 or who bought a bike with the wrong fit, and I am less interested in, say, component deficiencies and comparisons. It's really the frame I'm after here, although I guess horror stories ordering a bike are somewhat relevant since any purchaser might have to go through that himself. I'm trying to get a handle on what a *connoisseur* found disappointing in an expensive bike. This might make for an interesting thread and shed light on this matter.
I'll Bitegrz mnky
Mar 8, 2001 2:48 PM
Dissappointment would be my Trek OCLV. Very bummed that the finish was sh!t and started to peel. It was the flat clear coat over the nude frame only offered in '96. They refused to acknowledge that they made a poor choice of materials and would not warranty it after one year. They said that I shouldn't sweat on the bike and that would avoid the corrosion of the aluminum cable guides along the top tube. They no longer offer the thin clear coat, nor do they run the cables in this manner. The other beef is that the Matrix brand wheels totally suked, and the ICON stuff is junk. they've made some large improvements and I shouldn't b!tch too much since I got a good closeout deal on the bike.

I finally sold the bike in disgust after I rode a Serotta Legend Ti - the feel was too sweet to ignore, even though the Trek was lighter. the Trek just had the "dead" feel to it. Fell in love with the Serotta and have completely rebuilt it.

As for qualifications, I started writing it out, but it's all so boastful and stuff can easily be made up w/out any means to verrify. Let's just say I've crashed at 50 mph (that suked big time), I've completed the Terrible Two in the time limit, my racing is on MTBs and I'm the guy my friends come to when it's time to do involved work on bikes, including building wheels. My preferred riding is long heinous endurance type of events with lots of climbing. Some people think of me as the shy, pleasant and unassuming grz mnky - I just don't know who these people might be.
Did Trek really say that?mike mcmahon
Mar 8, 2001 4:38 PM
"They said that I shouldn't sweat on the bike and that would avoid the corrosion of the aluminum cable guides along the top tube." Did your contact at Trek have any suggestions about how to avoid sweating during strenuous exercise under a hot sun? If so, please share. I sweat just putting my Sidis on and would appreciate any tips from industry insiders at Trek. ;-)
Did Trek really say that?grz mnky
Mar 9, 2001 10:20 AM
Yeah, they actually said that and I told them that it was ludicrous. They replied that at a minimum I should completely wipe my bike down after every single ride. Sorry, but I'm not any where close to being that anal. I take care of my equipment, but it's all in due course. The last thing I want to worry about when I complete a heinous ride is wiping down my bike. Fortunately ti doesn't have this problem.

Really what they were doing was being defensive and trying to avoid having to warranty every single bike produced that year with this finish. They were pretty good about repairing my broken hanger for the rear der. after I crashed: it cost only $70 (+$20 for shipping) and it was ready to ride before I was. They did offer to do a crash replacement even though the frame was fine. I just didn't want to spend additional money and I wanted my bike to look nice (but not fancy).
52.5+- miles, 11,500 +- on a MTBJ.S.
Mar 8, 2001 6:26 PM
Hey Grz, I don't know where your from but it sounds like you'd like this local event we do here in So. Cal. have a look.
that looks fun, thanks for the linkHank
Mar 8, 2001 6:33 PM
my kind of mtb race - not too technical, lots of climbing.
I'll Bite too!Campbell
Mar 10, 2001 4:58 AM
I am dissappointed with the service from trek on my olvc.
here's twoHank
Mar 8, 2001 4:39 PM
Guerciotti SLX - bought new in 1986. Always felt a bit too steep to me, I think the alignment was off, horrible at high speed - vibrations, nervous. Poor paint. Rode/raced it two years and then sold it.

Bontrager Race mtb - bought new in 1994. Loved the way it felt 90% of the time and it climbed like a mountain goat, great in tight single track, but again, too steep for me. Put my weight too far forward on steep downhill sketchy stuff, big time endo machine. Sold it after a year. But I still think it's one of the classic mtb frames.

Sorry, no super high end late 90s stuff. These bikes were about as good as things got at the time I bought them. I've always bought steel and prefer Nor Cal builders. Been riding road/off road about 17 years now - since I was 15. Raced road five years, still do the occaissional mtb race or road hill climb. Worked in bike shops on and off for 10 years.
re: WellSteveS
Mar 8, 2001 7:58 PM
I really have never been disappointed, but my riding buddy was with one of his high end purchases, a custom Calborn, which is either made by Colnago or related in some way. I am a bit reticient to say too much in order that somehow the word not be related back to the shop owner via the wizardry of the internet. My pal just didn't like the fit, handling, or weight of the bike and this after the supposed expert fitting skills a shop owner who raced in Europe and knows Merckx by first name. Let's just say my pal is a good strong recreational rider who has had very expensive steel frames and now rides a custom $3000 ti frame. The Calborn sits on a hook someplace.
re: Bike connoisseurs! Lend me your ears!Chris Jones
Mar 10, 2001 5:38 PM
I rode recreationally for about a coupel of years on a Trek 2300 before I got into racing. Once I did that I felt the need to buy a bike that would last for a while, a classic bike. My LBS that I've bought all of my bikes from is also a Serotta dealer, so I wanted a CSi. One was on sale in my size so I went ahead and bought the frame and built it up. It was a good bike, it rode some better than my Trek and maybe some better than my aluminum Quattro Assi that I have now, but there wasn't enough of a difference to justify having spent the money. That coupled with the fact that it was significantly heavier made me extremely dissapointed with it. That everyone else seemed to love theirs and go on and on about how great they were made me even more miserable. I'll probably buy another Steel bike, because right now I only have one bike and that's just not enough, but it won't be a Serotta.

Chris Jones