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I wannabe FRAMED! Need advice!(28 posts)

I wannabe FRAMED! Need advice!MeDotOrg
Jul 13, 2001 10:51 AM
Too many decisions:

Back story: I'm a 50 year old non-racer, 6' 170 pounds. I ride a fair amount (150 miles a week, a couple of centuries a year, California Aids Ride.) So I like a frame that is comfortable and not super-twitchy. I was in an accident on Tuesday. My 2000 Bianchi Veloce Frame (Chromoly) is shot. I've done some comparison-shopping and will probably make a decision today. Here are my options:

From the original Bianchi Dealer:

$575 – Replacement Veloce Frame / Bianchi Carbon Fork
$750 – Gunnar Road (Hot Dog) frame / Profile Fork
$950 – Bianchi Boron XL frame / Bianchi Carbon Fork

Colorado Cyclist:

$1090 – Douglas Ti Frame/ Reynolds Ouzo Comp Fork
$1099 – Fuji Team Frame / Time Fork
$1196 - Tommasini Sintesi / Look HSC 3 fork

Excel Sports:

$1184 Macalu Ti Frame / Reynolds Ouzo Comp Fork

Total Cycling (Northern Ireland)

$1200 Look KG281 / Look HSC3 Fork ( actually shows conversion at $1120.63)

The deal from Total Cycling is the best – they also throw in Deda Newton bars and stem. In the U.S., Excel sells the KG281 with a HSC2 fork for $1850 and calls it a blowout.

The scary thing is that I haven't ridden a Look frame. I rode the Gunnar frame and liked it, but was not crazy about it. Sort of a Toyota Camry, not really fast, but very solid.

So.suggestions? Keep in mind I'm not a competition rider, but I like to ride long distances. Normally I wouldn't consider a Scandium frame like the Fuji Team, but with a carbon rear I would imagine the ride is pretty comfortable. $1200 is the upper limit of what I will spend on a frame and fork.
re: I wannabe FRAMED! Need advice!moschika
Jul 13, 2001 11:04 AM
have you looked into other custom frame builders? for under $1200 i know you could get a curtlo frame and just about any fork you want. he also can put flex stays for a bit more comfy ride. i really takes into consideration what type of riding you want to do when designing a frame.
i have a curtlo mountain bike and doug was a pleasure to work with. if when i get another road bike it would probably be from him. check him out at
re: I wannabe FRAMED! Need advice!badabill
Jul 13, 2001 11:42 AM
I dont see why more riders dont go with a custom frame builder. Curtlo, strong , landshark and many others offer great frames in this price range. You can choose metals and geometry to suit your riding style.
re: I wannabe FRAMED! Need advice!spindry
Jul 13, 2001 11:05 AM
I would stay away from the look frames. A friend of mine had one for about a month (I don't recall which model) and the frame started flexing and making some noise. Fortunately he was able to return it.

Personally I would recommend the Macalu. It should be very comfortable and not too twitchy.
Not true about the KG281Dave Hickey
Jul 13, 2001 11:18 AM
The KG281 does not flex more than any other frame. Look at the results of the Tour so far. 1st,2nd,3rd overall are riding a KG281. If its good enough for the pro's in the tour, it's fine for your need.
those are rebadged Litespeedsnm
Jul 13, 2001 11:20 AM
I can recall at least one broken Look frame in the pro ranksDoll Face
Jul 13, 2001 11:29 AM
I can recall at least one broken Look frame in the pro ranks this year. Believe that it was during a classic. Rider beware!
Pro's break alot of frames. (nm)J.S.
Jul 13, 2001 12:41 PM
Not true about the KG281spindry
Jul 13, 2001 11:40 AM
I don't think it was frame flex, it was a problem with movement by the lugs. He liked the frame before the problem occurred. I'm sure if he got new frames for free every month or so like the Tour rides he would still be riding it. However, for someone that doesn't want to have to replace their frame after a year, I would recommend staying away from it.
bogus response .... nmJohnG
Jul 14, 2001 9:37 AM
does fit matter?nm
Jul 13, 2001 11:12 AM
price range is pretty wide too
Why did you reduce the list to these?Len J
Jul 13, 2001 11:22 AM
I was trying to understand your selection criteria as I thought it would give me insight into what you really need/want, but after reviewing this list I can't find any logic. Help.

Have you looked at used frames in the classified? There are some sweet deals there.

How many of these frames have you ridden?

Need more info.
I would buy the Tommasini or Douglas.Doll Face
Jul 13, 2001 11:35 AM
The Douglas seems like a great deal for a polished Ti frame.

Tommasini is one of the best "off the rack" steel frames you can buy.
The Tommasini frame only weighs around 3.8lbs, which is only about 300 grams more than the Douglas.
if cost matters andel cheapo
Jul 13, 2001 11:53 AM
you are going to re-use all components or as many as possible, make sure everything is compatible, i.e., BB diameter/threading, front derailleur mount (braze or clamp, clamp size), headset and head tube diameter, seatpost diameter, etc.
also consider:4bykn
Jul 13, 2001 12:00 PM
Airborne Zeppelin ($800) or Valkyrie ($600?) Check 'em out at
A few other possibilities . . .DCW
Jul 13, 2001 1:48 PM
include a Colnago Dream Plus (alu) and Master X Light (steel), available from, Maestro-uk. com, and for as little as $835 w/ Flash carbon fork. You might also consider looking at Gary Hobbs inventory at But, if you have a little more time, think seriously about a domestic custom.
re: I wannabe FRAMED! Need advice!Mike Prince
Jul 13, 2001 2:02 PM
My recommendation (since I now own one) is a Steelman. I'm sure the other custom guys listed here are good, but I am totally happy with my all-steel Steelman SR (Reynolds 853). I think the f&f retail on his web site for $1240. If this is too much $$, he does a Reynolds 525 (same fork, just a few ounces heavier) frame that with the steel fork is under $1000. As a no cost option you can also get a Reynolds Ouzo Comp (Al steerer) if you prefer carbon.

Again, just a satisfied customer recommending what has worked out to be the bike of a lifetime for me. I think GVH bikes has some closeout Steelmans at some great prices.

Have fun!
THANK YOU for the feedbackMeDotOrg
Jul 13, 2001 2:02 PM
...(sigh)...unfortunately there are no right answers. I've thought of getting a custom frame (Strong, Steelman, Curtlo, etc.) but the though of waiting a couple of months during the summer was too hard to think about.

I do have an old Fuji touring bike that I will ride during this period. It's just a question of how long I want this period to be...

I called a Look Dealer in Sausalito. He told me the warranty on Look frames is 2 years. That isn't very long, and makes me a little nervous about the reliability issues.

I'm gonna keep thinking....
THANK YOU for the feedbackLone Gunman
Jul 13, 2001 4:26 PM
If you liked the fit of the crashed Bianchi, start there by getting the specs and geometry of that frame. then start the catalog process of Ti in that size and geometry that you like, Steel, Alu, or CF. Your description of riding type leads me to believe steel or Ti is what you might like. I like the finish look of the Douglass (red to black to grey) and Macalu? has some color to it other than bare metal. Steel, well the finish work has a lot more choices. I just ran across a site called that have Olmo frames. Millenium, sweet....And they do custom specs as well I believe. Take a look.
THANK YOU for the feedbackseamus
Jul 13, 2001 6:20 PM
I wouldn't rule Look KG281's out based on just the few responses above...I did a TON of research before buying mine and found that Look frames, though a little uncommon, tend to last a long time. Makes sense considering Look has been making them for 16 years, longer than anyone, including Kestrel.

As for the warrantee, it's actually 3 years, and will go up to lifetime next year. Keep in mind that Look is a french company, and they set warrantees a little different than they do in the US. FYI, teh KG 281 is the top selling bike in france, kinda like the 5200 here, and If you ask the importer (veltec) about durability, you'll find that they have an EXTREMELY low warrantee return rate, and as I work in the bike industry and not a bike shop, I know they were being honest.

Steel is great, I have a nice steel bike too, but the KG281 is one of the nicest frames I've ridden in 17 years of racing.
Calfee Luna ProStarliner
Jul 13, 2001 7:51 PM
A sweet ride, you can get one custom fit for around what your budget is. And, it's got a longer warranty than Look. Added comfort factor in that company operations are nearby where it sounds like your home is, so you can put a face on what you get.

If you like the look of the Look, but want to save a few bucks, check this out:

If you want to go cheap ti, here's something for $400:
Calfee Luna ProStarliner
Jul 13, 2001 8:05 PM
A sweet ride, you can get one for around what your budget is. And, it's got a longer warranty than Look. Added comfort factor in that company operations are nearby where it sounds like your home is, so you can put a face on what you get.

If you like the look of the Look, but want to save a few bucks, check this out:

If you want to go cheap ti, here's something for $400:
If the Shoe Fits....1 grzy mnky
Jul 13, 2001 2:09 PM
Without a proper fit it matters not what you get. Get a fit work up from a Serotta fit specialist (~$50). Then with the info you're in a better position to know what is going to work spec-wise.

Personally I wouldn't buy a bike that I hadn't ridden unless it was custom. If you really want to get the most bike for your $$$ then look in the used market. Realize that C'dale uses basically the same aluminum frame across their whole prodcut line - they just dress it up with diffferent parts and maybe integrate the headset or BB.

$1,200 isn't very much to work with, but that's your call. If you really wanna do something nice check out a Serotta in steel - way cheaper than Ti.
Serotta steel....DINOSAUR
Jul 13, 2001 4:40 PM
How much approx??? I always thought they were kind of pricey? (For my info only)..
re: I wannabe FRAMED! Need advice!snapdragen
Jul 13, 2001 6:16 PM
Hi there, sorry to hear about your crash. My friend just took delivery on his new Douglas from CC. He's definately in love....

He went to Bicycle Outfitters and was measured from top to tail before ordering, so he got the perfect size. Also took the bike in after it arrived for tweaking, it fits like a glove.
Jul 14, 2001 3:40 AM
I recently purchased a Douglas bike from Colorado Cyclist. I've been very happy with the bike. After 28 years of riding steel frames, I was a little apprehensive about how I would like the titanium. I find that the ride is much less harsh on rough roads, which we have in abundance here in NC. I can also say very good things about CC's customer service: I had a spoke break the first week I had the bike. They immediately shipped out another wheel, no questions asked, by 2 day air. I couldn't have done that good at the LBS. The welds on the frame are flawless and the overall workmanship is very good. I'm tired of having to paint steel after 4 or 5 years of riding due to my sweat causing them to rust.
BUY THE LOOK!!!!!!!look271
Jul 14, 2001 3:34 PM
You want comfy, smooth, and stable? That's your ticket. For less than $1200 you're getting a worldclass frame and fork, plus you won't see a dozen like it everytime you go out on a group ride.
and durability isn't an issue (nm)seamus
Jul 14, 2001 8:08 PM