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Need serious, expert advice on new bike purchase(18 posts)

Need serious, expert advice on new bike purchaseDrEvilAdam
Jul 23, 2001 8:06 AM
I'm thinking about stepping up to a more serious road bike. Right now I'm riding an '01 Trek 2200 frame with 105, 3TTT bars and a few other goodies mixed in. My riding is easily up to 175-200 miles per week. Although I don't forsee any major competition riding in the near future, I do like doing centuries, big charity rides (AIDSRides, etc...) and am already thinking about riding across europe next summer.

My dilemma is this: I have a great builder that I trust very much, but he doesn't carry all of the frames that I am interested in. I have read a great deal about some of the top frames out there. It seems that the Colnago C40 is widely regarded as one of the top frames. My builder doesn't do Colnago, although he does do DeRosa, Pinarello, Bianchi and several others. Basically I think the choice is coming down to Colnago, DeRosa or Pinarello. I really need to know what to weigh more, any perceived performance difference between Colnago and DeRosa vs. the fact that I can get an amazing fit and setup on a DeRosa or Pinarello. Obviously part of this discussion comes down to full carbon (C40) vs. hybrid carbon (Prince, Planet) vs. AL. So, if it's all the same, I'd go with the builder I trust, but if Colnago is seriously advantageous over the others, I'd venture out and find someone else to build me one.

Although these bikes will break the bank for me, I have seen my riding become limited by past bikes and have had to upgrade piecemeal, which becomes expensive in its own rite. At this point my philosophy is "do it once, do it right". I plan on keeping this new bike for many years.

Thanks for your help!
Where do you live?DINOSAUR
Jul 23, 2001 8:25 AM
It might be helpful so guys could list some shops for you.
re: Need serious, expert advice on new bike purchasebadabill
Jul 23, 2001 8:35 AM
With the money you are about to spend I would at least talk to a custom frame builder. Even if you decide to go with one of the frames you have listed you can learn a lot about the type of frame you need. IMHO ALU frames tend to be a little harsh for the type of riding you talked about. Carbon, TI, steel, or a combination of these would probably better suit you. Your local shop should know a custom shop in your area. One that does not get a lot of notice outside southern Cal. is Holland. He does some great Ti frames.
re: Need serious, expert advice on new bike purchaseLC
Jul 23, 2001 8:51 AM
Not sure why you are limiting yourself to just those couple of bikes. The aluminum bikes may not be all that much better then what you have now and the C40 is a very lightweight bike that may not last as many years as a bike that expensive should. My advice is to keep looking at more options, as the bikes you have chosen are purely racing bikes that your sponsor replaces every year.
re: Need serious, expert advice on new bike purchaseDrEvilAdam
Jul 23, 2001 8:57 AM
I live in the Boston area and go to school in Philadelphia, so that leaves open pretty much anything in the northeast.

Good call on the custom bikes--I'm researching that now, and the builder that I like can make me a custom in a variety of materials, but that would obviously preclude my dilemma about colnago vs. derosa. Perhaps then I should back up and ask a different question first: custom vs. off the rack?

re: Need serious, expert advice on new bike purchasebadabill
Jul 23, 2001 9:15 AM
The main difference is working with the builder in getting the exact bike you want. I consider my Landshark a work of art, plus you dont see them all over the place. I love riding a bike thats just a bit different than all the rest.
Custom Bikes....Len J
Jul 23, 2001 11:19 AM
Bike riding enjoyment (IMHO) is directly related to fit. If you can afford it, (& if you are looking at a c-40 you probably can) I would look closely at custom. Serrotta, Seven, Strong, etc are just a few. In my experience the Serrotta fit system (which will also give you sizes in other frames) is the most comprehensive of the fit systems. You can pay for this & then if you buy a bike from the fitter he will give you a credit.

The only problem I can see with going custom now is that you are new to cycling & probably are just guessing at what you really will do on the bike. One other possibility is to pay for a fit, use the info to buy a used bike, ride it for a year or two until your riding style & habits solidify & then spend the big bucks on a custom. Just an idea.
re: Need serious, expert advice on new bike purchaseDrEvilAdam
Jul 23, 2001 9:06 AM
Here's another thought. Are the bikes that are a combination of carbon and AL, such as the Prince, a viable and serious upgrade from an AL bike? I've heard all about the differences between carbon and aluminum, but what about the difference between full carbon and carbon/aluminum hybrid? This leads back to the question of custom bikes becase, as far as I know, it's pretty hard to get a custom bike made in more than one material. I haven't seen any carbon/AL or carbon/Ti hybrids on the custom market. (Maybe I'm just looking in the wrong places.)

Also, as far as the usage goes, competition is out of the question in the NEAR FUTURE (i.e. this season) because of scheduling, but I would like to start racing once the rest of my life allows it. I think my comment earlier about touring was deceptive. Besides, you can always try to tour on a race bike, but it's harder to race on a touring bike :)

Strong does combo framesterry b
Jul 23, 2001 9:34 AM
Check out Strong as a custom builder. I recently bought a Pinarello Opera (steel/carbon) after bouncing back and forth between it and a Strong. They will do steel or Ti with carbon stays, not sure about aluminum because I have no interest in an aluminum bike. I finally decided on the Pinarello because the cost was the same, the geometry I would have elected in the custom was the same and I am an immediate gratification kind of guy.
Just checked - they do aluminum also (nm)terry b
Jul 23, 2001 9:41 AM
Just marketing hypeLC
Jul 23, 2001 9:38 AM
I have not ridden the Prince, but Bicycling magzine did a review of that bike in the latest edition. They stated that the bike still basically had the same feel as an all aluminum bike, and that it would not be the choice as a comfy bike for a century.
Don't worry so much about brand nameTommyBoy
Jul 23, 2001 9:09 AM
To answer your questions directly... don't worry about the Colnago reputation. DeRosa and Pinerallo are excellent bikes and a great ride can be found among them.

The poster who asked about the touring thing has an excellent point. If you are going to be carrying all your stuff around, you will need touring bike options like braze-ons rack mounts. You're not likely to find those on a racing bred bike like a C40, Prince or other. You'd have to get those done custom. You might as well get the whole thing done custom for that price (actually a lot cheaper than a C40 would cost). Touring bikes typically have much slacker geometry as well - they will treat your body much better over the long haul.
Serotta and Seven will put braze-on mounts on any bike.(nm)Jim Burton
Jul 23, 2001 11:47 AM
Jul 23, 2001 9:42 AM
If you have a LBS that you trust a lot, it should factor into your decision. I have a Colnago that I love (not a C-40), but I wouldn't hesitate on the DeRosa or Pinnarello. They both make superior frames. As hard as this is to say as a Colnago rider, I will say it anyway: with the C-40, part of your $2500-3500 is for the name. OK C-40 owners, flame away.

If I was in the market for a new ride, I would look at the Merckx Team SC and CYFAC. The Merckx got a glowing review in Bicycling this month (yeah, I read it! so what!) Cyfac frames are all custom - AL/Ti/Steel or hybrid -your choice. Great frames made to order.
Seven / Serotta?Mike K
Jul 23, 2001 10:10 AM
Seven makes a carbon / Ti frame (I believe they were the first one's to do it) and does it in custom sizes or Serotta will also make you a great frame as per your specs as well. There are also many smaller custom makers who do Ti/Carbon frames (Dean come to mind
IMHO, for the kind of cash you are looking at spending a good custom is really the way to go.
re: Need serious, expert advice on new bike purchaseLone Gunman
Jul 23, 2001 10:33 AM
"Do it once, do it right", sounds to me like a custom Ti frame, no rust, light, ride as comfortable as steel and with the possibility of the braze add ons. Something in a Lemond like geometry.
A C-40 for charity rides???C-40
Jul 23, 2001 1:35 PM
I dearly love my C-40, but I wouldn't use it for the type of riding that you describe. Centuries,charity rides and touring are great ways to tear up a good bike. Lots of chances to wreck riding among the novices and ample opportunity for transportation damage. You need something that won't make you cry if it gets chipped up.

For rides like that, buy something cheaper, like a Pinarello Surprise. Claimed (by Bicycling Magazine) to have a decent ride for an aluminum frame. Equip it with Campy Chorus, it's the best value.
Surprise with ChorusGregJ
Jul 23, 2001 9:31 PM
That is my bike. He can't do it!!! Seriously, that is the combo I have, I have a truly great bike.