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Limited budget: $$$$ frame & $parts? or $ frame & $$$$ parts(12 posts)

Limited budget: $$$$ frame & $parts? or $ frame & $$$$ partsStarliner
Dec 1, 2001 2:07 PM
If you had, say, $2200 to spend on a complete new bike, would you

A. get a moderately-priced to expensive frame with a name (Litespeed, Colnago, etc.), and put on lower level components and a basic wheelset, or

B. get a cheap, housebrand type frame (CC Douglas ti, Performance, Supergo Scattante, etc.) and load it up with top-shelf components and an upscale wheelset?

I guess the question here is what do you think is more important - the frame or the components - when it comes down to getting the most enjoyment out of your ride - and why do you think so?
you can some good stuff. Frame and componentsC-mond
Dec 1, 2001 2:30 PM
get ultegra and a decent frame. Lemond makes a bike with ultegra for under 2.
I am sure others do to.
It depends...KEN2
Dec 1, 2001 2:55 PM
A lot depends on your own attitude towards getting a new bike often vs. upgrading the frame you have. Look at your history: when was the last time you got a new bike? Have you worn out/upgraded components much?

Obviously if you're the type who is satisfied to get a high quality frame with MOR components with the intention of keeping it for several years, that's one thing. OTOH some people just get the itch for something new and different more often.

IMO component function has gotten so good and so consistent that you can hardly tell any diff between, say, 105 and Dura Ace in practice. So if good functionality gives you satisfaction and enjoyment in your ride, I'd say get the best possible frame along with some middling components. You will notice the difference in ride quality of a fine frame more than the extra $$$ you put into top-level components.
I agree.look271
Dec 1, 2001 3:41 PM
If you are planning on holding onto the bike for a while, go with the better frame and MOR components. Getting rid of it in a couple of years? Better components and a lesser frame.
I agree tooSamDC
Dec 1, 2001 3:59 PM
You can always upgrade components a little bit at a time, but a frame is a major investment. A good, solid frame will last you, possibly, a lifetime whereas good, solid components may last you five to ten years (depending on how much you ride). Also, be sure to check the warranty on the frame you buy.
Other thoughtsKEN2
Dec 1, 2001 5:09 PM
I addressed your question above in the terms you set.

However, you can have the best of both: I just built up a GT ZR1 frame myself (same as ridden by Team Lotto in the TDF last year) with Ultegra/DA for under $2000. I went with all Ultegra except the shifters, where IMO DA is a significant upgrade. Those frames are still available in two different color schemes and in all sizes at
get both!....C-40
Dec 2, 2001 5:58 AM
A really good frame doesn't have to cost a fortune. Good steel frames with forks are available for under a $1000. A steel frame weighs less than a pound more than your average Ti frame and comes with a nice paint job instead of the dull grey look. One of the best on the market is the Tommasini Sintesi. Fantastic quality for $1000, complete with chrome fork. If you go to overseas sources, a Colnago Master X-light (or Dream Plus aluminum) can also be had for around $1000.

This would leave you enough for a Campy Chorus 10 speed build kit. Chorus has all the function of Record, with only a few ounces more weight.
Dec 2, 2001 7:13 AM
this post and it's replies has got me thinking that i'm selling the wrong bike. i've been riding a colnago steel frame and fork with a daytona group. i love the bike even thought it's a bit heavy. I'm now building a generic ti frame (strait gage tubes & no tapers) with a record or chorus group. I wanted to go with a ti bike and sell the colnago to have a lighter bike. Will I even notice the difference and could the ride get worse on a cheap ti? I don't race and I'm now re-thinking the weight vs ride issue. sorry "Starliner", not helping to answer your question just milking the responses.
material doesn't make the ride...C-40
Dec 2, 2001 7:50 AM
It would be unusual for a generic Ti frame to ride harshly, unless it has a bladed downtube. Frames from Airborne, Macalu or Douglas should all ride fine. They may not have the stiffness of the Colnago though.

As far as weight savings go, the Colnago frame without fork weighs around 4 lbs. A generic Ti typically weighs 3.25 to 3.5 pounds. Not a lot of difference there. Switching from a steel fork to a 350 gram carbon fork with a threadless stem would save more.

Switching to a generic Ti sounds like a downgrade to me.

Don't overestimate the value of weight savings. A couple of pounds is only a little over 1% of the total bike and rider weight. Weight reductions only help when climbing or accelerating. The net effect is way less than 1%. If you ride at an average speed of 20 mph, a two pound lighter bike might get you up to 20.1, if the ride was hilly enough. I can guarantee that you won't be able to accurately measure any difference.
re: Limited budget: $$$$ frame & $parts? or $ frame & $$$$ partsRaiderMike
Dec 2, 2001 10:18 AM
I just finished building my first road bike, I started with a GT ZR 2.0 frame, and carbon fork.
-Shimano 535 wheels
-Axial Pro tires
-Ultegra components (except for DA shifters, and 105 brakes)
-TTT Forma SL bars
-Ritchey pro stem
-American Classic Seatpost
-SDG Bel AIR saddle (Same That I use on my MTB)
-Carbon Headset spacers
-headset that came with the frame was a Tange that I will replace later
-Profile Bar tape
-Ritchey Road pedals
I shopped around for everything and have about $1100 into the whole thing. I might have made some mistakes in component choice but I will adress them after riding the bike for a while. I might of bought a bike off the shelf but I am recovering from ACL reconstructive surgery so decided to do it this way because it gave me something to do while I was down. Now I have a new bike that I cant ride for a few months which is killing me.
dissenting view ...tarwheel
Dec 3, 2001 5:43 AM
I say go for the better component group. You can buy a high quality Italian steel frame for $600-1,000. It's a little heavier than ti, but what difference does a pound make? You can't beat the ride and comfort of steel. Combine that with a Chorus or Daytona 10 group, and you've got a very nice bike. If you decide down the road that you want something lighter, just swap the components to the new frame. You can buy some very nice Italian steel frames (Moser, Colnago, Pinarello, Casati, Cinelli), equipped with Daytona or Ultegra, for $1,300-1,400 from GVH bikes. With Chorus, $1,700-1,800. Or get the Tomassini Sintesi from Colorado Cyclist -- what a beautiful bike. Of course, if you're a weight weenie, ignore my advice.
agree with dissentdano
Dec 3, 2001 10:05 AM
I had to chuckle when I saw that the "limited budget" was $2200. For $2200, you can get a very nice bike that you can happily ride and race for many years to come. You'll get tired of it before you wear it out. No need to compromise. The Tommasini from CC is a great buy....or go to Excel Sports and get a steel Ritchey Road Comp with DA/Ultegra mix or Chorus 10 or some group like that. I dare anyone to feel like they have compromised anywhere with a bike like that. As long as you aren't lusting after a fancy titinium frame, $2200 will buy you a bike that really rocks.