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IF Crown Jewel Ti or Serotta Legend Ti(41 posts)

IF Crown Jewel Ti or Serotta Legend Tijtolleson
Jan 26, 2002 8:16 PM
Looking for a nice ti ride with swanky paint and custom geometry, and these two manufacturers are in the running.

I'm interested in opinions and votes, and especially thoughts on the Indy Fab Crown Jewel Ti. It is a better deal and a more esoteric label (which I actually kind of like) but some folks say I'm crazy to skip Serotta.

Thoughts?

5'7", 150, centuries, tours, hill climbs, no racing. That's the gig.
re: IF Crown Jewel Ti or Serotta Legend TiWoof the dog
Jan 26, 2002 8:22 PM
rumor has it Serotta is more reputable in Ti (and actually overall) while IF hasn't been at it for as long of a time. I may be wrong, can someone back me up on this?

In your case, I would consider other things like paint, price and customization level. I think Serotta is it though.

Just another useless piece of advice from a talking dog.

Woof, the yulping dog.
re: IF Crown Jewel Ti or Serotta Legend Tigtx
Jan 26, 2002 8:47 PM
well, they're both custom, so..? I assume both will tend towards their standard geometry, though, so Serotta presumably would have a slightly lower bb (which I like). Woof has a good point that Serotta has been doing this ti stuff a bit longer, but I'd probably just get the one you think looks better. And I think swanky paint is a good idea, but then that begs the question--why not just get steel? Oh wait, that brings you back to square one. ;)
Don't confuse me!jtolleson
Jan 26, 2002 8:56 PM
: ) I had just finally determined to stick with ti since my riding interests lend so much to the need for cushy comfort yet BB/lateral responsiveness etc. etc. etc.

But I do say, no more brushed ti for me as soon as I sell the Litespeed.
Don't confuse me!gtx
Jan 26, 2002 9:27 PM
regarding plain old ti, I like the looks of the Moots bead blast finish the best. You might consider them (and I think they do paint). At your weight in your frame size I doubt bb stiffness would be much of an issue, and a good steel builder can dial in whatever level of comfort you might want. I doubt you'd go wrong with the two bikes you mention, but they are big bucks--heck, you could get a Richard Sachs for that. Good luck with your decision!
If you do get the IF, you will not want to paint over it nmcyclinseth
Jan 27, 2002 2:45 PM
And the winner is...Elefantino
Jan 26, 2002 9:30 PM
One of my LBS has had some "issues" with IF. Don't know exactly, but it didn't sound like a mutual love society.

Ben Serotta, on the other hand (or "too" if the LBS is wrong) is good people. Yes, he has been at ti longer. Yes, his customer service is excellent. I have a buddy, a former pro who has ridden in a certain Grand Tour several times, who rides Ben's bikes exclusively. (I've been on his Hors, and it is the most incredible bike I've ever been on. Talk about cornering. Talk about a kick start up a hill...wow. But he couldn't score me one, the weasel.)

So I vote for Serotta.

However, I would suggest that you skip the "entry level" Legend. Any piker can buy a Legend. Go all out. Pony up for the new Ottrott. IT, with carbon top and downtubes and ti everywhere else. A bargain at about $7,600, give or take a bit.

I think they might even throw in a water bottle.

FWIW,
Mike
re: IF Crown Jewel Ti or Serotta Legend Tisprockets2
Jan 26, 2002 9:32 PM
Unless you are placing a lot of weight on being esoteric (doesn't make for better ride, handling, or welding), you should not forget that Litespeed and Merlin do custom work and their know-how is quite formidable. I know Litespeed does more in-house work than other Ti builders.

FWIW, I was told that folks that rode the full-zoot Serotta steel bike like it as well or better than the Ti bike. Have fun with your decision, rather a nice crossroads to be at.
re: IF Crown Jewel Ti or Serotta Legend TiBikewithadam
Jan 26, 2002 10:07 PM
Try looking at Spectrum Cycles by Tom Kellogg. He's the one behind Merlin road designs. Spectrum takes advantage of Merlin's high-tech manufacturing capability to do welds under argon, etc... but the rest of the work is done in house. (Along with all of the Spectrum steel.) Plus, for the same cost you not only get full custom geometry and tubing specs, you also get finishing, which you cannot get from Merlin. Nice!

I have one on order right now so I'll have to let you all know how it rides when I get it, but so far the customer service and Spectrum's knowledge has been quite amazing.

Their website is www.spectrum-cycles.com
re: IF Crown Jewel Ti or Serotta Legend Tidavet
Jan 26, 2002 10:24 PM
I have a Serotta Ti, which I use to do long distance rides, centuries etc. I bought it after owning an Aluminum Trek and a steel Serotta. The ride on the Serotta is magic! Smooth, predictable, sure and very comfortable. Sort of like a Mercedes car. It tells you what is going on underneath but doesn't intrude. I have bought and sold several other bikes since I acquired the Serotta, but it's going to stay with me. I consider it a 'forever' bike.
consider Airborne!!!nm
Jan 27, 2002 7:05 AM
Easy onebike_junkie
Jan 27, 2002 8:10 AM
Not sure why you think the IF is a 'better deal'...

Serotta has been building the finest in Ti road frames for about a decade now. IF is brand new at the game.
You'd be a fool to think Serotta hasn't learned something over the years and improved his product.

Ben takes care of his customers before & after sale. I can tell you first hand this is absolutely true.

Tons of gorgeous paint patterns/colors to choose from here, the sky is the limit.

Serotta Ti is stiff at the BB, you won't get front der rub on a Serotta, but it's not so uncommon on other high-end Ti. Serottas are smooth and stable, just perfect.

Before my Legend I owned a VaMoots. The Serotta is hands-down a better ride. And the Moots is not exactly a dog, just not a Serotta!

You can buy a trendier Ti frame (IF, Seven) but you won't find a better one.
Wow! Way to personalize the debate!jtolleson
Jan 27, 2002 8:20 AM
Let's see... I didn't say the IF was a "better deal" and love that jab about saying I'm being trendy! And last but not least, "I'd be a fool to ..." WHAT?

In fact, trendy was something I sought to avoid (hence the interest in IF over Serotta... maybe it is just Denver that Serotta seems trendy).

Stick to the merits and avoid that kind of crap I say. The sky is NOT the limit on Serotta paint ... you cannot send custom artwork to them for a bid. That may not matter, but it is a distinction between the two companies.

IF ti folks were formerly with Merlin, so I don't think the "new at the game" thing totally sticks. I was wondering if anyone has actually ridden the Ti Crown Jewel, though!

Remind me never to hire you as a public relations consultant.
but you did!Q
Jan 27, 2002 8:37 AM
...and especially thoughts on the Indy Fab Crown Jewel Ti. It is a better deal and a more esoteric label (which I actually kind of like...

You asked for thoughts, and you got some (even some good personal experience, if you ask me). Don't cry if they don't agree with yours or come in a nicely wrapped package!
Hey Moron...bike_junkie
Jan 27, 2002 9:36 AM
You DID say the IF was the better deal, or did ya forget what YOU typed already?

I won't argue, as it's clear from your original post that you really want the IF, and were hoping to get some forum support. Too bad for you the forum has given the nod to Serotta. Guess it really bums you out, eh?

You asked for feedback and got some - now shaddup!
your being condescending...harlett
Jan 27, 2002 1:01 PM
and then rude does nothing positive for any of us...
Nopebike_junkie
Jan 27, 2002 1:46 PM
Great of you to chime in. If you'll read my initial post I was trying to give the feedback I have to offer, in that I actually own one of the two bikes she's asking about.

I was genuinely trying to be helpful, that's all. Not sure where you got condescending from.

The rude 2nd post was after jtolleson was rude to me, period.
Nopejtolleson
Jan 27, 2002 2:23 PM
Sorry you think I was rude. I was trying to elevate the conversation, not bring it down. I was a little taken aback by the tone of your initial advice, that's all.

And if you thought I was rude, did that really mean you needed to call me a moron?

Julie
Geez folks...jtolleson
Jan 27, 2002 1:02 PM
Sorry. Meant that it was cheaper. "Better deal" is a much more content-laden assessment.

I haven't even remotely made up my mind (those who have followed my shopping analysis may recall last week's query about the CT1) and appreciate the input.

Yes, I'm a little prickly about the way people talk to each other on the board (in ways the never would in person) and I see you've continued in that vein.

Getting back to the query, has ANYONE here ridden the Crown Jewel Ti? Should I skip it? Should I not?

Julie
maybe he is just tiredjfollyson
Jan 27, 2002 10:21 PM
of your million posts of which bike to buy and your constant need for handholding during the process. you seem very needy and crave attention. maybe you should just buy a dog instead.
did you lose your pacifier?harlett
Jan 28, 2002 6:41 AM
he just sounded a little condescending and rude-- you, on the other hand, sound like an immature and inadequate fool-- feel free to ignore posts/people that seem to cause you to have to take your thumb out on your mouth to type such childish words-- does your mother know that your out of your room and playing on the computer?
wow, sorry guys. I guess I'll drop it.jtolleson
Jan 28, 2002 7:14 AM
Actually, no need to be a jackass. You think I'm overprocessing, I'll drop it.

I've reread the thread and am trying to get to the bottom of your accusations of childishness. I'm a female lawyer, 37, been riding about 10 years, and consider myself a perfectly mature person looking for a little collective opinion.

If that bespeaks craving attention, then I'll drop it. But I think if you look at my relatively long tenure with the board, your characterization is ridiculous.

This is the first issue I've ever really asked for advice on (I often offer it) and apparently, that's not respected, at least by some.
wow, sorry guys. I guess I'll drop it.harlett
Jan 28, 2002 8:35 AM
jtolleson....my previous post was for our friend who seems to be having problems with someone seeking positive advice-- it wasn't aimed at you-- i did some past post reading yesterday and noticed that a few of the small minded folk here did the same thing to kristin a few days ago-- maybe they are just having a hard time dealing with questions from females-- sometimes insecure people will react in intolerant and non-inclusive ways-- there are enough people here that know of your valuable contributions that you shouldn't concern yourself with those that can't seem to act or think like adults--
Couldn't agree more..Len J
Jan 28, 2002 8:42 AM
If you notice the "Troll" is named..... jfollyson

Len
thanks for making my pointharley follyson
Jan 28, 2002 8:53 AM
why is that if the poster is a "female" and they take some heat, it's because they're "female." if a guy takes some heat is it because he is "female" too? nobody asked for the resume and the whine that she will just drop it is too perfect. oooh, i'm going to threaten to drop it, someone please post and tell me its ok --needy, needy, needy. she asks for advice and does not like what she gets. the two bikes she has now chosen are both great bicycles and when someone says one, she sings the merits of the other. eeney meeney miney moe if she has to, but just pick one. if you are done with it can i have my pacifier back?
ignore this trollLOL
Jan 28, 2002 9:10 AM
No one could do more damage to your credibility than you have already done to yourself with your two posts on this matter. We should all let your words stand on there own self-destruction.
And let me proudly say...jtolleson
Jan 28, 2002 11:43 AM
That I have never once posted under any other screen name! I take my lumps under my given name! Thanks guys.

So, I was thinking about the following trick paint (stealing the idea from the following Landshark). Gaudy!
Love it! Bright yellow bar tape! No matter whose frame I buy?
if it's ti and the paint scheme that matters most...bn
Jan 28, 2002 12:36 PM
just get something- ti- that fits and paint it (have "tolleson" decals made for that special touch)
Easy onegtx
Jan 27, 2002 10:39 AM
I'd be curious to hear more on your thoughts on the Legend Ti vs. the VaMoots. Did you own a stock size VaMoots and get custom fit on the Legend? What in particular do you like better about the Legend? Anything you didn't like about the VaMoots? Thanks!
Comparisonbike_junkie
Jan 27, 2002 11:15 AM
Hey Hank. Yes, a stock 55 VaMoots, and the Legend is custom since it's included at the price (as it should be!). The geometry obviously works better for me, as I prefer a slack ST angle for my long-ish femurs, and Moots is on the steeper side. With the same wheel build & tires, but different fork, the Serotta rides smoother and is noticeably less quick-steering. Some may prefer the quickness of the Moots to the Serotta's confidence -inspiring feel. It's more stable at all speeds, but most noticeable when descending at 40+ mph. The bike never feels on the edge. Even with short stays and short-ish wheelbase, the Legend is planted.

The Moots weighs a bit more, no biggie there, and the welds are prettier than anybody else in the industry to be sure. It's probably alot to do with the custom build, but I prefer the ride of the Serotta. The Moots BB wasn't as solid, either, but Serotta uses those big swaged / tapered tubes at the BB junction which seems to work.

There was a test in a bike mag years back that said the VaMoots was crit-bike quick, maybe too quick for some tastes. That's pretty accurate.

If Moots stock geometry is perfect for you, I think they are a bargain.
Comparisongtx
Jan 27, 2002 12:47 PM
that sounds exactly right to me (and it sounds like we have the same tastes)--Serotta being a tad more laid back, plus the low bb and slightly less steep HTA makes for a very grounded/neutral/solid feeling bike. That's how I speced my custom frame years ago and I never regretted it (after having had a few twitchy crit-style bikes). If I were to go high end ti, it would be one of those two bikes--and like you said, the Moots welds/finish are incredible. But I'd guess my more rational side would probably kick in and I'd go with the Serotta. Thanks for the info.

-Hank
re: IF Crown Jewel Ti or Serotta Legend Tibn
Jan 27, 2002 8:23 AM
You sound like you already lean to the IF, so get it. If you don't you'll always be wondering "what IF"? Round these parts, Serottas are alot more common and the rarity of the IF is part of its allure (to you).
re: IF Crown Jewel Ti or Serotta Legend Tijtolleson
Jan 27, 2002 8:31 AM
Thanks. I think I do lean a little, but I want to be rational. My only reaction to the post above was about its snotty tone, not its Serotta-love.

But ... rarity is an allure. I thought about chasing down a De Rosa Titanio (those are really a pain to get one's hands on and I haven't even been able to get geometry specs!) But I'd consider Merlin (but they don't do custom paint, which means making my own arrangements to send the bike out).
Yet another frame to consider - Bill HollandDMoore
Jan 27, 2002 9:29 AM
If you're looking for high quality, exclusivity, and custom paint, consider a Bill Holland. He's in the San Diego area and shares workshop space with Joe Bell, the well known custom painter. Holland has been building bikes since at least the early 80's, and has been building fully custom Ti bikes for years now. Here in Southern California they're a cult item. I have one of his lugged steel frames from the '80's, and his workmanship is comparable to my other frames from Richard Sachs and Brian Baylis. Holland makes true custom Ti bikes, and can customize the size, shape, and material of the tubing. He works with 6/4 tubing as well as the more common 3/2.5 alloy.

Plus, Joe Bell does Holland's paint, and Joe's the best in the business. He can do anything you want in a paint job, and do it extraordinarily well.

I've checked out high end bikes of every sort, from just about every Ti manufacturer out there, although I've never seen an IF Ti bike in person. If I were in the market for a Ti bike, I'd go straight to Holland and not even think about anybody else.
re: IF Crown Jewel Ti or Serotta Legend Tiharlett
Jan 27, 2002 1:05 PM
a year and a half ago i was going through the same thing that you are now-- my final choices were the odonata, legend and bill davidson ti-- the davidson being my esoteric choice(he has been building ti bikes for 8 years now)-- also my current road bike was a davidson lugged steel and was everything i wanted it to be-- like you i use my bike for distance riding not racing-- i knew that any of the three would be custom and built to fit and ride the way i wanted-- something besides brushed titanium was also one of my considerations-- both the odonata and davidson (columbus carve seatstays as an option) had some carbon to help with comfort-- davidson offers any type of custom finish you desire or could design-- the odonata would have to be finish by someone besides seven if i wanted something besides polished or brushed-- after riding and re-riding all three choices, listening to the positive constructive thoughts of others and thinking for two months i decided on the odonata-- it fit the criteria of custom fit, comfort for long distances, titanium, build quality and built to order ride characteristics-- i also had that thing in the back of my mind that told me that i really liked the way this bike handles and feels (very subjective but that's what it really ends with don't you think)-- i had seven ship the frame directly to leni fried designs and had some wonderfully colorful anodizing of my designs done on the frame--
so what does all this have to do with your question: no direct experience with the crown jewel ti offered, just the thought of maybe a few others to think about (that was part of my two months of thinking), that with your creativity you can solve the color desire in a satisfactory way no matter which frame you choose, that it will be your thoughtful decision done with a process that includes other positive voices and that in the end it's what that voice in the back of your mind says that really matters--

what a fun and satisfying decision you have the privilege to make...*S*
That may be just the ticketjtolleson
Jan 27, 2002 1:42 PM
Buy the ti I want and send directly to a custom paint place. I have just the design in mind ...
Picked up my Ti Crown Jewel on Fridaycyclinseth
Jan 27, 2002 2:41 PM
I can't vouch for Serotta, but of course they are world renown.

To give a little background. I'm comming off of my Kestrel 200sci wich was 3 cm too big. I'd been riding it for the past 6 years. So apart from the perfect fit the Indy Fab is rock solid. Every bit as stiff as I requested, without riding harshly. Found that I was staying seated (for sprints and climbs, although that may be a geometry thing) far more than on my Kestrel. Getting out of the saddle, I found that the bike had spring to it (maybe that's one of the differences between Ti and carbon). So far I am in love with the thing. The shot-peened finish is truely indescribable. It's a dull grey finish but in the sunlight, if you look up close at it, it glitters and refracts the light and casts tiny rainbow colors. It is so increadably beautiful.

After about 6 weeks off the bike, I found that I was riding as strong as the fastest riders in the pack today. Don't know if that was the legs or the bike.

I would highly recomend the IF, but surely you couldn't go wrong either way.
Hmmmm.... is Ti the only material you're looking at???CT1
Jan 27, 2002 5:49 PM
Julie

Sorry for begging the question but the description of your riding style and interests ("centuries, tours, hill climbs, no racing") really scream for a carbon frame. I've ridden em all and Ti is often (almost always) rougher feeling than a 'good' carbon frame. Anyway, it sounds like you are still in the early shopping mode so I'd "look outside the box" on this one and think about this whole "Ti only" concept. FWIW, I own several ti bikes so I'm not some wanker who thinks one frame material is "the best".... and I certainly don't think carbon is the "best" .... but perhaps it might be the better material for what you're looking for.

Also, if it's at all possible I'd suggest keeping your LS and just get the new bike as a stablemate. I'm a big fan of multiple rides..... ;)

I'm sorry you're getting such grief on this whole issue. I think we all occasionally write stuff that we would NEVER say "in person".

good luck
JohnG
Hmmmm.... is Ti the only material you're looking at???jtolleson
Jan 28, 2002 7:16 AM
It really is. Probably the next best thing would be a return to steel. But I do want ti with a sufficiently stiff BB (and as you know I've looked at the Colnago CT1 because of the CF rear). To me, CF is still a little more road buzz than I like. But I appreciate the input.
Hmmmm.... is Ti the only material you're looking at???CT1
Jan 28, 2002 12:51 PM
LOL..... I NEVER.... NEVER thought I'D say this but perhaps you should try a test ride on an OCLV. They are about as dead as a park bench which means you won't get ANY road buzz from it. They are also known to have a relatively stiff BB. I'm not a big fan of them myself because of the way they "feel" (I like a lively ride) but if it's road buzz you DON'T want then this just might be an option. The coolness/unique factor is pretty low on them but you can get the 02's with custom paint so...... ??

Anyway, good luck with the tire kicking... and try to not let the hammerheads get to you. ;)

JohnG
I've taken a tour of IF factory, and met the IF people and amBarnyard
Jan 27, 2002 7:33 PM
sitting on a Club racer that is a beautiful Frame set. You know who I like.