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Help me to decide on a 2001 Serotta Csi ...(36 posts)

Help me to decide on a 2001 Serotta Csi ...jkh
Apr 25, 2002 9:32 AM

I am in the market of buying a steel frame, and came across with a new 2001 Serotta Csi frame + Quzo Pro fork from my LBS for $1200. The frame fits me according to their geometry chart. Is it a good deal?

Any comments are welcome, especially from Serotta Csi owners. Thanks.
Serotta CSINessism
Apr 25, 2002 9:43 AM
The CSI is the best lugged steel frame ever built in my opinion. In particular I like the shaped and flared tubing: both the seat tube and down tube increase in diameter as they approach the bottom bracket, chainstays are S-shaped, and top tube is shaped as well (not sure which way). Of course, the lugs are custom cast parts to match the tubing. One note though, all this shaping of the tubing make for a stiff frame. A CSI may not be the best bet for a lightweight rider.

For $1200, it's a steal (or should I say Steel?)

By the way, I am 5'7 and 145 lbs ...jkh
Apr 25, 2002 9:47 AM
Not sureNessism
Apr 25, 2002 10:37 AM
Considering your weight, it might be on the stiff side. I'm of the belief that ride quality is mostly a function of tires and fork so given that, you might be OK. If you were 165+ it would be two big thumbs up. I wonder if Serotta adjusts tube thickness depending on frame size? A phone call won't hurt.

Ah yeah...grzy
Apr 25, 2002 2:15 PM
First of all Serotta does vary the tube size depending on the frame size. If you're short and heavy and want a stiff ride then you need to let them know. With the serial number in hand they can tell you everything you want to know about the frame.

Your second and thrid statements are totally inconsistent. If you believe that ride quality is mostly a function of tires and fork how the hell can you then say if only the guy was 20 lbs. heavier then everything would be fine? You can't have it both ways - so which is it. Or is it neither in the sense that you have no idea what your talking about? I'll prove it to you. Take a CSi and a Legend - both by Serotta and with the exacty same geometry. Equip them with the exact same components. Do you think anyone would notice a difference in the ride quality between the steel and the ti bikes? Well most of us would. The frame design and material make a huge difference in the ride. Fact of the matter is that the CSI is one of several fine steel frames on the market that wins praise from all corners - people that actually know what they're talking about.. Now, how does all of this square against aluminum bikes made by Cannondale et al which are increadibly stiff and sold to people who might weigh 145 or 205 lbs.?

If you don't know then you should refrain from talking out your bum.
Funny postNessism
Apr 25, 2002 4:08 PM
First of all, if you want to disagree with me feel free. I am not always correct. But refrain from being insulting. You are only diminishing your own creditability when you do so.

The order of importance relative to ride quality in my experience is tires first, fork second, and frame third. The frame is important, just not AS important as the other two. And clearly, weight does matter relative to how much a frame does flex.

Check the following link for a quanitative study that supports my claim regarding the significance of the tires and fork over the frame in regard to ride quality.

And check what Sheldon Brown has to say regarding ride quality of different frames.

Lastly, my first road bike was a Cannondale 3.0 w/aluminum fork. I rode this bike for some time and enjoyed it. The fork on those early Cannondales was a very compliant aluminum model which did a wonderful job of absorbing road imperfections. My only complaint with this bike was when I made the mistake of installing 20C tires in place of the 23's previously installed. This resulted in a profound increase in ride harshness. I removed them after only one ride.

Be happy and please contribute in a civil fashion.

Apr 26, 2002 8:30 AM
So rather than being all indignant and pretending to be offended why don't you address the total inconsistancies in your post that I pointed out? You say that tires and fork are the most important, so given that the original poster is 20 lbs. off from "ideal" what are the right tires and fork for him?

Do you even get what I'm saying or are you just trying to avoid the issue? If you're going to say something non-sensical on the web don't expect it to go unnoticed. After all this is a discusion forum, not alt.religion.bikes

If your first bike was a C'dale and you thought it was a good ride with the aluminum fork then you're missing many years of experience. Back when the rest of us were riding steel frames and forks the only thing C'dale made was bags - and they weren't that good.. So what have you riden lately - aluminum, steel, carbon, ti? Maybe we should ask for your expert opinion on forks and tires, but most of us already know that a 20 mm tire and aluminum fork is a harsh ride.

BTW - I didn't mean to insult you - it was some friendly advice, sorry I forgot the required ;-)
Apr 26, 2002 9:17 AM
I was under the impression that Serotta used the CSI as a benchmark when they went about designing the Legend. In other words, the Legend is a ti CSI. I think they even used to advertise that it rides "as good as steel" or something like that. Assuming the same geometry, I think that if you were somehow able to disguise the two bikes (using chicken wire, duct tape, paper mache) and set them up identically--including the same fork--that very few if any people could tell a difference. No? "Ride quality" means a lot of different things to different people, but if you are talking purely about comfort, I think it basically comes down to tires/inflation and fit/geometry.
Apr 26, 2002 12:21 PM
First off, the two most popular aluminum forks ever made (speced on many OEM frames) Kinesis and SR Prism, were both very SOFT forks. Check the following link for factual data supporting this claim.

I'm surprised you did not know this information considering your vast level of experience.

Because these forks were so soft, they were often speced on aluminum frames because they take the edge off the ride that many aluminum frames deliver Note: I do acknowledge that some frames are rougher riding than others. But, I maintain my claim that tires and fork are more important than the frame when it comes to ride comfort.

Regarding my personel frames over they years I have owned Cannondale, SLX Battalian (spelling?), Custom TIG ELOS steel, Eddy Merckx EX titanium, and most receintly, two lugged steel frames built by myself - I build frames/forks as a hobby.

If I was specing a frame for a 145 lb rider, I would recommend a fairly soft fork like the Look HSC2, a fairly compliant frame (although this is less important as I said), and 23 or even 25 C tires depending on if the rider is a racer.

You can think of it this way:
- Stiff frame, medium soft fork, compliant tires --- not bad
- Medium stiff frame, medium soft fork, compliant tires --- better
- Soft frame, stiff fork, 20c tires --- stiff ride

The bottom line is that all parts should be selected with the riders riding style, size, and weight as a consideration, the fork in particular. And I say 23c tires for everyone - except lightweights which should consider 25's.

That's an absolute steal.Alex-in-Evanston
Apr 25, 2002 9:48 AM
That's my dream bike. Frame goes for $2400, and that's a $300 fork. You're getting the package for about 60% off.

Definitely go for it.

A CSI goes for $2400??? Did they raise their prices? (nm)ColnagoFE
Apr 25, 2002 12:27 PM
just did a quick search online and a CSI goes for about $1600 (nColnagoFE
Apr 25, 2002 12:31 PM
Yikes, my bad.Alex-in-Evanston
Apr 25, 2002 12:36 PM
Did a search of my own...Alex-in-Evanston
Apr 26, 2002 7:02 AM
MSRP on a CSI/F1 fork is about $2400.

Use the new F2 fork and add $200. nmLen J
Apr 26, 2002 7:15 AM
just did a quick search online and a CSI goes for about $1600 (njkh
Apr 25, 2002 12:36 PM
Is that just for the frame?
yup $1650 frame only...$450 for the F-1 forkColnagoFE
Apr 26, 2002 8:20 AM

I think most any shop should be selling them for about that price. When I was shopping for a new bike a couple of years ago I had narrowed it down to a Colnago MXL and a CSI--both were around the same price at that time. At the time the CSI cost extra for custom sizing ($200 I think) and I went with the MXL instead. I suppose the price has gone up since then, but $2000+ for a steel frame? That's starting to get outrageous!
dont get it yetishmael
Apr 25, 2002 10:23 AM
just because it fits you according to their geometry charts doesnt mean it'll fit...ride something as comprable as you can find for a good couple of miles and see what you sounds as if you are unsure of what size you are from your post, dont do what a lot of people do (me included) and get the wrong size...according to geometry charts ive used my top tube and stem should be about 3cm more than i like, and thats a lot..
what size is it...what is the top tube length nmishmael
Apr 25, 2002 11:39 AM
what size is it...what is the top tube length nmjkh
Apr 25, 2002 12:35 PM
Size 50; 51.5cm TT, all measured c-t-c.
what size is it...what is the top tube length nmgrzy
Apr 25, 2002 2:23 PM
At 5' 7" that frame is way too small for you unless you carry all of your height in your neck. More reasonable would be something in the 52 to 54 cm range, leaning more towards the higher side.

Ask the shop how much seat post and stem you're going to require. If they have to use an extra long seat post and a 13+ cm riser stem with spacers take it as a warning sign.

My bet is that they aren't a certified Serotta Fit Specialist shop and haven't been able to move such a small frame. Visit a couple other shops, don't tell them anything about the CSI and just have them size you. See what they say. There is an amazing tendancy for people to be told that a frame in stock is just right for them, no matter what the size is, and for the buyer to want to believe (just like in the X Files).
yea its probably too smallishmael
Apr 25, 2002 5:05 PM
ive always liked smaller frames but that is pushing 5'8" and have a 53 top tube c to c with a somewhat longer headtube...if you have long legs you could get maybe get away with it, you might need a 90 degree stem or a couple more spacers though, no big deal...but i dont think grzy's advice of a 52 or 54 is good for you, a 52 yes but deffinately not a 54, it would be like moving a boat at sea, i cant even ride a 53 comfortably and im a bit each their own it seems...DONT EVEN BOTHER WITH A FITTING, THEYRE ALL QUACKS, RIDE AROUND ON A COUPLE OF FRAMES, COMFORT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING...whats your inseam
yea its probably too smalljkh
Apr 25, 2002 7:12 PM
Ah, I know I am pushing it a little bit. My normal ride is a 50cm S-Work M4, 53cm TT with 11cm stem and 10cm spacer under it. I have a 30" inseam.

The Csi has a 51.5cm TT, and I am thinking to put a 12cm stem on it.
One issue with small frameNessism
Apr 26, 2002 5:13 AM
If a frame is too small, the rider will have a large height difference between the saddle and the bars. In my opinion, a 12 cm stem is not the ideal size for a small frame like that.

Just my $0.02, and over priced at that.

yea over priced for that money you can get lots of things nmishmael
Apr 26, 2002 5:52 AM
i think that might workishmael
Apr 26, 2002 5:25 AM
get a 90 degree stem maybe, or ritchey makes a less my case 5'8" with 32" inseam i ride a 53 top tube with a 10cm stem and shorter reach bars (cinelli).. yours could fit nicely, i like short and you mean 10mm of spacers, you must..thats not bad..
Frame fitNessism
Apr 25, 2002 5:54 PM
Assuming mean standard body proportions, a person 5'7" is most likely to fit on a 52 cm c-c frame. A 54 is more for someone in the 5'9.5" range - again assuming standard proportions.

I agree that a 50 cm frame in this instance is unlikely to fit. Even at the nice price, if it doesn't fit it's no bargin.

Apr 26, 2002 9:02 AM
Making anything more than generalizations over the net about an individuals fit on a particular frame is futile. We've got Ishamael saying at first the frame is too small, then no it's probably right, and that all frame fit specialists are a bunch of quacks. So what does this make him? It's safe to say that Ishmael has built zero frames and that the good folks at Serotta know a little bit more about fit after 25 years.

In the final analysis the orignal poster seems more interested in saving money than getting the right fit. This of course ignores the loss he's going to take when it finally dawns on him that the frame is too small.

It's obvious that the shop just wants to move this midget frame and isn't going to build it up until they have a live one on the line.
those amazing folks at serottaishmael
Apr 26, 2002 12:16 PM
i dont think serotta knows as much about fitting me as i do...likewise for our man buying the bike...anyone who belieives otherwise is a sucker..what does that make you
OK, you're both right.djg
Apr 26, 2002 10:01 AM
52 sounds about right for--as you say--"standard proportions" (I don't know anybody who has actually compiled and published these for cycling measurements, but I assume that some take on these averages has been built into some of the extant sizing systems.) OTOH: (a) some folks are just more comfortable on a slightly larger frame; and (b) we really don't need to get into freakish proportions to sneak a 54 into the range: consider somebody with a slightly longer torso who is--very reasonably IMO--willing to give up a little standover height in favor of overall fit.
Agreed. Generally, I think folksdjg
Apr 26, 2002 9:53 AM
are way too quick to size up strangers over the internet, but this frame seems like it's really pushing it for the normal distributions (legs, torso, arms) for a 5'7" rider. I'd get an independent consult on the fit.
depends on what you mean by good dealColnagoFE
Apr 25, 2002 12:26 PM
the csi is a top drawer steel frame. i think you'll be happy with it. you aren't gonna get any "great deals" on serotta anyway so just pony up and get the bike you want. sounds like an alright deal to me.
Apr 25, 2002 1:10 PM
I checked with my wife and she says that you should buy my used Legend Ti frame with and Ouzo for $1,500 ;-)

Yeah, that's a screaming deal on the CSI *if* it fits. It's a dreamy ride -good luck.
Fantastic deal on a Fantastic framejc66502
Apr 25, 2002 5:37 PM
That looks like a good deal for a CSI. If it fits and you like Serotta geometry, snap it up. I've ridden a Serotta steel frame for about 6 years and I've been very satisfied with it. A CSI is what I would consider a lifetime frame. Some might disagree, but I think the CSI is one of the finest frames you can buy. The equal of Sachs, JP Weigle, etc.

Best regards and good luck,

I had a similar situationeflayer2
Apr 25, 2002 5:53 PM
I got excited about a csi on ebay and almost bid just because I thought I'd found a great deal on a new 56cm. I held back, went to a Serotta dealer who gave me a quick fitting for free. He said I'd be fine for a 56 or 57. So I went for it. Got a new 2001 csi with f1 fork and harlequin to platinum paint for 1500 shipped. It's been built with shimano dura ace triple. I love it. It's a rocket compared to my Airborne. Good luck.
If it fits, do it. I think the price is right and.....tma
Apr 26, 2002 9:24 AM
I ride one. I'm 6'0", 175lbs. Should be 165. I love the thing. It goes like a rocket, climbing limitations are all me and not the bike, it rails the turns. And, BTW, with Chorus and standard Mavic Open Pro 32-hole rims the 59.5cm (no kidding! I think we took the whole fit thing to a ridculous extreme, but what the hell...) bike weighs about 19 and three-quarters pounds before bottles and pump. You won't be sorry, but it is important you get a chance to ride it if at all possible.