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Looking for feedbacks on Dean bike frames...(17 posts)

Looking for feedbacks on Dean bike frames...opencl
Jun 16, 2002 6:55 AM
Hi, I am looking get a Dean El Diente. Are these any good compare to other ti frames? Feedbacks feedbacks.... please...
re: Looking for feedbacks on Dean bike frames...loop
Jun 16, 2002 8:15 AM
I own a Culebra, but I looked extensively at ti and particularly the ED before deciding on steel. IMHO, Dean is a high quality bike maker--their stuff is first rate.

The ED is strait guage like the Litespeed Classic. It's got a box geometry that's well-balanced and comfortable. I found it to be a bit stiffer than other ti bikes out there, probably due to the diameter of the pipes. Some people drone on endlessly about welds--these are as nice as the Litespeeds that I also considered.

Still, it's really about what YOU like. If you want butted tubes and custom geometry, I'd recommend the ED Xtra Lt. It's a steal at $1800 for the frame, partuclarly compared to the cost of other custom ti bikes. Also, Dean's build kits are very competitively priced, although I'm sure the patient home wrench could eventually do better.

Whatever the case, give them a call. They are friendly and can offer a lot of sage advice. For that matter, it's also worth-while talking to Seven and Serotta just to better judge the marketing spin from reality.

Good luck,
loop- steel vs. tiopencl
Jun 16, 2002 5:23 PM
What made you go for the steel frame over the ti frame?
ride, weight, and cost...loop
Jun 16, 2002 5:48 PM
I came from an aluminum and carbon background, save for an old, circa-1990 Mongoose steel mountain bike. I tried all sorts of bikes before settling between ti and steel. The materials essentially weigh the same these days, so that issue was solved. From there it was cost versus ride. (I have to admit, living in the South and being a heavy sweater, I initially thought about ti due to it's "corrosionless" quality).

Anyhow, I never got to ride the Deans, but I rode as many other comparable bikes as I could. Strait guage ti is fine for some--particularly those who weigh more than your average road racing feather-weight. I looked at shaped ti as well, but the true customs like Seven and Serotta were out of my budget. Strong was closer, but still above the mark, and at that time the ED XLt was slightly more than it currently is. Litespeed is nice--the Classic and the Tuscany (never tried the strt. guage Arrenbrg.), but didn't thrill me; Dean and TST had more bang for the buck. ...And there was no way to ride the TST, although I pestered them via email for a while with all sorts of questions.

Then I tested the other material. I rode some steel (Lemond and Cervelo) and fell in love. I was coming from a Softride, and I found that steel had the ride characteristics I wanted. ...So, I did some manufacturer-specific research and went with Dean, whom I knew from mountain biking. Their prices are among the best, and I had great confidence in their quality and customer service.

I guess you have to ask youself what you're really looking for. Is there something in ti that you particularly want? Corrosion resistence? Weight? Ride characteristics? FWIW, I weigh 175 and I don't flex the bb on my Zona steel Culebra. Is cost an issue with you?

...stuff to ponder....
I m a featherweight...opencl
Jun 17, 2002 8:54 AM
Taking this into account, will a Dean frame be too stiff for me?
Jun 17, 2002 9:01 AM
Again, it depends on your riding characteristics. For the same money that you'd spend on an LS Tuscany, you can have a fully custom, butted El Diente Xtra Lt, which I'm guessing would be far more comfortable for you than most of the strait guage frames. That's only my opinion, though. As always, fit and geometry will be the decisive factors.

Are you willing to consider Dean's Ultrafoco/Foco Culebra? That bike is lighter than the standard El Diente and probably better suited for the lighter rider.

How about giving John a call at Dean? That's the best course of action. You won't be sorry--they're great.
The UltraFoco steel bike could be the ticketGregory Taylor
Jun 17, 2002 9:20 AM
Listen to Loop!

Just to avoid the impression that I think that the Dean is a flawless bike, there were a few niggles that could annoy some:

- The decals on the bike were actually adhesive stickers. Very high quality stickers, mind you, but not the traditional thin decal that you expect. I don't know how long they will last. I was going to buy another set from Dean and put them in my toolbox.

- The cable stops for the shifters were the "bolt on" kind located on the downtube, rather than braze-ons located on the head tube. The latter style avoid marks on the headtube where the cables rub the paint. Yes, a small thing, but kinda annoying.

- The seat clamp was very cheesy. It was going to be replaced with a Campy part.

For the money, though, I was VERY impressed with the bike, and the customer service is top flight.
Jun 17, 2002 9:49 AM
-Stickers--got the gray panel against electric blue paint. I didn't realize that they'd be stickers (my fault for not asking). Like you said, they're high quality, vinyl stickers, but I wonder about their durability.

-I dislike downtube cable stops. Headtube mounted ones are a much better design. Gonna put some clear tape under the cables on the headtube.

-No problems with my seat clamp. I'll take a closer look later, though.

-Paint--TERRIFIC. I had a huge delay getting the bike. Found out later that Dean wasn't satisfied with Spectrum's original paint job, so they sent it back to be redone. It's stunning. Pearlized blue--very nice.

Dean's neither more or less flawless than any other bike maker out there. Still, the represent great bang for the buck without sacrificing materials...and it's nice to support a small builder that still does work in-house.
not on the website any more, only Zona (NM)loop
Jun 17, 2002 10:09 AM
The UltraFoco steel bike could be the ticketopencl
Jun 17, 2002 5:39 PM
The ti Xlite is nearly as lite as the ultrafoco... what do u think? which rides better? steel or ti? ti is probably more durable....
Jun 17, 2002 6:02 PM
Gosh I hate to sound like a broken record, but here goes:

Ti: corrosion resistant, no suseptable to dents, "sweatproof," can be reblasted for a fresh appearance

Steel: generally regarded as slightly more comfortable, comes in a variety of shapes, curved seat and chain stays on the Culebra, very light in Foco/Ultra, painted (ti can be but for an up-charge).

That's just what immediately comes to mind. Feel free to email me: for more info since this thread is getting pushed further and further back.

For a while, Dean was reluctant to build with Foco/UF (they're now called the same by Columbus) due to the extremely thin walls and specialized welding techniques. According to John, they're building in it now quite successfully. I went with Zona because of my extra size/weight. I love the bike. It's comfortable (again, fit plays heavily here) and it's light. I've got a bland comp spec (Ultegra/DA combo with Ritchey cockpit, CK headset, Thompson post, Speedplay X2 pedals, Oktavia saddle, Ouzo Comp fork, OP wheels), and in 58 it weighs under 20 pounds. The UF could easily be built in the 16.sumthin pound range.

Don't get me wrong, I think the ED Xtra Lt would be a terrific bike, and I've got my sights set on one in triathlon geometry in the future. Again, feel free to email me or call Dean.

Great experience with DeanGregory Taylor
Jun 17, 2002 5:06 AM
I can't talk about Dean's titanium frames, but I bought a Cuebra SCI (Steel/Carbon) from Dean, and was VERY pleased with the experience. Beautiful bike, and John (the dude that works with customers) was a pleasure to work with. They did some custom tweaks to the frame at no charge, the welds are first rate, and the bike itself was an absolute rocket.

I say "was" a rocket because I received my bike last Thursday, and I was hit by a car (!!!) this Saturday about an hour into my first ride on the bike. A 17-year-old kid pulled out in front of me and I went over the hood of his car. He admitted that it was his fault to the cop, and he got a ticket.
Jun 17, 2002 5:24 AM
Hope you are all right!

At least the kid was honest and owned up to his actions. Fairly rare today.

Of course, the next question is the bike?

I'm going to have the bike looked at this week....Gregory Taylor
Jun 17, 2002 5:37 AM
No comment about the kid -- there is an August 14 trial date in juvenile court.

Both me and the bike took a pretty good whack. I haven't had the heart to really go over the bike myself. As you can imagine, I was heartbroken and pissed at the same time.
Greg, I'm heartbroken WITH you...loop
Jun 17, 2002 6:44 AM
After all that work getting the bike! Don't forget to take care of yourself too. I had a similar experience about three years ago, and it took a week for all of the aches and pains to set in.

Let us know how the bike (and you!) are doing.

Great experience with Deanopencl
Jun 17, 2002 8:58 AM
It's always sad to hear a fellow cyclist getting into an accident... I hope you are OK. If u r not too emotionally attached to your current bike, I am sure you can get the kids insurance to have Dean taylor another frame for u. HOpe you shake the trauma off asap...
re: Looking for feedbacks on Dean bike frames...270bullet
Jun 17, 2002 8:06 AM
I have an El Diente with Dura Ace set-up, carbon fork, and Open Pro wheels. Third summer on the bike. I love it. I'm 6'1" 225 - 235lbs. The bike is stiff enough to sprint with the Whippets yet rides well on long ride. Very responsive on short power climbs. On longer climbs I'm just trying to survive. I tried a Merlin before buying the Dean. Not being a Pro, I could not tell the difference in the two. Save your money and buy a Dean. I think it's a great deal. The only thing I've noticed between my bike and the newer Dean's, is that mine uses a mono-stay connecting the rear trianlge to the seat tube. I think this might make mine a little stiffer. Which is fine due to my size.