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Pinarello Surprise Build/Ride Report!!(11 posts)

Pinarello Surprise Build/Ride Report!!cyclejim
Jul 1, 2002 9:08 PM
I'd been chomping at the bit for a couple weeks ever since I decided on the Pinarello Surprise. I had to wait to get the frame and all the parts to build her up and it was a LONG wait even though it was actually just about two weeks total. The frame was purchased from Chicagoland Bicycle. Most of the Ultegra build parts were from and I picked up some misc. parts from Performance, Supergo, and including the stem, cassette, headset, etc.

The spec: Full Ultegra kit, but with a Dura Ace BB rather than Ultegra. Mavic Open Pro rims on Ultegra hubs (hey no Mavic click!!) Kenda Koncept 700X23s, Thomson Elite seatpost, Selle Italia flite saddle, 3t Prima bars, 3t Mutant stem, Pinarello Velo carbon fiber fork.

The frame: The paint is beautiful. It's a red, white, and blue scheme and it looks excellent. Clear coat over the Pinarello name and all other lettering. It's not easily scratched or chipped either- I actually had it resting against the side of the house by the saddle and the bike slipped, scraping the top tube against the houses wood trim about 12 inches. I initially freaked when I saw the large streak of blue house paint and dirt on the top tube but it all rubbed off without a scratch or anything. The welds are decent, but not of Cannondale smoothness. I have to admit, I was a bit disappointed in the overall look of the welds around the BB area. Not that they look weak, on the contrary they look quite beefy but they could have taken more care to make them smoother and refined. The details on the frame are classic and understated. A VERY nice badge on the seat tube that says Profile 7005 aluminum, and a beautiful P head tube badge. Very classy. Pinarello is lettered on the seat and chainstays in white. Stamped on the bottom of the BB shell is Pinarello also.

The build: I had my LBS install the bottom bracket and headset. They had a tough time pressing in the headset because of the length of the head tube. The frame is a 62cm C-C and the head tube is LONG. One of the longest I have seen. The head tube was nicely reamed and faced already, but the bottom bracket needed to be faced as this was not done by the factory. After that, I completed the build by myself over 2 1/2 nites. (I like to take my time) This is the first road bike I have built up, and I didn't have too many issues actually. The biggest thing I strugged with was installing the Ultegra levers. I had an annoying issue with the cable guide screw which goes into the bottom of the BB shell of all things. It seems the threads were not really clean and nice and I had a heck of a time getting it started into the threads. Once that was handled, everything basically went together just fine. I sort of botched the tape job, but I decided Im not liking the red Cinelli color so I'll get another chance in black soon.

The ride: Well, I have to say that the bike rides very very well. Now, I do not have much of a point of reference on road bikes, but I have been riding a 853 steel hardtail mtn bike on the road with fat high volume tires for some time and I do not find the ride of the Pinarello aluminum frame overly harsh in comparison. So far my longest ride has been 2 hours and comfort was good. The frame is stiff during out of the saddle efforts with no evidence of frame flex whatsoever. This is a large frame but it fits me very well. I have found it to be quick handling (certainly compared to my mtn bike) but it also is stable. Other nice things: It just FEELS fast. There is nothing like the rush of riding a road bike at high speed....Im in love with the feel of this bike and riding a true road bike vs. a mtn bike on the road so much better. I knew there would be a difference but this is incredible. I can't think of any bad things yet, but in time I may find some. Once I have more time on the bike I will post a review. In the meantime....Im just looking forward to my next ride!

welcome to pinarello ride!colker
Jul 2, 2002 4:07 AM
and welcome to italian facing and reaming.. wht facing? i've got an older steel pinarello. yup, quick and stable. smooth. it's made to be ridden for loong hours. and winning races too.
weld quality explainedlonefrontranger
Jul 2, 2002 5:57 AM
Pinarello leaves their welds "natural" so that one may see how smoothly the welder laid the bead. There is an intrinsic "snob appeal" to leaving the welds natural like this because it demonstrates the skill of the builder.

Cannondale sands all their welds with a Dremel tool. Sanding welds used to be a shortcut for cheaper Taiwanese tig'ed frames to help the build look smoother / better quality. Old-school tig builders were aghast at this practice because not only does it remove weld material but it also allows the welder to be as sloppy as they want because any mistakes will be sanded away. However C'dale builders are all pretty skilled so I doubt they're hiding anything, and it doesn't actually weaken the frame.

It's a matter of personal preference.
...interesting thanks for the infocyclejim
Jul 2, 2002 6:09 AM
That actually makes me feel a little better about the welds!

It's my understanding...Nessism
Jul 2, 2002 7:41 AM
...that by finishing and smoothing out the welds on an Al frame, the joint is made stronger by removing any possible stress consentrations - the ridges on the welds make a notch of sorts. I don't know how significant this is but the information came from Kinesis. They make frames for quite a few OEM customers and charge extra for the finish work. Take it for what it's worth.

ya, I'm not up to date on the engineering factorslonefrontranger
Jul 2, 2002 7:57 AM
... my tig welding knowledge is very old-school. That stress factor does sound right tho. I do know Cannondale's build quality is one of the toughest out there - I've been riding with Cannondale aficionados since the 80's and I've never seen stress fractures in any (that I heard about).

All I know is that Mike Melton (who built track frames for the '84 Olympics, 7-11 and the Huffy team I rode for) was appalled by the (relatively new-school) and Taiwan / Chinese builders' common practice of sanding out welds; he and Gary Fisher were both very vocal on this topic. It doesn't surprise me that Pinarello (being a fairly old-school Euro builder themselves) would have the same stance. Again, I think it's a matter of personal preference as I doubt either style is prone to break under normal use load parameters.

A proper unsanded tig weld should look like the segments on a millipede; all even and shiny.
It's my understanding...Nessism
Jul 2, 2002 8:33 AM
...that by finishing and smoothing out the welds on an Al frame, the joint is made stronger by removing any possible stress consentrations - the ridges on the welds make a notch of sorts. I don't know how significant this is but the information came from Kinesis. They make frames for quite a few OEM customers and charge extra for the finish work. Take it for what it's worth.

Welcome to the Pinarello family!tmguy
Jul 2, 2002 1:40 PM
Your last paragraph wherein you state it "FEELS fast" refers to the Pinarello mystique. No "SURPRISE"; it's a Pinarello.

tmguy a.k.a OperaLover
re: Pinarello Surprise Build/Ride Report!!rengaracchi
Jul 2, 2002 7:28 PM
I have a quick question about cabling. You know, sometimes cables from the handlebar rub against the head tube and over time create bad scratches on the paint. I saw in one picture which shows that Pinarello has "cable stays" on each side of the head tube as well as on the down tube. Does your Surprise come with the cable stays? I am getting an Opera and wonder how cabling is done.

re: Pinarello Surprise Build/Ride Report!!flying
Jul 2, 2002 9:38 PM
Are you refering to the little black O-rings in your pic?
If so I believe that is what they are & not actual stays.
Colnago uses them on the rear brake cable exposed section.
re: Pinarello Surprise Build/Ride Report!!rengaracchi
Jul 2, 2002 9:58 PM
I see. So you put it on where need be. I think I will do the same. Do you know who makes it?