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Obsessed with carbon- which frame?(36 posts)

Obsessed with carbon- which frame?filtersweep
Aug 2, 2002 5:00 AM
I'm stuck (read "obsessed") on wanting to buy a carbon fiber bike to replace my aluminum bike (I'm not interested in steel at all).

I'm contemplating either building a new bike around a new Look KG 381i frame, buying a used KG 261 already setup with a mix of DA and Ultegra, or biting my lip and buying a year-end closeout on a new Trek 5200.

The reviews around here are crazy as ever- people both love and hate both the Look and Trek frames.

Trek has Look beat in the warrantee department. Trek frames seem to have fragile paint/decals (seems there are a lot of bubbled/lifted decals on their OCLV frames... I know it is cosmetic). I'd really prefer NOT to have any sort of team frame- esp. USPS, but the only KG 381i frames are team frames as well. The Look frame's lugged design makes me a bit nervous, vs. the Trek's design. Finally, I can receive better LBS support through a Trek frame.

The Trek is less expensive for a new bike- which I like because I want to just ride without "worrying" about the bike. The used Look is the least expensive option, but the bike's history is an unknown factor.

I just want something light and quick for my weekday post-work rides, and something a bit more comfortable for my longer weekend rides. I was contemplating the idea of buying the "frame to end all frames" (whatever THAT may be), but I doubt I'll ever buy my "last bike." I'm less concerned with the "wow" factor of an exotic or uncommon frame, yet the Trek does feel quite pedestrian (although a friend of mine did retire his steel Colnago for a Trek OCLV).

Any thoughts or input? Anyone know much about the 261? Look no longer has any info about this frame on their website....
There will be a used Colnago Carbonissimo 4 sale soonOffTheBack
Aug 2, 2002 5:13 AM
with very low mileage. You will need your own pedals though. ;-)
don't like it? do tell (nm)ColnagoFE
Aug 2, 2002 9:00 AM
See this threadOffTheBack
Aug 2, 2002 10:41 AM
SimonRex "New to Cycling and Need Help" 7/31/02 5:00pm

Don't miss Uncle Tim's reply.
if you want a little wow factorJekyll
Aug 2, 2002 5:13 AM
Take a look at Calfee - A friend just got a Tetra and its a beautiful machine (too big for me to get a good riding opinion). The Luna is in the same price range as the OCLV and the Look ($1299). No team decals and McBike appeal and an impeccable reputation and warranty. Just a thought.
Although Craig did build the carbon bikes Lemond raced on. (nm)sn69
Aug 2, 2002 5:21 AM
if you want a little wow factorraboboy
Aug 2, 2002 7:42 AM
I 2nd the Calfee. I saw one when I was visiting a friend in Cali. They are stunning.
You've been here a while...JL
Aug 2, 2002 5:16 AM
and as you stated, the reviews here (really for any bike) go back and forth. As you've probably read here many times, test ride them and see which one you like better. Plus, there's always the "fit mantra", ride the one that fits.

I've never ridden a Look (where I am they're rare), but I have the Trek 5200 (2001) and like it a lot. Plenty comfy on my long weekend rides and I don't seem to have problems on the Tuesday night group rides. I ride it every chance I get.

That being said, if I had a Look dealer around here I would have definitely tried one. I like the way some of them look, but the warranty is short (as are many European manufacturers). Maybe in the future, I can get chance to try one out.

What do you mean by "pedestrian feel" on the Trek? Is that the "dead feel" everyone talks about?

Good luck and happy riding.


P.S. How did the Lyme disease thing work out? I guess the antibiotics and quick reaction helped, yes?
Another vote for Calfeegrandemamou
Aug 2, 2002 5:44 AM
I have a friend who just purchased a Luna. She loves it and raves about the ride quality. I rode it around the block a few times and found the bike smooth and really responsive. The paint was flawless. I looked and could not find a ripple,pinhole, or misaligned decal. IMO the attention to detail is much better than Trek or my own Bianchi for that matter.
Aug 2, 2002 8:38 AM
I don't think there is any Calfee dealer anywhere near here... but I was considering looking at that one. I'd be a bit more comfortable with their warrantee than Look. I hate to try a frame without test riding it... and the shop that sells Looks locally has no built bikes- just frames.

It seems the "big" LBSes that sell Trek, Giant, Specialized, Bianchi, etc... that sell mtn bikes primarily dominate the scene.
Yep, thats the downsidegrandemamou
Aug 2, 2002 9:03 AM
to most high end frames. The answer you usualy get is to test ride. Unless you live in a large metro area it's tough. You'll find very few bikes built up and the chances of finding one in your size are even slimmer. To be honest it's virtualy impossible to make a decison based on an ill fitting bike that you have ridden around the block a few times in street clothes.

She bought hers sight unseen based on the reccomendation of LBS and others. I also bought My EV2 that way. I tried the SL and Boron and bought on the recommendation of a trusted bikeshop that sells lots of high end frames.

The LBS she bought it through was not a dealer before hers. He has sold one other since hers and was also quite impressed with the attention to detail.
re: Obsessed with carbon- which frame?Ken
Aug 2, 2002 5:54 AM
Everyone knows it's the C40 for the ultimate in CF rides.
Why not a Parlee? nmMXL02
Aug 2, 2002 6:02 AM
About Parlee..Jekyll
Aug 2, 2002 6:16 AM
Do you have any idea on pricing/availability on their products? Their web site is a little sparse... Never seen one in person, but it does sound interesting...
About Parlee..MXL02
Aug 2, 2002 6:24 AM
Actually, I have no idea...I was hoping to get some info from the folks on here.
Recently posted at the Calfee Forum at...sn69
Aug 2, 2002 6:38 AM ...Or it was on the Serotta forum at the same place. If memory serves (been watching too much Iron Chef), a Parlee frame is just under $3K. Ouch.
I have a ParleeSherpa23
Aug 2, 2002 9:22 AM
Actually, I have two. I posted on the Calfee Owner's group but I will elaboratea little bit here. Without a doubt, this is the best carbon bike on the market. I have raced on Calfee's Tetra Pro and a C40 and both of those are noticeably behind the Parlee in terms of ride quality, finish, and performance. I ride about 35,000km a year in training and racing and my Parlee handles it as well one other bike (custom steel) and better than every other that I have owned. This bike feels so good on climbs and sprints but the road feel is so good that I can really lean it over on descents because it doesn't have that vague, dead feeling that other carbon bikes have. A custom Parlee frame is $2800 and I cannot recommend it enough.
Call him!...kapalua
Aug 2, 2002 9:30 AM
I talked to Bob a last month when I was still looking for the right frame. Really nice fellow and knows his carbon technology. Sounds like he can customize the frame to your requirements, very similarly to how Seven does.

The XL frame, which is a tad over 2 lbs. was quoted to me at $2850 (frame only). Howevever, he also sells complete bikes, with component prices competitive to Excel Sports. His turn-around time is around 4-5 weeks.

Give him a was a pleasant conversation between two gearheads :)

Beats me what you'll prefer, but it's at least worthdjg
Aug 2, 2002 6:25 AM
noting that there are likely to be good opportunities to test-ride several options: Trek, Kestrel, and Aegis are pretty regularly available for test rides (in that order of descending availability, I'll wager). Some shops also seem to have a couple of Calfees built up, although finding your size there may be more of a chore, if not impossible. I had a 5200 that I liked pretty well. In the end, I liked it a whole lot less well the the Colnago CT1 I bought on a whim, so I sold the Trek without regret, but to each his or her own. Looks have quite a following but I've never seen them built up for test rides. Maybe your area differs. Or maybe someone in your club has one in roughly your size that you can try.

If you're looking for low-zoot, respectable carbon, and you're concerned about price, you might see if parker international is still selling off the old Look 241 frames--they were pretty darn cheap as I recall (something like 450 bucks, with a fork, once they subtracted the VAT). Supposed to be pretty good.
and now for something completely differentDougSloan
Aug 2, 2002 6:28 AM
Looks like a Softride with an identity crisis (nm)grandemamou
Aug 2, 2002 6:35 AM
I like its brother better.MXL02
Aug 2, 2002 6:46 AM
That looks damn cool nmPhatMatt
Aug 2, 2002 7:12 AM
similar to kestrel as well (nm)ColnagoFE
Aug 2, 2002 9:02 AM
re: Obsessed with carbon- which frame?PMC
Aug 2, 2002 7:22 AM
Have you looked at the Aegis line up at all? Very rare and the ride is outstanding. If you decide on the Aro Svelte, don't get red as I think you're local :-)
Ditto on the Aegis Aro SvelteZyzbot
Aug 2, 2002 11:31 AM
I love mine ...and it is blue!
What do people think of the Colnago C-15 Ferrarri?ColnagoFE
Aug 2, 2002 9:03 AM
anyone even seen one? supposedly 500 made and wrenchscience has one in my size for a decent price.
re: Obsessed with carbon- which frame?mackgoo
Aug 2, 2002 9:08 AM
I'm saving my change for a King.
re: Obsessed with carbon- which frame?rbb
Aug 2, 2002 9:42 AM
How's about a Corima??? I just picked up a used one from an ad in the classifieds section of this site. Very nice frame, rides very well eve though i don't have any significant mileage on it as of it. They're very purty, nice lines!!!
Actually, Look and Trek <i>do</i> make non-team framesmmquest
Aug 2, 2002 10:09 AM
See the Trek Project One website for the Trek and for the Looks...
Like I want to pay EXTRA for a non-team framefiltersweep
Aug 2, 2002 11:31 AM
Actually, the decent Trek prices I can receive are for in-stock bikes... same with the Look frames. I don't know if the Trek "Smoke" or whatever color it is called has the USPS decal (I don't think it does), but of course my LBS never seems to stock those.

I really find Trek's decals to be over the top- we used to joke that they made their tubes oversized simply so they could make their logos larger. I'm sure they have done their homework, but I never have liked any "team bike" (I don't drive a car with NASCAR logoing all over it)... but I don't want to pay "full price" simply to avoid it either.

To go grey market with totalcycling, I might as well buy used.
Speaking of Trek...PMC
Aug 2, 2002 2:57 PM
I was just in Freewheel Bike today to buy some batteries for my Sigma cycle-computer and they had the 2002 5200 marked down. It was 2350 or something close to that for the double and an extra 20 for the triple. Seemed like a pretty good deal compared to the Big Trek dealers prices.
And you consider totalcycling "grey market" because...mmquest
Aug 2, 2002 3:09 PM
there isn't a stateside distributer marking the price up 40%?
And you consider totalcycling "grey market" because...filtersweep
Aug 2, 2002 4:38 PM
I have no qualms about grey market per se... however warrantee is an issue- if there is NO warrantee, I might as well include used in the equation.

I have made numerous purchases through totalcycling and have been very happy.

I am making two trips to Europe this fall, and I am considering pricing a Look frame there.
And you consider totalcycling "grey market" because...mmquest
Aug 2, 2002 9:37 PM
Agreed. But it often seems to me that with the $ that can be saved, the odds are that you will still save money even if a component fails, which should be fairly unlikely. How many times have you actually used a warranty in your life? Only once or twice for me.

My most recent totalcycling purchase, Time pedals for close to $100 of US retail. Personally, at that price, I'll take my chances.

Good luck finding a bike!
re: Obsessed with carbon- which frame?Carbon fiber fanatik
Aug 2, 2002 1:25 PM
Easy..! Skip "Look", fugetabout "Trek". Go with a Kestrel. Either of the "EMS" bikes are awesome. Lifetime warrranty, etc. My next project will be a 500 EMS to add to my CSX mountain bike.