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Poll: Who is best manufacturer of alluminum bikes/frames? nm(25 posts)

Poll: Who is best manufacturer of alluminum bikes/frames? nmPBLed
Oct 7, 2002 7:42 PM
Certainly not Litespeed! (nm)Breakfast
Oct 7, 2002 8:29 PM
Litespeed can't even build a decent ti bikePescador
Oct 7, 2002 8:39 PM
I had problems with my bike last weekend so borrowed my roommate's Vortex for a hundred miler with some friends. It was the worst cycling experience ever. The fit and setup were just right for me with a few tweaks but the thing beat the crap out of me anyhow. It costs a fortune, it's not that light and looks like a load too. I'm happy to be back on the Colnago. No offsne to the LS lovers, just don't get the Litespeed thing.
Quite pleased with my litespeed atlasBill is in Denver
Oct 8, 2002 1:45 AM
To each his own I guess. I've never ridden the Ti bikes though so can't say anything about that one way or the other.

Bill
Cannondaletao
Oct 7, 2002 8:45 PM
My choice. Throw in stiffness, price, weight, innovation, beauty, and compliance and it's hard to argue that it doesn't belong on the short list (especially CAAD 5-7).

Of course if you're floating in money, check out the Eddy Merckx Team SC or the Prince (technically both have Carbon additions, but are primarily Al or a close cousin anyways).
You serious?Bill is in Denver
Oct 8, 2002 1:42 AM
I guess to each his own. Of the dozen or so 2k range bikes I rode while narrowing my search..the only one I absolutely negated was the cannondale. Stiff? To the point of absurd according to my body's feedback. Tested back to back against the other bikes (20 min loop per bike) I couldn't come up with a reason to abuse myself with that much vibration etc. Strange thing is I went there with the cannondale as number one on my list.

Bill
Cannondalevarmit
Oct 8, 2002 3:41 AM
I have two Cannondale road bikes, the older cad3 frames, with carbon forks, and I really like the ride. To each his own, I suppose. The aluminum frame ride is dramaticaly better with the carbon fork. I have noticed a lot of C'dale bashing on some forums. I realize that a C'dale does not have the snob appeal of some other bikes, but I believe that the cost/value ratio is good. The lower cost of Cannondale is the only way I could afford to have a training bike and a race only bike. As it's been said many times " It's not the bike, but the engine. I just wish my engine had more horsepower. Riding any bike is better than setting on the couch.
YessirBill is in Denver
Oct 8, 2002 9:55 AM
"Riding any bike is better than sitting on the couch"

Wiser words were never spoken (at least not in this flame infested forum :-)

The C'dales I road were impressive in the amount of drive I got when I really hammered on it...it fealt 'racey' if that makes any sense....very stiff. If I rode on smooth asphalt for the most part I would have given them a closer look but where I ride is concrete paved trails with a joint every 6 feet or so. Thump, thump, thump, thump....know what I mean? I need a bit of give to keep my 34 year old bones from rattling to much. I was leaning towards a LeMond for the steel frame give but the Atlas feels quite nice to me and I really wanted Campy...so there you have it.

Bill
Agreed! (nm)jtferraro
Oct 8, 2002 5:13 AM
Klein of course!Star Fangled Nut
Oct 7, 2002 9:13 PM
No one does more with Aluminum tubing than Klein though I do miss the gold old days...
I agree.Ken of Fresno
Oct 7, 2002 9:41 PM
I built a Quantum Race up for a friend a while back, and it was top notch. Much better welds and finish the the Cannondale I was riding at the time. But $$$.
Klein...still a KleinRide-Fly
Oct 7, 2002 9:41 PM
totally a biased opinion because I ride one:^) There are those on this forum that bash Klein because they are owned by Trek. I think it is pretty stupid to dislike something for such an arbritrary reason as that!!! Anyways, if you take a close look at Klein's new frames, you'll be amazed at the amount of swaging and manipulation that goes into their frames. Also, Klein has one of the tightest alignment tolerances in the industry. As long as Gary Klein has a say in the build and Quality Control, I think Klein bikes will continue to be one of the best Al frames around. C-Dales are great frames too. I like their road frames a lot, especially the new CAAD 7s. Their proprietary BB is sweet. The only knock on them that I have is that they tend to put lesser grade components on their bikes. As for Italian Al bikes, I think Fondriest does some really nice things. Pinarello may have been one of the innovators of the carbon seatstays but the rest of the frame looks pretty bland, i.e. no manipulation of the tubeset (Klein), no intergration of CNC (Fondriest). But still, I wouldn't turn away from a Pinarello Prince if I could get one at a great price!! Just my humble opinion!!
Cannondale isn't using lesser grade components next year...jtferraro
Oct 8, 2002 5:22 AM
I'm highly considering the '02 R2000. Get this:

1.) CAAD 7 frame - last year's was CAAD 5 frame
2.) Mavic Ksyrium SL wheels - last year's were Campy Protons
3.) Dura Ace rear derailleur - last year's was Ultegra
4.) 3T Forgie steam and hbar - last year's was Cannondale

Not bad, huh? I'm also considering the '03 Klein Q Pro Carbon and the '02 & '03 Trek 5200. The C'dale has better components than both of these bikes!

-Jeff
C'dale (slightly biased)biknben
Oct 8, 2002 5:46 AM
When you really dig into the pros and cons it's hard not to have C'Dale near the top of your list. IMO, they are the drivers in the Aluminum market. They never seem satisfied and keep innovating.

Cons:
-Harsher ride than many others
-Welds sometimes look like silly putty
-Sometimes use too many house components
-You see them everywhere

Pros:
-extremely stiff, efficient frame
-lifetime warrantee
-plenty of dealers
-no comprimise, race-ready geometry
-very competative price
Good analysisNiwot
Oct 8, 2002 12:00 PM
As the owner of a new CAAD7 and the former owner of an older 'dale frame, I'd say that's a very good pro/con breakdown.

For what it's worth, the CAAD7 gives you a less harsh ride than previous 'dale frames (though still not the comfier ride of a good Ti or carbon frame, of course). Also, the CAAD7 geometry (lower bottom bracket) is better suited for long-distance road riding, whereas the CAAD5 and earlier frames, with the high bottom bracket, are better suited for crits.
I was trying to get a compare/contrast C'dale & Klein recently..jtferraro
Oct 8, 2002 5:57 AM
Here's my link:

jtferraro "Compare & Contrast Cannondale & Klein..." 10/2/02 11:45am

-Jeff
Orbea frames and Columbus Starship aluminum tubesets...Breakfast
Oct 8, 2002 7:18 AM
...may be worth looking at if a high end aluminum frame is what you want.

Cannondale certainly has brand name power but that doesn't mean they make the best frames, most of their line is below average construction IMHO.

Klein was once innovative but no longer holds that distinction, you'd have to love the name and the look to want one real bad. And there's nothing wrong with owning either Klein or Cannondale since they both work great.
Cannondale Optimum Fit (custom fitting) for 2003fracisco
Oct 8, 2002 7:33 AM
It's back:

"Optimum Fit" is the name of Cannondale's re-launched custom fit program, available at dealers after January 1st. "We will offer this for two CAAD 7 frames," said Armstrong. "One with a conventional BB and another in our SI (System Integration) version for the oversize bottom bracket and our Hollowgram crank." Cool Alluminate6 color schemes and a faux marble immersion graphic are among the wide range of finishes available to Optimum Fit customers.

http://www.cyclingnews.com/tech/2002/tradeshows02/?id=interbike/cannondale
Giant- just ask any major bike maker...alansutton
Oct 8, 2002 8:00 AM
Giant has the most experience building aluminum frame, that's why Trek, Bianchi, Fisher, Specialized, Lemond, Schwinn(RIP), Raleigh, GT(RIP) and a lot of smaller aftermarket brands have Giant build their aluminum frames.
Giant- just ask any major bike maker...CAAD5 Kid
Oct 8, 2002 8:12 AM
Um, companies don't outsource production to Giant for their experience because if they went that route they would probably go with Cannondale or one of the higher qaulity aluminium manufacturers. They let giant do the prodcution because Giant owns 90% of the bike manufacuturing facilites in Taiwan. Quite simply, it's more cost effective to have them do it.
On the point of Best aluminum frame builder. It's tough because everybody wants a bike to ride differently and as such your opinions on a particular manufacturer will be affected both negatively and positively by how well the bike meets your ideal ride characteristics.
Having been on a tour of the Cannondale facility in Bedford, PA; I can say i was blown away by the state of the art design/ production there and how dedicated the staff was to producing a high qaulity bike. In my mind best aluminum is Cannondale but than again what i want out of my bike is completely different prob. from what the next guy wants.
Giant- just ask any major bike maker...alansutton
Oct 8, 2002 11:19 AM
I guess you've never seen a Gaint facility in Tiwain. It makes Cannondale look like a grauge business. Also, I believe the question was who best manufacturer of aluminum frames. You're just trying to justify your over priced Cannondale.
Correction to your statement...Ride-Fly
Oct 8, 2002 9:27 PM
if you will. Giant does do a lot of work for many other AL bike manufacturers but not Trek/Klein/Lemond/GaryFisher bikes. Well, with the exception of Gary Fisher bikes, I am 99% sure that the other 3 of the Trek family make all their frames in their factory in Waterloo, WI. Maybe low-end Treks are made in Tawain by the Giant factories, but that would be about it.
Giant- just ask any major bike maker...bugleboy
Oct 10, 2002 6:37 PM
The only frames that that Giant builds for the other companies that you mentioned are the low to mid end stuff. That is what Giant is good at. I'm intrigued with compact geometry, but I will go with a company that offers more than four sizes and expects you to retrofit their bike to you using different length stems and seatposts
who carespmf1
Oct 8, 2002 8:47 AM
None of them can match the fine ride of my Litespeed.
Oh yeah, my Lemond cracks your Litespeed pbbbt!! (nm)Spunout
Oct 8, 2002 9:30 AM