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Most Progressive Road Bike Frame Designer Over the past 5 yr(27 posts)

Most Progressive Road Bike Frame Designer Over the past 5 yrTSuprano
Mar 6, 2003 4:11 PM
I am curious to hear some arguments among the board as to which company has done more for the road bicycle frame design over the past five years over all others.
I've heard a lot of people give that very title to...Matno
Mar 6, 2003 4:30 PM
Cannondale. And for good reason in my opinion. They have amazing frames that have continually gotten better over the last few years. Maybe not the absolute best frames out there, but certainly the king of aluminum design.
I've heard a lot of people give that very title to...russw19
Mar 6, 2003 4:34 PM
Pinarello... One word - Prince

One more word - Dogma

OK, OK, one more - Opera

Russ <- another one word!
I've heard a lot of people give that very title to...ParticleMan
Mar 7, 2003 5:32 PM

PRINCE - First to mate carbon stay to alunminium, now imitated by everyone.

DOGMA - Magnesium

PRINCE SL - ONDA Forks, stays

OPERA - New era steel

Galileo - A mid level Pro quality bike, ridden in the Tour

MONTELLO - Ultimate Time Trial Bike

No one else comes clsoe for the last5 years, imo.

Have a good ride!
I'll go out on that limb with you...biknben
Mar 7, 2003 5:37 AM
IMO, C'dale has created the perfect racing frame. They also make continuous improvements. They are the driver in the aluminum market.

In the industry, it's Easton this, Columbus that, Dedaccai (sp?) here, something else there. I give C'dale credit for marching to the beat of a different drummer.

It's a challenge to come up with a more race-worhty, Al frame for the price.
Cervelo would have to be up there, howeverDougSloan
Mar 6, 2003 4:48 PM
The UCI has nearly put a halt to any innovation. If not for its rules, we'd probably be riding 1.5 pound aero kevlar frames now.

I must agree. Cervelo has blazed a new path. -nmTig
Mar 6, 2003 5:09 PM
How about Mike Burroughs?sn69
Mar 6, 2003 5:41 PM
I might be wrong here, but didn't he really help start the compact road geometry craze around 97 after UCI canned his carbon monocoque work for Giant?
Mar 6, 2003 6:19 PM
The TCR is the ultimate affordable anti-snob go fast bike (with TDF cred), and they made the compact frame popular.
As long as it fitstarwheel
Mar 7, 2003 6:43 AM
Building frames in only 3 sizes (S,M, L) is a brilliant way to cut costs, and lousy for consumers. A Giant frame may be fine if you are one of the lucky ones who can get a good fit, but their sizing scares me because other manufacturers might start following suit. Trek, LeMond, Litespeed and other US manufacturers already skimp by offering frame in 2 cm increments. I just hope European manufacturers don't start follow their lead.
As long as it fitsLive Steam
Mar 7, 2003 8:08 AM
I realize that compact geometry is not everyone's favorite for various reasons, but paramount among those reasons is aesthetics. We make contact with our bikes at three points - the saddle, the pedals and the bars. Compact geometry allows for the greatest amount of variation and adjustability. The only thing that cannot be adjusted is the wheelbase, but that reamins true for both standard and compact geometry. However assuming that one selects either a compact or standard size closest to optimal for them to ride, the adjustability is far greater with a compact frame over a standard frame. The relationship between the saddle, the pedals and the bars is all that really matters. What happens in between does not matter as far as fit is concerned. The "type" (standard vs compact) and materials effect ride quality and characteristics, not fit. JMO
I don't follow the logictarwheel
Mar 7, 2003 9:07 AM
Why couldn't you just as easily market a traditional diamond frame in just S, M and L sizes? Doesn't a diamond frame have the same contact points? I can get over the aesthetic aspects of compact frames (although I prefer traditional designs), but I just don't buy the argument that you need fewer sizes with compacts. If you compare the measurements on different sized Giant frames, you see quite a jump in top tube lengths between sizes. With fewer sizes, it seems like more riders are forced to achieve optimum fit by using extra long (or short) stems and seat posts. I agree, however, that compacts are a great innovation for riders with long torso and short legs due to the standover issue. Aesthetically, the problem with compacts is that they look unbalanced to me -- the front end looks way out or proportion to the rear. I could get over that easily if I had a standover problem with a traditional frame, but since I don't, I prefer the design of traditional frames.
Mar 6, 2003 8:02 PM
They more or less pioneered the compact frame ... of course, Keith Bontrager gets the nod for the first compact road frame, but he didn't get a whole legion of cyclists to jump on his wagon.
... but, ironically, it's still just a bicycle...Akirasho
Mar 6, 2003 8:15 PM
... granted, it's the most efficient mode of transport over smooth terrain other than walking... and certain aspects have been refined over the years... but when you compare today's bike with ones of days gone by... even within most of our own lifetimes... is there anything that has come along that we could not live without?

Be the bike.
dig that!!! keep it simple, ride longer....nmDjudd
Mar 6, 2003 8:37 PM
If you're a roadie, no, butMel Erickson
Mar 7, 2003 7:28 AM
if you ride MTB, definitely. Suspension. It's allowed mountain bikers to trash, uh, I mean, ride, terrain that was off limits a mere decade ago. It's what allows me to go off road, that's for sure. Without it I'd be strictly a roadie.
Mar 6, 2003 9:45 PM
Every forward step they take is a monumental...oh sorry, wrong thread
lol nmcyclopathic
Mar 7, 2003 12:01 AM
Mar 7, 2003 4:40 AM
nix that. Richard Sachs: Innovation by changing nothing. nmSpunout
Mar 7, 2003 4:42 AM
What have we gained in the last 20?bigrider
Mar 7, 2003 5:45 AM
this post made me really think about the differences and the progress the bike designers have made.

We are all still riding double triangle design(thanks to UCI driven compliance)

Frames are lighter
Components are lighter
Shifting is quicker and more of them
More aero designs

How much worse would our riding experience be with a 1980s frame?

I ride a 70s steel frame almost everyday.
Not what we've gained, but what we've lost!BergMann
Mar 7, 2003 6:51 AM
It's cut and dry: losing at least 5 lbs. on a comparably priced/equipped bike over the course of the last decade is _progress_, plain and simple.

I still ride my late 80's hand-made steel Bianchi frame on the road, and the simple process of upgrading to more modern components as my old ones wear out has made a 20lb. bike out of a 23lb bike. Same steel feel, and less to schlepp!

I'm as suspicious as the next guy about claims to "innovation" from one season's model to the next, but over the course of a decade, these little things add up.

By the way, my vote for "innovation" in frame building goes to Trek (with a second nod going to Kestrel), who was building _production_ monocoque carbon bikes at reasonable prices long before Giant or any of the absurdly overpriced Italian builders jumped on the bandwagon! (4 grand for a frame? No thanks, I'll take a complete bike!)
In fact, I'll take TWO! nmMel Erickson
Mar 7, 2003 7:32 AM
Trek monocoque? Don't think sotorquer
Mar 7, 2003 7:49 AM
OCLV's (I've owned two, love 'em) are built with carbon lugs joining carbon tubes, with the joints smoothed-out with something like Bondo & painted over. The appearance is the same as Kestrel, but production costs are much less once the extemely high costs of tooling carbon lugs are ammortized. This lug tooling cost is also the reason given why it would be prohibitive to build custom frames for USPS.
Damn, forgot the boilerplate!BergMann
Mar 7, 2003 10:21 AM
Yes, I knew someone would latch onto the OCLV / monocoque quibble, but was feeling too lazy to build the boilerplate into my post.
Quite frankly, I think it's trivial whether the carbon elements are prefabricated, then bonded together, or whether certain strategic elements (dropouts, BB, head tube, seat clamp...) are laid in a mould and then "wrapped up" and bonded by injecting epoxy.
Perhaps the engineers on this board can point out how and why it might make a difference (theoretical advantage of continuous fibers running across joints?), but in terms of the OCLV, who can argue with a 2.2 lb frame warrantied for life for $2000 _w/ fork & headset_?
Agree its trivialtorquer
Mar 7, 2003 11:22 AM
I just thought we needed a break from the important issues: War vs. Peace, Campy vs. Shimano, Nick vs. the rest of the world, etc.

I also agree with your last line, but (forgive me if this is trivial), isn't the out-the-door price of a 5500 frame more like $1600? Thats what I was quoted a year ago.
Mar 8, 2003 7:08 AM
Its $2000 for the 110 Superlight (5900) frame, fork, & headset.

$1600 sounds about right for the 120 OCLV (5500), since it retails built up with Ultegra for around $2500.

Appropo MSRP and Trek, my main beef with Trek is the way they keep their goods off the web & out of mail order catalogs. This may be good for my LBS, but the lack of ability to comparison-shop sure rubs me against the grain as a consumer.