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Fondriest MDC report...(4 posts)

Fondriest MDC report...C-40
Jun 5, 2003 3:40 PM
Fondriest Madonna di Campiglio Report

The short version first. I was surprised at the excellent ride quality that this least-expensive Fondriest delivered. I have absolutely no complaints after my initial 45-mile shakedown ride. As a 135-pound rider, I have experienced a relatively uncomfortable ride with all of the aluminum frames that I've owned in the past. I was afraid that this frame would be much the same, but the ride of the Fondriest rivals that of my C-40. To be completely fair, I should exchange the cushy SDG saddle on the Fondriest with the SLK on the C-40 to see how much of the comfort is due to the saddle. Now the details for those interested.

Finally got my red Fondriest Madonna di Campiglio, size S (51) built up. Couldn't resist a frame reduced from $1400 to $800 (with cartridge bearing headset). The intent was to build a bike geared for climbing the mountains around Denver.

The frame has a 5cm sloping TT with a seat tube length of 49.5cm, 53cm TT and 73.45 STA (according to the geometry chart). The seat tube is a 1.6cm shorter than the seat tube on my 54cm C-40. The top tube is also 1.6cm shorter than a 54cm C-40, after compensating for the difference in STA. I chose to use a 1cm longer stem on the Fondriest.

Installed a Campy Record triple group, medium cage derailleur, 12-25 cassette, FSA Team Issue carbon triple crank, 53/39/30 chainrings and Ti spindle ISIS bottom bracket. Other components are Deda 215 anatomic bars, Ritchey WCS stem (110mm) an ITM Millennium carbon seatpost, a red SDG Comp Ti saddle, Mavic Ksyrium wheels and Conti GP3000 tires.

The ISIS BB installation was extremely simple. Just greased the (aluminum) threads and torqued to 35 ft-lbs with the FSA installation tool. Used Ti prep on the BB spindle, before installing the FSA crankarms.

Adjusting the triple front derailleur was a bit more difficult than a double, particularly with no recent triple experience. The main difference was adding a significant amount of cable tension, after the pulling the cable tight and clamping it down. Without 2-3 turns of additional tension, the derailleur would not shift from the little ring to the middle ring with a single full sweep of the ergo lever. With the proper tension, a full sweep (3 clicks) will complete the shift. This derailleur also needs trimmed back down by 1 click after completing the shift. The middle to big ring shifts works just like a double. Double users will find it necessary to adjust their shifting style to avoid overshifting from the big ring down to the little ring. It only takes 2 clicks up or down to shift from the big to middle ring. With a double, you can mash the thumb button without thinking, since only the last 3 clicks are available. With the triple, you have to remember to only give the thumb lever a moderate push to get 2-3 clicks. Get carried away, and you'll get the little ring instead of the middle.

I prefer to route the derailleur cables to the opposite sides of the head tube, crossing the cables below the downtube, to keep the cable housing from touching the head tube. On the Fondriest, the cables touched the underside of the downtube with this routing. This will result in an annoying buzz from the cables on rough roads and eventual damage to the paint. The solution that I came up with was to fabricate a small "bumper" from stainless steel sheetmetal to hold the cables 2-3mm away from the downtube. The bumper is about ¾" wide by an inch long. I carefully bent a curvature that was slightly tighter in radius than the downtube, rounded all the edges and polished the bumper to improve the look. Attached it to the downtube with clear silicone adhesive/caulk just above point where the cables cross. No cable buzz or frame damage to worry about now.

Went on a 45-mile shakedown ride yesterday. I was really impressed with the ride of the Al and Deda carbon seatstay frame. Quite an improvement over the last C'dale
re: Fondriest MDC report part 2..C-40
Jun 5, 2003 3:43 PM
Oops, didn't get the entire text. Here's the rest.

Went on a 45-mile shakedown ride yesterday. I was really impressed with the ride of the Al and Deda carbon seatstay frame. Quite an improvement over the last C'dale that I owned. There was no significant buzz on chip and seal roads. The frame seemed to soak up the jolt from pavement cracks as well as my C-40. The SDG saddle can probably be given some of the credit though. It's a lot softer than the ultralight (Aspide and SLK) saddles that I've been using. The frame tracked a very straight line. No twitchiness whatsoever. A 42-mph descent was rock solid. Used the little ring a couple of times, even though I didn't need it. Went up the steepest hill on my route effortlessly while seated. Nice option if you're not in a hurry.

I'm still in the process of adjusting the saddle fore/aft position. Didn't even bother to check KOP before the first ride. Just got on the bike and adjusted by feel. Stopped four times to move the saddle back a bit. The ITM Millennium carbon post is great. It has the same 2-bolt clamp used on the C-40 seatpost. The standard 250mm length was sufficient for the sloping TT frame. No problem was encountered with the post slipping in the frame. I paid special attention to the inside of the seatube to be sure that there were no burrs or sharp edges that might damage the post.

The next item to play with is head tube spacer. The Fondriest "Domina Drive" headset has a 3.5mm spacer that is part of the top-bearing race. It seats against a thick O-ring in a groove machined into the top side of the top bearing cap. I replaced the 3.5mm spacer with a 10mm spacer. This places the bars at the same height that I've been using for the past year on my 54cm C-40. I previously had the bars about 5mm lower, so I'm going to try reducing the spacer before calling the setup "permanent".
welcom to the club!!!funknuggets
Jun 6, 2003 5:23 AM
Fondy has some nice stuff. Nice breakdown. I like mine... but likely can't afford to try a C-40. Im jealous!

Chris
I'm about to join the club as well...nazgul
Jun 6, 2003 3:38 PM
...as I just pulled the trigger on a don racer. I guess I am turning into a weight weenie :) I will post a report once I build it up sometime in the next month or so...