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Help deciding between a Klein, Principia or Scott USA(14 posts)

Help deciding between a Klein, Principia or Scott USAFender
Jun 12, 2003 12:34 PM
So I lust after oversized aluminum bikes (I'm sure I'll get bashed for this, but it's not like I care) and plan on buying one at the end of the season. I have narrowed my options to three, a Klein Carbon Pro, Principia or Scott USA.
Anybody care to share info on Principias or Scott's? As far as price goes, probably willing to part with aprox. $2000 In the components area I might be crossing over to Campy chorus.

Currently ride a C-dale.. not too impressed by it.
Feedback on two out of three...Dwayne Barry
Jun 12, 2003 1:49 PM
I have a Klein Quantum Pro and absolutely love it's performance. That being said I doubt I'd by another one simply because the horizontal rear drop-outs are a pain in the A**. I'm constantly switching between training wheels, race wheels and a trainer wheel and having to grap the chain everytime is a mess.

Principia, I've heard great things about the ride and actually considered getting one from a friend's shop. But he had stopped carrying them because he was so disgruntled with their service.
beyond help...C-40
Jun 12, 2003 4:53 PM
If you ride a relatively new C'dale and aren't impressed, it makes little sense to be set on another "oversize" aluminum frame. All of todays aluminum frames are "oversize", so why restrict yourself to these brands? There are better ones out there.

Take a look at the Fondriest web site, www.fondiest-usa.com. They have a large number of very well constructed Al frames. Some are deeply discounted at present. Just got a Madonna di Campiglio myself. Extremely nice and reduced from $1400 to $800 with carbon fork and headset. Some of the higher level models are also on sale at similar discounts.
I'd stay away from the Klein as well.pedalpete
Jun 12, 2003 5:05 PM
I liked mine, but didn't love it.
The paint jobs are great, but WAY to fragile for real use.

I just bought a Litespeed aluminum, and love it, highly recommended.
The Fondriest is also a great bike from what I hear. I was going to get one but decided on the Litespeed...don't know why. They now have the Don Racer on sale for under $1000, if it had been that price when I was buying, I probably would have gone for that instead.
I'd stay away from the Klein as well.rkalik
Jun 12, 2003 9:01 PM
To the last poster, what do you mean the Klein frame is way to 'fragile for real use'?
Yeah, I'm interested in this as well....Dwayne Barry
Jun 13, 2003 3:08 AM
I haven't found the bike to be "fragile" at all. I've had mine for about a year and a half now, I put in plenty of miles on it, and race most weekends. It's been in two crashes in races. The only blemish I'm aware of on it is on top of the right chain stay, where I assume the chain may have whacked it. Otherwise the frame has held up well, no dents/dings, still very stiff, and no chips in the paint at all other than that one spot.
"fragile" referred to paint job? (nm)geeker
Jun 13, 2003 6:44 AM
Principiathe flying bean
Jun 13, 2003 12:46 AM
I've a Principia 700 and am delighted with it. The welds have been hand finished and are completely smooth. The looks of it attract admiration from both hardened road cyclists and non cyclists alike. More importantly, it's a very responsive ride. I've also used it on 400k and 620k rides and found it comfortable as well. This frame was made in Denmark. I'm not sure whether the latest frames are still made in Denmark.

The Flying Bean
Principia RSL S6EdSned
Jun 13, 2003 4:19 AM
I have the above and love it, but I kind of agree with the comment about the Cannondale - will it be that different?

That said, the workmanship on the Principia is better than anything else I've owned (5 in total), its light and it feels stiff. I have the relatively stiff Kysriums on it and you'd expect aluminium spokes, oversize aluminium frame to be a very harsh ride, but strangely it's not - 200km on it is infinitely more comfortable than on my 853 frame (arguably not supprising) and actually more pleasant than on my 531, perhaps because its a more engaging ride. The Principia is also beautifully stable at high speeds (45+mph) for what its worth.

I agree that there are better frames out there, but for the money (in the UK) then I reckon its a lot of bike.
ed
KleinNo_sprint
Jun 13, 2003 7:34 AM
I've had more than one. They are the best machines I've ridden. I've ridden carbon, steel, Ti and alu. I haven't ridden a Calfee or Parlee though.

FYI, I'm a crit racer. If you're looking for touring bike, that's an entirely different angle.
re: Help deciding between a Klein, Principia or Scott USADINOSAUR
Jun 13, 2003 8:17 AM
My second bike is a '99 Klein Quantrum Race. I must have over 30,000 miles on the frame and component group. I have literally ridden the cra* out of this bike. Paint jobs for the '99 Kleins tended to chip easily, because of the paint they used. That problem has since been resolved. The horizontal rear dropouts were a pain at first, but after awhile you get used to them.

The only problem a Klein is unless you go with their custom program you are stuck with a stock bike. Which means one-fit-for-all with the stem, crankarm lengths, saddle selection, wheels, bar width and so on. They are now using Bontagner for a lot of their components. Trek (who owns Klein) changes out suppliers like I change my socks. My Trek-era Rolf wheels are now nearly obsolete and I imagine that somewhere down the line they will drop Bontagner. I don't know why they just don't stick to a straight Shimano package (I'm not bad mouthing Bontagner).

Kleins have a very smooth ride, and have the feeling that you are riding faster than you really are. They are more Zoot racing machines, although some use them for century bikes.

All that being said, I was in my LBS a couple of days ago and they had a Q-Pro Carbon in the shop. Price tag was $3400+ (Dura Ace). I don't know if I would pay that much when I start to look around and see what I could get for the same price they had a Merlin Extralight-Dura Ace for the same price (super deal, wish I had the money).

If you just buy a Klein Q-Pro frame and have it built up (Chorus would be nice, I have it on my steel Colnago) you could pick and choose your components and build a nice machine. Chorus would be about $200 less than Dura Ace.

Don't know that much about Principia's but I read a review on one in Cycle Sport Magazine and they gave it high marks.

Between all of these bikes you must have one that speaks to you. Just go with you gut feeling. That's how I picked my new bike, I went with my first choice after comtemplating for over a year.

Just make sure what ever you buy fits, that's why I spend 90% of my time on my Colnago....
Thanks!Fender
Jun 13, 2003 8:50 AM
Thanks!! I appreciate your post. I will most likely just buy the frame and mail order the components. Not too crazy about bontrager parts.

I do agree, the price on the Kleins is a bit high considering that I could buy something similar for a lesser amount of money, but then again Kleins are bikes I lust after!!! Rode one as a junior (too young to fully appreciate the bike) but now, I can make it SING!!!!

A principia does the same thing for me as a Klein, even on a slightly higher lever because they are A)more rare B) european C) don't have CF rear ends.
Now if I could only find a shop that carries them in S.F.
Principia: Warningspitze
Jun 13, 2003 1:20 PM
I also have an RSL S6. It is a gorgeous bike & I love the way it performs. Our LBS is a Principia dealer, so most of the locals ride them. I bought mine a few months ago & couldn't ride enough. However, one day after doing some hill work, I was relaxing & got caught by a gust of wind, overcompensated my steering, and fell over. Stupid move. I got back on the bike to find the top tube bent! This blew my mind. I have no idea how it happened, as I basically just tipped over. My guess is that my foot hit the tube. I've crashed on my Dream Plus several times & nothing happed to the frame.

The tubes on the RSL are THIN. Other riders have had similiar experiences. However, in our group performance seems to override the frailty of the frame. Oh yeah, and of course Principia would not replace the frame. They swear that the frames are tested to very stringent standards (http://www.efbe.de)
re: Help deciding between a Klein, Principia or Scott USArkalik
Jun 13, 2003 6:38 PM
For the better part of the last month, I have gone through the 'choosing' process too - Klein QCarbon or Cann'dle R800. Both bikes rock, but I went Klein.

In the end, while the stock parts on the Klein are not great, I figured my Klein would only get better over the years, because I will eventually upgrade the component sets. And, I prefer the compact geometry look and feel. (former mtb'er)

For what it's worth, I've been tooling around on the Q-Carbon for better part of two weeks, and a lot of people have asked me about the bike, even when I am blazing by them on the street! The bike is a winner, the ride is smooth and the bike moves. Mine is Reef to Sky Blue, btw....