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Weigh in on frame choice(8 posts)

Weigh in on frame choicejptaylorsg
Jun 17, 2003 11:38 AM
I'm looking to get a frame that's hopefully a bit more plush than my Giant OCR1 (probably not hard). I've narrowed my choices down to an Orbea Lobular Carbon (Alum. - carbon seat stays; $849 w/fork @ LBS), a Fondriest Status Carb (Steel- carbon seat stays; $1249 w/fork online) or a Fondriest Carb Level (Alum. - carbon seat stays; $1299 w/fork online). Fondriest just dropped the prices on these frames significantly - also has the Don Racer on sale for $999. I like long-distance rides and strong climbers. Racing really not a priority. Assuming I get a good fitting done at a good shop, which way do I go? Any other suggestions in this range?
A seatstay on my brand-new Fondriest P4 broke. Ibill
Jun 17, 2003 12:37 PM
shouldn't say too much, because I don't have the final word yet on what they are going to do about it, but it hasn't been encouraging so far. I don't know whether the seatstays are the same for the other Fondriests you mention, but I'm not a happy camper right now. Just a thought for your consideration.
The seatstay broke horizontally about three quarters of the way up. The crack is on the outside, and it goes about halfway through. Colorado Cyclist initially said that they probably just would give me a new frame, but, when they saw it, they started balking, saying, "Well, we need Fondriest to look at this, becuase we just don't know how you did it," to which I replied, "Well, I surely don't know how it happened, either, because as far as I know it appeared there somewhere between leaving my house and arriving at the coffee shop fifty miles later, but I can tell you that I didn't do anything weird other than ride the damn thing (hard, but, you know, hard for me -- and I'm no Robbie McEwen), and that's a funny way to treat a warranty situation -- because neither of us can understand what happened, you're going to say that the warranty is voided?"
I don't know about this carbon seatstay thing.
oooohhhh Orbeapedalpete
Jun 17, 2003 1:25 PM
I'd go with the Orbea, not having ridden one but I love the look of their bikes. From what I've read, they have a good rep, that price is great, and you get to ride before you buy.
I've bought a few bikes without trying them out first, and haven't been stung yet, but it's nice to try one out.
Also, you'll make your lbs happy instead of a some guy at Fondriest who you've never met.
With the way Fondriest is going, I'm wondering if they are going to be sticking around in the states for long.
The reason I say that is they went the mail-order route this year, and it looks like lbs's dropped them.
Now they are practically blowing out their frames (by their standards) and it's still fairly early in the bike season.
I'm wondering if they are just trying to sell the frames to get some money rolling in.
I don't think a mid-high end brand like fondriest can compete with the likes of Seven, IF, etc. who I think is their new competitors in this field.
Just my strange, knowledgeless opinion.
custom curtlomoschika
Jun 17, 2003 7:32 PM
i just ordered a custom curtlo with alpha Q fork and flex stays for >$1000. true temper OX platinum or S-3 steel. granted i haven't ridden it yet since it will take 6-8 weeks but if it's like the mtb i have from him it will be a great ride.
re: OrbeaDMoore
Jun 17, 2003 7:33 PM
That's a great price for the Orbea. I have the very same bike, and the "pro deal" for my amateur team, sponsored by Orbea, was significantly more than that!

The Orbea is a very nice racing bike, slightly more comfortable than the Specialized E-5 that we rode last year. Still, it's not the bike I'd pick for a long ride. Beyond 50 miles, it starts getting pretty tiring.

On the other hand, I have a number of classic lugged steel bikes. For a long ride, even with hills included, I'll pick my steel Richard Sachs every time. It weighs almost 4 pounds more than the Orbea, but I hardly feel it except on a long climb. And it's so much more comfortable, and so much more stable on a long downhill that I'd choose it every time for a mountain ride.

In general, aluminum bikes are great for racing. Not very expensive, not very durable - essentially, a disposable item. For a long term "keeper," and a bike that I'd use for a lot of long rides, I wouldn't choose an aluminum bike. At least in my experience, steel bikes are much better suited for that purpose.
re: Weigh in on frame choicepeter1
Jun 17, 2003 7:45 PM
How about a Steelman? A riding buddy just got one for about $1150 for the frame. Maybe three-quarters of a pound heavier than the Orbea or Fondriest, but he's a 200 lb plus guy and reports it's plenty stiff, and is comfortable on centuries etc.

I'd worry about the carbon stays a bit if I were planning on logging huge miles after reading the post about the Fondriest ones that broke.

I read a report of the Orbea in ProCycling (I think) by Marcel Wust (aussie ex-pro) who commented on its rigidity. So that might not be the plushness your looking for.
re: Weigh in on frame choicepeter108
Jun 17, 2003 8:52 PM
I have a Status Carb and love it. It's a great frame for riding distances and relative to my other steel frame it's real stiff as well. That price is great too considering it was $1899 just last week. I got mine for $1400 because it was an Interbike frame. I'm real happy with it. I'd be interested iin why they are sladhing their prices so much. Is it getting near the end of the model year for them or are their sales lagging?
Thanks, and a caveatjptaylorsg
Jun 18, 2003 11:29 AM
I appreciate the posts. I think I'm leaning toward steel or ti. Also, just went to the Fondriest site, and the prices are back up to their previous lofty levels for those frames. Something strange is going on over there, maybe?