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Most desirable Carbon Frames?(22 posts)

Most desirable Carbon Frames?lsnfa
Oct 22, 2003 8:49 PM
Curious as to which ones are considered the most desirable carbon frames right now. C50, Look kg486, Fondriest Lex or Top Carbon, Calfee Tetra Custom, and Parlee Z1 are on my list. Yes I'm in the market. Though I haven't been able decide at all I'm leaning toward C50.

What is your list like and why?
De Rosa KingbestT
Oct 22, 2003 9:09 PM
Why, because it's a De Rosa.
Cinquanta !! (nm)TFerguson
Oct 24, 2003 7:49 AM
re: Most desirable Carbon Frames?divve
Oct 23, 2003 1:18 AM
....I'm sorta getting carbon "fatigue"...there seems to be so much of it around now...admittedly a C50 does look interesting, especially considering it goes for $2700 in Europe including Star fork.
re: So many choiceshudsonite
Oct 23, 2003 5:02 AM
I have looked at most of them. Still trying to make a final decision. Here is my short list

Look KG486. It looks great, is a 'monobloc' frame with no joints. Not too light and strong.

Look 381/481. Great all round frame. Very easy to live with.

Colnago C-40, c-50. Strong, light with amazing graphics. Proven technology and a classic.

Opera Leonardo. Very beautiful frame. Probably the nicest looking carbon bike.

I have also looked at Trek, Cervelo, Parlee, DeRosa, Kuota and Calfee. All nice, but just not for me. Some were rejected because of the way they look, others because of how many you see and others because of geometry.

For me riding is both a personal and a group activity. I ride with business associates, customers and suppliers. So my decision is not only based upon the bike and technology, but how it is percieved by others. I doubt you have the same issues.

Given a choice, I prefer my bike not stand out in a crowd. But I also do not want to see the same bike over and over again. I prefer to be understated and not flashy. If I am going to standout, it is because I get to the top of a mountain first, not because I ride the flashiest or most expensive bike.

My first choice would be the Opera Leonardo. Nice frame and not well known (made by Pinarello). No one would know how much you paid and for me, this is good. The downside of the Opera is the price($3000) and finding one to test ride. The other unknown is durability. At the end of the day, the bike has to be strong and durable.

From a pure bike perspective, the Colnago C-40 or C-50 is at or near the top of my list. Proven technology and great graphics. The downside of Colnago, is that where I live, Colnago's are very well known. People see them as being the bike for the wealthy. Do not really want to be seen as that type of rider.

The Look's are less well known and people do not associate an economic value to their frames. They are strong and Look has many, many years of making carbon frames for the Pros. My favorite is the KG486. I like the construction and the shaped tubes. The 381i is probably a better all round bike and would be the practical purchase.

So in the end, the most likely choice will be a Look 486 or 381/481. But it still could go to any of the top four. The final decision will be made by wife and I together. I would be happy with any of the top four. But the other half gets a say in which one looks the best.
Well thought out- Note on the Leonardo & 2004 Colnago'sboneman
Oct 23, 2003 6:47 AM
I recently went carbon and ended up with a C-40. Two primary reasons were the geometry works for me and the technology/assembly has proven out over time. Despite getting a 2003 model, I opted out of the HP stays. Purely personal as I don't like the look. As for the paint schemes, I like them and got mine in AD10, art decor. Not as wild as the geo but not quite like unfinished Ti.

The other two bikes I considered were the DeRosa King and the Time VXSP. I passed on the King as I don't like the look of compact frames (now available in non-compact style). The Time geometry was perfect and like their French competition Look, they've been at the carbon game a long time. The construction with aluminum lugs though was what swung things toward the Colnago. If the VXRS (carbon lugs and BB) were out at the time, it's still not available to the public, probably a different story despite the sloping geomety. See picture from London Bike show last month.

I'm in the UK so the Parlee and Calfee, attractive as they may look, are too expensive due to import duty and VAT.

Look's been at the carbon game a long time and their products continue to evolve. Their long top tube in smaller sizes don't work for me. I saw the Look 486 at the Tour this year and it's quite nice. The other Look frames offer very good value although it's all relative.

Fondriest- They look great and it's rumoured that the Minardi GP helped in their development of their first few models. I've never taken to their looks.

Orbea and Wilier also have carbon models but they all have a rather suspiciously same look.

By the way, the Opera Leonardo is not all carbon. Only the fork, seat tube and rear stays. The rest is aluminum. They're very nicely made bikes and you see them now and then around.

Trial-Tir's site just put up the 2004 Colnago catalog including the new paint schemes for this year. C50, C40, CT2, Dream HP, etc. They've also gone to 1.125" steerer on the CT2.
re: So many choiceslsnfa
Oct 23, 2003 9:34 AM
Wow, you took the words right out of my mouth. Good job. Your line of thought on this is almost exactly same as mine except I don't have other half to give me input(acutally might be helpful)and no business associates etc., who'll see the new bike. I also haven't looked at Opera Leonardo(made by Pinarello? They don't have any CF frame in the line, right?)

First one was C40. But I have a Colnago already so I wanted something different this time. Thought of Carbonissimo but it would undoubtly flaunt your net value as you have your leg over it. I thought of Giant TCR but I didn't want it to say 'Giant' after spending 3~4Gs on it(pretty vain, huh?) though I like the Once team frame with clean white and minimal decal. Then I got my eye on Look KG486 and I am still looking at it pretty hard especially 03 model at UK price. I think it is the most distinct looking road cf frame out there. I am a bit concerned as to how I might like it in a few years though. Also hardly any proracers ride Look let alone KG486 whereas you already see many C50s just as C40s before.

Right now I am down to KG486 Black and C50(PR4- natural and b&W? or grey & white flag graphic.) I am also thinking about the sloping TT with C50 though I don't know the exact detail of how to go about gettng one or have seen one yet. As for the rest they look too conventional. I like the warranties of Calfee and Parlee though. I have a longish torso so custom frame might make sense too.

Isn't it pretty difficult to decide on one? It's much harder than my fisrt two. I'd want to like this one as, if not the newest and the greatest, a classic for many years to come. I wouldn't want to feel like I have somewhat of an obsolete one-hit-wonder frame in a few years(486). Thanks for spelling out what I was thinking!
re: Lots of difficult decisionshudsonite
Oct 23, 2003 10:35 AM
Take a look at the Opera at the competitive cyclist web site. It is a nice looking bike

With respect to pro racers & KG486, I have heard that you will see many more on the kg486 in this years TDF. Last year they had constrained production of the new frame and only a few lucky riders got to use it. Rumor has it that this year you will see entire teams using the frame.

I don't know how the KG486 will look in 5 years time. It may become a collectors item or a relic of history. To be sure, the C-50 and C-40 will be classic frames for years to come.

But what really matters is which bike you are going to enjoy day after day. If it is going to beat you up on every ride, then you will not use it. If it is going to make you want to go out and climb a mountain or travel a new road, then that is the bike for you.

Still thinking....
Very good article on about hi-end carbonDave Hickey
Oct 23, 2003 5:10 AM
So many choices....
My $.02 FWIWPaulCL
Oct 23, 2003 5:56 AM
Last May, I was frame shopping. I didnt' have a long list becuae I had a time crunch and a question of availability.

I rode the following:

Colnago C-40 (I was replacing a Colnago bititan)
Trek something ... too common
Aegis Victory ...I've yet to see another one.

I chose the Aegis. Why? Great ride. Availability. Looks. USA made - means it has a lifetime warranty vs. only 2 years for most European bikes. Check them out: I have the black weave frame.
My $.02 FWIWlyleseven
Oct 23, 2003 7:00 AM
That is a good warranty! I believe Calfee has a longer warranty than most European frames as well and it can be customized more than the production frames of Colnago, Look, Trek, DeRosa,etc. I have ridden one and liked it for comfort and handling. Anyone have any bad comments about Calfee out there?
My $.02 FWIWlsnfa
Oct 23, 2003 9:47 AM
How is, would you say, your Aegis different than Calfee of Parlee?
unquestionably Colnago, in my book nmDougSloan
Oct 23, 2003 6:47 AM
Parlee or Calfee.MXL02
Oct 23, 2003 6:57 AM
only because if I was to spend that much money I would want a custom fit. Colnago geometry fits me pretty well, so I if I ever go carbon, it will probably be a C40-50, ordered from Maestro.
C50 and a Parlee on tap for 2004terry b
Oct 23, 2003 7:22 AM
That's my short list for the next two. I think Colnago knows an awful lot about how to build a decent carbon frame and the C40 has clearly stood the test of time at both the consumer and professional level. Plus I'm turning 50 at the same time as Colnago so the cosmic alignment is just too much to deny.

The Parlee is intriguing to me simply because it's different. I want one "because."

I have a Tetra Pro already and it's a great bike. There are not enough good words to say about Calfee and their customer support. Great company. The bike rides well, but I've had to mess around with it a lot because it is a "small" 56cm. I would've been better served with a 58, but live and learn.

The Derosa is highly regarded, Looks are nice and I like my Fondriest aluminum frame well enough that I'd consider their carbon bike simply due to being a satisfied customer. So many frames, so little time.
Eddy Merckx Carbon MXMj-son
Oct 23, 2003 7:53 AM
What I would get, if I was in the market.
Eddy Merckx Carbon MXMlsnfa
Oct 23, 2003 9:58 AM
I've seen it on sale in mid season a few month ago at CC and another place. I just got the impression that they are not selling too many of them. Also I haven't read a single review about the frame either and know anyone riding it? For some reason it seems that there aren't all that much talk that frame. Did Merckx have it out again at the Interbike this year?
Definitely Colnagopmf1
Oct 23, 2003 8:49 AM
My C-40 B-stay with Dura Ace 9-speed is fast becoming a relic.

And a new C-50 costs almost as much as 3 months child care ....

Guess I need to invest in a wool jersey and plan on being retro.
Oct 23, 2003 10:10 AM
They've been doing this for so long, lots of sizes to choose from, great finish, great re-sale. You'll never second guess this decision. And, while slightly unique, the geometry is well know. Lots of articles on fit of the C40/50.

Good luck, it sounds like you're in for a great season next year!!
Giant TCR1 light, stiff, not too expensive. nmDutchy
Oct 23, 2003 8:42 PM
re: Most desirable Carbon Frames?mackgoo
Oct 24, 2003 5:47 AM
Bianchi XL Carbon, or maybe the Luna.
Kestrel 200sci or 300ems (nm)bikechick
Oct 26, 2003 7:27 PM