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Racing frames - what to get?(13 posts)

Racing frames - what to get?tigermilk
Sep 17, 2002 3:29 PM
I'm hell bent on racing next year and figure I deserve a new ride anyway. By the time the season starts next year, my current bike (steel frame, Daytona group) will have over 10,000 miles on it, so I am thinking of getting a new bike for racing and keeping the old one for training.

Anyway, I was leaning towards titanium, but should I consider steel, carbon, or aluminum? I was also thinking of going the custom route which would knock out carbon. Any sage advice on what material to consider for racing? How about suggestions for custom racing frame builders?
re: Racing frames - what to get?Sherpa23
Sep 17, 2002 4:24 PM
10,000 miles? That's half a season around here! Anyways, back to your question. You can still get a custom carbon frame - I ride one and it's absolutely awesome. It's my favourite bike ever. It was built by Bob Parlee in Massachusetts. As far as top steel and ti builders go, you cannot beat Anvil Bikeworks - The fit, finish, and welding are as good as anything you will EVER see. As far as aluminum, I would go with Marty Williams at SANO Cycles in Alabama. I hope that this helps.
re: Racing frames - what to get?weiwentg
Sep 17, 2002 4:26 PM
unless you have freakish proportions or severe bike lust and a healthy wallet, there should be no need for custom. however, Calfee ( does custom carbon for something like $2400. however, I don't know that I would want to race a $2400 custom carbon frame.
since you already have a steel bike, you could consider Al and CF instead; either will be lighter than most Ti bikes (and Al will be less expensive). of course, neither will last forever. Trek frames have lifetime warranties, as do Cannondales. Giants have shorter warranties, and limited sizing, but they're very good frames, perhaps the best for the money. perhaps a 'disposable' frame would be better for racing. I can assure that TCRs (and presumable other Al frames), while they do not ride remotely like steel, are not unbearable.
Sorry to tell youSherpa23
Sep 17, 2002 4:52 PM
Custom frames are not necessarily more expensive than production models. For example, the Pinarello Opera is made from standard Dedaccai eom 16.5 tubing with a carbon rear stay and costs over $2k. A full custom bike from Anvil bikeworks made with CUSTOM TUBING made for Don Ferris (Don is Anvil) has swaged, tapered and butted tubes superior to Pinarello's and the same steel as eom 16.5 and will have a better carbon rear end (Columbus Muscle or Deda Race lite) and will cost you $1200. And it can be painted just like a Pinarello if you like that. Bob Parlee's full custom XL or Z1 frame costs less than a Calfee Dragonfly, which is a production model. So where is it that custom bikes are more expensive than production ones? And let me tell you, you can make the argument all you want for standard sizing but for almost everyone, custom sizing is better. Sure you will fit fine on a stock frame but what about balance issues? What about those wierd quirks your body has? Stacking a bunch of spacers under a stem isn't ideal nor is moving the saddle fore and aft without the appropiate counter adjustment of the stem. Custom frames take care of all of this. And no one bring up Lance. Sure he does fine on a stock frame (which isn't entirely stock, btw) but, like most people, he would be better off with a custom frame. Not picking on anyone, I'm just trying to dispel the myths.
I think the BB is lower!BigLeadOutGuy
Sep 17, 2002 5:17 PM
Hey sherp....good point. Looking at lances bike it seems that the BB is lower than a standard frame...probably for more stability on fast desents...right?
Neways...just an observation. got any info?
The frame geometry is the sameSherpa23
Sep 18, 2002 3:01 PM
The material is a little different. It's not the same carbon as the models that consumers buy. Not even the 5900.
don't be sorryweiwentg
Sep 17, 2002 6:20 PM
my bad. I was thinking manufacturers like Seven (although now that you mention it, some Sevens are cheaper than some Litespeeds), Serotta, Spectrum et al.
Not Tijustina
Sep 18, 2002 6:30 AM
I've Found Ti to be way too flexy when I sprint and power up a short climb. You scrub too much top end speed twisting your frame like a pretzel. Granted some Ti, with proper shaping is pretty stiff. Nearly everyone I know has a dedicated disposable Al frame for racing, light, stiff, and when you crash it doing 30 in a crit you're not left with a $2k+ piece of scrap metal (or plastic if CF is your choice). Save the Pins, Serottas, Sevens, and other fancy custom jobs for impressing people on weekend club rides. Custom, if you ask me, is a waste of money anyway. Unless you're freekishly proportioned, careful stem and seatpost setback selection can achieve identical fit for a fraction of the cost. They make bikes in 1cm size increments and with enough variety in tube angles that some stock frame will be just as good as custom for you.
LOLBiking Viking
Sep 24, 2002 3:37 PM
"twisting your frame like a pretzel"
What Ti frames have you ridden?

could be a 500lb gorilla??weiwentg
Sep 24, 2002 3:46 PM
but I agree; I wouldn't use a Ti frame for most racing. maybe a stage race, if that.
you can have anything you wantDougSloan
Sep 18, 2002 2:10 PM
You can get literally any kind of bike you want. There are over a hundred makers, and many of them have several distinct kinds of bikes.

I've considered a custom, just for the sake of it, but the ones I've check on all require months of lead time, and then it can be uncertain and delayed. I'm too impatient and impulsive. If that's you, too, custom might be a problem unless you really need it.

If you need custom, or even could benefit from it, then go for it. But, with several hundred models and multiples of sizes in each, as well as easy adjustments to any particular bike, my money says something off the rack probably will work fine.

The best bang for the buck for racing likely will be aluminum. Steel is fine, but with about a 1 pound weight penalty over aluminum. Ti is corrosion and paint free, and lighter than steel but usually heavier than aluminum, but more durable. (all generalizations, of course) Carbon dampens vibration a bit and can be very stiff if designed in, and can be about as light as aluminum.

Nonetheless, choice of materials really isn't that important. I'd say it's about .1% of the performance equation, if that. Get something that makes you happy. Your success is more dependent on that than on the physics of the frame, in my opinion.

re: Racing frames - what to get?mootsdude
Sep 19, 2002 10:42 AM
After 10 years of riding a steel paramount, I decided it was time for a new frame. Decided I wanted ti because of the lively ride and durability. Narrowed it down to Seven Axiom, Serrotta Legend, Merlin Extra-light, and Moots VaMoots. I'm quite sure I'd be thrilled with any of these rides but eventually decided on the Moots. If anyone tells you that ti is too flexy, they haven't ridden these frames. I chose Moots because it was the best value and IMO as good as any ti frame on the market. Their customer service is top notch. The stock VaMoots fit perfectly although they do have a custom option. I describe the ride as having the lively, responsive feel of aluminum and the compliance of a well made steel frame. Ti stands alone in durability and will not rust, which was a problem with the paramount. The frame is a 61.5cm and tips the scales at 3.3 lbs. Not a feather-weight but still very respectable. I weigh 180 lbs. and get zero flex while sprinting or climbing. It takes of like a rocket compared to the paramount! I expect to be just as thrilled with it in 20 years as I am today. Good luck with whatever you decide.
Second thatBiking Viking
Sep 25, 2002 7:57 AM
I call it "Cadillac comfort with Lamborghini handling and acceleration"

In Moots we trust.