Frame materials for the not so little guy

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Frame materials for the not so little guy

Postby uMP2k » Fri Mar 09, 2007 9:45 am

As those of you who have followed the saga of my recent "bike destruction event" (see this thread for the sad details) will know I am now in the market for a new bike, or at least a new frame and wheels.

My beloved and much travelled steel frame is set to be replaced - although I am not throwing it out just yet. I plan to take it to a frame builder to see if it can be repaired and if so it may be reborn as a fixie!

Anyway given that I am going to get myself a new frame, the frame material question really is a big one for me. I loved my old steel frame and I do have a thing for the "retro" look, but there is a great deal of appeal in some of the really sexy Aluminium and carbon frames (used both seperately and in combination) out there at the moment.

I probalby do not want to spend more than $1000 all together on my new frame and wheels (which also will include things like a new helmet, new seat and some other misc. bits and pieces needed to build up my new bike).

To give an idea of the types of frames that are currently attracting me (from retro to full on techno weenie!) here are a selection of current ebay auctions of the type of thing I am after:

CINELLI PROXIMA - aluminium with carbon fork;

BIANCHI - steel and of mid-90s vintage I am guessing; or

GIANT - with carbon forks and rear triangle.

Any comments on the various material combinations would be appreciated - one thing to keep in mind is that I am not the smallest lad about. Currently weighing in at around 120kilos, some of which I am hoping to use this bike to help me shift!
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by BNA » Fri Mar 09, 2007 10:52 am

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Postby europa » Fri Mar 09, 2007 10:52 am

Mate, at that weight, the weight of the frame is meaningless. As you've so recently discovered, sometimes horrible things happen to nice bikes. Steel can be repaired, neither aluminium nor carbon can.

Being a big bloke myself, I love the spring and life of a good steel frame. You'd have to ride various bikes to compare them, but I'm betting that neither ally nor carbon offer that lively ride. Light weight riders might have a different slant on that, particularly as modern frame design is miles away from what it used to be, but I don't believe that us more generously built gentlemen can go wrong with a good, steel frame.

So, go with steel ... unless, of course, you fall in love with something else. :D

Richard
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Postby uMP2k » Fri Mar 09, 2007 10:59 am

europa wrote:...

So, go with steel ... unless, of course, you fall in love with something else. :D

Richard


Sort of the way I am leaning. Probably going to put in a bid for the Bianchi referenced above. looks like it has had a pretty hard life, but a bit of TLC might do it a world of good!

Edit****

That said, this Inexa C2 full carbon frame looks mighty sexy as well.

Decisions, decisions....
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Postby LuckyPierre » Fri Mar 09, 2007 11:20 am

I'm not being biased (this time) when I say look at steel. Keep your eyes open for a Repco Superlite or Shogun Katana - it's about the only way you'll build up a bike for your budget.
A contemporary aluminium / carbon frame will stretch your budget, but should be do-able, but a full carbon frame is likely to be a bit beyond it. The Inexa frame you showed is very small - are your 120kgs spread over a matching height?
The Bianchi is a very interesting proposition, isn't it? It's almost enough to turn me celeste with envy. :wink:
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Postby mikesbytes » Fri Mar 09, 2007 11:25 am

It all depends on the abilities of the frame designer to correctly utilise the type of materails. There are some trully excellent frames in Steel, Aliminum, Tiatanium and Carbor Fibre and there are some really bad frames out there in every material.

I'd be thinking about the ridability of the bike first and the material second.

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Postby uMP2k » Fri Mar 09, 2007 11:55 am

LuckyPierre wrote:I'm not being biased (this time) when I say look at steel. Keep your eyes open for a Repco Superlite or Shogun Katana - it's about the only way you'll build up a bike for your budget.
A contemporary aluminium / carbon frame will stretch your budget, but should be do-able, but a full carbon frame is likely to be a bit beyond it. The Inexa frame you showed is very small - are your 120kgs spread over a matching height?
The Bianchi is a very interesting proposition, isn't it? It's almost enough to turn me celeste with envy. :wink:


I am about 181cm tall, but have pretty short legs for my height :D. The frame I am looking to replace is 54cm centre to centre for both the seat and top tubes and fits pretty much spot on. Both the Inexa frame and the Bianchi are a bit smaller than that in the seat post measurements, but I think would probably still fit me okay.

as for the budget - I will basically be using most of the parts of the old frame so it is really only the frame I am after. If I get a complete bike then I will mix and match the components and flog off those that I do not use. My current component mix is mainly Campy Chorus 8 speed so the Bianchi is a good match for that!
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Postby MichaelB » Fri Mar 09, 2007 12:24 pm

Keep in mind too, that a used Steel frame is easily brought back to life, but a carbon frame is not so easy to desct problems.

The horrible green Bianchi seems quite nice, and would make some of the retro guys proud.

Go for it !!!
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Postby uMP2k » Fri Mar 09, 2007 12:42 pm

MichaelB wrote:Keep in mind too, that a used Steel frame is easily brought back to life, but a carbon frame is not so easy to desct problems.

The horrible green Bianchi seems quite nice, and would make some of the retro guys proud.

Go for it !!!


I am one of those who love the celeste (is that "Bianchi Green", or is it "Bianchi Blue"...) Bianchi frames! Yes I think it would scrub up very nicely and with the ovalised downtube it is a bit of a mix of retro and more contempory.
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Postby LuckyPierre » Fri Mar 09, 2007 1:00 pm

Some more thoughts ...
My bike (the girlie bike as she gets called - she's in my avatar) was made by Alchemy. She is a medium frame, with similar geometry, dimensions and tubing (Columbus Zonal) to the Cinelli. I recognise that build and wheels will have a bit to do with it, but I can say that mine is a quick, responsive bike to ride - the harder I push, the better it gets. That said, it's also a bit harsh, as it transfers road input very directly (despite the carbon fork).
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Postby drawn2mel » Fri Mar 09, 2007 5:47 pm

do guys really care about colour? T-mobile? :?
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Postby heavymetal » Fri Mar 09, 2007 7:30 pm

We can build you a custom made paper mache frame cheaper than anyone else. Any color you like. It's fully guaranteed until you ride it out of the end of the driveway. :lol:

I'd go for a steel frame. :D
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Postby mikesbytes » Fri Mar 09, 2007 8:37 pm

Have you seen the bamboo frame, its really quite good.

http://www.bmeres.com/bambooframe.htm

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Postby Mulger bill » Fri Mar 09, 2007 10:01 pm

Bamboo eh? If it's good enough for scaffolds...

The Bianchi sounded interesting, but... I'd be asking a few questions

Why is the chain so rusty?

Why isn't the rear mech shown very well?

Does the rake on the fork look odd to you?
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Postby uMP2k » Sat Mar 10, 2007 9:14 am

Mulger bill wrote:Bamboo eh? If it's good enough for scaffolds...

The Bianchi sounded interesting, but... I'd be asking a few questions

Why is the chain so rusty?

Why isn't the rear mech shown very well?

Does the rake on the fork look odd to you?


Yes - I agree there are some odd things about the Bianchi in the ebay ad - and yes the rake on the forks looks very odd to me. To tell the truth the fork rake looks really odd!


I have to say that my first thought when seeing this bike was that it might have been "liberated" from its original owner at one time or another. I cannot imagine anybody who went to the trouble and expense of buying a Bianchi and kitting it out with a Polar computer letting it fall into this state.

On top of that I think it might be just a tad too small for me. I am going to check out some frames/complete bikes this weekend so that will give me a better idea.

For all those reasons I am still very undecided about whether i would actually bid on it.
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Postby europa » Sat Mar 10, 2007 9:30 am

If you're undecided, DON'T.

The danger you run now is leaping into buying something, just because you're without your bike. A better move might be to go to a few garage sales and the like, buy a dirt cheap bike to ride on, then start your search again. Some very good deals for eighties roadies come up and the bike'll never go to waste - it'll give you something to leave places where you won't want to leave the good bike.

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Postby uMP2k » Sat Mar 10, 2007 9:45 am

europa wrote:If you're undecided, DON'T.

The danger you run now is leaping into buying something, just because you're without your bike. A better move might be to go to a few garage sales and the like, buy a dirt cheap bike to ride on, then start your search again. Some very good deals for eighties roadies come up and the bike'll never go to waste - it'll give you something to leave places where you won't want to leave the good bike.

Richard


A good idea - and sort of what I have been thinking myself.

Now that I know how much I am getting from the insurance I can have a good think about what it is that I really want.
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Postby uMP2k » Sat Mar 10, 2007 7:57 pm

Well, I have been out and done the rounds of a number of bike shops today, and now I am really confused!

Actually it was pretty interesting and really showed that not all bike shops are the same! I wont mention any names, but It was quite obvious how some of the shops (even ones with a rep as a "riders" shop) really pushed me toward buying what ever Giant, Trek or Apollo was their model of the day in my price range. I even had one of them tell me that my 7 or 8 year old (but very very few ks :oops: ) Campag Chorus components are ready for the trash heap and I should look at a bike with Shimano Sora bits. Now I am not saying that Sora is not good stuff for the money, but I am not ready to retire my Chorus stuff just yet!

Anyway, one or two of the other shops (the one I sort of thought would be most helpful in the first place) gave me quite a range of options on the frame front - from some very nice (second hand) classic steel to more contempory stuff. I was particularly impressed with the value of a couple of Shogun frames one of the shops had: Carbon Forks, Aluminium main triangle and chain stays with carbon seat stays - all for $450! sounded very good value to me. Apparently the shogans are basically rebadged Meridas - which is the same factory that also makes specialized's frames.

Anyway, I hope to have the insurance cash next week and then it is decision time!
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Postby europa » Sat Mar 10, 2007 8:50 pm

uMP2k wrote:Well, I have been out and done the rounds of a number of bike shops today, and now I am really confused!


Do you have any idea how hysterically common that is?

Shogun seem to put out bikes at good prices. Dunno how. Peter in Canberra doesn't care because his are well loved bikes.

You have a worn but still good groupset. You need wheels but ... is a custom frame within the price range? Sure, you'll need to replace the running gear later, but is now the time to get the frame which, after all, is the heart of the bike?

Richard
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Postby stryker84 » Sun Mar 11, 2007 1:01 am

Whoever put that link to Llewellyn's website, I now officially hate you. For making my life a misery. If you ever read a news report about a guy in Melbourne starving to death because he was saving and saving and saving for a BEAUTIFUL custom-built bike, that would be me. Bad enough I have to try and survive on a uni student budget... :( :cry:
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Postby heavymetal » Tue Mar 13, 2007 5:07 pm

uMP2k wrote:Well, I have been out and done the rounds of a number of bike shops today, and now I am really confused!


Yes. Go out and buy the latest carbon fibre bike, with a recessed rear wheel. You won't be able to ride on gravel roads, but with the latest bling equipment (not Sora, it's rubbish), you should be able to zing along at 55 km/h.

I'd highly recommend something like this :shock: <sarcasm meter in the red> :D

Unfortunately this is the way of the world. I just did a 350 kms tour and one of the riders was riding a roadside rubbish collection bike from the 80s. Worked fine and had no problems. It was the only other quiet bike along with mine because we were running the latest 80s style friction shifters, so had no gear chatter and derailleur rubbing.
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Postby sogood » Tue Mar 13, 2007 5:18 pm

mikesbytes wrote:Have you seen the bamboo frame, its really quite good.

http://www.bmeres.com/bambooframe.htm

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Wow, it must be plenty stiff. Just look at that fat BB area!!! :wink:
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