Z-Plus Bike brand

JFAR96
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Z-Plus Bike brand

Postby JFAR96 » Wed Sep 26, 2018 12:05 pm

I was recently given a road bike and I'm interested to know more about the brand however can't find anything about it online.The brand is Z-Plus and it's a aluminium frame with a carbon top and down tube. Someone at work suggested it could be a re-brand of a cannondale as it's built a similar way to some of their carbon/aluminium bikes and the seat stays are a similar shape. Anyway, just wanting to know if anyone knows anything about it and could fill me in.

This is an ad for the same bike:
https://www.gumtree.com.au/s-ad/algeste ... 1178770602

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MichaelB
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Re: Z-Plus Bike brand

Postby MichaelB » Wed Sep 26, 2018 1:02 pm

I’d say no carbon in the frame (low res pic), just a basic alloy welded frame.

Cannon dale don’t sell their bikes under other brands.

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Re: Z-Plus Bike brand

Postby JFAR96 » Wed Sep 26, 2018 1:27 pm

Thanks. Frame definitely has Carbon top and Down tubes as they are exposed with clear coat. you can also see where they join the aluminium.

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Re: Z-Plus Bike brand

Postby adam0bmx0 » Wed Sep 26, 2018 2:11 pm

JFAR96 wrote:Thanks. Frame definitely has Carbon top and Down tubes as they are exposed with clear coat. you can also see where they join the aluminium.


If your bike is the same as the one in the Gumtree advert, it's an aluminium frame, what you see under the clear coat will just be a carbon look vinyl wrap.

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Re: Z-Plus Bike brand

Postby 10speedsemiracer » Wed Sep 26, 2018 2:13 pm

JFAR96 wrote:I was recently given a road bike and I'm interested to know more about the brand however can't find anything about it online.The brand is Z-Plus and it's a aluminium frame with a carbon top and down tube. Someone at work suggested it could be a re-brand of a cannondale as it's built a similar way to some of their carbon/aluminium bikes and the seat stays are a similar shape. Anyway, just wanting to know if anyone knows anything about it and could fill me in.

This is an ad for the same bike:
https://www.gumtree.com.au/s-ad/algeste ... 1178770602


Is the pictured bike the bike in question ?
Mmm, SunTour

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MichaelB
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Re: Z-Plus Bike brand

Postby MichaelB » Wed Sep 26, 2018 3:27 pm

JFAR96 wrote:Thanks. Frame definitely has Carbon top and Down tubes as they are exposed with clear coat. you can also see where they join the aluminium.


Not from the picture you linked.

Only frames that I know of (not 100% though) was LeMond that had the mix of tubes, but that was Top tube & seat tube.

And they weren't cheap either. Nice bikes. Wish I had one.

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Re: Z-Plus Bike brand

Postby JFAR96 » Wed Sep 26, 2018 7:05 pm

10speedsemiracer wrote:Is the pictured bike the bike in question ?


No, but its the same make and model.

MichaelB wrote:Not from the picture you linked.

Only frames that I know of (not 100% though) was LeMond that had the mix of tubes, but that was Top tube & seat tube.

And they weren't cheap either. Nice bikes. Wish I had one.


The top tube and tube is carbon. I know the difference between vinyl and carbon also it passes the tap test and there is a sticker on the down tube which says "carbon tubes".
As for other bikes which are similar the Cannondale Six13 http://www.roadbikereview.com/product/l ... six13.html is built in a very similar way with flush joins between the carbon and the aluminium as opposed to typical lugs. I'll try and get some images up soon

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Re: Z-Plus Bike brand

Postby AUbicycles » Thu Sep 27, 2018 7:44 am

Struggling to see this as using carbon and some points:
- expect cleaner welds (i.e. machined) for a premium road bike
- the welded cable guides on the top tube don't leave much space for carbon

But it could be an old Rebel Sport (in house) brand when the were doing a few crazy things... There were some Z-Plus MTB's around.

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Re: Z-Plus Bike brand

Postby MichaelB » Thu Sep 27, 2018 8:46 am

JFAR96 wrote:
10speedsemiracer wrote:Is the pictured bike the bike in question ?


No, but its the same make and model.

MichaelB wrote:Not from the picture you linked.

Only frames that I know of (not 100% though) was LeMond that had the mix of tubes, but that was Top tube & seat tube.

And they weren't cheap either. Nice bikes. Wish I had one.


The top tube and tube is carbon. I know the difference between vinyl and carbon also it passes the tap test and there is a sticker on the down tube which says "carbon tubes".
As for other bikes which are similar the Cannondale Six13 http://www.roadbikereview.com/product/l ... six13.html is built in a very similar way with flush joins between the carbon and the aluminium as opposed to typical lugs. I'll try and get some images up soon


Not questioning your capabilities, but on the gumtree image you linked, "I'll go 'He'" if there is any carbon in that bike at all. There are no visible/apparent transitions where the carbon tube slots into the alloy tube at all as per this pic of a 2004 Lemond Victoire Carbon/Ti Spine frame

Image

The brand of the frame may well be the same, and indeed the bike you are looking at may well have carbon tubes butted into alloy tubes like the Cannondale, but without pics of the actual bike you are referring to, there is no way for us to confirm it, or provide advice on any provenance or original maker.

Whilst I'm no authority on Cannondale, I'd highly doubt it if it is a licenced frame from them.


So, to give us some more detail, what equipment is fitted, are there any serial numbers or markings, and when can we see pics :D

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Re: Z-Plus Bike brand

Postby JFAR96 » Thu Sep 27, 2018 9:11 am

https://ibb.co/eCzq2U
https://ibb.co/iqe199
https://ibb.co/mzhchU
https://ibb.co/igEONU
https://ibb.co/g9Q8p9

The group set is Shimano Sora although the shifters have been replaced. Came with an 11-28 cassette which has also been changed and I believe it's a 50-34 crankset

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Re: Z-Plus Bike brand

Postby find_bruce » Thu Sep 27, 2018 9:44 am

I hate to be the bearer of bad news JFAR96, but the welds at the seat post and head tube indicate an aluminium (or possibly steel) frame. Also the "carbon" fades in which indicates paint rather than a lug
Image

Shimano sora is a lower end road group & would not normally be used on a carbon frame

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Re: Z-Plus Bike brand

Postby 10speedsemiracer » Thu Sep 27, 2018 9:49 am

find_bruce wrote:I hate to be the bearer of bad news JFAR96, but the welds at the seat post and head tube indicate an aluminium (or possibly steel) frame. Also the "carbon" fades in which indicates paint rather than a lug
Image

Shimano sora is a lower end road group & would not normally be used on a carbon frame


I'd started writing exactly all of this, with the emphasis on the very obvious and chunky tig welds and also highlighting that a CF bike sold in the early 2000s (or even very late 90s) would have a more aspirational groupset than Sora. This bike reminds me of similar era Wheeler/Avanti bikes and is in all likelihood a restickered generic trade frame sold by a non-specialist sporting goods seller (as AUbicycles has said) like Amart/Rebel/Sportsworld.

All that being said, it can most probably be made to ride fairly well with some good servicing/tuning and good tyres.
Last edited by 10speedsemiracer on Thu Sep 27, 2018 10:26 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Z-Plus Bike brand

Postby uart » Thu Sep 27, 2018 10:22 am

Yep, the fade is the give away there. I've never seen carbon fade into aluminium like that, other than if it's painted on.

As for the stickers, perhaps that pigment in the paint contains carbon black? :lol: It's a common black pigment in inks and paints.
Last edited by uart on Thu Sep 27, 2018 8:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Z-Plus Bike brand

Postby AUbicycles » Thu Sep 27, 2018 5:16 pm

Actually I have uncertainties because some Cannondales Six13s did have a seamless integration like this (ca. 2007)
https://www.gumtree.com/p/bicycles/cann ... 1180932992
Image


But... the welds are machined , there is a carbon fork and everything has a much higher quality because around this era, carbon was premium. I don't know why they would put in a single carbon tube with so much effort to hide it and then throw Sora onto it.

It is the logic that it doesn't make sense and doesn't appear to be carbon that makes me doubt it. Thanks for the pictures - the one of the downtube near the bottle cage is interesting but it could be a wrap. Going for the 'carbon look' was popular - especially in cars - so it could have just been part of the strategy.

Rather than a finger to tap-test, what able a philips head screw driver. Not suggesting anything silly, but lightly tapping that along the down tube and seeing of there is a clear transition to prove me wrong and make me scratch my head.

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Re: Z-Plus Bike brand

Postby JFAR96 » Thu Sep 27, 2018 9:40 pm

Thanks everyone for the help. I'm just as baffled about why someone would build a low spec bike with carbon top and down tubes, perhaps that's why the brand doesn't appear to exist anymore. My guess would be that they were trying to latch onto the carbon hype at a low price point.
As for the doubts about it being carbon; I've done a tap test with a driver. Not only is there a distinct transition from the lug to the carbon but I can visually make out where the join is. I'm willing to bet a new bike on it, I'm an Industrial Designer and I know how to recognize carbon. Furthermore there is a sticker (partially pictured) behind the bottle cage on the seat tube which reads "carbon tubes" I don't believe a bike manufacturer would put this on a bike without carbon tubes.
Would love to know more about the brand, thanks again for your help.

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Re: Z-Plus Bike brand

Postby fat and old » Thu Sep 27, 2018 11:55 pm

There was an Australian produced alloy/carbon bike in the late 90’s early 2000’s....iirc it was called a Carbonculio? Had a carbon rear end and alloy remainder. Can’t remember if it was lugged or not.

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Re: Z-Plus Bike brand

Postby bychosis » Fri Sep 28, 2018 7:17 am

JFAR96 wrote:Thanks everyone for the help. I'm just as baffled about why someone would build a low spec bike with carbon top and down tubes, perhaps that's why the brand doesn't appear to exist anymore. My guess would be that they were trying to latch onto the carbon hype at a low price point.
As for the doubts about it being carbon; I've done a tap test with a driver. Not only is there a distinct transition from the lug to the carbon but I can visually make out where the join is. I'm willing to bet a new bike on it, I'm an Industrial Designer and I know how to recognize carbon. Furthermore there is a sticker (partially pictured) behind the bottle cage on the seat tube which reads "carbon tubes" I don't believe a bike manufacturer would put this on a bike without carbon tubes.
Would love to know more about the brand, thanks again for your help.

Can we see the whole ‘carbon’ sticker by removing the thing covering it. It looks to me like it might say ‘carbon high tensile tubes’. ie carbon steel, or high tensile steel - cheapest steel.

The different sound front eh tap test could be due tubes being butted, or thinner in the middle than at the ends.

I still say the ‘carbon’ is painted on, Industrial Designer or not.
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Re: Z-Plus Bike brand

Postby MichaelB » Fri Sep 28, 2018 8:19 am

Unless we get a better pic, I’m with bychosis.

Anyway, the price was right if it was given to you !

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Re: Z-Plus Bike brand

Postby JFAR96 » Fri Sep 28, 2018 8:39 am

fat and old wrote:There was an Australian produced alloy/carbon bike in the late 90’s early 2000’s....iirc it was called a Carbonculio? Had a carbon rear end and alloy remainder. Can’t remember if it was lugged or not.


Interesting I'll look into this.

https://ibb.co/bC5jhU
https://ibb.co/d5VH2U
https://ibb.co/bQGPhU
https://ibb.co/fO0H2U

You can see from these images, the faint line where the the carbon tube meets the aluminium as well as the steel inserts for the bottle cage on the down tube

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Re: Z-Plus Bike brand

Postby MichaelB » Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:05 pm

Thanks for the extra pics.

Nothing there gives me any reason not to back that it's all alloy, and that the 'pattern' is either paint or a decal.

Steel inserts (or rivnuts as they are commonly known) are used on all materials as well (not ideal in alloy, but still done).

Meh, just clean it up, get it working and enjoy it.

Cheers

Michael

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Re: Z-Plus Bike brand

Postby bychosis » Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:41 pm

I can see the line. If it was bonded carbon it would be highly unlikely to have a weld at the lugs, they would typically be a cast item and no weld would be visible.

Still, as others have pointed out, it’s likely a decent ride and if it cost nothing, even more value for money.
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Re: Z-Plus Bike brand

Postby fat and old » Fri Sep 28, 2018 12:45 pm

bychosis wrote:Can we see the whole ‘carbon’ sticker by removing the thing covering it. It looks to me like it might say ‘carbon high tensile tubes’. ie carbon steel, or high tensile steel - cheapest .


I have to admit that “high” had me thinking. But I don’t think that there’s any room to have “tensile” in that sticker in the same font and size. “High mod” would fit, but yeah, it would help out to see it.

I have no idea what it is and am with MichaelB....enjoy :D

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Re: Z-Plus Bike brand

Postby JFAR96 » Fri Sep 28, 2018 2:58 pm

Well I didn't start this discussion to ask if this bike has carbon tubes, I know it does and anyone who has seen it agrees. If anyone know's anything about the brand I would still be interested.
However what I am taking away from this discussion is that:
1. There is no apparent significance or History around the brand and it was most likely for sport stores
2. At a glance nobody thinks it has carbon tubes
With that information I think I'll strip the paint and go for a raw finish, maybe even chuck in a carbon fork. And yes it does need a clean, washed it the other day then it rained when I was riding. Done nearly 1000ks on it and now that my fitness is getting better it's actually performed quite well on various segments, particularly climbs.

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Re: Z-Plus Bike brand

Postby AUbicycles » Fri Sep 28, 2018 8:47 pm

To annoy you a little JFAR96, would you mind taking some close up of the top tube cable guides - from a previous photo they appeared to be welded but with a closeup maybe it is glued. There are mysteries which is why it is so interesting because it doesn't make sense.

But then again, the reason why rebel sports had bikes was because bikes are also sport. A fairly big brand who imported a lot of gear and dealt directly so it was still better value to have their own in-house brand.

Sometimes the inhouse brands are essentially rebrand generic frames and just painted and specc'ed to suit. But all of this leads to the fact that it isn't collectable as a classic, more of an oddity or simply to be a practical bike to ride.

--

It is worth stripping it, no.. not unless it simply brings you joy and happiness. If it is for that reason, you could probably do a fair bit and make it a much classier bike, but I would also be switching the groupset and then fretting at the welds and before asking, is it really worth it.

The front red tyre is a nice touch. Check to see if the tyres are in good condition and a small visual update is a new front and rear tyre with the red / black optic - this would suit the style. Vittoria Corsa have these as well as a few other brands.


--

Did you correct the seat angle and drop bars (referirng to your photo of the complete bike). The seat should generally be level for most riders and the bars angled back up - starting point is the same angle as a continuation of the stem.

I would expect the seat post to be dropped... but if you feel you need it that high then the frame may be too small for your body.

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Re: Z-Plus Bike brand

Postby JFAR96 » Sat Sep 29, 2018 8:31 am

Hi Aus Bicycles, away from my bike for the weekend so won't be able to get any photos for now.
--
I was originally planning on replacing this bike by the end of the year so didn't have any intentions to give it any special care however after improving my riding I realised there is nothing more fun than overtaking multi thousand dollar carbon bikes on various climbs on an older and heavier bike. So I've become a bit more attached to it. If I am going to keep it I'll probably do something about the paint and graphics, I think a raw finish could look cool and would make me more inclined to keep and look after it. If I were to do this I would most likely upgrade the groupset along with other parts. A college is giving me his aluminium rims tubular rims as he's upgraded to deep sections, so they'll go on there along with the tires he has. A college is giving me his aluminium rims tubular rims as he's upgraded to deep sections, so they'll go on there along with the tires he has. Is it all worth it? Almost certainly not but it would be a fun project which wouldn't cost too much. Regardless of what I do I'll almost certainly be upgrading in the next 6 moths or when I stop improving on segments to something which is more race ready and I can use in triathlons as well.
--
In terms of fit, its quite interesting because I've ridden just about 1000k with that setup with no apparent issues but a mate of mine said the saddle looks too high when I was riding it (as my hips were moving) so I've started moving it down incrementally. I find the angled saddle much more comfortable, my understanding is that saddles have always been flat due to UCI's 2 degree limit (which has now been changed to 9). However it's possible that I've just had to angle it down like that because my seat post is too high. I agree the bars need to be angled up I didn't notice that until I looked at the photo strangely however I do like the bars low so will probably get a longer and negative stem on there as I have a long reach.

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