italian versus american bikes

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by nurul, Feb 16, 2004.

  1. nurul

    nurul New Member

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    Purchased a Fausto Koppi KP1 sent from Italy.It's 58cm and the frame weighs 1100g and fork 380g.(pretty damn light). Frame material is altec 2 plus.It is identical to what the Polti team used in 2000 in the Tour of Spain.I have never seen this frame for sale since 2000 in the UK.
    The wheels are Rolf Vector Pro with Michelin Pro Race/Light combo. Stem is a fantastic Easton 70, bars deda 250, saddle SLR xp, post alien use aluminium. Groupset is 1st generation Campag Chorus 10 speed with Record carbon levers. 42-52 rings and 11-23 cassette.175mm cranks, daytona pedals.I estimate it to weigh 16.3 lbs.
    It is an extremely lively Italian bike which is highly responsive at speed and accelerates quickly in any situation. The forks are a work of art and produced by Look. (remember 380g from yr 2000).In 2001 carbon rear triangle was added by Coppi.I bought it as I could not afford the 2000 De Rosa Merak nor the Rossin equivalent and the Klein equivalent was under budget and not convincing.
    Aside from being lightweight,super rigid and good looking I can directly compare it to another roadbike I bought in 1998, namely a Cannondale CAAD3 with ITM Millennium forks, Ultegra groupset, 9 spd, 42-52, 12-23 cassette, upgraded to ITM millennium stem, 3t bars, alien post, xp saddle, cosmic elite rear wheel, campag moscow front wheel.
    The Cannondale felt great until I rode the Fausto. Yes the Dale is comfortable, light (17.3lbs), responsive and tracks well on descents but once you ride the Coppi with it's Altec 2 plus frame you realise why people love Italian frames. Maybe I am not comparing like with like and perhaps if i had the chance to ride a 2004 CAAD7 I would change my mind. The Coppi just goes at any press of the pedals.it urges you to ride fast and to get into the drops.However it took 2000km of riding to find a comfortable postion it is so rigid.
    The Dale is surefoooted, loves descending safely, absorbs road shock with its fat tubes and looks great (red/yellow). Maybe I just need to buy a quality pair of wheels such as Zondas, SSC's or American Classic or Vigor to really bring them to Vector Pro standard. Does anyone else have the priviledge of owning American and Italian bikes? I use my Dale in the UK and my Coppi in Barcelona.(as a kid I would ride a 531 frame with open 4 cd wheels and 7 speed group so i have done the steel thing and I would consider buying a Colombus Foco frame with Centaur 10spd and campy wheels). By the way as far as Campy versus Shimano goes I started road cyling in 1989 with shimano dura ace, ultegra and 105 mix. In 1998 I went with Shimano Ultegra 9 speed and in 2000 Chorus 10 Speed. I prefer to ride then tinker with the bike and would stick to Campag in the future. It looks better, wears better, gave us 10 speed 4 years before Shimano, has FAR SUPERIOR braking (my ultegra brakes have never worked despite changing blocks and using 3 different rims).I hope to rid my ultegra group and convert the Dale to Centaur 10!Yes Shimano shifiting is slicker and some may prefer the ergonomics of the dual function levers but Campy front gear shifts allow more extreme chain angles to be used without chain rub.After 15 yrs of experinc with both groups (and obsolete Suntour) I go with Campagnolo.Who else owns both Italian and American frames?
     
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  2. boudreaux

    boudreaux New Member

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    Yes.There is no such thing as 'Italian geometey'. It's just simply about a well made bike that fits properly. I could not tell the difference in a blind test. My Shimano stuff has been flawless, and the campy works good too.
     
  3. kspangler

    kspangler New Member

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    I just recently purchased a Italian-built bike -- the Moser M76. So far I love it. I'm still dialing it in. This was a drastic move when you think I road a Diamondback Interval previously. My new purchase included the M76 Frameset, new seat post and handlebars. I also purchased the Sella Italia SLR XP - lightweight. Finances forced me to transfer the SORA groupset and the wheelset from the Diamondback. Even outfitted with the lower budgeted drive train and wheels this bike is a joy to ride. Moser M76.
     
  4. gotendurance

    gotendurance New Member

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    I'm all for Italian bikes. They've been building them longer then we have and better IMO! I ride a new De Rosa and I"m extremely happy with it! My last bike was French. It lasted me 15 years. Euro bikes are the best.;)
     
  5. lokstah

    lokstah New Member

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    Eh, doesn't make sense. A well-made bike is a well-made bike. Italian bikes might have a great tradition behind them, and I can appreciate the craftsmanship aspect, but there's enough simplicity and purity to frame construction that those qualities were long ago shared with the rest of the world.

    A master craftsman in Portland has as good a shot at welding metal tubes together as a master craftman in Milan. And what about the average Italian frame builders? I'll take a Litespeed over a cheap Italian any day.

    The only thing the best Italian frames have over the best American frames is a different character, or spirit. That's nothing to shake a stick at, but it's no substitute for a good fit.
     
  6. gruppo

    gruppo New Member

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    Not sure about Italian vs. American bikes, but I know that my dad is smarter than your dad. :)
     
  7. boudreaux

    boudreaux New Member

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    Yeah, and in a blind test of a frame built with the same tubeset you could not tell the difference between one built in Italy or Tiawan.
     
  8. gotendurance

    gotendurance New Member

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    I'd take a hand built Italian bike over an assembly line built Trek any day!;)
     
  9. JohnO

    JohnO New Member

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    I would too - I just don't know that I'd want to pay for it...
     
  10. rek

    rek New Member

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    I'll take the hand-built Yankee bike over an Italian exotic. Top level bikes are top level bikes no matter what country of origin.

    ...and what I lose in snob-value at the cafe after the group ride, I gain by being able to afford a killer component set* ;)

    * entertainment value is enhanced by visualising a C50HP equipped with Sora
     
  11. lokstah

    lokstah New Member

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    Well, sure, but here you're comparing handmade to factory-churned. Assuming it's well done, who wouldn't lean towards craftsman work over robot or plant-drone work? What about Italian factory units? The question isn't Italian versus Yankee. As Rek puts it, a top level bike is a top level bike.

    There are cheaply made imports, and there are saucy, meticulously crafted domestic frames.

    It's got nothing to do with flags.
     
  12. gruppo

    gruppo New Member

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    I think I would want to ride them first and base the decision on merit, not on some arbitrary perceived value.
     
  13. gotendurance

    gotendurance New Member

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    I think everyone has good points! But remember it's not all the bike, most of it is the rider. But a great bike whether it be Italian or American made, makes a huge difference!;)
     
  14. mareblu

    mareblu New Member

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    I don't know, We have Trek bikes and we also purchased a Fabio Casati Sphera Mono Box, and it is much lighter and a lot more smoother......
    By the way, I had the luck of visiting the Casati factory in Monza (Italy) this year, and it is a family oriented business. I liked them. They only make about 1200 bikes a year. ;)
     
  15. lokstah

    lokstah New Member

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    Well, the Trek and the Casati are different bikes. So are Bianchi and Moots, Coppi and Sycip, Pegoretti and Lemond, DeRosa and Seven. I'm not sure how anyone can put so much faith in geography, when there are so many factories on both sides of the ocean, producing bikes of so many different levels. Why does the Trek in your garage represent the American Bike, and your new Casati, the Italian Bike?

    I don't think I understand the point... :(
     
  16. Deafcon

    Deafcon New Member

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    I'm not taking sides, well built bikes are made by many companies, but I toured the Trek factory not to long ago, and they are hand built bikes as well. :D
     
  17. boudreaux

    boudreaux New Member

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    It's the garlic, ollive oil and chainti. Causes brain rot.
     
  18. lokstah

    lokstah New Member

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    Now I'm hungry.
     
  19. mareblu

    mareblu New Member

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    yummy! ;) my favorites olive oil on a nicely toasted bread (or called bruchetta) and a glass of a good cabernet wine! :eek:
     
  20. Powerful Pete

    Powerful Pete New Member

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    Ok, couldn't resist. It's bruSchetta! :D And try a different wine, something from down South, like a Primitivo (local grapes, not the cabernet stuff you can get anywhere). If you do need Chianti, get a Gallo Nero or something else of suitable quality! Kinda like comparing a De Rosa or a Fondriest to a Trek ... ;)

    Just kidding! I agree that a good bike is a good bike, punto e basta - wherever it is made. Yes I am partial to wonderful Italian frames, and a top of the line bike should always have Campagnolo on it...

    But it is the rider! Stop postining and get out and ride guys! :D
     
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