Upgrading Frame to CF

Discussion in 'Bike buying advice' started by ex_rower, Dec 12, 2009.

  1. ex_rower

    ex_rower New Member

    Nov 9, 2009
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    Hey guys,

    I was riding around the other day, and decided that I really feel ready to move up to a CF frame. I currently ride a custom made alloy frame from Kennedy Cycles, with Campy centaur as the groupo. I was considering just transferring across the majority of the groupo (to save costs) and just upgrade the wheelset and (with your advice) certain parts of the groupset to chorus or record.

    So first and foremost, any advice on which parts of the groupset to upgrade first? And second, are there any manufacturers as far as frames go that are better to go with than others? My price range is <$3000 AUD for the frame. That's the only real limitation I have.

    I quite like the look of pinarellos, but I don't think I have enough money to buy one, nor (i believe) can I buy them in Australia.

    oh, some additional information:

    I'm 75kgs.
    I plan on using it mostly for longer training rides on the flat (3-5 hours) with only a bit of hill work.
    I'm not too bothered by "brand names" but at the same time I like the idea of something that stands out in the crowd.

    Thanks guys.

  2. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

    Jul 23, 2005
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    FWIW. A few months ago, someone noted that several Asian sellers had new, clear coated, ready-to-assemble CF frames/forks/etc. available on eBay. Here is just one example from just one seller -- Carbon Road Bike Frame 58cm - Seatpost -Handlebar -Fork:


    Some have straight forks -- Brand New Full Carbon Fiber Road Bike Frame 58cm- Fork:


    Be sure to measure your CURRENT head tube angle & top tube length ... AND, ask the seller for the specs if they aren't listed.

    A 74ยบ head tube angle seems steep to me, but that may be typical for a 58cm frame, now.

    The downside is that they are undoubtedly fabricated without the latest-and-greatest nanotube CF cloth ... so, the frames will be heavier than a Pinarello/Colnago/whatever frame.

    The upside is that they are probably less than 1/4th the cost of a painted-and-decaled frame you would buy from a shop.

    If 'I' were thinking about buying a CF frame, then I would definitely consider one of these direct-buy frames.

    BTW. If you must have a name brand frame, then I would recommend you choose an Asian-fabricated COLNAGO frame.
  3. alienator

    alienator Well-Known Member

    Jun 10, 2004
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    The nice thing about most no-name, generic ebay frames is that with that no-name frame you likely get no warranty and no customer service. That's the beauty of it all. That's not always the case, but if you read up on the things, the experience that people have had with generic frames is very mixed.

    This is a common topic in just about every bike forum. I think your best move would be to visit different forums--Roadbike Review, Fairwheel Bikes, Weight Weenies--search the forums for your topic to get a broad survey of opinions and information (Weight Weenies deals with the same questions re: regular bikes, not just lightweight bikes. In fact, Weight Weenies has recently had some rather in depth coverage of the topic).

    Keep in mind a couple of things:
    1. With a name brand you likely also get decent customer support.
    2. In most cases price does NOT reflect quality.
    3. A lot of CF frames are made in the same 3 or 4 factories. That does not mean, however, that:
      • the frames are the same
      • the construction is the same
      • the standards to which the frames are built are the same
    4. Not all frames are built in the Far East
    5. Where a frame is built may not correlate with a higher or lower cost

    Also, if you look around you'll find that a lot of dealer sites are selling last year's (or older) frames for a discount (Colorado Cyclist, Excel Sports.......lot's of places). You'd also be well served to check your local bike shops. They also will likely be selling new old stock at discounted prices. You may even find a complete bike in your price range. A complete bike can be a great deal, because you can sell off, later, parts you don't need.

    You might also need to more sharply define what you are looking for in a frame/bike.
  4. taniwha

    taniwha New Member

    Jun 11, 2009
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    Ex-rower, what made you suddenly desire a CF frame?